Translating Aotearoa



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”’s full week of free webinars

Did you know that is not only a marketplace for freelance translators? One of the website’s best features is its offering of training resources which include self-paced and one-on-one courses, videos, webinars, a translation industry wiki, and books. It’s well worth a look! Continue reading “’s full week of free webinars”

What do you want to chat about?

One of our freelance translators recently came into our new office to find out more about XTM-Cloud and learn how to use this new tool. Within an hour she became familiar with the system, asked me lots of questions, and was able to meet the whole team. Her feedback was very positive, and I was happy I could help her.

Continue reading “What do you want to chat about?”

Fundamentals of Revision

Revision is one of the main bones of contention within the translation industry. Many translators complain that revisers often overstep their role and go overboard with their corrections. While this may or may not be true, revisers are often left in the dark as to what they are meant to be doing. Continue reading “Fundamentals of Revision”

Our new office is nice

The move has taken place!

As many of you already know, last month we moved from our office on level 13, 86 Lambton Quay, to the Archives New Zealand building on Mulgrave Street. Except for some minor problems – which are inevitable in these cases – the move went smoothly and we are now well settled in the new location! Our reception is located on the ground level, whereas our office is on level two. Feel free to come and say hello if you are based in Wellington! It’s also a good excuse to see the original Treaty of Waitangi and enjoy a nice coffee or snack at the Café located in the foyer.

Panel party

True to our well established tradition, we are going to organise a panel party this year as well. This is an unmissable event for our freelancers and we hope that many of you who are based in Wellington or who happen to be in Wellington on that date will be able to attend.

We will provide food and drinks (GF and vegetarian options will be available) and this year we will also have books (dictionaries, phrasebooks, specialised terminology books) to give away, as we are unable to store them at our new office.

The party will be held in Wellington, most likely on Friday 7 March. Time and date are to be confirmed but we will keep you posted.

Stefan attending a training course in Auckland

From Monday 14 April to Thursday 17 April, Stefan will be in Auckland to attend a course on Collaborative Translation Teaching. The course is organised by the Centre for Translation Studies and Interpreting at the University of Auckland.

The purpose of this course is to meet the needs of university-level translation skills instructors who are interested in cooperative and collaborative models of learning and teaching and who wish to acquire a more solid foundation in innovative pedagogical and didactic theory and skills. The program will offer both intensive instruction and a forum for constructive dialogue, and the curriculum reflects a thorough blend of theory and practice, including workshops on and instruction in the use of proprietary computer-assisted translation tools such as SDL Trados and Across; cloud-based translation memory systems like Wordfast Anywhere, Memsource Cloud, Wordbee; and machine translation software (e.g. Google and Asia Online).

Stefan will be happy to meet and have a chat with any of our freelancers based in Auckland. Feel free to contact him if you are interested too!

If you would like more information about this course and you wish to participate, click on the following link:

Raro escape for Jessica

Our receptionist Jessica will be away from 17 to 25 February for a well deserved holiday in the tropical island of Rarotonga. During her absence the reception will be covered by Adeline.

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


E-learning platform – progress update

It has been a while since this newsletter last mentioned our training programme, but don’t despair: this project is still going ahead. Although it may not look like it from your end, we have made a lot of progress (‘a lot of work has been going on behind the scenes’ as my former manager would say).

Image of a light bulb with the text: I learn, what's your superpower?We have tested different Learning Management Systems, including iLearn (the Department’s LMS for employees’ professional development), the LMS of the Ministry of Education, and Edmodo which creates an online classroom with a very Facebook-inspired design. The one that seems the most appropriate is the Ministry of Education’s system. In due course, you will each receive login details to access e-learning modules that will have been assigned to you. You will also be able to sign up for modules that you would like to take.

For now, there are three streams of e-learning: Translator, Reviser, and Assessor. They complement each other, and you would be expected to complete the Translator stream before starting any module of the Reviser stream. This being said, we will adapt the e-learning programme to your needs and your objectives. If you know how to use track changes in Word, there is no point in assigning this module to you. There is also no point in assigning you Reviser training if you don’t wish to carry out revision work.

You will receive a certificate on completion of an e-learning stream. Our hope is that you will be in a better position to perform well. This in turn will be reflected in the fees that we will pay you. As a matter of fact, we are reviewing our payment structure, and an emphasis will be put on quality.

We are currently developing the e-learning material using a programme called Articulate – and I must say that I’m very excited about the possibilities it offers! Here is a list of the modules that are planned so far:

  • Welcome to the Translation Service: this module will allow you to meet the team, find out who we are and learn about our expectations;
  • What is a good translation?: this module will set out translation principles that should be followed when translating for TTS. There will be some theoretical background but not too much! It will primarily make use of examples and give some advice and a few translation strategies;
  • The Art of Selective Translations: this module will take you through the selective translation process step-by-step, and will put an emphasis on practice;
  • The Art of Full Translations: this module will explain the full translation process and draw upon some fundamental translation principles. Formatting issues and other TTS standard practices will be addressed as well;
  • Basics of Word Processing: this module will help you make the most of word processing software;
  • The Art of Revision: this module will take you through the revision process and explain exactly what is expected from you;
  • Getting to Grips with Track Changes and Comments: the title is transparent. This module will take you through the track changes and commenting functions of word processing software;
  • The Art of Test Translation Assessment: this module will help you understand what is expected from you when assessing a test translation. It will take you through our quality assessment metric and provide some practice opportunities.

This is a work-in-progress, so any feedback is welcomed. Would you like to add anything to this list? If so, let me know.


Professional development

The suggestion of setting up a training programme prompted a lot of interest from many of you. As setting up such a programme is a long-term endeavour, it will be progressively implemented as contentLogo of a thumb up is developed.

It is unclear yet which platform will be used, but we are very likely to make use of social media and online tools. We might also run workshops in Wellington, film them and put them online.

If you have any ideas, feel free to leave a comment.

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