Why should be associated the language professionals?1)

Memorandum on good practice guidelines for interpreters and translators


During their centuries-old history the professional associations have become an indivisible part of the civilized business practices. They represent and safeguard the vital interests of groups of individuals who voluntarily enter into an agreement to pursue some coordinated objectives. The voice of one man is the voice of no one!

The organized professional community could also be viewed as a corporate body that comes into being because of the well-calculated necessity to meet the challenges of the consolidated market.

It is also aimed at providing its members with current professional information.

What professional and business challenge is to meet an amalgamation of language professionals, i.e. of interpreters and translators?

As there are no legally valid governmental provisions enabling to control the interpreting and translating practices as well as professional dealings with clients and fellow-linguists, these could be also voluntarily well regularized by the members of the suggested Association on the basis of the approved Code of Professional Conduct.

No doubt, it would also be having an appealing image effect on potential customers who traditionally tend to show more respect to well-established enterprises.

The proposed Code of Professional Conduct would also specifically address the duties of observing confidentiality and refraining from unfair competitive practices.

The potential clients as a rule don’t comprehend to the full extent the complexity of challenges that the language professionals have to face in the process of translating or interpreting and quite frequently they are being attracted by lower quotations neglecting the quality standards. The Association of Language Professionals (ALP) could secure the optimal balance between quality and price, also taking into consideration the clients’ requirements. The preliminary peer review of texts with the subsequent assessment of the clients’ requirements should become an integral part of established commercial interpreting and translating proceedings. The client must be aware of the suggested price components.

The ALP would also render protection to freelance translators and interpreters who are often being ousted by the registered interpreting and translating establishments unwilling to bother about extra tax payment’s exertions.

The envisaged foundation of the Association of Language Professionals complies also with the governmental fiscal policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan as it would also regulate the tax revenues due to be paid in accordance with the Code of Professional Conduct. 

The ALP aims:2)

- to regulate entry to the professions of interpreting and translating

- to improve initial training and continuation training by relating them more closely to practical aspects and by providing in-depth knowledge of specific sectors (in the interest of specialization)

- to further improve its members’ qualifications by organizing its own programme of professional development events

- to harmonize professional examinations in interpreting and translating

- to achieve nationwide standardized regulation of the certification, accreditation and public appointment of interpreters and translators

- to achieve nationwide standardized guidelines for translations of documents issued for purposes of record

- to inform the general public about the work of interpreters and translators and the importance of their professions for the nation and society at large

- to lobby legislative, judicial and public authorities and the top-level bodies representing trade and industry

- to champion appropriate fees and working conditions

- to advocate proper compliance with the regulations on the engaging and remuneration of sworn interpreters and sworn or accredited translators for services to judicial and public administrative bodies

- to promote cooperation and exchange of ideas between ALP members by arranging regional meetings and other events.

Tatyana Khassanova
Karaganda / Kazakhstan


1) The basic ideas for this memorandum are taken from the report by Pavel Dunaev, head of translating department of the Neotech Company, presented at the First Regional Conference on Translation Strategies in Veliky Novgorod (2010).

2) It is believed that the ALP should also comply with the aims and commitments of the Federal Association of Interpreters and Translators (Bundesverband der Dolmetscher und Übersetzer e.V. (BDÜ)) in Germany.

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