The Code of Ethics: A Guide for Consecutive Interpreters

The Code of Ethics: A Guide for Consecutive Interpreters


Interpreters are the bridge between languages, facilitating communication across linguistic divides. In the world of consecutive interpretation, where precision and clarity are paramount, interpreters must adhere to a strict code of ethics. These guidelines ensure that interpreters maintain professionalism, confidentiality, and impartiality while facilitating effective communication. In this blog post, we will explore the code of ethics that consecutive interpreters must follow to provide the highest quality interpretation services.

  1. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is the cornerstone of any interpreter’s code of ethics. Consecutive interpreters must treat all information shared during interpretation sessions as strictly confidential. This includes not disclosing any personal, medical, or sensitive information obtained while performing their duties. Upholding this trust is essential to establishing a secure environment for both the speaker and the listener.

  1. Impartiality

Consecutive interpreters are expected to remain neutral and impartial throughout their interpretation assignments. They must refrain from expressing personal opinions or biases that could influence the message being conveyed. Impartiality ensures that the interpreter faithfully conveys the speaker’s intended message, promoting effective communication without any distortion.

  1. Accuracy and Faithfulness

The accuracy of interpretation is paramount in consecutive interpretation. Interpreters must strive for word-for-word and meaning-for-meaning accuracy, conveying the speaker’s message faithfully and without embellishment. This commitment to precision is crucial in situations where misinterpretation can have serious consequences, such as legal or medical settings.

  1. Cultural Sensitivity

Consecutive interpreters often work in diverse and multicultural settings. Understanding and respecting cultural nuances is essential to ensure that messages are conveyed appropriately. A culturally sensitive interpreter can help bridge gaps in understanding, avoid misunderstandings, and promote effective communication in cross-cultural encounters.

  1. Professionalism

Consecutive interpreters are expected to maintain a high level of professionalism in all aspects of their work. This includes punctuality, appropriate dress, and maintaining a respectful demeanor. Professionalism not only reflects positively on the interpreter but also contributes to the overall quality of the interpretation service.

  1. Boundaries

Interpreters must maintain clear boundaries in their relationships with clients and individuals they interpret for. They should avoid becoming personally involved or emotionally attached to clients, as this can compromise their impartiality and professionalism.

  1. Continuous Professional Development

The field of interpretation is constantly evolving, with new terminology and practices emerging. Consecutive interpreters must commit to ongoing professional development and education to stay current in their field. This ensures that they can effectively interpret in various contexts and handle specialized terminology.


Consecutive interpreters are entrusted with the vital task of facilitating communication between individuals who speak different languages. To perform this role effectively, they must adhere to a code of ethics that emphasizes confidentiality, impartiality, accuracy, cultural sensitivity, professionalism, and maintaining boundaries. By upholding these ethical standards, consecutive interpreters play a crucial role in ensuring that communication is clear, accurate, and respectful, thereby promoting understanding and cooperation in a diverse and interconnected world.