Publication details [#21568]

Floros, Georgios. 2011. “Ethics-less” theories and “ethical” practices: on ethical relativity in translation. In Baker, Mona and Carol Maier, eds. Ethics and the curriculum: critical perspectives. Special issue of The Interpreter and Translator Trainer 5 (1): 65–92.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


This paper discusses the issue of ethical responsibility on the part of the translator, specifically the need to act ethically and make responsible translation-related decisions about politically sensitive texts, focusing on practices that emerge in the context of translator training. The underlying premise of the discussion is that a contradiction between theoretical ideals and actual contexts of practice hampers students’ ability to negotiate an ethical decision. In an attempt to enable students to arrive at well-thought out, responsible decisions, this paper outlines a potential framework for exploring the ethical implications of textual choices in translation. The notion of ethical relativity is introduced as a by-product of the dynamism and partiality of norms, narratives and values, and used to highlight the factors that have a bearing on decision making. The ultimate aim is to demonstrate that an ethical framework must be sought that allows students to question and negotiate norms and narratives in order to arrive at sound ethical decisions. This framework must also offer students the possibility to act responsibly as agents of political change. Two translation exercises of politically sensitive texts from the Greek context are discussed as case studies.
Source : Abstract in journal