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News & Events

  • Need to brush up on ethics? Here's a couple of places to start

    By Katrin Matthews

    Recently, as part of our INT Project, NAATI surveyed practitioners about the current revalidation system. We found that the majority of practitioners surveyed preferred to do online training to meet professional development requirements.

    As NAATI's Revalidation Officer, I am often asked about what kind of activities practitioners could do that do not require face-to-face attendance at conferences or seminars. Whilst there are more and more online workshops available now, NAATI does also accept self-directed learning activities for the ethics section.

    Under section 1.5 of our PD catalogue, a practitioner can choose to read an article (or articles) about translating and interpreting ethics and write a 700 word report about the content of the article.

    But where can you find this sort of material? There are a number of texts available in libraries, however there are a number of good articles that can easily be found online.

    Below are some links to free ethics material. Whilst this is not a comprehensive list, or representative of all the literature available today, these links are a good starting point to do some more research yourself -

    General resources

    Translation specific material

    Interpreting specific material

    When using these or other texts please make sure you quote your source and provide the 700 word report along with your other revalidation documentation. You can claim 20 points for one report (maximum of 20 points per year) under section 1.5.

    If you have any further questions, please contact me at revalidation@naati.com.au.

    Katrin Matthews has been NAATI's Revalidation Officer since 2013. She has a Masters in German as a Second Language from the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. In 1992 Katrin did an internship with UNSW in Sydney as part of her course in Munich, and subsequently moved to Australia with her Australian husband and their children in 2000. She has been teaching German in Australia since 2001, first at UTS in Sydney and then at ANU in Canberra, as well as teaching and assessing German with DFAT. Katrin is also a certified examiner for the Goethe Institute.

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  • Staying focused on translation as a freelance translator

    By Nicole Adams

    In today's world, being online is a given, and our translation practices couldn't run without some Internet presence. Freelance translators, at least those working in the private sector, need to have a website as an online business card for potential clients.

    However, I have noticed a trend for translators, especially our younger colleagues, to become distracted from their profession by social media.

    Although I dabbled in social media at one point, I now have neither a Facebook page for my business, a Twitter account, or a LinkedIn profile, as I am a very private individual and do not enjoy being 'out there'.

    When I had a look around social media recently, I noticed that some colleagues build a bubble and appear to be important figures but are not actually prominent outside the confines of their group.

    Although they are considered an 'industry influencer' amongst their followers, most other established professionals in the same field are not even aware of them.

    So having accumulated lots of followers or group members on social media means nothing in the real world and may not be an indicator of whether or not someone runs a successful professional translation practice.

    I would guess that the majority of translators don't have the time or need to use social media, so don't be ashamed to be one of them!

    Social media is a good tool for staying in touch with friends and family around the globe, but I see it as a distraction when it comes to our businesses.

    If you feel at all pressured to use social media, to set up a hundred accounts and force yourself to engage when it's not in your nature, please don't.

    Your time would be spent much more wisely attending local translator events or visiting events your clients might be attending, to forge real-life relationships. Those are the ones that are likely to turn into fruitful collaborations.

    A lot of younger colleagues also seem to feel pressured to 'diversify'. A few years ago, when I followed a suggestion by an AUSIT past president to put together a book presenting a snapshot of colleagues who happily diversify, I was amazed.

    Amazed because I personally wouldn't consider doing anything but translating and, as an introvert who hates the spotlight, I wouldn't have the impetus or energy to, say, present at conferences or host webinars.

    Just putting that book together was hard work, and to be honest not all that enjoyable as I had to put my translation business on the back burner for a few months. It made me realise that all those colleagues who happily diversify may not be doing much translation proper, and that that isn't an avenue I'd like to go down personally.

    Although I did invest in a certificate in business coaching at one point (along with a dozen other certificates ranging from airport management to nutrition), I never put it to use, as it just isn't who I am or what I'm interested in doing.

    I did have a single coaching session with one colleague at her request, and although it was only one hour of my time, I felt terribly guilty for charging to help a colleague, so I have never repeated the exercise and much prefer to stick to mentoring free of charge through translator associations, which I believe is what will continue to drive the profession.

    I became a translator to translate. While I don't judge colleagues who choose to engage in a variety of other activities, I would encourage you to concentrate on translating if that's what makes you happy.

