Organizations often seek language services when there’s a lot at stake, including health emergencies, legal proceedings, business dealings, and government interactions with the public. Language translators and interpreters who provide these services are professionals who should be held to high standards given the importance of their work.

Over the years, professional associations and language services providers (LEP) have developed codes of conduct and ethics to guide their work. If you’ve ever wondered about the standards that guide the translators and interpreters you hire, here’s a quick overview.


Professional linguists strive to convey meaning fully and faithfully. Given the differences between languages and cultures, this is not a matter of transposing content word-for-word from one language to another; it requires rendering the ideas and information in the message with the formality, tone, and spirit of the original content. Language translators and interpreters do not add or omit material.


This is closely related to accuracy and maintaining the tone of spoken or written communication. A language translator or interpreter must convey meaning neutrally, without allowing their own beliefs or biases to impact the message. The language services provider cannot advise or counsel; does not play a role in shaping the message; and should not take assignments where real or perceived conflicts of interest may arise.


Professionals must represent themselves, their abilities, and their qualifications truthfully. They must be honest in evaluating themselves and excuse themselves from work they are not competent to perform.


Language translators or interpreters should not disclose the content of the spoken or written communication from their assignments, publicly discuss details from their work, or identify their clients. Most agencies, including LanguageLine Solutions®, back this up by signing non-disclosure agreements before beginning an assignment.

Cultural Sensitivity

LEPs maintain an awareness of the various cultures and values affecting their work. They treat all people with respect and do not discriminate.

Continuing Education

Language translators and interpreters should continue to enhance their skills and knowledge through education, training, and collegial interaction with other professionals in the language services industry and the specialized field(s) in which they work. here that requires one to accept cookies. Do you want to fix it should I r


About LanguageLine 

LanguageLine has been the world leader in innovative language-access solutions since 1982. The company sets the global standard for phone, video, and onsite interpreting, as well as translation of the written word. LanguageLine is trusted by more than 30,000 clients to enable communication with the limited English proficient, Deaf, and Hard of Hearing communities. LanguageLine provides the industry’s fastest and most dependable access to more than 35,000 professional linguists in 290-plus languages — 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

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