Conference presenters on Radio New Zealand

Two of the people who are speaking at the NZSTI Conference have been invited to talk on Radio New National about their presentation to the conference. You can hear both interviews.

Henry Liu was interviewed by Bryan Crump on Nights on Wednesday 17 June. You can listen to the interview in which he discusses the challenges of interpreting (and translation) in conflict and crisis situations at:…/wrong-interpretations

A pre-recorded interview with Stathis Gauntlett is scheduled to be aired on Nights at 7:10pm (approx.) on Thursday 2 July. Stathis will discuss the challenges of translating “The Gangsters” by Lefkios Zafiriou with Bryan Crump. To listen live, tune in to National Radio or use the live stream at After it is aired, the interview will be available to download or share from the Radio New Zealand National Nights webpage:

We encourage you to listen to both interviews to enjoy the conversations between Bryan Crump and these two eminent professionals.

By Mandy Hewett

Buddies for Newbies

Is this your first NZSTI Conference?images

This year, the conference organising committee is introducing our Buddies for Newbies scheme: a system to support and welcome NZSTI members and delegates who will be attending their first NZSTI Conference. The purpose of this new initiative is to ensure that everyone feels welcome and able to make the most of the event and networking possibilities. This seems to be quite popular, with 20 Newbies registered so far!

Our buddies will be easily identifiable by the red ribbon adorning their lanyards. They are all seasoned NZSTI conference attendees who have volunteered to be available for first-time attendees. They will be present throughout the conference and will happily give newbies information and advice, and introduce them to other conference attendees.

If you are a newbie, you will wear a golden ribbon. Make sure to look out for buddies and talk to them if you have any questions or need help. A specific networking session will be held during the first morning tea to welcome you and introduce you to the NZSTI buddies.

If this is your first NZSTI Conference and you are keen to meet other Newbies, please select the ‘Buddy’ option when you register, and make sure to come to the Buddies for Newbies welcome session.

We want to make your first NZSTI conference experience as enjoyable as possible and help you make new friends and business contacts!

The Conference Committee.

Prize Draw!

box1For this year’s conference, we wanted to have something special for our attendees.

The idea of the prize draw serves a double purpose: it is a thank you for all those professionals who spared no expense to join us in this conference and it also keeps the audience in the room until the grand prize is announced. Furthermore, the numbers that are going to be drawn will be the ones printed on the badges you will receive upon registration.

Usually, many people don’t bother to wear their badge on the second day of the conference, partly because it is inconvenient, and partly because they will have met all the contacts they expected to meet on day 1. However, in order to take networking a step further, I believe it is important to keep your badge for the whole duration of the conference.

Thus, the idea of the prize draw came to be: random badge numbers will be drawn at the end of the conference on Sunday 28 June around 3 p.m.: those people who need to catch a plane or an early ride home might have to leave the conference early, but really, if you can stay, you will be eligible to win fabulous prizes. Let’s face it: who doesn’t like to win something?

The grand prize this year is a free licence of SDL Trados Studio Freelance Plus 2015 which is a very very valuable and useful prize indeed! You will notice that it will be the 2015 version that is just coming hot off the press and that will be available for purchase officially from July 2015 onwards!

Other prizes include: a 12 month subscription to MYOB Essential Accounting Solution, valued at $276; a $30 voucher from Unity books; a prize pack of books from Gecko Press; five signed copies of a book by Stathis Gauntlett; a 12 month subscription to the Macquarie Dictionary and Thesaurus Online valued at $44.99 and more…

Don’t forget that your registration package will be filled with useful vouchers and gifts from various targeted sponsors and that you have access to a 12 month subscription to the Multilingual magazine just by registering for the conference…

NZTC Celebrates 30 Years of International Translation

OP_NZTC logo_colour_no red boxThis is a very exciting time for NZTC, which is celebrating 30 years in the language business this year. As part of their celebrations they are sponsoring the NZSTI Conference welcome function at the venue of the new Great War Exhibition at the Dominion Building next to Pukeahu Park.

The founders of NZTC International first got together when working in the government translation service in the early 1980s. They decided to leave and form their own company to gain greater flexibility and harness the potential for translators to assist the government and export sectors in communicating with local and overseas markets in a wide range of languages.

Today, NZTC is one of the longest-standing organisations taking advantage of the NZ time zone difference for overseas trade. The company employs 35 permanent staff and several hundred local and overseas freelance translators. Over the past 30 years the business has grown considerably to embrace new technologies for NZ companies exporting overseas, and for international companies active in overseas markets. NZTC is also a founding member of the joint-venture Global Communications Business Group with four other overseas translation companies, from the UK, Germany, Singapore and Korea, providing strategic links to further develop its foothold in the global translation industry.

