Facing ethical challenges of a polarized political climate
As professional interpreters and translators, we are regularly reminded of our duty to live up to the code of ethics in every field in which we work. This code guides us in all aspects of our service. It governs our demeanor and protocol, how we treat our real or perceived conflicts of interest, and requires honest representation of credentials, confidentiality, accuracy, completeness, impartiality, unobtrusiveness, and adherence to the professional boundaries of our defined role. The trust placed in the interpreter/translator and the enormity of our responsibility in our fields makes it imperative to reach and maintain high, uniform ethical standards that will elevate our profession and protect all parties involved.
This course will examine three high-profile case studies featured in the news where interpreters have faced tough ethical challenges given today’s polarized political climate. It will examine the pressure in which adhering to high ethical standards took great courage on the part of the interpreter, or circumstances where the interpreter relaxed the standard and faced terrible consequences as a result or, alternatively, circumstances so offensive to the interpreter’s sensibilities that the interpreter is seduced into believing that he was justified in deviating from the code of ethics in order to right a perceived wrong.
The cases under review are as follows:
• Marina Grossman-State Department Interpreter for President Trump and President Putin in Helsinki, Finland
• The case of Mohammed Yousry-Arabic interpreter for Lynne Stewart, the attorney who represented Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman
• Erik Camayd Freixas-Professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages of Florida International University and Certified Federal Interpreter