Professional negligence/liability and translators in the U. K. and Spain
Thread poster: Anna Daly

Anna Daly
Ireland
Spanish to English
Aug 21, 2013

I am in the process of working on a dissertation required for the award of M. A. in Legal Translation from City University London. The title is 'An examination of professional negligence/liability in relation to the translator with reference to the situation in the U. K. and Spain'. I would be very grateful if anyone could put me in the direction of relevant resources, whether books, papers and/or online, any caselaw on the subject from either or both countries. Indeed anything relevant to the above title would be very much appreciated.

 

urbom
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:31
German to English
+ ...
avoid duplicated effort Aug 21, 2013

It would be nice if you'd tell us what sources you have and where you have looked already so no one wastes time repeating the research you have already done.

 

Anna Daly
Ireland
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you. Aug 21, 2013

Thank you for your advice. Unfortunately, what I have found so far is not very much hence my reaching out for assistance. I have two articles from the ITI bulletin, some links to internet resources and no books at all for the situation in either the U. K. or Spain. Even the internet links I have really don't amount to many.

 

Marie-Helene Dubois  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:31
Spanish to English
+ ...
Ideas Aug 21, 2013

Hi Anna,

Here is a report:
http://www.ugr.es/~rasensio/docs/Profesion_Traductor_Jurado.pdf

The following page could also be interesting, especially footnote 10 which is the part from the Spanish criminal code that imposes criminal responsibility on interpreters (without ever having defined or regulated the business of interpreting...hmmm)
http://www.lalinternadeltraductor.org/n6/interpretacion-judicial.html#n10

A point to consider though is that in Spain, no real distinction is made between an interpreter and a translator. In fact, sometimes even the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores (which is responsible for the sworn translator system) mixes up the two terms and someone who has passed the exam to be a "traductor jurado" is also considered an "intérprete jurado". Equally people applying to have their foreign qualifications from abroad considered for acceptance to be a sworn translator in Spain sometimes have problems because they may be qualified as a translator but not as an interpreter or vice versa and this doesn't sit well with the Spanish system.
You may therefore find data on "intérpretes" which relates to translators and vice versa.

Another point that may be important is that in Spain, a sworn translator is authorized (and supposed) to translate in both directions. Therefore a Spanish to English translator with mother tongue Spanish is also authorized and indeed meant to translate into English. In my personal experience this can have disastrous consequences. I'm not sure what implications this would have on professional liability since presumably a sworn translator translating into English is translating for the English market or for an English-speaking customer.

In the UK, although there is no sworn translator system, translators are generally recommended by bodies and associations only to translate into their native language.

Also, professional liability insurance for translators is usually referred to as E&O (errors and ommissions) insurance in case you want to research the terms of such a policy. In the UK, most policies usually exclude work for US companies.


 

Anna Daly
Ireland
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks. Aug 21, 2013

Many thanks for all this, Marie-Helene. I very much appreciate the time you took to send me this and am really very grateful. I will be going through it in detail and I am in no doubt that it will be of huge help to me.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 22:31
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
Have you asked the insurers? Aug 22, 2013

As an ex-pat I don't know much about the UK directly - the insurers recommended by the CIoL stopped covering me at one point, and I found an alternative where I live.

Here the story is that claims are practically never made, but professional indemnity insurance - with a considerable amount of cover - comes in a very reasonably priced package that covers a lot of other things like fire, theft, computer breakdowns and other risks.

But that is the story here, and there are several threads on this site discussing whether professional indemnity insurance is necessary at all. So the reason you have not found much may be that there really is not much to find.

I did hear of someone trying to claim for expenses because a date was missing on a translation of a divorce certificate, which meant cancelling a planned wedding at the last minute - when a lot of travel and celebrations still had to be paid for...
I do not know whether the claim was actually made or was successful. (But that was in Denmark.)


 

Anna Daly
Ireland
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Many thanks. Aug 22, 2013

Hi Christine,
Many thanks for your thoughts on the matter. Yes, I am hoping to contact some of the insurers, particularly those who specifically might deal with translator professional negligence. Hopefully, I'll be able to get some names of those in Spain.

What a pity that case regarding the omission of the date on the divorce certificate happened in Denmark! It would have made a really good example for me look up and mention if it were in either the U. K. or Spain.

I really appreciate your contribution.


 


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