“If you are unable to speak English, most statutory agencies will be able to provide you with an independent interpreter. If you are concerned that the interpreter will tell your family about you, you can ask for a different interpreter.” When I read this guidance in one of the Home Office leaflets, I thought of an oxymoron. If an independent interpreter is engaged, especially in a case of violence, which is what the leaflet was about, why should there be an issue about the interpreter potentially talking to the victim’s family?
We assume an independent interpreter to be a professional interpreter who is there to do the job to the best of their ability and to the client’s requirements. A professional interpreter is a qualified individual who has been trained to adhere to certain principles which often form part of Codes of Conduct for language specialists.
Indeed, the Code of Professional Conduct issued by the Institute of Translation and Interpreting says: “Members shall maintain complete confidentiality at all times and treat any information that may come to them in the course of their work as privileged information, not to be communicated to any third party without prior written authority.”
Similarly, the Code of Conduct of registrants of the National Register of Public Service Interpreters states: “Practitioners shall respect confidentiality at all times and shall not seek to take advantage of information acquired during or as a result of their work.”
And the Chartered Institute of Linguists has an equal provision in its Code of Conduct: “Members/Chartered Linguists will take all reasonable precautions to keep information and material provided by clients/employers confidential and secure (except where disclosure is required by law).”
If you are a company about to use our services for the first time, as language professionals we are more than happy to sign a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement. It gives you peace of mind and reinforces our commitment to professional standards. And this is what you get when you use a professional with proven credentials and essential experience.
To discuss your Russian interpreting or translation requirements, please call us on 0207 043 6940 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist.
At Talk Russian we treat all of our work as confidential.