    When you translate 100% of your time, the sky's the limit when it comes to your income. Why would you want to take away from that to sell a few hundred dollars’ worth of products or ancillary services, when you could have earned thousands translating in the same amount of time?

    That makes no sense to me, hence I'll continue to stick to only translating, without looking at other income streams. This has worked for me over the past 15 years, so I'll proudly represent our profession for the next 15 years too, and I invite you to join me.

    Nicole Y. Adams is a certified commercial German/English translator and editor based in Brisbane, Australia. She has been practising since 2003 and specialises in marketing, corporate communications and public relations. Nicole holds a Masters in Contemporary English Language and Linguistics from the University of Reading (UK) and was awarded Chartered Linguist status for Translation in 2014.

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  • PD Opportunity: Interpreting Workshop Accuracy in Legal Interpreting

    Introduction

    Accuracy is one of the AUSIT Code of Ethics’ principle ethical requirements for interpreters and translators. Most practitioners would also agree that this is their primary responsibility. However, the concept of accuracy is a complex one which is often ‘interpreted’ in many different ways.

    In this workshop we will review the concept of accuracy in the legal context. Accuracy is paramount in legal interpreting and it is an important principle that makes possible the fair administration of justice in police interviews and the courtroom (among others). We will explore police interrogation techniques and the taxonomy of courtroom questions in order to analyse the impact accuracy has in the translated discourse regarding legal outcomes

    Biography

    Dr. Erika Gonzalez is a lecturer and tutor at UNSW and UWS, where she teaches translation and interpreting at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She also works as a freelance translator and conference interpreter. She completed a PhD on professionalism in community interpreting and believes that education and training are the key for achieving high professional standards and recognition. Erika is also the AUSIT national PD co-ordinator.

    Key Details

    • Date: Tuesday 17 January
    • Time: 6pm to 8pm
    • Venue: TAFE SA, Room: E 409, 120 Currie St Adelaide
    • Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA member $40, Non-member $60, AUSIT student member $20, Non member student $30
    • Snacks and refreshments will be served.

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • PD opportunity: Translation workshop in South Australia

    Introduction

    As translators we continually make choices at grammatical, terminological and stylistic level in the course of our assignments. However, many times these choices are made in an automatic manner, without considering the theories that back up the choices we make. In this dynamic workshop, we will explore several translation theories such as equivalence, skopos, domestication and foreignisation, in order to acquire a deeper understanding regarding the choices we make. At the end of the workshop, the participants will have the opportunity to complete a practical task where they´ll have to apply the reviewed theories.

    Biography

    Dr. Erika Gonzalez is a lecturer and tutor at UNSW and UWS, where she teaches translation and interpreting at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She also works as a freelance translator and conference interpreter. She completed a PhD on professionalism in community interpreting and believes that education and training are the key for achieving high professional standards and recognition. Erika is also the AUSIT national PD co-ordinator.

    Key Details

    • Date: Monday 23 January
    • Time: 6pm to 8pm
    • Venue: TAFE SA, Room: E 409, 120 Currie St Adelaide
    • Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA member $40, Non-member $60, AUSIT student member $20, Non member student $30
    • Snacks and refreshments will be served.

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • Solving simultaneous interpreting

    By Athena Matilsky

    Do you remember that time, growing up, when you heard someone speaking and you spontaneously replicated what they had just stated in another language? Wait, you can’t remember doing that? Good! Neither can I!

    We interpreters tend to polish a few pet peeves. On our scales of righteous indignation, people thinking our job is easy probably ranks right there at the top.

    Simultaneous interpretation is not easy. Anyone who has ever tried doing it, knows that. So the purpose of this post is a to serve as a follow-up to Conquering Consecutive. Consider this to be part two on breaking down the modes of interpretation.

    My advice to the simultaneous interpreter is - start slow, work incrementally, and don’t get discouraged! Remember, your attempts are successes. When I first started out, I shadowed for six months before I even tried to interpret simultaneously. Because, well, I couldn’t interpret. So, I shadowed.

    Even if you are more advanced, this advice will still serve you well. You just have to find a “slow start” that works for you; locate your foundation and then build upon it. For example, even after I had passed my state exam, when I started studying for the federal exam I began at square one (i.e. the first bullet point below).

    First, as a warm-up, I shadowed. Then I dual tasked, all the while exercising my brain to get used to a new speed and more specialized content. Then I would attempt the more difficult simultaneous lesson. When I found myself flagging, I reverted back to shadowing or dual tasking and then I tried the simultaneous again.

