Translating Aotearoa


The office

Happy holiday season!

The Department of Internal Affairs wishes you a joyous festive season and a happy New Year

With the end of the year approaching fast, we’d like to take stock of yet another successful year. 2014 was a tremendous year for The Translation Service.

In addition to our usual day-to-day translations and projects, we carried out numerous high-profile projects such as the translation into Chinese of the Government Whey Inquiry report and the translations of messages and information to families affected by the Christchurch earthquakes, we launched this new blog (let us know if you have any feedback), and we developed new training and e-learning initiatives. We wouldn’t have been able to do all this without the help of our freelance translators and revisers!

The Translation Service team wishes you a very happy holiday season and a restful break. See you all in 2015!

Busy times and great achievements

December is always a busy time

For some reason, everyone wants everything done before Christmas. That means that the weeks leading to the holiday season are always the busiest of the year. If you add all the social functions, the shopping frenzy etc., it can become a rather trying period. It is also a period of great achievements.

Those of you who are based in New Zealand probably heard of the Government Inquiry into the whey incident, whose report was presented to Parliament this week. Thanks to the great work of Amy, Jing, Lisa, Sanying, Li He, and Vincent, we successfully completed its translation into Chinese within a short timeframe. It was published online today.

Quintin and Amy away on leave

Quintin and Amy are both away on leave, and will both return to the office on 5 January. Stefan is acting manager while Quintin is traveling around the South Island.

Shieva leaving on secondment, again

As soon as we get used to having her back in the office she leaves again. Shieva is going on another 3-month secondment to the team to pursue her interest in web writing. Check out what they’re up to.

What are your plans?

Are you planning leave in the upcoming two months? Please let us know if you’ll be away and for how long so that we can update our register. Also, are your contact details up-to-date? Please double-check with us if you’re not sure.

Do you have any news that you would like to share with us? Contact us and we will publish it in the next issue!


2014 TTS party

While we had to cancel our party earlier this year for various reasons, it was important to us to organise an event to thank you all for your hard work. What better day for such a party than the International Translation Day on 30 September?

Picture of Surinder, John, Giovanni and Bill
From left to right: Surinder, John, Giovanni, Bill
Picture of Patrick and Sevana
Sevana and Patrick
Picture of Alepano and Céline
Alepano and Céline
Picture of Sevana, Vincent and Sanying
Sevana, Vincent and Sanying

With about 20 of our freelance translators, this year’s party was well attended despite the short notice and cold weather. It was nice to see you all again, or meet some of you in person for the first time. Hopefully you enjoyed it as much as we did, and hopefully more of you will be able to come next year.

From left to right: John, Monika, Demetrius, Patrick, Giovanni, Sevana, Bill, Surinder, Yvonne, Margaret, Alepano, Linh, Céline, Sanying, Stefan, Pavel, Anneta, Jing, and Vincent

Thank you to all of you who came and thank you to Linh for organising it!

Welcome Sylvie and Linh!

Image of a Hello My name is tagWelcome Sylvie and Linh!

You may have been in contact with Sylvie or Linh in the past month and wondered who they were. Both of them joined The Translation Service recently as our new administration officers: Sylvie holds our reception, while Linh manages all our emails. We wish them a great start at TTS, and invite you all to say hi next time you’re in Wellington.

Lisa and Stefan on secondment

Both Lisa and Stefan were on secondment. Lisa was seconded to the team that manages the IT modernisation of the IKS branch, which TTS is part of, and returned to her regular employment on Monday 3 November. Stefan was seconded to the Ministerial Support team that oversees the Change of Executive following the general election. He returned to TTS on Thursday 30 November. We now have a full house! Well not quite… as Bill is away on leave for 3 weeks!

TTS Learning and Resources Hub launch

It is finally time for us to launch our e-learning platform! The content will grow as we develop new modules. For now, you will be able to meet the team, find out what we think are good translations, learn the art of selective translations, and test your knowledge of our guidelines for selective translations. There’s also a forum, and useful resources. Please make sure you visit it and let us know what you think. Email Stefan if you’d like to find out what this is about, or select the Training tab.

Do you have any news that you would like to share with us? Contact us and we will publish it in the next issue!

Alfonso and Jess are leaving

Farewell Alfonso and Jessica!

This has been a month full of changes at The Translation Service. On Friday 18 July our receptionist Jessica left us for another role within DIA (she has not gone too far luckily!). Jessica did a great job here and will be definitely missed. The Translation Service team wish Jessica the best of luck in her new role!

And then it’s my turn (Alfonso) to say goodbye. Wednesday 23 July will be my last day with The Translation Service. Unlike Jessica, I am not going to stick around so I guess that in my case this is a proper goodbye. I just want to say thanks to all of you because your efforts and your great work have made my job easier. I will miss working with all of you.

New staff members

Of course, with two members of the staff leaving we need to recruit their replacements! The recruitment process is nearly over and there are a few candidates to choose from. We will introduce the new administrators to you in the next issue (and of course, we will also feature them in the Proust Questionnaire!)

French holiday for Stefan

Stefan will be away from Monday 28 July until Friday 5 September. Stefan finally has the chance to spend some time in Southern France, where he is originally from. He will also celebrate his wedding with a reception at his family home with all the people who could not attend the wedding in New Zealand, back in January. Stefan will be working remotely from Monday 18 August until his return to New Zealand in September.

Shieva is back!!

And finally, someone who is coming back!! You may remember that over the last 9 months Shieva has been away on a secondment within DIA and after that spent time travelling in Iran and Europe. The good news is that Shieva will return on Monday 4 August! We all look forward to having her back and to hearing some of her travel experiences! We are pretty sure that she will be happy to share these experiences with you in the next issues.

Do you have any news that you would like to share with us? Contact us and we will publish it in the next issue!


Translating Aotearoa at final stage

Translating Aotearoa at final stage!

In the last issue we mentioned that our new blog – – was on its way. Well, there have been some delays but we are fixing the last details and we aim to get it live by the beginning of July! Stefan is working really hard to meet this deadline.

The first e-learning module is about to go live

In addition to the blog, we are developing other tools for you to better interact with us. In fact, we are about to launch the first module of our e-learning platform, called ‘Welcome to The Translation Service’ and aimed at freelance translators who have just joined our panel.

This module will give you a good insight into who we are and what we do. You will be able to learn more about the origins of The Translation Service, the services that we offer, the difference between a full and a selective translation and also what we expect from you. You will be able to virtually meet each member of our team and do a test about our countries of origin!

In future, the TTS Learning and Resource Hub will allow you to have access to our templates and guidelines, and also to a forum where translators and revisers will be able to ask questions and discuss issues together.

Happy Matariki (Māori New Year)!

For those of you based in New Zealand, Matariki is probably a familiar word. For all the others, Matariki is the Māori name for the small cluster of stars in the Taurus constellation that rise during the New Zealand winter. It literally means ‘eyes of the god’ or ‘little eyes’. For early Māori, Matariki was an indicator of the forthcoming year and the first new moon after the rise of the Matariki signals the start of the New Year Celebration. This year this will happen on 27 June and celebrations will take place throughout the country.

Whether you live in New Zealand or not we wish you a happy Matariki!

Do you have any news that you would like to share with us? Contact us and we will publish it in the next issue!


Sixty-five years of translations

Did you know that The Translation Service is about to turn 65? From its inception in 1949, The Translation Service met the needs of government departments, foreigners and migrants, while promoting the need for greater professionalism in the field of translation in New Zealand.

Portrait of Professor von ZedlitzThe first official translator in New Zealand was Professor von Zedlitz, Professor of Modern Languages at Victoria University of Wellington. He was appointed in 1911 and acted in a part-time capacity until sometime after the outbreak of the first World War. Thereafter, translations, mainly from French and Spanish, were carried out by a lady in the Office of the Attorney General, and later by Mr Donovan of the Post and Telegraph Department. However, censorship requirements during the second World War called for a wider and more robust translation system. This was organised by the Naturalisation Officer and author of ‘From Europe to New Zealand’, Dr R. A. Lochore who carried out translations on a part-time basis within the Department of Internal Affairs and laid the foundations of The Translation Service. In the period after the second World War, the influx of foreigners and a growing demand for translations from government agencies called for a full-time translation unit.

