On what kills and what saves in Translation.

Translating documents can bring a lot of extra distress to this world.

Since breaching the law implies breaching the ethical code, the concern with legality is highest.

Data inconsistency is a common event.

Disclosure of this concern is a major issue.

Academic documents emitted by respected institutions may bring three different names for the same course on the same page, and the name of the actual course may be none of those.

The inconsistency in the material, in this case, is not necessarily a sign of criminal activity.

The risks involved in such a situation are several, and one of them is that the readers blame the translator, instead of the institution that emitted the documents, for the inconsistencies.

Notes are then essential:  through those, the translator tells readers that the original document brought precisely that wording.

Statement of Relief:  the inconsistencies of this document are compatible with the inconsistencies in the original document.

Statement of Compliance with the Ethical Code:  to the best of my knowledge, this is a faithful reproduction of the original document in the target-language.

Statement of Disclosure of Origins:  the original document reached my hands via electronic post, through the address client@gmail.com, on the 8th of June of 2018.

The presence of the just-mentioned statements guarantees that the translator does not suffer from a serious case of god complex.

A god complex sufferer believes in absolute perfection.

They believe they can judge others, and use their profession to warn third parties about their own clients.

The line splitting protection from legal consequences that cannot be foreseen by the moment of the translation from accusing others of criminal activity is tiny.

Whilst self-protection is a necessity, and not having standard procedures in place for that end is irrational, accusing others of criminal activity may constitute crime.

Instructors of Translation are obliged to put emphasis on standard procedures that aim self-protection.

Giving names that stick to mistakes that must be avoided might be a good way of doing that.

True instruction means total absence of god complex:  acknowledgement of
the existence of the statements of compliance with the ethical code, and of disclosure of origins is fundamental.

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God Complex
Author: Marcia Pinheiro
English to Portuguese translator
By Marcia Pinheiro
Published on 03/5/2013
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