    Don’t discount the importance of prep exercises! As outlined below, they are important for a lot of things, and just because you already know how to interpret doesn’t mean you can’t get better.

    Here is a hierarchy of study that I find works well:

    PREP FOR SIMULTANEOUS (to be done either on its own, or as a warm-up to interpreting):

    • Shadowing: For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, shadowing means repeating what you hear in the same language. This exercise trains your brain to think and listen at the same time, without the added obstacle of converting what you hear into a new language. It also helps you to familiarize yourself with terminology, which you can embed in your brain through repetition (kind of better than that stack of tired-looking flash cards sitting on your desk). If you are just starting out, pick something very slow with a familiar topic. Once you get the hang of that, shadow speeches on harder topics, including those heavy in names and numbers. Then, pick up the pace.
    • Dual task: This exercise is a step up from shadowing. Repeat what you did above, but try to simultaneously write the numbers 1-100. When that gets easy, count up by threes. After that, go backwards. Then try writing phone numbers. The possibilities are endless. Consider these push-ups for your brain!
    • Rephrase: (This is usually called “paraphrasing” but I find that name to be misleading.) Here you shadow content in the same language, but whenever you can, you substitute one word or phrase for another with identical meaning. For example, instead of saying “my mom,” you can say, “my mother.” “Went back” becomes “returned.” Etc. This exercise allows us to accomplish that same task of listening and speaking, with the added challenge of focusing more on ideas than just robotically parroting words. I know, it’s annoying, but it gets you one step closer to actually interpreting!

    Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to embark on the exhilarating roller coaster that is simultaneous interpretation.

    SIMULTANEOUS PRACTICE:

    • Level one: Begin to actually interpret, using slower material covering familiar topics. If you notice you have missed something, take a deep breath and keep going.
    • Level two: Interpret faster simultaneous and/or unfamiliar topics.
    • Level three: Interpreter fast simultaneous, and/or specialized topics such as expert witness testimony for DNA, firearms, fingerprints, etc.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Recording yourself and repeating exercises are two vital steps in the process of self-improvement. Compare your recording to the original transcript, marking the sheet as you go. Then determine where you can improve and repeat the exercise in order to integrate what you have learned. If you skip these steps, you are missing half the lesson.

    So, yes, simultaneous interpretation is hard. But if you meet yourself on your own individual foundation, so to speak, and then you add incremental challenges, you will find yourself improving.

    And if somebody ever tells you that your job must be easy since you are bilingual…Well, just turn on the radio, explain to them what shadowing is, and tell them that if it’s so easy, they should go right ahead.

    I can’t guarantee much, but I think I can guarantee they will not underestimate you again.

    Happy studying!

    Athena Matilsky is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree focusing in Spanish interpretation and translation. Through internship programs, specialized coursework and hours of self-study, she became a Certified Healthcare Interpreter, passed the New Jersey interpreting exams at the master level, and achieved certification as a Federal Court Interpreter. Currently, she is adding French as her third language in order to pursue a Master's degree in conference interpreting. She continues to freelance for the courts and she tutors private clients on interpretation technique. You can check out her blog here. This article was republished with permission. 

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  • Meet the accidental translator

    By Ewandro Magalhaes

    There is a particular book that tells the story of how I accidentally became a translator — and soon thereafter an interpreter — 30 years ago. It also testifies to how winding anybody’s professional route is and it drives home an idea best summarized in this quote by John Lennon, “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

    The book was given to me by a friend during a coffee break in Rio, where we were both pursuing a graduate education in high-performance fitness training. The year was 1986, and I was fresh out of college with a Physical Education degree.

    It was a book on a novel sport that had me hooked almost immediately - Triathlon. I had given it a try a year or so before, and ranked high enough in the competition to at least keep training. As soon as I was back in Brasilia, with the book in my bag, I took it upon myself to translate it into Portuguese.

    To do so I had to first find a publisher bold enough to risk releasing a book on a sport few people knew anything about. Moreover, I had to find someone crazy enough to believe that over-tanned, skinny-looking P.E. teacher with zero track record as a translator could eventually do the job.

    My English credentials were a bit shaky at the time. Unlike most translators, I learned the language in Brazil, through a series of unfinished courses, battered VHS tapes (ask your parents what they are) and thanks to the gracious support of family and friends.

