Code of Professional Conduct SFT


This code of practice governs the professional conduct of the members of France’s national union of professional translators, the Société française des traducteurs, which shall hereafter be referred to as “the SFT”. Members of the SFT, hereafter referred to as “translators”, agree to adhere in every circumstance to this code of practice and the principles, duties and professional standards it contains.

General Principles

1. Trust

Translators shall carry out their work with honesty and integrity, these two qualities being the foundation of trust between them and their clients. Translators shall not accept work that would demean them or their profession.



2. Fidelity

Translators shall endeavour to reproduce the message to be conveyed as faithfully as possible.


3. Confidentiality

Translators shall treat as confidential and protect the confidentiality of any information or document conveyed to them for the purposes of their work; however translators may breach this rule of confidentiality if the owner authorizes them to do so, if for some reason this is required by law, or if they must do so for their own defence.

Legal obligations

Translators shall abide by the laws of the country where their place of business is domiciled, in particular those related to social welfare and taxation.

Obligations to clients

Translators shall at all times honour the trust placed in them by the client. They shall refuse to undertake work which they cannot execute or have executed to a satisfactory standard and they shall inform and secure the approval of their client before subcontracting any or all of their work to other translators.

Translators shall refrain from any form of misleading advertising, such as claiming titles, qualifications or expertise that they do not possess.

Translators shall endeavour at all times to deliver an appropriate standard of work to their clients.

1. translate solely into their native language or a language in which they are fluent

2. possess the special knowledge and skills required to complete their work.

3. research thoroughly the subject of the communication to be translated in order to produce an appropriate translation.

4. maintain and develop their knowledge and professional skills on a continuous basis.

5. refuse to accept unrealistic deadlines.

Translators shall always advise their clients as to the most appropriate manner in which to accomplish the translation.

Obligations to colleagues

Translators shall recognize all professional translators as their colleagues and treat them fairly and with respect. When working as a team translators shall respect their colleagues’ interests and relationship with their clients.

Translators shall be remunerated according to their level of experience, training and expertise, the complexity of the work to be translated, the amount of research required, the deadlines to be met, and any expenses, investments and costs that may be incurred. Translators shall refrain from granting rebates or discounts and soliciting or accepting fees that would create unfair competition, except in the case of occasional and voluntary services delivered to charitable works or organizations.

Compliance with other codes of practice

Translators shall comply with the Nairobi Recommendation (UNESCO, 1976). Translators shall respect intellectual property laws. Translators are entitled to copyright over their work. Translators shall also comply with any rules governing best practice which may be applicable in the subject field and in the country in which they practise.

Respect for the profession and for the SFT

Translators shall abstain from any behaviour that may demean their profession or the SFT.

Translators shall not accept any instruction from a client or an employer that could be construed as a breach of the present code.