Ethical code - The Association of Professional Translators of Moldova (ATP)

O abordare profesionistă a comunicării interumane

Ethical code

EAssociation of Professional Translators of Moldova 


(adopted in the spirit of the Translator’s Charter of

Dubrovnik, September 1963)                               

                                                                                                  I. SCOPE AND AREA



1. Noting that today translation, facilitating the exchange of spiritual and material values among peoples, enriching their life and contributing to a better understanding among them, has proved itself as a permanent, universal and necessary activity and as a distinct, independent profession, the Association of Professional Translators of Moldova (hereinafter referred to as ATP), wishing to translate certain wishes that have an immediate relation to this profession into an official paper, has adopted the Translator’s Code of Ethics (hereinafter referred to as the Code), designed to serve as a guide for specialists in carrying out their activity.

2. By means of this Code, the ATP aims at emphasizing the social functions of translation, improving the social conditions and environment in which the translators operate, stipulating at the same time their professional and ethical and moral rights and obligations.

3. The Code formulates the integrity, professionalism and confidentiality standards which shall be observed by all translators and interpreters members of the ATP during their activity.

Those wishing to join the membership of the ATP shall also accept the provisions of the Code. 


Article 2

             1. Translation, being an intellectual activity, the object of which is the transfer of literary, scientific and technical texts from one language into another, imposes on those who practice it specific obligations inherent in its very nature.

2. A translation shall always be made on the sole responsibility of the translator, whatever the character of the relationship of contract which binds him/her to the user.

3. The translator shall refuse to give to a message or text an interpretation of which he/she does not approve, or which would be contrary to the obligations of his/her profession.

Article 3

       1. Every translation shall be faithful and render exactly the idea and form of the original – this fidelity constituting both a moral and legal obligation for the translator.

2. A faithful translation, however, should not be confused with a literal translation, the fidelity of a translation not excluding an adaptation to make the form, the atmosphere and deeper meaning of the work felt in another language and country. 

Article 4 

1. The translator shall possess a sound knowledge of the language from which he/she translates and should, in particular, be a master of that into which he/she translates.

He/she must likewise have a broad general knowledge and know sufficiently well the subject matter of the translation and refrain from undertaking a translation in a field beyond his/her competence.

2. In carrying out his/her profession, the translator shall refrain from any unfair competition; in particular, he/she shall not accept a remuneration below that which may be fixed by law, regulationsand custom or by a decision of his/her professional organization.

3. The translator shall respect the legitimate interests of individuals and institutions which use the translation, by treating as a professional secret any information which may come into his/her possession as a result of the translation entrusted to him/her. 

Article 5

1. Being a “secondary” author, the translator shall accept special obligations with respect to the author of the original work.

2. The translator shall refrain from making a translation without a prior written permission of the author of the original work or the authorized owner of the original work, and must furthermore respect all other rights vested in the author. 

Article 6 

1. In his/her practice, the translator shall be alert as regards the risk of applying any kind of discrimination, verbal or in writing, and shall make every effort for avoiding such discrimination based upon one’s nationality, sex, sexual habits, language, confession, social origin and political opinion.

2. The translator shall also consider as severe professional mistakes and shall by all means avoid:

·         plagiarism

·         evil-minded interpretation

·         slander, gossip, defamation, groundless accusations


·         acceptance of any gratification for disclosing any information which he/she committed not to disclose.


Article 7 

1. ATP members shall strictly keep the confidentiality of data on individuals and information prohibited for disclosure and which had become known to them during the practice of the profession.

2. ATP members shall not accept rewards, under any form, for disclosing confidential information which has come into their possession during the translation/interpretation.

Article 8

1. ATP members shall not accept any offer which is beyond their qualifications. Acceptance of any offer shall impose on the member the moral obligation and responsibility to carry out his/her duties at the highest professional standards.

2. Any other interpreters employed by ATP members for a joint project, regardless of the fact whether they are or not ATP members, shall meet similar professional and ethical standards.

3. ATP members shall accept only one offer for a certain period of time.

Article 9

ATP members shall not accept to provide any service which might seriously harm or prejudice professional dignity.

Also, they shall refrain from any action which would denigrate the good name of the profession. 

Article 10

For professional reasons, ATP members may disclose the fact that they are interpreters and members of the ATP whether as individuals or as members of a group or a regional grouping part of which they are.

Article 11 

1. ATP members shall accept the collective nature and moral support of the colleagues.

2. ATP members shall refrain from any action which may prejudice the interests of the ATP and its members. Any protest or reclamation on the behavior or the quality of the service made to any of the members, as well as any disagreement on the decision taken by the ATP, shall be settled within the ATP.

3. Disputes related to the profession, which have arisen between two or more ATP members (including candidates), shall be settled by ATP Administrative Board.

4. It shall be a duty of any translator that is worth of this profession to strictly observe the above principles.

5. In case when ethical-professional norms, defined by this Code, are broken, the ATP Administrative Council will investigate and impose adequate sanction.

6. ATP members shall recognize and apply in everyday life the following universal desiderata of the human culture:

Understanding that similarities generate other similarities, remember that language, generating material actions is also of material origin. Living on the Earth, the planet turns around the Sun, discover that there is simply no rectilinear movement in nature. Circular movement is scientifically confirmed and serves as ground for proving the existence of torsional fields, the intuitive wisdom of the language reminds us of this in innumerable proverbs and expressions, as well as “to be in the family circle”, “circle of friends”, “closed circle”, “vicious circle”, etc. Refrain from any misdemeanor – if not from love for the entire humanity, then at least from love for yourself, from the self-preservation instinct – and remember: according to the law of the closed space, any action, similar to an invisible pendulum, returns to the initial point – if not directly towards you, then towards your descendants. Thus:

a) do not do to anyone anything of what you would not have done to yourself;

b) do not criticize anyone behind his/her back, do it with that person in private;

c) do not insist too much on your viewpoint, remember that others are also entitled to an opinion. If you are sure you are right, support your cause not by the power of the voice, but by arguments and deeds. Deliberate with calm, without making groundless accusations, showing the appropriate respect to your opponents;

d) without changing your beliefs, have the courage to review your attitude. Recognition of the mistakes is an indication of fortitude, which deserves all the respect and not the taunt;

e) your opinion may not always be the only right one. Try, thus, to find compromise and remember that always an “unjust peace is better than a just war”;

f) do not be sarcastic – sarcasm does not indicate a sharp mind, but, rather, poor education;

g) respect the ones around you: if not because they deserve it, at least from understanding that the universe is extremely diverse and everything has the right to exist;

h) never complain and grumble – you are not the only one to pass through the difficulties of life and what is the point of complaining? If the person next to you smiles does this mean he/she has no difficulties?

i) never refuse to give a hand to the one in need, you may end up in a similar situation;

k) being an ATP member (or of any other association), be ready to sacrifice your interests for a common goal. 


Article 12 

1. This Code may be amended through a decision of the ATP, passed with a simple majority of members’ votes.



Category: APT documents