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Cracking the Code: how codes of conduct can promote translators’ professional development Janet Fraser FCIL FHEA FITI

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Presentation on theme: "Cracking the Code: how codes of conduct can promote translators’ professional development Janet Fraser FCIL FHEA FITI"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cracking the Code: how codes of conduct can promote translators’ professional development Janet Fraser FCIL FHEA FITI 8 November 2014

2 Professions and professionals  “An occupation becomes a profession when … members set and follow special standards for carrying on their occupational work. These special standards are morally binding on ‘professed’ members of the profession.”  “Professionals have obligations to their employer clients/customers fellow professionals profession collectively society.” (Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions, last accessed 25 October 2014)www.ethics.iit.edu/teaching/professional-ethics

3 The role of a Code of Conduct  “A Code of Conduct is an open disclosure of the way an organisation operates. It provides visible guidelines for behaviour.”  “A Code of Conduct is intended to be … a reference for users in support of day-to-day decision-making.”  “A Code of Conduct is also a tool to encourage discussion of ethics and to improve how … [professionals] deal with the ethical dilemmas, prejudices and grey areas that are encountered in everyday work. A Code is meant to complement relevant standards, policies and rules, not to substitute for them.” (Ethics Resource Center, code-conduct, last accessed 25 October 2014)http://www.ethics.org/resource/why-have- code-conduct

4 CIOL Code of Conduct “Overarching Principles”, “Obligations to Principals” and an Annex relating to translators cover:  Not bringing the profession or colleagues into disrepute  Upholding standards (skills)  Conflicts of interest  Confidentiality  Impartiality  Faithful translation  Good business practice  ‘Poaching’

5 ITI Code of Conduct “Professional Values” cover impartiality, confidentiality, skills development, collegiality, compliance with terms of business, and dispute resolution based on: Four “Principles of Practice”  Honesty and integrity  Professional competence (including an obligation to engage in CPD)  Client confidentiality and trust  Relationships with other members

6 Translators Association Code of Ethics  Linguistic competence  “Scope and capacity”  Additions, omissions and “tendentious modifications”  Author’s permission  Confidentiality  Copyright  Avoiding damage to the profession or to colleagues

7 To correct or not to correct? “I’m translating two birth certificates from Mexico. There is an error in a UK birthplace in both source texts: it’s listed as ‘New Eltan’ instead of ‘New Eltham’. The client has asked if I can correct it in the translation. What do others do in this situation?”

8 To accept or not to accept? “Some months ago, I translated a guidebook for a German local authority. One of the authors has now contacted me and asked me to translate another guidebook based on the earlier one. He would also like me to tackle a further guide he is planning to finish in the next couple of months. I would be working for him and the photographer rather than the local authority for both translations. Is this ‘poaching’ strictly speaking?”

9 To contact or not to contact? “For seven years, I did a regular translation job for an agency – a monthly newsletter. Then, last summer, that job stopped. I have since discovered that the agency believes it has lost the client (it thinks to another agency). The agency is a good customer. The newsletter included the author’s address, and I can’t think of a good reason why I shouldn’t him, explain who I am and offer my translation services. But … should I first ask the permission of the project manager at the agency? Can the author still be considered a client of the agency six months later when the agency believes he has taken his business elsewhere?”

10 What did the translator decide? “I came to the conclusion that there was no ethical issue, and if there had been no complicating factors, I would probably have contacted the author. However, I still do business with the agency and was concerned about their reaction – even if unjustified – if they got wind of it … On balance, I thought the chance of things working out as I wanted were small; and the chance of things getting much worse were basically too great to run the risk.”

11 Developing individual professionalism ITI Code of Conduct, Principle 1, section 3.4 “Members should seek appropriate advice when faced with a situation that they recognise as being outside their … experience, knowledge or competence.” “A Code of Conduct is also a tool to encourage discussion of ethics and to improve how … [professionals] deal with the ethical dilemmas, prejudices and grey areas that are encountered in everyday work. A Code is meant to complement relevant standards, policies and rules, not to substitute for them.”


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