Code of Ethics

  1. This Code of Ethics shall be observed by all members of the “Hellenic Association of Conference Interpreters” (SYDISE).
  2. Members shall demonstrate collegiality. They shall protect their own reputation and that of their colleagues. For example, compliance with the Code of Ethics is a clear sign of collegiality. Interpreters should not assess and judge other interpreters, nor should this be expected of them. If, however, it comes to their attention that another interpreter acted in an unprofessional manner, it should be pointed out to the interpreter in question and, if needed, they should inform the Association about it. If an interpreter is told something about a colleague, he/she must refer the person giving the information to the said interpreter.
  3. Interpreters prepare for work in a timely and diligent manner. Preparation means familiarisation with the subject matter and relevant terminology in both languages and translation of the terms required for the assignment. It is very important to prepare beforehand if interpreters are called upon to interpret on a specialised subject matter. This is done to accomplish the purpose of interpreting, i.e. to ensure that both sides are on a par from a linguistic point of view. Before interpreting commences, interpreters must know the subject matter and the exact place and time, as well as the client and the way of contacting the latter if additional information is required. The interpreters’ proper and timely preparation is beneficial to all parties involved. The maximum amount of information and material should be provided prior to the task. The time at which such information is delivered to interpreters should be agreed with the client. Correct preparation ensures good quality interpreting. Interpreters shall not accept an assignment if they cannot prepare for it adequately. Such a refusal shows that interpreters know their limits. They shall accept an assignment only if they can handle it, i.e. convey the message correctly. If interpreters cannot prepare themselves correctly due to a lack of material, then they are allowed to study the subject and the requisite terminology during the assignment, which will, of course, prolong the interpretation time. Also, interpreters can search for more information in leaflets of offices and agencies, on the internet, in dictionaries and court documents.
  1. Interpreters must continuously improve their professional skills. In addition to thorough knowledge of the language and interpretation skills, interpreters need to have mastered interpreting techniques and have a broad general knowledge. All these must be actively practiced and developed. Languages change and evolve alongside societal changes. Interpreters must develop their skills keeping up with the cultural aspects of their working language, as well as through training opportunities. They constantly work on terminology. Moreover, interpreting skills can be improved individually or jointly with other colleagues, by studying their own output or receiving feedback from others. Interpreters know their personal limitations. They take care of their own mental and physical condition in order to be able to perform at work and ensure good results.
  1. Interpreters shall only interpret between languages that they have registered with the Association or for which they have been accredited with the European Union. Members must continuously notify the association about any newly acquired qualifications or addition of languages.
  2. If a client requests an interpreter to interpret between languages that the interpreter knows sufficiently well, but which were not those agreed upon, the interpreter may do so if the terms of par. 3 are met and the Client is informed of the possible disadvantages of such a decision.
  3. Interpreters shall faithfully interpret the meaning of what is said, without adding, detracting or changing anything; in exceptional cases, interpreters may provide a summary if requested.
  4. Interpreters should be informed beforehand of the professional context in which they will work, including any terminology. Moreover, they have to keep in mind the following practical issues and guarantee that the conditions below are met: see Work conditions of conference interpreters.
  5. If the lack of briefing of interpreters on the background of a specific assignment is such that it significantly reduces their ability to deliver, interpreters must notify the persons responsible and withdraw.
  6. Interpreters shall notify the persons responsible about the difficulties encountered in terms of dialects and technical terms and, if they are unable to properly address the problem, they will withdraw from the specific mission.
  7. Interpreters must adhere to any individual rules and protocols pertaining to the specific interpreting assignment.
  8. Interpreters working in bilateral/community interpreting assignments or as conference interpreters or in any other context that requires neutrality of the parties shall refrain from discussing, giving advice or expressing views or reactions to any of the parties involved in a manner that exceeds their duties as interpreters. Interpreters working in other contexts may provide further information or clarifications if required and with the agreement of all parties.
  9. Interpreters shall observe absolute confidentiality with regard to information and knowledge acquired while discharging their duties, and refrain from using any such information or knowledge for personal gain.
  10. Interpreters shall strive to ensure, even beforehand if possible, that the necessary conditions enabling them to perform well are in place (i.e. be seated where they can see and hear the speaker and the presentation clearly, have sufficient breaks during the day, etc.). Wherever this is not possible, interpreters shall inform the parties involved and wherever such deficiency may become a serious impediment to their performance, interpreters shall withdraw from the assignment.
  11. When interpreters withdraw from an assignment under the aforementioned conditions and are employed by a client, they shall notify the client of such withdrawal and, if requested, submit the reasons for such withdrawal in writing, as soon as possible.
  12. Interpreters shall not interrupt, pause or intercede unless:
    • clarifications are needed
    • they need to make a clarification if they think one of the parties did not understand what the other party meant
    • they need to inform the parties involved of a cultural reference that they did not grasp or
    • they need to indicate a situation or factor that could harm the interpretation process (such as insufficient space for the booth, inadequate visibility or visual contact or bad quality sound, insufficient breaks, etc.)
  13. Interpreters shall not assign tasks to third parties nor accept work assigned to them by third parties without first informing the client and obtaining the client’s full consent. Wherever possible such consent should be provided in writing.
  14. Interpreters must set their fee for their services in a professional and fair manner.

The members of the Association:

  • compete fairly with each other;
  • respect the current legal and regulatory provisions in force concerning payments, credits, contracts, sales, as well as tax and social obligations.
  • act fairly and correctly from a civil, social, professional and commercial standpoint, towards the other members of the Association and the legal and natural persons, especially clients and employees.