At its General Assembly on April 13, 2013, the Italian Association of Translators and Interpreters (AITI) adopted a new Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
For No Peanutsistas, portions of two of the new Code’s twenty-three articles are cause for celebration:
Article 10. Duty of Competence
II. Translators shall work exclusively into their native language, the language of their native culture, or the language in which they are able to prove equivalent expertise.
Article 19. Equitable Compensation
I. Translators and interpreters must refrain from providing their services in exchange for compensation that is not commensurate with the quality of their work….
III. Translators and interpreters should avoid offering or accepting discounts or below-market rates which may represent a form of unfair competition with their colleagues.
(The full Codice di deontologia e di condotta is available on the AITI site.)
These new sections, adopted only this year, mark the first time that an Italian professional association of language professionals has officially codified two essential elements of a philosophy that No Peanuts! has heartily and publicly endorsed for more than three years:
- translating for pay into an acquired language is unprofessional; and
- accepting sub-market rates not only hurts the profession but directly harms colleagues.
Congratulations — and thanks — to AITI for this landmark step.
We look forward to similar action from other Italian professional groups such as ANITI (the Italian National Association of Translators and Interpreters), STradE (the Union of Italian Translators in Publishing), and SNS (the National Writers’ Union).
While we’re at it, how about a move in the same direction in the United States — the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), the National Association for Interpretation, the largely do-nothing American Translators Association, and the many similar organizations whose codes of conduct remain extremely vague or entirely silent on these key points?