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Article: The Ethics of Non-Translation
Thread poster: Staff Staff
Local time: 23:47
May 22, 2006

This topic is for discussion of the translation article "The Ethics of Non-Translation".

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Gabrielle Bannard  Identity Verified
Local time: 00:47
French to English
Ethics...a volatile subject Sep 11, 2007

This article was interesting to read and stimulated my brain to think hard about what I consider unethical. That's when I realized that ethics, then, is quite subjective, which is why it triggers such vehement reactions in people.

Whatever I translate can be used for harm if used by the "wrong" people ("wrong" meaning people who want to do harm). On the other hand, I may want to learn how to make home-made grenades, but that doesn't mean I will use it for harm; I just like to know this stuff. And who knows? It may come in handy some day for doing what I consider "good" (e.g. defending my family against "bad" people).

Yes, there are "societal norms" to adhere to with respect to Good vs. Bad if we want to live peacefully and quietly. However as translators (and for anyone else), the question of ethics is really a question of choice. Now I just have to decide what my choice is. Or maybe I'll just wing it as I go along. If my children are starving and I get a well-paid but "unethical" translation job, do I refuse it?

[Edited at 2007-09-11 15:49]

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Maria Antonietta Ricagno  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:47
English to Italian
+ ...
Totally agree Aug 23, 2008

I totally agree with the views of Michael: our work should be characterized by ethic principles as well.
Working is not enough: we should select jobs and refuse those we are uncomfortable at dealing with.
I would never translate anything concerning weapons. I know, somebody else will do. My personal sense of ethics simply does not allow me to deal with certain topics.

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Article: The Ethics of Non-Translation

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