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Code of Ethics

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Alaa El-Feqi

on 15 October 2016

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Transcript of Code of Ethics

1. American Translators Association (ATA):
"to convey meaning between people and cultures faithfully, accurately, and impartially."

When an interpreter is faced with an expression like
“blind as a bat”
, he/she will use an idiom that conveys the same meaning, register, and impact rather than render it word for-word.
2. The Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Inc (AUSIT):
Accuracy consists of:
Truth and Completeness
Uncertainties in Transmission and Comprehension
Clear Transmission
Resolving Disputes
The Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators Inc (AUSIT):
In the event of any disputes between a translator or interpreter and his/her colleagues or clients or in the event of any infringement of this Code, the matter should preferably be settled by arbitration, for which appropriate rules of procedure must be put in place.
Case Study
Seroff v. Simon Schuster, 6 Misc.2d 383
(N.Y. Supr. Ct. 1952)
Victor Seroff wrote a biography regarding Sergei Rachmaninoff. Made an exclusive agreement with Simon & Schuster, Inc. (S&S) to print and distribute the work. The rights that he signed over to S&S were as follows: “the sole and exclusive right to
, and
put on the market the said work in book form
in the
United States

Of America
and in
, during the full term of copyright and all renewals thereof.” S&S Also acquired additional rights, which included: “all
, and other
and editorial rights”.
S&S sold the exclusive right to publish the French version of the book to Editions Robert Laffont (a French publisher), which hired a French Translator and the French Version of the book was published. S&S did
participate in the French translation, publication, or distribution.
Upon reviewing the translation, the author became furious, as he found 134 errors in translation, and asked S&S to sue Laffont.
S&S forwarded a letter asking Laffont or a recall in order to “avoid serious harm.” Laffont conducted an investigation and its specialists concluded that there were no errors in the book.
S&S offered to assign its right to sue Laffont to Seroff. Instead the author sued S&S for libel (a false and malicious publication printed for the purpose of defaming a living person).
The Court concluded that: “while most of the claimed errors are of
a trivial nature
and others are not too serious in themselves, there are
a few errors which constitut significant deviations from the original
”. The Court stated that that the translator may have “consciously sought to
sensationalizee and inject pungent language
in order to
make the book more attractive
to a certain segment of the French public”.
Enough evidence has been presented to “establish such substantial alteration as would warrant the granting of some relief to an author who was entitled to and interested in the preservation and integrity of his work
if the parties responsible for the alteration were before this court”
However, the Court concluded that whatever rights Seroff had, he had surrendered these rights by contract.
Some questions to consider:
Why didn’t Seroff sue Laffont and its translator in the first place?
Could this lawsuit be avoided? How?

Michigan Translators/Interpreters Network: Translator & Interpreter Liability.pdf
Thank You =)
Code of Ethics
Accuracy & Resolving Disputes
Full transcript