Translating Aotearoa



Treaty of Waitangi – Found in Translation

The New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI) announced the launch of an ambitious project on Waitangi Day 2016: the Treaty Times Thirty project. To celebrate the Society’s 30th anniversary over 90 translators will work together to translate both the English and the Māori version of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document. NZSTI recently opened participation to non-NZSTI members. Would you like to be one of the 90 translators? Continue reading “Treaty of Waitangi – Found in Translation”

Chris Durban’s coming to Wellington

International speaker and freelance translator Chris Durban will hold two events in Wellington in January 2016:

  • Pricing issues in translation: is this where you want to be?
  • A Business acceleration masterclass for translators with Chris Durban.

Continue reading “Chris Durban’s coming to Wellington”

Translating Aotearoa

Quintin presented a paper at the 2015 NZSTI Conference which was held in Wellington last June. Here’s the transcript of his presentation.

Continue reading “Translating Aotearoa”

NZSTI Conference: Conflict & Communication

The 2015 NZSTI Conference weekend kicked off with a well-attended guided tour of Parliament on Friday 26 June. The group was taken through the Beehive and into the simultaneous interpreting studio where they got to meet Wiremu, the current Parliamentary Māori interpreter. The pre-conference programme also included a welcome function at the newly refurbished Dominion Museum which houses the Great War Exhibition designed by Sir Peter Jackson. Guests were treated with guided tours of the exhibition – including one led by Lieutenant General Rhys Jones CNZM who also hosted the function. The very successful welcome drinks were sponsored by NZTC International who celebrate their 30th anniversary this year. Continue reading “NZSTI Conference: Conflict & Communication”

NZSTI Annual Conference – Call for presentations

Logo of the 2015 Conference of the New Zealand Society of Translators and InterpretersThe New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI) has issued a call for presentations for its annual conference, which will be held in Wellington, New Zealand on 27–28 June 2015. In recognition of the 100th commemorations of World War I and the Gallipoli campaign, this year’s theme is ‘Conflict and Communication’.

Submissions for presentations of about 20 minutes duration plus 10 minutes of Q&A or proposals for workshops or panel discussions of 30-60 minutes duration should include a title, an abstract of about 250 words and a brief profile and photograph of the speaker. Proposals should be submitted electronically to the NZSTI Wellington Branch President, Karl Wilson, at The closing date for submissions is 28 March 2015. For more information, visit:

Thanks for coming to the party!

So much has happened since our last newsletter – the NZSTI conference, Diwali, the Japanese and Korean Festivals, our translator gathering on Translation Day and several Pacific Island language weeks celebrating Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Tongan, Tuvaluan, Fijian, Niuean and Tokelauan. Phew!

Our translator gathering was an exciting event and I’d like to personally thank the many translators, who came from near and far to celebrate International Translation Day with us.

We will be sharing some thoughts and photos from the day and we’ll also hear from Fanaura, our Cook Island Maori translator, about what it means to speak Cook Island Maori.

I’m sad to announce that our two administrators Alfonso and Jess have both moved on – Jess has been promoted to a more senior position in the public service while Alfonso has moved to England with his family. Best wishes to you both for an inspiring future ahead! The flipside of this is that we are privileged to welcome Sylvie and Linh onto our team! We’ll be learning more about Linh through her Proust questionnaire.

We have a wonderful, sunny kiwi Christmas to look forward to this year (fingers crossed) so put on some sunscreen, find a nice, relaxing spot on the beach and enjoy some great reading below!


Bill and Quintin went to the NZSTI Conference

Quintin Ridgeway and Bill Ashwell attended the 2014 Conference of NZSTI, which was held on 21-22 June at the Hotel Mercure on the Auckland waterfront. This year’s theme was “Communicating in a Connected World”. People attending the conference came from all around New Zealand from Awanui to Ashburton, and there were three speakers from Australia; one translator came from Saudi Arabia.

The keynote speaker was Dr Ignacio Garcia of the University of Western Sydney, who spoke about his research on the challenges posed to professional translators by developments such as machine translation and crowdsourcing. Another contribution from Australia was given by Sam Berner, a highly experienced translator of Arabic who spoke about the problems of using Arabic on the internet.

Peter Tuffley of the Christchurch branch gave a very interesting talk on “Virtual Collegiality in the Global Village”, looking at ways in which translators can post translation problems online and get solutions provided by other translators anywhere in the world, at all times of day.  Hyden Toonen spoke about the art of communication between clients, translation companies and contract translators, which is something we always need to keep in mind.  There was a valuable presentation by John Burton on translation strategies in technical translation, with all his examples taken from the field of hang-gliding.

One of the most entertaining presentations was given by Diana Clark, the manager of Language Line, which operates within the Office of Ethnic Affairs.  Diana once spent nine years in Saudi Arabia editing a medical journal, and spoke about language policy in New Zealand with reference to the latest census results.

The 2015 Conference of NZSTI is due to be held in Wellington.  This will provide a great opportunity especially for local translators to come along and meet translators and interpreters from all around New Zealand and overseas.  Conference is always well worth attending, and we heartily recommend that everyone does their best to come along.


NZSTI Conference: Bill went to Tauranga

The 22nd Annual Conference of NZSTI was held in Tauranga over the last weekend in June.  It broke new ground by being organised jointly by the Christchurch and Tauranga members, who all did a great job of working together.

View of Tauranga from Mount Maunganui
View of Tauranga from Mount Maunganui

The venue was the Tauranga Yacht and Power Boat Club, which sits at the end of the Tauranga Marina looking out to Mount Maunganui.  The weather was beautifully fine, which made it a pity to be pulling the blinds down at the start of each session.

As well as NZSTI members from throughout New Zealand, people had come from Australia including some speakers.  Two ladies from Oman had come all the way to New Zealand to attend the Conference, and made a great contribution to the proceedings.

A major theme this year was the new Code of Ethics, which is the same as the code adopted by our counterparts in Australia.  There were some excellent speakers including Judy Saba, the Diversity Trainer for the New South Wales Police, who is responsible for training police to work more effectively with interpreters.  Claire Loftus Nelson led a panel discussion for freelance translators on how to work with project managers.

NZSTI holds a conference every year, usually in June.  It is a great opportunity for translators and interpreters to come together and meet colleagues who are dealing with similar issues.  This is especially valuable for translators and interpreters who are working freelance and do not have many chances to meet others working in the same field.  Please think about coming along to the next Conference – you will gain so much from it.

Did you go to the conference too? What did you think? Leave a comment to let us know.

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