    I knocked on at least a hundred doors and got a matching number of rejections. My excitement was fading with each passing day and eventually became apparent to one of the great people I gathered around a pool daily for some coaching in swimming. Flavio Saraiva, a college professor who doubled as chief adviser to the university president, heard my story and offered to deliver a letter to the man if I so wished.

    Three days later, he emerged from the cloakroom with a smirk on his face and an envelope in his hands. Inside it were instructions from his boss, Cristovam Buarque (who would later become a senator, a governor and presidential hopeful). The note simply said, “I think your idea is opportune. Please look for Prof. Such and Such at the University Press”.

    About eight months later, I had in my hands the very first copy of the book in Portuguese, hot off the printing press. And plastered across the first page was my name as a translator. Folded inside, a note from the editor (and longtime friend since) Regina Marques said, "an accomplishment worthy only of great spirits. Congratulations!”

    I eventually misplaced the book. But I kept the note, out of gratitude. I pull it out and look at it from time to time, whenever life wears me down or a dream is taking longer than usual to materialize. Doing so reminds me of a truism I have confirmed time and again - pursuing my dreams and trusting the universe never failed me and never will.

    Ewandro Magalhaes is a writer, senior United Nations staff and conference interpreter. He is also a TED author, professor and a former Chief Interpreter of ITU. Ewandro is a coach and mentor to language professionals looking to up their game. He is also the go-to person in the promising field of remote interpretation. You can follow his writing here. This article was reproduced with permission. 

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  • From one interpreter to another: sometimes you just have to back yourself

    By Kieta Philp

    When I first studied to be an interpreter, we were taught to 'be invisible'. We were the person in black, meant to stay in our 'box', and our sole function was to bridge the communication gap between deaf people and hearing people. Of course, it wasn’t long into my school career that I found there was far more to it than that.

    It is difficult to remain detached or emotionless when you have a legislated and genuine duty of care for the students. In my role at Shenton College, I am responsible for the organisation of interpreters and note takers. As stressful as organising 20 professionals can be, there is one area of the job that is particularly challenging: the judgement calls.

    Part of my role is to provide a sounding board for staff to discuss certain dilemmas, ethical or otherwise, they have come across in the course of their duties. Obviously protecting the confidentiality of our students, their families, our teachers and interpreters is at the forefront of each discussion we hold. It is, however, important that everybody in our school community has an outlet to discuss the various issues that they encounter along the way.

    Examples of issues that may arise could be: a teacher showing a video without captions, various distractions while in the classroom, a student that does not look at their interpreter, a teacher that is too lenient or too hard on a student…the list goes on and I am sure interpreters in educational environments have all been in situations like this before.

    At Shenton College, we discuss and debrief these issues in weekly team meetings, making use of the team environment we work in. Amongst our team we are fortunate to have a wealth of diverse knowledge and life experiences, which we draw upon to try to come to a solution.

    This enables us to give the best experience we can to our students before they leave to make their mark on the world. This is also beneficial to staff as a way to de-stress and additionally learn methods, as a team, to deal with any situations we may have to face through the school year.

    Often though, given the many different scenarios and time constraints that we find ourselves in, sometimes we need to make an individual judgement call. We are all human, and sometimes we will make mistakes but I believe that when you are faced with the daunting prospect of having to make a judgement call, you simply have to back yourself.

    Do what you think is right, and then seek support afterwards by following up with a colleague or fellow ASLIA member. We have all been trained in ethics and it is important we trust in our training. We need to remember that there is plenty of support out there for interpreters. We are all in this together and should never feel we are alone.

    Kieta has been interpreting on a full-time basis in secondary education for the past six years. She holds a Diploma of Interpreting and a Diploma of Auslan from Central TAFE and is accredited by NAATI at the paraprofessional level. In addition to this, she undertakes casual community interpreting work. Kieta has travelled extensively, providing her with experiences and knowledge of other cultures and races. This article was originally published in the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • FIT Translation Prizes and Awards

    FIT (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs or the International Federation of Translators) is an international grouping of associations of translators, interpreters and terminologists. More than 100 professional associations and training institutes are affiliated, representing more than 80,000 translators in 55 countries.

    One of the most important and widely recognized functions FIT fulfils for its member associations is the awarding of FIT prizes and awards at FIT World Congresses.

    Being selected by an international jury to receive a FIT prize or award signifies recognition of the ‘best of the best’ by one’s peers around the world.

