Legal and public status of the translator
Each country has its own legal norms of labor legislation that regulate the work of an interpreter. An interpreter may be employed by a translation agency or a company that needs his services, and he can also work on an employment contract independently, by doing certain work. Signing the contract, the translator and the customer specify all the nuances of the work, its scope and payment. If it is necessary to perform a translation for publication, an agreement is concluded with the publisher, in which the rights to the translated text are stipulated, which the translator temporarily transfers to the publisher. On some of the artistic, journalistic and special texts, the translator has copyrights, according to the Law on Copyright.
In the translation bureau, the duties of each employee are governed by job descriptions. For example, it is necessary to consider a typical job description of an interpreter of one modern company.
Duties of the translator: On the instructions of the head, secretary, manager – the translator translates scientific and technical and specialized documentation of the company, correspondence with international partners, all materials relating to the company’s products (catalogs, specifications, etc.). All work must be done on time, with all the requirements of the vocabulary, texts must correspond stylistically and in the sense of the original. An obligatory condition for scientific and technical materials is a clear translation of the terminology. Editing a translation is the responsibility of the artist.
Required knowledge: The translator must perfectly master a foreign language, understand the methodology and technique of making translations. He/she must know how to work with dictionaries and know the specific terminology that is inherent in the company. The translator should understand the basics of editing, grammar and stylistics of the language pair. Also, he/she must have basic knowledge in the field of economics and management, have an understanding of labor legislation, safety engineering, sanitation rules and fire protection.
Rights: Translator receives equipment, materials necessary for correct work. He/she has the right to demand the purchase or replacement of equipment necessary for work.
Responsibility: According to the norms of the labor legislation and the rules of the company’s internal policy, it can be held liable for not complying with the employment contract, for violating the contract of commercial and official secrecy, for failure to fulfill the duties and instructions of the manager.
So, the functioning of the translator is accompanied by a legitimate legal status, but in his guarantee, the translator must take an active part him- herself. To do this, he/she needs to know thoroughly the Constitution of the country in which he practices, the Labor Legislation and the content of the Law On Copyright, it will still be necessary to get acquainted with the set of normative legal norms and documents. Many translators resort to the help of a lawyer, if there are disputable or not clear questions.
There is one more subtlety concerning the public and legal status of the translator. If the translator works in the company staff or on contact with the company, he/she involuntarily becomes the representative of the interests of this company. From this point of view, the translator can rarely observe a neutral position in a controversial situation. That is why, in international diplomatic negotiations, translators from both sides participate to avoid bias. Recently, we have begun to actively seek ways to resolve issues of violation of the translation ethics. Recently, the United Nations and the European Union have introduced the term “international relations officer”, which subordinates the translator directly to the organization, and does not make it dependent on any country.
All over the world, translators are united in unions, associations, in order to protect their professional rights, strengthen their image, exchange useful information, professional experience, and participate in the settlement of the international labor market. The most famous international organizations of translators: FIT (Federation Internationale des Traducteurs); AIIC (Association Internationale des Interpretes dc Conference); CEATL (Conscil Europeen des Associations de Traducteurs). The emergence of most such organizations occurs in the post-war period, when the profession of an interpreter began to acquire a professional legal status.
Another fact of strengthening the social and legal status of the translation is the “World Translation Day”, which was approved by the FIT in 1991. It falls on September 30 and timed to the date of death of St. Hieronymus (September 30, 420), who was a famous writer, historian and translator, the author of the famous translation of the Holy Scriptures into Latin from the ancient Greek language.