Understanding Ethics And Translation

Understanding Ethics And Translation

When it comes to the various career fields that you could select today, translation is one of the most powerful and useful skills to have. After all, translators can control their income, their location, and their career choices.

Of course, you might be wondering about the ethics of translation. And there’s a right and a wrong way to do anything. That’s why in this post, let’s talk about translation ethics and what that might mean for you.

Learn More: The 4 Main Translation Types

What Is Ethics In Translation?

Sensitive Content

There may be some content that is sensitive. This could include political statements, religious texts, and even historical accounts of events that may be debatable.

For that reason, when you are translating these, you should be careful to understand the context behind the history or other aspects.


Obviously, you must faithfully convey the original text as well as possible. Accuracy is paramount in order to stay faithful to the original content.

Cultural Sensitivity

Certain words may not be appropriate any longer. For instance, if you’re translating an old text from Germany, they may have used certain statements or words to describe certain ethnic groups that are no longer in use.

This is where having cultural sensitivity as a translator is important for maintaining ethics.

How To Improve Your Ethics When Translating

Now that we know some of the primary ways that ethics apply to translation, let’s talk about how to ensure that you provide the most accurate and ethical content.

Do Your Research

You should always be reading up on the source material, the historical context around it, and the language used at that time. This will help you piece together a translation that doesn’t just speak to the time that it was written in, but speaks to a modern day audience.

Seek Different Opinions

You may reach out to other translators in your field, or even experts that are not translators but that are subject experts. This way you can confirm any data or facts that you’re unsure about.

Being Generous And Kind

If there is some text that you have some questions about, the ethical thing to do is to be gentle or respectful when using language. If there is inflammatory language, you may consider changing it to something that gets a similar meaning across but is not so derogatory.

Interested In Translation? Get Certified

Learn more about getting certified as a translator today. You can get the best certificate available to improve your career prospects, and you can do it in an ethical manner. So don’t hesitate to get your dream career started right now — join this translation certificate program.