NZTC sees its future in the use of new technologies while offering a range of language services and working in partnership with multinational companies and global brands to deliver a quality product backed up by talented forward-thinking linguists across a wide range of languages and subject areas.

By Stefan Grand-Meyer, NZSTI conference team member

Meet Wīremu Haunui, Māori interpreter in Parliament

Wiremu Haunui

“Expect the unexpected” is Wīremu Haunui’s adage

One of the activities offered during the NZSTI Conference weekend is a guided tour of Parliament, on Friday 26 June at 9:30am (click here for more details on the NZSTI Conferencce tour of Parliament). The current Parliamentary Te Kaiwhakahaere o Ngā Rātonga Reo Māori, Wīremu Haunui, kindly offered to take the tour group behind the scenes to show and talk about the interpreters’ studio for the House and the one for Maui Tikitiki-a-Taranga, show the former Māori Affairs Committee Room, Matangireia and give a brief talk on Ngā Ratonga Reo Māori in Māui Tikitiki-a-Taranga.

Growing up in the eastern Bay of Plenty in the early 1950s, Wīremu was raised in Te Reo Māori. It was only when he started going to school that he began learning English – as a second language. His linguistic abilities would set him up for the professions he embraced, as a language teacher and eventually a translator and interpreter.

Qualified as a primary school teacher, one thing leading to another, he taught Te Reo Māori at secondary school level. While he got an interpreter’s licence in 1972, there wasn’t a great demand for interpreting services in the eastern Bay of Plenty at the time. It wasn’t until he and his wife moved to the Wairarapa some 25 years ago that he decided to focus his career on translation and interpretation.

He worked for a time for the New Zealand Translation Centre in Wellington from 1989 to 1991, alongside John Jamieson and Patrick King, to gain experience in translation and editing techniques. Parliament approached NZTC to enquire whether they had a Māori interpreter. Wīremu was sent to sit down for a kōrero, and ‘that was the beginning of getting into contact with Parliament’. He became a full-time, permanent employee of Parliament when the position of Māori interpreter was created in 2004.

Up until then, Te Reo Māori services which include interpreting, translating, transcribing, editing as well as verbal proofreading for the Office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, had always been contracted out. The unit has maintained this practice, and currently has four contractors who help manage the workload. The unit Ngā Ratonga Reo Māori was formalised and now sits under House Services as a strategic move in the event the amount of Māori spoken in the House increases – it has done so significantly, in particular with the arrival of members of Parliament from the Māori Party.

‘Now, I don’t want to give the impression that Māori is spoken every time the House sit’, he says. ‘If there’s a bill in the House with a great Māori interest, then we can predict that Māori will be spoken.’ With the introduction of simultaneous interpreting into the House, MPs slip in and out of Māori, which makes the need for interpreting services highly unpredictable. ‘And it isn’t only Māori members doing that,’ he continues. ‘We also have non-Māori who have an affinity with the language. One of the current assistant speakers always tries to use Te Reo when he is presiding speaker… Always expect the unexpected is our adage!’

What was his most memorable experience in Parliament so far? ‘Initially,’ he replied, ‘we all have had such a moment. When we switched from sequential to simultaneous interpretation we would get a phone call because no-one could hear us: we had forgotten to press the on-air button.’ And before simultaneous interpreting was introduced, interpreters would sit in the House and interpret sequentially. MPs were expected to pause to allow an interpretation but that didn’t always happen.

Wīremu remembers a certain Member of Parliament who was always very difficult to interpret. ‘One time, he stood up, and rattled on and on, and wandered off in his speech, while I was waiting for him to stop. When he finally stopped and looked at me for an interpretation, I provided a summary of what he had said. It was much shorter, and so he got a fright, and probably thought it should have been longer… Everyone was roaring in laughter in the House.’

Quotes taken from an interview with Wīremu Haunui by Stefan Grand-Meyer.
Photo supplied by Wīremu Haunui.

By Stefan Grand-Meyer, NZSTI conference team member

A Night at the Museum

Dear Attendees,

Lt.-G-Rhys-JonesWe have prepared a special treat for you this year: with the Anzac Day commemorations just finished, and the timely opening of ‘The Great War Exhibition‘ in the newly refurbished Dominion Museum Building, we thought that it would be a good fit to hold our Welcome Function in the Home Shores Café, at this exceptional venue.

