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Ethical conduct within the translation and interpreting professions

Ethics can be defined as moral philosophy or a branch of philosophy that involves systematising, defending and recommending concepts of right and wrong conduct which often address disputes of moral diversity. The translation and interpretation industry like any other industry is not immuned to issues of morality. With information at the heart of the trade, ethics are definitely a major cornerstone.

Interpreters and translators as professionals encounter a variety of ethical issues and questions in the course of their work. Ethical behavior and the maintenance of high ethical standards are essential to good practice, in developing the profession and in maintaining positive opinions and perceptions.
While working as an interpreter or translator, ethical responsibilities overlap with the duty of care. That is the requirement to exercise the skill, care and diligence of a reasonable person performing similar work.

Although the codes of ethics may differ in some parts, they are generally concerned with similar underlying ethical principles. These codes of ethics demand that translators and interpreters respect their clients right to privacy and confidentiality, disclose any real or perceived conflicts of interests, decline to undertake work beyond their competence or accredited levels, relay information accurately and impartially between parties, maintain professional detachment and refrain from inappropriate self-promotion and guard against misuse of inside information for personal gain.

The above ethics if upheld can help in setting, maintaining and promoting high national standards in translating and interpreting.

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