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Critical Analysis About Interpreters Neutrality Interpreting in Wars

Translators are essential in helping people understand and talk to each other during conflicts. However, the idea of interpreters being fair during wartime has been argued. This review looks at various views on what neutrality is needed for translators in war zones. It will discuss experts who say complete neutrality is impossible in these cases. At the same time, it will also consider good things from unbiased interpreters.

In their piece, Agius and Devine look closely at neutrality during conflicts. They say that expecting interpreters to be completely neutral is unrealistic because they are part of complicated power situations and war-related problems. The research shows that translators often need help with the work requirements and what is important to them (Agius & Devine, 2011). The authors know that keeping a certain level of fairness is necessary for good talking. Agius and Devine give essential information about the problems translators have in keeping fairness during wars. However, it would have been helpful if they had given more real-life examples or stories to back up their arguments, like the study conducted by Tymoczko (2014). The article could have discussed particular ways or rules translators can use to handle these problems well.

Baker’s (2010) work examines how translation and interpretation play a part in conflict situations. She says total fairness is not just impossible but also wrong in some situations because it can mean getting rid of those who do not have much power and making sure the powerful keep having more. The study says we need to be more fair and careful when translating or explaining in fights ( Baker, 2010). This is because the person interpreting has complex feelings, too. Baker gives an exciting view on the shortcomings of interpreter fairness and focuses on why morals matter. However, according to Tymoczko (2014), the article could have gone deeper into real-life steps or ways interpreters can use to promote fairness and reduce bias while recognizing their difficulties in war situations.

In 2023, Joshua Manogar and Wulan Christians studied a case about fairness. They examined how US help in the war between Russia and Ukraine impacts neutrality rules. It looks at the rules and issues interpreters face to stay fair while helping in disagreements. The study shows that interpreters may have trouble. They could be accused of war crimes, and it calls for better ways to follow political rules and hold them responsible. Tymoczko’s (2014) research shows essential information about the real effects of interpreter fairness during wars. Nevertheless, the research might have focused more precisely on what translators deal with and suggested ways to handle these problems. Exploring interpreter experiences in different fighting places would have improved the study.

Takeda’s (2021) writing discusses interpreters being part of war crimes. It shows the tricky problems they face, and they could have trouble with laws due to this involvement. It shows how difficult interpreters can be between fighting parties while still trying not to pick a side. The study stresses how important it is to have clear rules and training. This helps people act righteously, preventing them from being involved in war crimes (Person et al., 2021). The study gives a detailed look at the moral problems of interpreters in war areas. However, the study needed more real-world data or examples to support their points. Also, looking deeper into possible solutions or suitable methods to deal with these problems would have made the talk more valuable in real life.

In conclusion, various studies show that experts understand how hard it is for interpreters to stay utterly neutral during war times. The studies talk about the tricky ethics, control issues and dangers in what they do. Some experts say it needs to be more complex or more suitable to be entirely fair. However, others think we need rules and learning about ethics to handle these problems better. We need more study and work plans to help interpreters understand their jobs in conflict zones. They must balance good communication skills and doing things the right way.


Agius, & Devine. (2011). ‘Neutrality: A dead concept?’A reprise. Cooperation and Conflict, 46(3), 265–284.

Baker, M. (2010). Translation and Conflict: A Narrative Account.

Joshua Manogar, G., & Wulan Christian, D. (2023). The principle of neutrality and the obligation to prevent international humanitarian law violations is a case study of us military assistance in the Russia-Ukraine war. PADJADJARAN Jurnal Ilmu Hukum (Journal of Law)10(1), 80–100.

Person, Kayoko, & Takeda. (2021). Interpreters and war crimes. .

Tymoczko, M. (2014). Enlarging translation, empowering translators.


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