    Here is a list of the FIT prizes that will be awarded at the 2017 FIT Congress in Brisbane:

    NAATI encourages AUSIT and NZSTI members to take this opportunity to nominate outstanding members of their associations for the FIT prizes as recognition of their work and accomplishments. Associations are entitled to nominate one candidate per prize.

    You may download the necessary documents here. The submission deadline is 10 January 2017.

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  • Translating smoothly from Chinese to English

    By Binyao Wei

    Based on my own professional experience, I find it relatively easy to correctly translate the original text into the target language. However, I found that, when I was beginning my career, it was difficult to produce smooth work.

    Below are some summarized tips to mitigate this difficulty. I hope this helps in your work!

    1. Correct it before improving it

    Correct translation may not be smooth, but smooth translation must be correct. I strongly recommend that every word contained in the work should be examined carefully. This includes any error, any incorrect word selection, any grammar mistake etc. It is important to remember that accuracy is always the most important rule in translating.

    2. Dig it deeper

    Chinese grammar is quite flexible, ‘grammar tense’ is typically reflected through ‘adverbial’ or ‘auxiliary verbs’. In my opinion, Chinese is made up of different vocabulary arrays to show its meaning, which is different from English. English is expressed through changes of verbs.

    For example, 我该去学习了。‘了’ normally implies past tense. However, the appropriate translation is ‘I should go to study’, which is obviously future tense. Thus, I would say Chinese grammar does not have a ‘tense’, but an ‘aspect’.

    Aspect can be simply understood as a reflection of the status of the discussed contents, the meaning of which cannot be simply grasped from one or two words. ‘Tense’ implies the timing of the discussed contents to differentiate the past from future tenses, based on the current time.

    3. Reorganise the structure

    The language structures of Chinese and English are quite different. Chinese has a shorter sentence structure, while English sentenced tend to be longer.

    Meaning in Chinese is expressed directly through words and short sentences that combine these words. However, in English, as long as the sentence structure is free from errors, various sentences can be integrated into a longer one.

    For example: 因为贫困,又缺乏有经验的老师,住在农村的孩子几乎没有读过大学,而这个问题由于通讯工具落后,显得日益严重。

    When translating this sentence, it is useful to consider English conjunctions, propositions, infinitive verbs and participles. The English translation of the sentence, using one full stop is as follows -

    The issue of those children living in rural areas barely go to university due to poverty and lack of experienced teachers is increasingly worsened by the disadvantaged information media.

    Moreover, active voice is preferred in Chinese, whilst English tends to adopt the passive voice. Some typical examples of English passive voice include, ‘as can be seen from the fact…’, ‘it is commonly acknowledged that…’, etc. Common structures like these can be considered to enhance the fluency of the translation.

    I hope that these tips are quite useful for translation beginners to improve the work. It is a long way to produce smooth translation, but a good beginning is always the best.

    Binyao Wei is a professional Chinese to English and English to Chinese translator. He gained his NAATI accreditation in 2015 and has since translated over 60 000 words. Translating is a passion for Binyao who hopes to use his skills in other professions.

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  • Voice-over or subtitling, which is best?

    By Susanne Creak

    Did you know that Nicole Kidman is fluent in Italian and Russell Crowe’s French is of excellent command? Not really but it seems like it when you watch dubbed Hollywood movies in countries like France, Germany and Italy.

    In Holland and Scandinavia on the other hand, our Aussie actors speak English and viewers can understand them through subtitles. It certainly gives people in those countries a head start in mastering the English language and explains why they seem much better at it than the French

    In Australia, we often see foreign movies, documentaries or TV series use subtitles. In news, short clips or magazine-style programs however, we find that either voice-overs or subtitles are used. Most of us have a personal preference on one or the other, and both options have their advantages and disadvantages.

    What about English videos though that are directed at foreign language audiences? Content such as corporate marketing videos, training programs, webinars, or specific videos for travellers or migrants… which format is best?

    Today I want to talk about the key points to consider when choosing between voice-over and subtitles for your foreign language videos.

    Subtitling explained

    In a subtitled video, the audience hears the original language, and written translations appear at the bottom of the screen. The existing audio stays untouched and viewers get to hear the original tone and inflections of the narrator, interviewees and actors. This provides them with a more authentic experience of the original film.

