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TRANSLATION ETHICS. More Than You See in the Codes. What is translation?. ETHICS. Qualifications Confidentiality (consultation, use of information) Payment & references Nonsolicitation Continuing education Conflict of interest General moral behavior. ETHICS. Subcontracting Deadlines

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translation ethics

TRANSLATION ETHICS

More Than You See in the Codes

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

what is translation
What is translation?

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

ethics
ETHICS
  • Qualifications
  • Confidentiality (consultation, use of information)
  • Payment & references
  • Nonsolicitation
  • Continuing education
  • Conflict of interest
  • General moral behavior

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

ethics4
ETHICS
  • Subcontracting
  • Deadlines
  • Objectivity
  • Responsibilities to other translators
    • Encouraging & assisting beginners
    • Refraining from unfair competition
    • Respect & support fellow professionals
    • Not working for substandard fees
  • Disciplinary procedures

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

codes
CODES
  • Professional organizations
  • Government organizations
  • Some companies & agencies
  • Scholars of Translation Studies

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

codes6
CODES
  • ATA Code of Ethics
    • http://www.atanet.org/aboutus/code_of_professional_conduct.php
  • Institute of Linguists Code of Professional Conduct
    • http://www.iol.org.uk/Charter/CLS/CodeofProfConductCouncil17Nov07.pdf
  • ATIA Code of Ethics
    • http://www.atia.ab.ca/ethics.htm

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

codes7
CODES
  • AUSIT Code of Ethics
    • http://server.dream-fusion.net/ausit2/pics/ethics.pdf
  • FIT The Translator’s Charter
    • http://www.fit-ift.org/en/charter.php

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

codes8
CODES
  • United Nations Recommendation on the Legal Protection of Translators and Translations and the Practical Means To Improve the Status of Translators
    • http://portal.unesco.org/en/ev.php-URL_ID=13089&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

what do codes say about linguistic competence
What do codes say about linguistic competence?
  • Generally into A language
  • Educated native speaker mastery of TL (ATA)
  • Advanced & idiomatic command of languages concerned (IoL)
  • Sound knowledge of SL, mastery of TL (FIT)

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

translation in the codes
Translation in the Codes
  • Translators shall not alter, make additions to, or omit anything from their assigned work (AUSIT)
  • Translate the original message faithfully, to satisfy the needs of the end user(s) (ATA)
  • Render a faithful translation of the source text (meaning & register) (IoL)

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

translation in the codes11
Translation in the Codes
  • Provide translation of high quality both linguistically and stylistically
  • Guarantee that translation is a faithful rendering of the original (UN)

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

translation in the codes12
Translation in the Codes
  • Refuse to give text an interpretation of which he/she does not approve
  • Translation to be faithful and render exactly the idea and form of the original
  • Faithful translation should not be confused with a literal translation, cultural adaptation may be needed

(FIT)

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

in summary
In Summary
  • Faithful
    • Meaning, register, and form
  • But not literal
    • Culturally appropriate
    • High quality linguistically/stylistically
  • Satisfy needs of end users
    • But not to extent of reinterpreting
    • And no alterations, additions, or omissions

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

so what s a translator to do
So what’s a translator to do?
  • Skopos theory
    • Drop the idea of “fidelity”
    • Intended purpose of the target text determines translation methods/strategies
    • Goal is functionally appropriate target text
    • Gives the translator more freedom of action
    • Provides framework for educating clients

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

choices on a continuum
Choices on a Continuum

Literal Free

Semantic Dynamic

Documentary Instrumental

<————————————————>

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

however
HOWEVER
  • Skopos theory depends on the translator receiving translation instructions with clear statement of purpose
  • Assumes that translator is viewed as an independent expert
  • May lead to ethically problematic situations

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

subtitles for 2002 documentary jenin jenin
Subtitles for 2002 Documentary Jenin, Jenin

Original: “What can I say, by God, by God, our home is no longer a home.”

Translation: “What can I say? Not even Vietnam was as bad as this.”

Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account

Mona Baker, 2006: 99-100

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

rules for the rest of the time
Rules for the Rest of the Time
  • Always work to create trust
  • Bad translation is unethical translation
  • Keep your source language grammar to yourself
  • Know the linguistic resources available in your languages
  • Be aware of various translation strategies

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

create and maintain trust
Create and Maintain Trust
  • Cultivate a sense of loyalty to all parties
    • This includes readers
  • Be aware that people are depending on you
    • Because they really are dependent
  • Think of yourself as a professional
    • Remember, it always matters

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

bad translation is unethical translation
Bad Translation is Unethical Translation
  • “The nearest we get to non-text in actual life … is probably in the speech of young children and in bad translations.” (Halliday & Hasan)
  • “But that’s what it says” is not a defense
  • Not justifiable as fidelity to source text
  • If a machine can do it, no one needs you

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

keep your source grammar to yourself
Keep Your Source Grammar to Yourself
  • Resist pull of source language
  • Does the text need to sound like a translation?
  • Analyze the source text for text type and register
  • Maintain type and register unless instructed otherwise

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

know the linguistic resources available
Know the Linguistic Resources Available
  • How text types are structured
    • Infinitive to imperative, degree of formality, etc.
  • Collocations
    • Restrictions on how words can be used together (e.g., verb + preposition patterns)
    • Text flow, marked and unmarked text

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

know the linguistic resources available23
Know the Linguistic Resources Available
  • Cohesion elements
    • Usually fairly explicit in English
    • Implicit in topic-prominent languages
    • Gender, grammatical elements
  • Tolerance for repetition
  • Punctuation and sentence length
  • Sentence structure

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

understand translation strategies
Understand Translation Strategies
  • Literal translation
    • Why not, when it works
  • Transposition (changing the word class)
    • Languages like different parts of speech
  • Modulation (different phrases to convey the same idea)
    • La vache qui rit
    • The cow that laughs cheese??

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

understand translation strategies25
Understand Translation Strategies
  • Reformulation
    • Idioms, advertising slogans
  • Compensation

Strategies from Fawcett, Translation and Language: Linguistic Theories Explained

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

back to the codes
Back to the Codes
  • Ideal appears to be Nothing Added Nothing Subtracted (NANS) translation
  • Easier said than done
  • Make relevance a guiding principle

My cousin invited me to dinner.

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

nans plus
NANS Plus

Nothing important to the task at hand added or subtracted

No unnecessary elements of the source language included

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

linguistic knowledge
Linguistic Knowledge

Know working languages in a translation-appropriate way.

Ability to analyze source language for grammatical, syntactical, and contextual elements and transfer these appropriately

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

further reading
Further Reading

Baker, Mona. In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. Routledge. 1992.

Chesterman, Andrew. Memes of Translation. Benjamins. 1997.

Chesterman, Andrew and Emma Wagner. Can Theory Help Translators? St. Jerome. 2002.

Fawcett, Peter. Translation and Language: Linguistic Theories Explained. St. Jerome. 1997.

Gouadec, Daniel. Translation as a Profession. Benjamins. 2007.

Nord, Christiane. Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained. St. Jerome. 1997

Pym, Anthony, ed. The Return to Ethics. Special issue of The Translator (Vol. 7, No. 2, 2001.)

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

slide30
Thank You

Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009