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© Intercultural Studies Group Universitat Rovira i Virgili Plaça Imperial Tàrraco Tarragona Fax: (++ 34) Intervention and the ethics of translating Anthony Pym
© Intercultural Studies Group Ethics (deontology) comes from: The profession (tradition) Theories and the academy (different paradigms) Social ethics (culturally variable norms)
© Intercultural Studies Group Example 1 Invictus Why are South Africans played by Americans? (Why do lectures in China refer to the Middle East?) The choice to translate is one kind of intervention. The way you translate may be another kind ( “ translator intervention ” ).
© Intercultural Studies Group Example 2a
© Intercultural Studies Group Example 2b
© Intercultural Studies Group Intervention is… When an alternative viable rendition is refused And the shifts are patterned For an identifiable purpose Concerning a target-side effect. (Often as a result of collective agency.)
© Intercultural Studies Group Defining the terms… Ethics: principles for making just choices Deontology: rules for a profession Standards: clear terms and procedures for relations between professions Best practices: procedures considered superior to other procedures, usually in terms of efficiency but sometimes in terms of ethics. Intervention only concerns ethics.
© Intercultural Studies Group TAC Standards… Cooperation between the translation service provider and its client is the basis for providing quality translation services. Before entering into a contract for such services, each party should fully understand the expectations of the other party. This standard defines relevant requirements with a view to protecting the interests of the parties concerned. This standard establishes an objective basis for quality and avoiding post-service disputes. ( 10/13/content_ htm)
© Intercultural Studies Group Chesterman: Ethics of representation (truth) Ethics of service (loyalty) Norm-based ethics (trust) Ethics of communication (“achieve cross-cultural understanding”) So how can intervention be ethical?
© Intercultural Studies Group ATA code of ethics I will serve the best interests of my clients, conducting my professional activities without causing or intending to cause harm. I will treat all my clients with equal respect, regardless of their origin, race, religion, gender, age, or sexual preference. I will represent honestly my Tarot qualifications, including educational credentials and levels of certification. I will keep confidential the names of clients and all information shared or discussed during readings, unless otherwise requested by the client or required by a court of law.
© Intercultural Studies Group ATA code of ethics I agree to support and be governed by the Bylaws of the American Topical Association and such amendments, resolutions and policies as may be established. I agree to abide by all federal, state, and local laws relating to philatelic matters. I agree to conduct myself so as to bring no reproach or discredit to the Association, or to impair the prestige of membership therein, or to philately.
© Intercultural Studies Group ATA: American Translators Association Code of Professional Conduct and Business Practices I. As a Translator or Interpreter, a bridge for ideas from one language to another and one culture to another, I commit myself to the highest standards of performance, ethical behavior, and business practices. (Bridges get walked over.)
© Intercultural Studies Group ATA: A. I will endeavor to translate the original message faithfully, to satisfy the needs of the end user(s). (Faithful to what?) (What happens when faithfulness conflicts with final needs?) (Who knows what the message is, and what the needs are?)
© Intercultural Studies Group ATA: A. I acknowledge that this level of excellence requires: 1. mastery of the target language equivalent to that of an educated native speaker, (only the TL?) 2. up-to-date knowledge of the subject material and its terminology in both languages, 3. access to information resources and reference materials, and knowledge of the tools of my profession, (only knowledge?) 4. continuing efforts to improve, broaden, and deepen my skills and knowledge. (Who is going to give you all these things?)
© Intercultural Studies Group ATA: B. I will be truthful about my qualifications and will not accept any assignments for which I am not fully qualified. C. I will safeguard the interests of my clients as my own and divulge no confidential information. D. I will notify my clients of any unresolved difficulties. If we cannot resolve a dispute, we will seek arbitration.
© Intercultural Studies Group ATA: E. I will use a client as a reference only if I am prepared to name a person to attest to the quality of my work. F. I will respect and refrain from interfering with or supplanting any business relationship between my client and my client's client.
© Intercultural Studies Group Problems: Only one metaphor (the bridge) for a diverse profession? There is nothing to understand (the message, the idea, faithfulness) End-user needs may conflict with the author’s and/or the clients. The market demands more competence than is available. The market demands speed, which will conflict with the highest standards.
© Intercultural Studies Group Problem 1 There is a mistake in the dates in Microsoft’s Encarta, which you are translating. Should you correct the dates? Should you tell Microsoft?
© Intercultural Studies Group Problem 2 There are mistakes in the full matches in the translation memory your client has given you. Do you correct the mistakes? Should you be paid for that?
© Intercultural Studies Group Problem 3 El hombre blanco ha marcado el paso del progreso humano durante los últimos dos mil años. The white man has set the pace of human progress for the last two thousand years.
© Intercultural Studies Group Problem 4 The easiest way to get to LA is via London. So I will fly to London. Please set two open first-class tickets from Barcelona to LA stopping at New York.
© Intercultural Studies Group Hands tied behind back: No pure meaning (“transcendental signified”) No mercenary strategies (“customer always right”) No human rights in this field No eternally just causes (because of cultural relativism) No neutrality.
© Intercultural Studies Group A possible solution Translation seeks cooperation (mutual benefits) between all parties (including the translator). When the purpose does not provide such benefits, do not translate. Do whatever has to be done to achieve the benefits, including non-translation.
© Intercultural Studies Group The roadmap… Benefits are in the future. This is a text awaiting completion Completion must involve parties who have no English. Valid translations can employ shifts to ensure the involvement of those parties. (although there are risks involved…)
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