TRANSLATOR'S CHARTER (Approved by the
Congress at Dubrovnik in 1963, and amended in Oslo on July 9,
International Federation of Translators
translation has established itself as a permanent, universal and
necessary activity in the world of today; that by making
intellectual and material exchanges possible among nations it
enriches their life and contributes to a better understanding
spite of the various circumstances under which it is practiced
translation must now be recognized as a distinct and autonomous
down, as a formal document, certain general principles inseparably
connected with the profession of translating, particularly for the
stressing the social function of translation,
laying down the rights and duties of translators,
laying the basis of a translator's code of ethics,
improving the economic conditions and social climate in which the
translator carries out his activity, and
recommending certain lines of conduct for translators and their
professional organizations, and to contribute in this way to the
recognition of translation as a distinct and autonomous
the text of a charter proposed to serve as guiding principles for
the exercise of the profession of translator.
SECTION I GENERAL
OBLIGATIONS OF THE TRANSLATOR
Translation, being an intellectual activity, the object of which
is the transfer of literary, scientific and technical texts from
one language into another, imposes on those who practice it
specific obligations inherent in its very nature.
translation shall always be made on the sole responsibility of the
translator, whatever the character of the relationship of contract
which binds him/her to the user.
translator shall refuse to give to a text an interpretation of
which he/she does not approve, or which would be contrary to the
obligations of his/her profession.
Every translation shall be faithful and render exactly the idea
and form of the original. this fidelity constituting both a moral
and legal obligation for the translator.
faithful translation, however, should not be confused with a
literal translation, the fidelity of a translation not excluding
an adaptation to make the form, the atmosphere and deeper meaning
of the work felt in another language and country.
translator shall possess a sound knowledge of the language from
which he/she translates and should, in particular, be a master of
that into which he/she translates.
He/she must likewise have a broad general knowledge and know
sufficiently well the subject matter of the translation and
refrain from undertaking a translation in a field beyond his
translator shall refrain from any unfair competition in carrying
out his profession; in particular, he/she shall strive for
equitable remuneration and not accept any fee below that which may
be fixed by law and regulations.
general, he/she shall neither seek nor accept work under
conditions humiliating to himself/herself or his/her profession.
translator shall respect the legitimate interests of the user by
treating as a professional secret any information which may come
into his/her possession as a result of the translation entrusted
Being a "secondary" author, the translator is required
to accept special obligations with respect to the author of the
He/she must obtain from the author of the original work or from
the user authorization to translate a work, and must furthermore
respect all other rights vested in the author.
Every translator shall enjoy all the rights with respect to the
translation he/she has made, which the country where he/she
exercises his/her activities grants to other intellectual workers.
translation, being a creation of the intellect, shall enjoy the
legal protection accorded to such works.
translator is therefore the holder of copyright in his/her
translation and consequently has the same privileges as the author
of the original work.
translator shall thus enjoy, with respect to his/her translation,
all the moral rights of succession conferred by his/her
He/she shall consequently enjoy during his/her lifetime the right
to recognition of his/her authorship of the translation, from
which it follows, inter alias, that
his/her name shall be mentioned clearly and unambiguously whenever
his/her translation is used publicly;
he/she shall be entitled to oppose any distortion, mutilation or
other modification of his/her translation;
publishers and other users of his/her translation shall not make
changes therein without the translator's prior consent;
he/she shall be entitled to prohibit any improper use of his/her
translation and, in general, to resist any attack upon it that is
prejudicial to his/her honor or reputation.
Furthermore, the exclusive right to authorize the publication,
presentation, broadcasting, re-translation, adaptation,
modification or other rendering of his/her translation, and, in
general, the right to use his/her translation in any form shall
remain with the translator.
every public use of his/her translation the translator shall be
entitled to remuneration at a rate fixed by contract or law.
SECTION III ECONOMIC
AND SOCIAL POSITION OF THE TRANSLATOR
translator must be assured of living conditions enabling him/her
to carry out with efficiency and dignity the social task conferred
translator shall have a share in the success of his/her work and
shall, in particular, be entitled to remuneration proportional to
the commercial proceeds from the work he/she has translated.
must be recognized that translation can also arise in the form of
commissioned work and acquire as such rights to remuneration
independent of commercial profits accruing from the work
translating profession, like other professions, shall enjoy in
every country a protection equal to that afforded to other
professions in that country, by collective agreements, standard
Translators in every country shall enjoy the advantages granted to
intellectual workers, and particularly of all social insurance
schemes, such as old-age pensions, health insurance, unemployment
benefits and family allowances.
SECTION IV TRANSLATORS'
SOCIETIES AND UNIONS
common with members of other professions, translators shall enjoy
the right to form professional societies or unions.
addition to defending the moral and material interests of
translators, these organizations shall have the task of ensuring
improvement in standards of translation and of dealing with all
other matters concerning translation.
They shall exert their influence on public authorities in the
preparation and introduction of legal measures and regulations
concerning the profession.
They shall strive to maintain permanent relations with
organizations which are users of translations (publishers'
associations, industrial and commercial enterprises, public and
private authorities, the Press, etc.) for the purpose of studying
and finding solutions to their common problems.
watching over the quality of all works translated in their
countries, they shall keep in touch with cultural organizations,
societies of authors, national sections of the Pen Club, literary
critics, learned societies, universities, and technical and
scientific research institutes.
They shall be competent to act as arbiters and experts in all
disputes arising between translators and users of translations.
They shall have the right to give advice on the training and
recruitment of translators, and to co-operate with specialized
organizations and universities in the pursuit of these aims.
They shall endeavor to collect information of interest to the
profession from all sources and to place it at the disposal of
translators in the form of libraries, files, journals and
bulletins, for which purpose they shall establish theoretical and
practical information services, and organize seminars and
SECTION V NATIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS AND THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF TRANSLATORS
Where several groups of translators exist in a country, organized
either on a regional basis or into different categories, it will
be desirable for these groups to co-ordinate their activities in a
central national organization, at the same time preserving their
countries where societies or unions of translators are not yet in
existence, it is suggested that translators should join forces to
bring about the necessary establishment of such an organization,
in accordance with the relevant legal requirements of their
ensure the attainment of their aims at world level by common
effort, national translators' organizations are called upon to
unite in the Fédération internationale des traducteurs
(International Federation of Translators [FIT]).
Translators shall join their national organizations of their own
free will and the same must apply to the societies with respect to
their association with the International Federation of
International Federation of Translators shall defend the material
and moral rights of translators at the international level, keep
in touch with progress in theoretical and practical matters
relating to translation, and endeavor to contribute to the spread
of civilization throughout the world.
International Federation of Translators shall attain these
objectives by representing translators at the international level,
particularly through relations with governmental, non-governmental
and supranational organizations, by taking part in meetings likely
to be of interest to translators and translation at the
international level, by publishing works, and by organizing or
arranging for the organization of congresses at which questions
concerning translation or translators may be examined.
general the International Federation of Translators shall extend
the activities of the societies of every country at the
international level, co-ordinate their efforts and define its
national societies and the International Federation of
Translators, their central organization, derive the strength
necessary for the pursuit of their professional objectives from
the feeling of solidarity existing among translators and from the
dignity of translation which contributes to better understanding
among nations and to the spread of culture throughout the world