translation ethics n.
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  1. TRANSLATION ETHICS More Than You See in the Codes Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  2. What is translation? Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  3. ETHICS • Qualifications • Confidentiality (consultation, use of information) • Payment & references • Nonsolicitation • Continuing education • Conflict of interest • General moral behavior Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  4. 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

  5. CODES • Professional organizations • Government organizations • Some companies & agencies • Scholars of Translation Studies Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  6. CODES • ATA Code of Ethics • • Institute of Linguists Code of Professional Conduct • • ATIA Code of Ethics • Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  7. CODES • AUSIT Code of Ethics • • FIT The Translator’s Charter • Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  8. CODES • United Nations Recommendation on the Legal Protection of Translators and Translations and the Practical Means To Improve the Status of Translators • Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Choices on a Continuum Literal Free Semantic Dynamic Documentary Instrumental <————————————————> Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. Understand Translation Strategies • Reformulation • Idioms, advertising slogans • Compensation Strategies from Fawcett, Translation and Language: Linguistic Theories Explained Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. Thank You Diane Howard CHICATA May 2009