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Roles ethics in interpreting and translation


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An overview of the interpreter’s and translator’s role. What are the different approaches to translation? How about confidentiality? Who has the liability?

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Roles ethics in interpreting and translation

  1. 1. ROLES & ETHICS in interpreting and translation by
  2. 2. An overview of the interpreter’s role ● Relay spoken content from an L1 (source language) --> L2 (target language) orally ● Operate in the least invasive way, as a conduit/ communication bridge between speaker and audience ● Convey social and cultural cues that play along with the words (and take the time to explain them separately if speaker is not familiar with the cultural context)
  3. 3. An overview of the translator’s role ● Relay a written text in a target language, in writing ● Deliver a text which the reader will be able to read and understand fluently, without struggling ● Convey the original intentions and meaning of the author ● Translators= language and cultural experts, language and meaning analysts ● More on
  4. 4. ● Often, there are more than one different translations of one single text or book ● This reflects the two different approaches that may be adopted when translating a text ● The translator is always on a continuum between author and reader ● Gives priority to either author or reader Different approaches to translation Closer to the reader (based on the target- language, TL) Closer to the author (based on the source- language, SL) The translator is creative with the text in terms of structure, punctuation, tone, content placing the emphasis on the message rather than the (literal) content Maintains original structure, punctuation, tone, content throughout placing the emphasis on the (literal) content rather than the message The text is a transfer of the original but deliberately contains wording that carries cultural significance to the audience/ readership (that sounds more English or American or French etc.) e.g., names of places, people, magazines, popular products – think localization also The text is a transfer of the original and carries nothing but the author’s identity in a way that the reader might need to do some additional reading on the cultural aspect of the text in order to fully capture the text Perhaps achieves more powerful impact on the reader, reads smoothly Less powerful impact on reader, may sometimes read clumsy or unnatural
  5. 5. ● Is one translation better than the other? Which type of translation is better, the literal or free? ● So, is the translator also an author? Here’s a link to a fervent discussion on this question ● Are there any ethics to consider before choosing one or the other approach? ● Do the two approaches carry any additional benefits or restrictions for translators, authors or readers or is it a matter of mere preference? ● What’s your take on this? Which translation approach do you prefer? So is it one or the other?
  6. 6. Confidentiality and Code of Ethics ● Maintaining confidentiality is a central stipulation in the interpreter and translators’ code of ethics. ● Interpreters take an oath to protect the privacy of all parties and maintain all the information they translate confidential. See, for example: Interpreter Code of Ethics ● Here’s an interesting read on confidentiality in Translation and how it might be breached when using Google Translator.
  7. 7. Interpreters’ and translators’ liability - Interpreters and translators with prior experience and background in translation area are preferred - Translation is a process that requires research into different topic areas (it is this constant discovery that stimulates and keeps me going:) Stay tuned for author’s blog “The diary of a medical interpreter”: Stories and lessons from the field
  8. 8. Visit us at: Stay tuned for author’s blog “The diary of a medical interpreter”