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Your practices, are they professional?

Published by info@crtl.ca on 2011-11-25

Reflections on the Different Aspects of Professionalism in the Language Sector


During the Canadian Language Industry Showcase 2011, on November 4, at the Holiday Inn Plaza la Chaudière in Gatineau, Dorothee Racette, president of the American Translators Association (ATA), gave a humourous speech titled “A Culture of Professionalism – The development of the new Code of Ethics and Professional Practice of the American Translators Association". The ATA’s objective is to expand its community. This plenary session was an opportunity to discuss professionalism in the fields of translation and interpretation.


In Mrs. Racette's words, bilingualism is what makes Canada unique and distinct. It contributes to the richness of the country`s communications. What are your thoughts on this?


According to the ATA, the internet is vital for promoting its mission and ideals.  The Association defines the limits of professionalism by way of its Code of Ethics that is available on the ATA’s website.  It is also possible to submit questions and comments visible to all users. Do you believe that a code of ethics is necessary or important for all areas of the translation profession? How important is certification?


On its website, this language service provider gives access to a detailed professional Code of Ethics.  For the ATA, it is important to convey meaning between people, cultures, generations, etc. By way of its Code of Ethics, the ATA ensures that its members conduct themselves in a professional and confidential manner and demonstrate honesty, skill and responsibility in their work. In your opinion, what should be included in a code of ethics for translators, interpreters and terminologists?


The use of the word “us” is one of the elements of the ATA Code, because it is more encompassing and it ensures that all members abide by the code. To avoid being discredited for false representation, the ATA will, at times, turn down contracts. An agreement with its clients and an application for recognition on their behalf, to the extent of work performed, are valued by the ATA.


Conflict resolution and solidarity are two strategies used by the Association. It also assures competitive rates to its clients. Thus, the Code of Ethics is an essential tool for the ATA.  According to Mrs. Racette, translators and interpreters who use language technology tools should not be marginalized.  Instead, it is important to educate the public on the benefits of such technologies. 


Social networking updates are done by several staff members within the Association. This helps to diversify content and opinions and generate more user interest and interaction. A growing mailing list is also valued by the Management in order to ensure efficient communication. Do you think that social media are important tools for professional associations? Why or why not? What are the advantages and disadvantages of social media?


ATA Online Publication: The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA)