Ethical dilemmas in community interpreting: interpreters’ experiences and guidance from the code of ethics
Howes, LM, Ethical dilemmas in community interpreting: interpreters' experiences and guidance from the code of ethics, The Interpreter and Translator Trainer pp. 1-18. ISSN 1750-399X (2022) [Refereed Article]
Community interpreters (or public service interpreters) work in a variety of contexts, including health, legal, and governmental service provision. Although the field is characterised by diversity, community interpreters may be unified by the relevant professional code of ethics. Previous studies have shown that case deliberation in educational settings can be valuable to practitioners in developing the skills to resolve ethical dilemmas in practice. This study explored ethical dilemmas experienced by community interpreters working in policing and other contexts. Transcripts of interviews with 20 Australian community interpreters were analysed to document the types of ethical dilemmas discussed and the salience of ethical principles in resolving them. Participants referred to all ethical principles from the Australian Code of Ethics. Four themes were identified in the types of dilemmas that participants reported: wanting to help one of the parties, not wanting to say what the parties said, pressure to take on another professional’s role, and disagreeing with another interpreter’s choices. Participants’ resolutions of ethical dilemmas mostly aligned with principles from the Code. The study highlights the significance of professional ethics to community interpreters and provides examples from practice that may be valuable in community interpreter education, training and professional development contexts.
interpreters, community interpreting, public service interpreting, ethical dilemmas, professional ethics