Professional guidelines

(As of April 2009, adapted from Professional Practices for Language Service Providers provided by ProZ.com.)

I, a professional translator, shall:

– Present my credentials, capabilities and experience honestly;

– Accept only assignments that I have the knowledge, resources and time to do well;

– Disclose any biases that may have relevance as soon as I become aware of them;

– Agree, before work starts, on what, how and when is to be delivered;

– Agree, before work starts, on payment amount, timing and currency (I normally expect the client to bear all payment costs);

– Treat all information provided by the clients as confidential unless already publicly available (If you, for example, tell me it’s raining in Bergen or Seattle again I might not keep this to myself. If you tell me your company is trying out a new quality management system I’ll keep my mouth shut unless you ask me to spread the word.), and take the necessary steps to protect that confidentiality;

– Do my best to answer inquiries related to services, fees and available equipment as soon as possible (It usually takes me less than two hours and seldom more than a day to answer an e-mail. If you don’t hear from me, please pick up the phone and call/text me.);

– Take any and all steps necessary to ensure consistent delivery of work of a high professional standard;

– Accept responsibility for the quality of work I deliver (Should you for any reason feel less than completely satisfied with what you received from me, I expect you to tell me what you believe was wrong and give me a chance to correct it.);

– Do everything possible to meet agreed-upon terms, even when unforeseen problems are encountered;

– Notify the client as soon as possible and suggest contingency measures if unexpected circumstances turn up that might affect delivery;

– Not contact end clients or subcontractors directly, without express permission;

– Do my very best to resolve disputes directly among parties involved;

– Keep improving my professional skills;

– Continually improve my contingency and security measures (UPS, security and computer protection software, backup hardware, data backup system, emergency internet access etc.);

– Not unjustly criticize other professionals or their work; and

– Not engage in conduct or communication unbecoming of a professional.

Furthermore, I, a professional interpreter, shall:

– Ask for clarification and give it, if and when appropriate, making clear when I am speaking and not interpreting (well of course – but apparently this needs to be said);

– Not interject my own feelings and beliefs, and provide opinions and advice only if this is expressly requested by the client;

– Interact with others only to the extent required to interpret; and

– Not accept assignments in which payment is contingent on the outcome of a case, meeting, or proceedings.

 

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