Tembua: The Precision Language Solution Newsletter
Ethics in translation and interpreting
September 2015 
In This Issue
Tembua News
Fun things
Ethics in translation and interpreting
Upcoming Events
Tembua News:
Last month, our Senior Project Manager, Donna (pictured)
and our Executive Administrative Assistant, Shauna, spent the afternoon packing green beans into 2 lb bags at Second Harvest Heartland.


Fun things




"Acting responsibly is not a matter of strengthening our reason but of deepening our feelings for the welfare of others."
--Jostein Gaarder , Sophie's World

"The smaller our world becomes, the more important it is that we understand each other."

--Patricia May, CEO & President of Tembua

I had taken a course in Ethics. I read a thick textbook, heard the class discussions and came out of it saying I hadn't learned a thing I didn't know before about morals and what is right or wrong in human conduct.

   Ethics in translation and interpreting
A translator was given a professional profile to translate but was instructed to slant some of the sentences to make the person sound unethical and untrustworthy.
An interpreter was working a meeting in which a person made disparaging asides to his partner about the other people in the discussion. The interpreter stopped and explained that she would translate every word spoken in the room.
A team of translators was given a video game to translate. They reviewed both the images showing violence against women and the vocabulary used and decided they could not, in good conscience, work on the project.
In many fields, the only ethics are those shared by any honest business person. The professional linguist, however, additionally accepts as both a professional and ethical duty the following:             
  • To faithfully move the meaning of the source document to the target language
    • Add nothing; subtract nothing (a principle known as NANS)
    • Do not alter the original meaning to fit the linguist's own beliefs
    • To produce elegant final texts with appropriate semantics and grammar
      • Use the target language's word order and grammar to mimic the effect of the source language
      • To consider the final reader
        • Replace source idioms with understandable target idioms
        • Maintain the register of the source language through proper choice of synonyms, sentence length, and word order
        • Produce a text that is appropriate for the reader's needs
        • To maintain confidentiality and take no profit from information gained during the course of an assignment.
Click to finish Ethics in translation
Upcoming events:

At the end of this month, Patricia May, CEO, along with Bob May, CTO, will be attending the 15th Annual Great Lakes Business Women's Conference in Michigan! 

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Patricia May
Tembua: The Precision Language Solution

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