Demand was fuelled by a desire to keep abreast with international research in the technical and scientific fields, as it soon became apparent that specialists could only keep up with progress, especially in geographically isolated New Zealand, by being able to also read material published in foreign languages. By mid-1952, The Translation Service had a network of more than 100 freelance translators and interpreters who were made available to the courts to assist in dealing with ship deserters or new settlers whose knowledge of English was insufficient. TTS then covered 29 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Esperanto and Yiddish, and in the financial year of 1951, translated 528 documents, 110 educational certificates, 250 letters, 137 technical and scientific articles, and 177 tables of contents of technical and scientific periodicals, and carried out 44 miscellaneous jobs.

While most translations were commissioned by government departments, commercial firms made increasing use of TTS for business correspondence, as it was the only translation provider in the country at the time.

To be continued…


Meet Stefan in Auckland

Translating Aotearoa is on the way!

Many of you may already know that we are launching a blog to interact with our freelancers and also to reach a wider audience. The big news is that the project has been approved by DIA and we are aiming to launch the blog by the end of this month! This is a great opportunity for all our freelancers to stay in touch with us; in fact you will be able to comment on the articles and receive a response from us or even from other freelancers!

The name that we have chosen for our blog is Translating Aotearoa. We hope that you like it!

Amy away

Our Chinese translator Amy Zeng will be on annual leave from Monday 14 April. Amy will be back on Monday 5 May.

Stefan in Auckland from 14 to 17 April – Friendly reminder

Just to remind you that our External Relationship Advisor Stefan Grand-Meyer will be in Auckland for a training course from Monday 14 April to Thursday 17 April. Stefan would love to meet you so if you are based in Auckland or you if happen to be there on those dates, do not hesitate to contact him on

Easter break and ANZAC day

The Translation Service will be closed from Friday 18 April to Monday 21 April inclusive for Easter. We will be also closed on Friday 25 April for ANZAC day.

Last 3 months for Alfonso at The Translation Service

And finally news regarding myself, for a change. I have in fact decided to resign from my position at The Translation Service and to head back to Europe at the beginning of August, after roughly 1 year in this position and 4 and half years spent in New Zealand. It has been a difficult decision to make and I know from now that I will miss New Zealand and my job. However, life goes on and I am actually excited about getting closer to home. My last day at The Translation service will be Friday 25 July.

Do you have any news that you would like to share with us? Contact us and we will publish it in the next issue!


Shieva returns and leaves

Panel party cancelled

Unfortunately, as you already know, our traditional translators party scheduled for Friday 7 March has been cancelled. We work within a public sector organisation and have to respect the decisions that come from above, however we are aiming to organise another gathering later this year, probably for the International Translation Day (30 September). We will keep you posted and let you know in due course!

Shieva is back to the nest (well, not before enjoying a nice long holiday)!

Map of IranYep, that’s right, Shieva’s secondment will finish on Friday 21 March and after that she will return to The Translation Service! As you probably know, Shieva was seconded last December to work on a project to redevelop the website. Please read Shieva’s article about her secondment and give us your feedback on the new website!

Nevertheless, we won’t be seeing Shieva for a while yet. In fact, she is leaving for a 4 month holiday to learn Farsi in Teheran and spend some time in Berlin, Shieva’s hometown. How exciting! We all look forward to knowing more about her experience over the next few issues.

In the meantime, Shieva’s desk is ready for her return in August.

Jessica and her adventure in Rarotonga

After spending 10 days on the tropical island of Rarotonga, Jessica has come back fully recharged. She definitely didn’t go there to improve her Cook Island Maori knowledge; however there is a good reason why Jessica chose Rarotonga as her holiday destination. Perhaps many of you don’t know that Jessica owns her own fashion design company, Jessica Bloom. One of her friends decided to get married in Rarotonga and Jessica designed her wedding gown! If you think a friend’s wedding is a good reason to escape to a tropical island – even only for few days – admiring the outcome of your work is an even better one! And of course, diving in the clear sea, enjoying the nice weather and eating Italian pizza (?) for dinner too!

Do you have any news that you would like to share with us? Contact us and we will publish it in the next issue!


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