Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics






General Provisions  


Translators shall seek to maintain the highest standards in their work and serve their clients in the best possible way, in observance of the respective laws, regulations and good practices.


Translators shall strive to carry out their work objectively and diligently and their conduct shall inspire trust in and respect for their work.


Translators shall constantly strive to update and develop their linguistic and professional skills and expertise so as to be able to perform their work in line with contemporary requirements.


Translators shall not undertake excessive workloads that may prevent them from maintaining high professional standards.


Translators shall not profit, financially or otherwise, from information obtained in the course of their work.




Translators have sole responsibility and liability for their work; any exclusion of liability has to be expressly agreed in writing.


Translators shall not knowingly mistranslate. Instructions received from the client cannot justify deviation from this Code.


Work which a translator is unable to perform shall be performed by another translator, if possible.


Translators shall not subcontract the work to another translator without having obtained the client’s consent, where practicable.





Translators shall carry out their work with complete impartiality and they shall not express any personal opinions in the course of the work.





Translators shall maintain complete confidentiality at all times and treat any information received in the course of their work as privileged. This confidentiality requirement continues beyond the respective assignment.


This duty of professional secrecy shall not apply where a translator is under a legal obligation to express an opinion.


If a translator ceases to work for a client, the translator is entitled to inform her/his successor(s) of her/his grounds for doing so.




Translators shall perform their work in a conscientious and highly professional manner, which should be reflected, together with their professional responsibility and liability, in the determination of the fee.


Translators shall not attempt to obtain work or compete with a colleague by offering to perform work for a smaller fee than that usually charged in the profession.


Translators shall not perform any work free of charge or for an unreasonably low fee, unless this is idealistically motivated.





Translators shall not make fixed quotations for translation services unless they have seen the whole material(s) to be translated, edited, etc. Fixed quotations shall be made in writing and shall specify clearly both the nature and extent of the work to be performed.


Quotations shall include an explicit provision stating that services not specified in the quotation will be charged at current rates.



Marketing and Advertising


All advertising and promotion of MATA translators’ business and work shall be professional and objective.


MATA members shall indicate their membership in the Association in their advertising and promotion activities in line with the rules prescribed in the MATA Bylaws and other MATA documents.



Relations with Fellow Translators



This Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics hereby establishes a conduct standard that defines relations among MATA members and shall apply equally to relations with translators who are not MATA members, where this is not in contravention of any other provision of this Code.


Translators shall assist each other where practicable. If offered work they are unable to accept, they shall seek to recommend to the client another translator who possesses the necessary skills.


Translators shall maintain due impartiality and professionalism when commenting on the work of other translators.


Translators shall not criticise the work of another translator without first having contacted him/her with a view to avoiding misunderstandings.





Translators shall refrain from unfair competition (i.e. predatory pricing) and from public attacks on the reputation and competence of other translators. Any criticism of another translator’s work shall first be expressed directly to the person concerned as objectively as possibly.


A translator shall accept work from a client who was previously the client of another translator provided that she/he does not take the initiative in obtaining the work.




Translators shall always first attempt to resolve any disputes among themselves by direct contact between the opposing parties.


MATA members shall endeavour to resolve any dispute of a professional nature or any matter related to the Association within the framework of the Association.