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Disgagreement with one of the ProZ.com professional guidelines for interpreters (on "interacting")
Thread poster: Williamson

Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:52
Flemish to English
+ ...
Apr 30, 2008

1. Ask for clarification, and give it, when appropriate, making clear when they are speaking and not interpreting.

2. Do not interject their own feelings, opinions

That is standard practise: The aim of interpreting is to render the idea with the same tone of voice and the same pitch as the speaker in the target language.

-or advice interact with others only to the extent required to interpret :

A rather bureaucratic rule :

So : when you arrive, you should not greet the organiser of the event or the president of the event, if he shakes hands with you.
At 10.15 a.m., when there is a coffee-break, you should not mingle with the public.
At noon, when you are invited to sit at the dinner-table by the highest offical (minister, CEO, company representative...), you should refuse and when you are invited for a night on town, it is highly unprofessional to accompany them?
When sitting at a dinner-table, you are sometimes expected to act as a liaison between two parties speaking different languages. In the evenings, you are not required to stay, but if you stay, it takes but a small effort to interpret at the table between two parties.
When executives give you their business-card, you should refuse?

In some cultures, this attitude is considered unpolite.



[Edited at 2008-04-30 07:18]

[Edited at 2008-04-30 07:20]

[Überschrift von Mitarbeiter oder Moderator editiert 2016-09-20 18:57 GMT]


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Maksym Kozub  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:52
Member (2008)
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Interaction with clients Aug 24, 2009

Williamson wrote:

A rather bureaucratic rule :

So : when you arrive, you should not greet the organiser of the event or the president of the event, if he shakes hands with you.
At 10.15 a.m., when there is a coffee-break, you should not mingle with the public.
At noon, when you are invited to sit at the dinner-table by the highest offical (minister, CEO, company representative...), you should refuse and when you are invited for a night on town, it is highly unprofessional to accompany them?
When sitting at a dinner-table, you are sometimes expected to act as a liaison between two parties speaking different languages. In the evenings, you are not required to stay, but if you stay, it takes but a small effort to interpret at the table between two parties.
When executives give you their business-card, you should refuse?
This is the key point that prevents me from endorsing the guidelines. Some of my long-term clients (including people whose companies directly compete with each other) have even become my friends. Neither of us has any problem with that. I mostly do interpreting for direct clientsm like banks, rep offices of multinational IT companies, etc. In some of my core areas, like IT, almost all big players are clients of either my poor self or Igor Dubinskyi, my key partner for simultaneous interpreting. I keep meeting some of their managers over years, see some of them changing positions and joining their former competitors' offices, etc. The same way they work nicely in their new positions, I remain impartial when doing interpreting irrespective of the fact that we can discuss some industry news, or even my flat renovation or their children, during lunch breaks. Am I unprofessional because of all that? Well, I do not care even if somebody thinks so.

There is also the last item in the guidelines that I can challenge in some situations:
do not accept assignments in which payment is contingent on the outcome of a case or proceedings

I never had a situation like that. I can imagine, however, that some day I can e.g. accept an assignment from a law firm (not a court!), with them saying "You are to do interpreting for our meetings with experts we (or our client) have contracted, and if we win the case for which we want to consult with those experts, we will pay you some extra bonus". Since all those activities (with my involvement as an interpreter) will take place within one party's team (say, the plaintiff, the law firm that supports him, and other experts helping him), I do not believe that anybody would have any reasons to challenge my impartiality there.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 08:52
SITE FOUNDER
Removed Sep 20, 2016

The guideline "interact with others only to the extent required to interpret" has been removed, as it is not considered applicable in all situations. See: http://www.proz.com/professional-guidelines

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