Translating Aotearoa


April 2014

Thanks for coming!

I’d like to thank everyone who came to our annual translator gathering in Wellington and helped make it such a great success! There was a great turnout of over 40 translators and revisers and the evening saw some great tango moves as well as some inspiring conversations across the board.tango

Over the past few months, we’ve also seen a number of changes in the way we deliver translations. For example, our selective translations are now delivered electronically to the Citizenship office and we’ve moved to an entirely paperless workflow system in our Wellington office.

We have also recently recruited two new administrators, Alfonso and Grace, so please give them a very warm welcome! These are the key people who liaise between clients, project managers, translators and revisers and so will be working closely with you on any translation assignments. We can look forward to a full introduction in the profile section of our coming newsletters as well as an opportunity to meet them at the next translator gathering.

This month’s newsletter features a discussion of strategies that you can use when confronted with a poorly written text for translation as well as some standards we use for naming files and an introduction to our project manager Lisa Spence. Happy reading!

Superman’s birth certificate

Twenty to twenty-five per cent of the translations carried out by the Translation Service are selective translations. Chances are that you have already done a few of them or, if you are one of our new freelance translators, then no doubt you will soon become acquainted with them. So it is important that we all get it right and that you know what we expect from you.

Our selective translations serve a very specific purpose, to support a person’s application to NZ Immigration or Citizenship offices. The templates that we use and our guidelines have been developed in consultation with these end-clients to make sure that our translations meet their needs. We are currently in the process of updating our guidelines and style guide, which we will send to you in due course, but in the meantime we decided to take advantage of this new communication tool to highlight some of the issues that you may encounter and give you some solutions. We hope you enjoy this series of mock selective translations. Feel free to send your comments and questions to Stefan. Click the link below to find out more.

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Superman’s birth details

The most embarrassing translation

Mox is a young but well educated translator. Two PHDs, six languages…

Find out more about Mox’s adventures on his blog.

Most embarrassing translation

Who is Christiane?

Most of you will know or will have heard of Christiane Hargrave. She used to work here and left in December 2012. To learn a bitPhoto - Christiane more about her, please read below – she happily answered our Proust Questionnaire.

Her story at the Translation Service began when she did work experience at TTS when she was 16 years old. After completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at Victoria University of Wellington in 2003 she worked intermittently with us as an in-house French and Italian to English translator. She is also a Reiki master and holds a Diploma of Ayuverdic Lifestyle Management. Unfortunately for us Christiane decided to pursue a career as a freelance translator under the fairer skies of the Far North. She is now based in Whangarei and carries out freelance work for TTS.

Q. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A. Living in perfect peace surrounded by the tranquillity of nature, and relaxing at home. I believe that total wellbeing on all levels – physical, mental and spiritual – is the key to happiness.

Q. What is your greatest fear?

A. Daddy long-legs spiders, heights, fast speeds (roller coasters).

Q. Which person do you most admire?

A. My grandparents and great aunts and uncles (all who have now passed away). They knew true happiness in living a simple, yet very fulfilling, life.

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

A. My ‘addiction’ to online shopping, my impulsiveness, and that I’m always running late (only in my personal life!).

Q. What is the trait you most deplore in others?

A. Not accepting others’ beliefs, and pessimism.

Q. What is your greatest extravagance?

A. I’m known as ‘Gadget Queen’, so most of my extravagances are electrical items and the latest technology. Probably my i-Phone and the Fitbit Wireless Activity Tracker and Fitbit Aria Wireless Scales. Or my Panasonic Wi-Fi Skype Phone with travel router.

Q. On what occasions do you lie?

A. On the odd occasion I may have been known to tell a white lie if I’m running late. Strangely enough I’m usually on time for work…

Q. What makes you happiest?

A. I’ve always been happiest surrounded by my family (my parents, two older sisters, nephew and nieces).

Q. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

A. I’d like to be more organised. I like anything to do with organising (products, books and concepts!). I dream of having a tidy, organised home!

Q. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

A. Opening my own business (My Language World Ltd) at the age of 24. It was a translation agency with a philanthropic component through the My Language World Fund, where a portion of sales would go to a good cause in a developing country. Unfortunately my website (which included the ability for clients to upload their documents) had problems being discovered by Google, and after two years I had to close it down.

Q. If you died and came back as a person or thing, what would it be?

A. A tropical bird or someone with special powers to make the world a better place.

Q. What is your most treasured possession?

A. My pets. When I was little I had a beautiful green budgie called Whittie. Then I owned a black cat called Puddy, a stray, and a very special pet. When I lived in Rwanda in 2006 I had some cheeky pet chickens which I named Helen Clark and Margaret Thatcher, and a rooster named Bill Clinton. I used to find them walking through my house, with Bill Clinton poking his beak against the oven door to check the cooking! Now I have Jade, also a green budgie, who I rehomed. He loves to play basketball with his little plastic basketball hoop, and loves classical music.

Q. Who are your heroes in real life?

A. Madeleine Albright (former US Secretary of State), Laila Harré (former MP for the Alliance Party), and Mother Theresa; all powerful female figures.

Q. What is it that you most dislike?

A. I dislike it when the medical profession says that something is ineffective just because there is not enough research to support its effectiveness. I prefer life experience over academia. If something works for one person, who’s to say that it won’t work for the next person? In my opinion, trial and error is better than tunnel vision and not exploring other avenues.

Q. What is your motto?

A. The key to having energy is doing what you love.

Every month, we will feature a staff member or one of our freelance translators. The featured profile will include pictures, a small biography and the person’s answers to a light version of the Proust Questionnaire.

Do you wish to be featured? If so, let us know.

Launching our newsletter

Thank you for the work you have done over the past year as part of the Translation Service team! As a team of freelance translators and revisers from around the world as well as in-house project managers, translators and administrators, we are committed to helping new migrants and the wide diversity of language communities in New Zealand.

New Zealand communities and government agencies rely on our integrity and trustworthiness and have been impressed with our speed, quality and service.

This monthly newsletter has been initiated to help keep us all, whether in-house or freelance, informed of interesting events and changes that affect us. We also intend to include tips, advice and examples to help with translating and revising as well as a calendar of upcoming events and items of interest. This will include some guidance as to what is expected from a translator, reviser and proof-reader and how to handle some of the more difficult translations.

Each edition will feature a short introduction to one of our team so that we can get to know each other better. Please send any contributions you would like to make to the newsletter or any feedback or ideas you have to help improve it.

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