Ethics in translation – questionnaire for MA thesis
Thread poster: kstasto

French to Polish
+ ...
Apr 12, 2016

I am a student of the fifth year of Translation and International Communication. I am writing my MA thesis on ethics in translation. I would like to ask you to fill in the questionnaire concerning this issue. The questionnaire consists of 14 closed questions. All the information is confidential and will be used only as a part of my research.

Your answers would really help me to collect data for my MA thesis. I greatly appreciate your time and effort you spend answering my questions. Thank you for your participation.

Please follow this link to access the questionnaire

Best regards,
Karolina Staśto


B D Finch  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:26
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Problem with drafting of the questionnaire Apr 13, 2016

As I am a translator, not a conference interpreter, I don't know anything about having a second interpreter present in a booth when interpreting. I chose "I don't agree" because I neither agreed nor disagreed. I interpreted "I don't agree" as meaning exactly that and not "I disagree". It is possible some respondants might have thought "I do not agree" did mean "I disagree"; in that case, your results will be skewed towards "I agree". It would have been clearer and given more accurate and reliable results to have had the following available responses: "I agree", "I neither agree nor disagree" and "I disagree.


Kelly Neudorfer  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:26
German to English
Several problems with statements Apr 13, 2016

Actually there were several problems with the statements. For example the one about loyalty to the client. What do you mean by loyalty? Do you mean confidentiality? Then yes, of course I agree that that is part of an ethical translator's work. But by loyalty do you mean standing up for and defending the client or sticking with them through thick and thin? I have had contact with some agencies that I refuse to work with again. I am in no way loyal to them and I would never defend them if someone was saying something negative about them. However, I would also never disclose anything about the work that fell under confidentiality.

Another example of a problematic statement: More classes on translation ethics should be included for students. (sorry, I don't remember the exact wording) How am I supposed to answer that? Which program? How many classes are offered? How many are required? I sure that differs greatly from university to university, so while I might think one university has a completely adequate course offer on the topic, another might not have enough. To get responses you can actually use and that might have some validity, you would need to give more information or rephrase the statement, e.g. "One mandatory 3-hr / week course for one semester on translation ethics is enough in a translation degree program. Agree/Disagree"

[Edited at 2016-04-13 18:21 GMT]


United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
. Apr 13, 2016

I think perhaps the most important lesson of this exercise is to test out your questionnaire before you use it.

In particular, it's too black and white - there should always be at least one button for "don't know/no opinion/depends". Ethics is a grey area. I generally avoid texts for industries such as tobacco and defence, or on highly technical subjects I know nothing about, but sometimes I'll let myself be persuaded by a good customer.


Josephine Gardiner  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 05:26
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes, questionnaire needs a rethink Apr 13, 2016

I agree with the other posters.

I'm afraid I just abandoned the questionnaire when it started talking about interpreters in their booths, which as a translator I know nothing about. Also many of my answers to the other questions would have been 'well, it depends'. But then I really don't like closed questions - especially when thinking about ethics.

[Edited at 2016-04-13 19:53 GMT]


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Ethics in translation – questionnaire for MA thesis

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