Translating Aotearoa



Happy holidays!

The weather is warm and sunny, half of the team has left the office, if not the city, and everyone is eating chocolates – the signs don’t lie: Christmas is upon us and 2015 draws to an end. Continue reading “Happy holidays!”

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!


The rabbit’s omen

Sunny weekends at the beach are now giving way to shorter days and evenings huddled up in front of our computers or curled up on the couch with our favourite translations. At home, our pet rabbit is getting more-and-more reluctant to run around the garden and is retiring full-time indoors – a clear indication that the weather has turned and that it’ll be Easter soon.

This month’s newsletter will feature our Indonesian translator Sadrach who prides himself on his integrity and the quality of his work – both of which I can personally attest from the high standard of translation work he does.

Our full translation process has changed. Note that this will have no effect on selective translations. Our translation process involves a text being translated by a translator and then revised by a reviser and this will stay the same. However, previously the revised translation would be returned to the translator to accept the reviser’s changes and finalise the translation. The translator will no longer be required to do this in the new process – instead the reviser will read through and finalise the translation as well as provide an assessment of the quality of the translation. Translators can expect to receive feedback on the revised version as well as any assessment that is made on the quality of their translation.

This new process puts more responsibility and emphasis on the quality of the revision and so we will be working closely with our best linguists on the revision process. There will also be a change to the rates we are offering both translators and revisers in order to reflect the change in work required.

On a final note, this year we celebrate the sixty-fifth anniversary of the Translation Service! Our editor, Stefan, has been researching into the history of the Translation Service and the translation industry in New Zealand and will put together an article about what he has discovered. Much has changed since the days of hand-written translations or typing pools!


Come and visit

Picture of the Archives New Zealand buildingSummer has given us some fine days here in the capital and welcomed us to our new office at Archives New Zealand. This has brought us closer to the rich textual tapestry of Internal Affairs – Archives New Zealand, the National Library and Government Information Services – the people who guard the books, publications, records, websites and other threads weaving through life in New Zealand. Please come and visit us any time you are in Wellington – we would love to meet you in person and show you around!

This month, we will hear from our dedicated and talented Chinese translator Jing through her Proust questionnaire. We will also hear from Bill who has lived the history of translation in New Zealand and kept abreast of innovations and changes in translation practice and technology over the past 30 years.

A last point to note is that we will be holding our annual translator gathering in Wellington at the beginning of March so pencil in Friday 7 March for this. More details will follow shortly once we have confirmed a venue. It would be great to see you all there!

Happy translating!


Happy New Year!

It’s clearly the beginning of a fresh new year here in Wellington – the sun is out, the streets quiet, the cafés closed and the gyms full.  It seems that it’s now time to launch into the goals that we set ourselves for the new year.

The Translation Service is starting the year with our move from Lambton Quay to the Archives building on Mulgrave Street on 21 January. The new location offers us a much better front desk area for greeting the public and it brings us closer to other parts of Internal Affairs. Please drop by and visit us in our new office whenever you are down this end of Wellington.

This month’s newsletter features Kamolwan, one of our longest-serving Thai translators, as well as a range of links, articles and information. We’d also like to briefly review the role of a reviser since this is a crucial step in ensuring the quality of translations and it is a role that is often misunderstood.

Finally, I’d like to warmly congratulate our editor Stefan on his upcoming wedding to Eddy on 31 January! We all wish you both the very best for your future together and a truly exciting and remarkable wedding in the great outdoors – the Rangipo Desert!


Blog at

Up ↑