Translation Ethics | How to be an Ethical Translator
Ethics? Translators don’t need to worry about ethics, do they? When most people think of ethics and professionals, they tend to focus on people like accountants, doctors, lawyers, or other high profile jobs. However, everyone that deals with other people in their business has the duty and responsibility to be ethical. Translators are no exception.
It is easy for people to point out unethical behavior in certain professions, but what about translators? It might not be as apparent. However, unethical activities do occur and it's important to know what some of these are and ways to keep them from being a temptation to you.
Unethical behavior in the translation profession can take many forms. For example, translators are usually on deadlines with clients and it's important to be truthful to your clients in terms of what you can accomplish in a given timeframe. If you come to terms with a client and agree to finish a job by a certain deadline, it is unethical to decide not to do that job or not finish it on time without informing the client. They usually have deadlines as well, and not respecting those is not only bad for business, but is also unethical.
Another major way that translators can be unethical is by not keeping their clients' information confidential. Translators are privy to all sorts of information, and some of this information is private and confidential to the client that requested the translation. It is definitely unethical for a translator to disclose this information to anybody.
Another way that translators can be unethical is by purposely overcharging a client when a price has already been quoted. Many translators' clients are first-time clients and might not know or understand how translators calculate their fees. Translators must not give into the temptation to overcharge a client when they know that the client is a little in the dark. Taking advantage of this ignorance is unethical. Earning a few more dollars off of a client is no way to increase your translation business, and in fact is the perfect way to ruin your translation career.
Ethical issues and situations can appear in any profession, and the translation profession is no exception. Translators should be aware of the ethical issues that can come up so that they know how to avoid them as well. Being ethical is a responsibility that every translator has.
Clint Tustison is a translator interested in helping other translators improve their businesses. His website, Spanish Translation Help is filled with information helpful to translators regarding the translation industry, and his free monthly newsletter, Translator Techniques, has tips and techniques for translators. | Article Source
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