Lieutenant General Rhys Jones (CNZM), former Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force, and current Executive Director of the exhibition, has kindly offered to host us at his museum and has arranged for guided tours of this unique exhibition on World War I. Not only will you have the opportunity to mingle and network under the generous patronage of our sponsor NZTC International, but you will also be able to learn more about New Zealand’s involvement in the First World War through a stunning (believe us, we’ve seen it!) display of genuine artefacts, life-sized exhibits, detailed dioramas, and colourised original photographs, all brought to life through the creative genius of New Zealand’s storyteller par excellence, Sir Peter Jackson.

Join us for this memorable experience! Visit our home page to register for the NZSTI 2015 Conference and book your place at the Welcome Function. Spaces are strictly limited so register early to avoid disappointment.

Please note that this is a change of venue from that previously advertised.

The Invisible Professionals – address by Henry Liu, President of the International Federation of Translators

What happens when Vladimir Putin needs to talk to Barack Obama? Or John Key to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud? An interpreter is the essential but often invisible link in communication between the two. How do New Zealand businesses communicate in overseas markets? Their documents and websites need to be translated by a professional translator.

New Zealander Henry Liu, President of the International Federation of Translators, will address the 2015 Annual Conference of the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters. The theme of the conference is ‘Conflict and Communication’. The conference will take place at the National Library in Wellington on the weekend of 26th-28th June.

Henry Liu is the first New Zealander to head the International Federation of Translators, ‘the voice of the professional associations of translators, interpreters and terminologists around the world’. He has extensive experience of interpreting at the highest level, including working for heads of state.

Translators and interpreters are the vital link in many essential dialogues between two languages and cultures. When this dialogue occurs in an environment of conflict, their role is all the more indispensable, difficult and potentially dangerous. As the Federation states on its website:

‘With their dangerous, yet important jobs they guarantee at least a minimum of communication between the otherwise “speechless” parties in the conflict. As linguists committed to impartiality, they build bridges that overcome language and cultural barriers and thus help resolve situations where otherwise only weapons would speak. Yet the services of translators and interpreters lack the recognition they deserve and time and again they are regarded as traitors or collaborators by all the parties involved.’

One of the first actions of the Federation under Henry Liu’s presidency was to pass a resolution calling for protection of language professionals in conflict zones. (International Federation of Translators Resolution August 2014)

Stuart Prior, former New Zealand Ambassador to Russia and CEO of The Prior Group, will give the keynote address on Sleepwalking towards conflict?: The role of the interpreter in revolutionary times.

The NZSTI annual conference brings together language professionals from around New Zealand and the world to discuss these and other issues in an atmosphere of professional collaboration and learning.

The Welcome Function before the conference is proudly sponsored by the Wellington-based New Zealand Translation Centre Ltd (NZTC International) who are also taking this opportunity to celebrate their 30th year in business in the company of fellow industry professionals.

By Mandy Hewett, NZSTI conference team member

Provisional Programme

CalendarTo whet your appetite and give you a flavour of what’s to come, we’ve uploaded a provisional conference programme.

With two presentations awaiting confirmation, the programme looks full and exciting. This year’s theme ‘Conflict and Communication’ has been well received and the various presentations will explore this in depth.

The presentations have been organised in three streams: translation (including literary translation); interpretation; and professional development. We have two designated areas in the National Library and have endeavoured to group the presentations by affinity to allow delegates to easily select their favourites.

There has been great interest in our conference from overseas and we look forward to welcoming delegates and speakers from Saudi Arabia, Australia, Singapore and China.

Don’t forget the pre-conference programme on Friday 26 June: we have a full day of optional visits and functions. Be sure you take this into account when making your travel arrangement.

Conference registrations are filling up and the dinner at Parliament House is proving particularly popular so be quick to reserve your place!

Keynote Speaker Announced!

stuart prior 3NZSTI is delighted to announce that Stuart Prior will deliver the Keynote address at this year’s annual conference in June.

Stuart Prior is one of New Zealand’s leading experts on Russia. Throughout his long and successful diplomatic career, he has promoted New Zealand in Moscow, Canberra and London, and has played a key role in New Zealand’s Antarctic policy.

Stuart is married to an interpreter, and has extensive experience working with interpreters in international negotiations. Acutely aware of the value that language professionals bring to the diplomatic arena, Stuart is a strong advocate for professional recognition and regulation of the T&I industry.

Currently, Stuart is Honorary Consul for the Republic of Belarus in Wellington. For more information about Stuart Prior, click here.

Got an idea for a presentation?

NZSTI2015After the New Year celebrations, many translators and interpreters are starting to plan their activities for the coming year. As part of your planning, you might want to consider giving a presentation at the upcoming NZSTI Conference in Wellington, on the theme of 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 Wellington Branch President, Karl Wilson.

The closing date for submissions is 28 February 2015. We look forward to hearing from you!