    Subtitling use and limitations

    Subtitles are typically kept to a maximum of two lines’ length and appear on the screen in synch with the audio and long enough for the viewer to be able to read them whilst they still take in the picture.

    It is these limitations in line length and the available number of characters and presumed reading speed of the audience that pose a challenge to subtitlers, particularly when translating from English.

    In many languages, full translations are longer and can’t fit into a short window of a few seconds. This means that the subtitler has to make adaptations without compromising on conveying the original meaning or key message.

    Professional subtitlers know how to do this by dropping unnecessarily repeated and filler words, or by restructuring whole sentences to make them shorter and eliminating irrelevant bits of information.

    For this, they can find themselves criticised by bilinguals who complain that a word may not have been translated, or a sentence not have been translated accurately. However, the key task of the professional subtitler has to be to get the message across, and to do this in the available time.

    Even if subtitles are done professionally they can be somewhat distracting to the viewer and make them lose focus on the other happenings on screen. So, if a video has a lot of strong visual messages, then a voice-over might be the better way to go.

    Subtitling advantages

    One key advantage of subtitling is the lower production cost, as no voice talents, audio studio or recording engineer are required. Furthermore, subtitles are a great way to offer translated video content online and in a variety of language options through popular video sharing platforms like YouTube and Vimeo.

    Voice-overs explained

    A voice-over is recorded in the target language from a translated version of the original script. The viewer of the video gets to listen to audio content in their own language. The translations here, too, often require adaptation to be suitable for the recording; how much, depends on the language, the complexity of the video, and on whether the audio has to be exactly synchronised to visual content on the screen.

    Many people prefer voice-overs to subtitles because there is no distracting text on their screen, they can follow the information better when they hear it rather than read it and will not miss an entire sentence or two by looking away momentarily. Plus, when there is more than one speaker or character, the use of different voices enables viewers to distinguish the speakers and understand dialogues more easily.

    Voice-over use and limitations

    Options exist when it comes to the type of voice-over. The so-called “Down and Under” or “UN-style” type is when the original speaker’s voice is played at a lower level in the background, and the voice-over is clearly audible over the top. This is quite commonly used in news and magazine-style programs with one speaker.

    Corporate or instructional videos often use a “phrase-sync” voice-over, where the translated transcript is carefully time-coded to match the original timing of the voice and vision. The original narrator cannot be heard, but some original sound effects, e.g. musical elements, can possibly be mixed in.

    In “lip-synched dubbing”, the recorded spoken text is most accurately timed to the vision and lip movements. Ambient background sound is maintained, and viewers have the impression that the text is actually spoken by the actors that can be seen on screen.

    So, what to use?

    When deciding on how to bring your video to foreign language audiences, you will need to think about:

    • Which content are you conveying? Your video may be a corporate video explaining technical content on a particular product, service or technology.
    • How are you planning to distribute/publish your video? DVDs can provide for both subtitle and voice-overs with menu options to select the language, written or spoken. Video sharing platforms allow for the addition of multiple languages in a cost effective manner.
    • How complex is your video? Your video may contain graphics and on-screen text that also requires translation. In this instance, subtitles will make the video too text heavy.
    • Who is your target audience? Viewers of a business video will usually be more open to reading subtitles than consumers to whom you are advertising, or people who are being given announcements, advice or support.

    Ultimately, when deciding on a format for your next foreign language video, put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. With your video content in mind, determine the option that you think they would prefer, gives them the best understanding of the information and you the desired result for your investment.

    Susanne Creak is the General Manager at 2M Language Services. Susanne is a trained subtitler, NAATI accredited translator for German into English and English into German and in charge of all voice-over and subtitling projects at 2M. The original blog post can be found here

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  • 5 ways translators can take time out

    By Nicola Thayil

    Translators can easily fall into the trap of sitting at the computer for ten hours a day or more! This is detrimental to our health and well-being. Putting in place habits to make time for yourself will allow you to experience greater gratitude, happiness and meaningful interactions in both your professional and personal life.

    Here are five ways that translators can take time out to look after themselves.

    1. Movement

    Time out for movement. Our bodies are made to move. Translators sitting down all day at a computer can easily develop poor posture. Over time, this can have serious negative effects not only physically but mentally because the way we carry ourselves can shape the way we think.

    It’s essential to get moving at least once a day to loosen your joints, improve blood flow and to help cope with stress. Movement to manage stress is important. When we feel stressed or anxious our body produces the hormone cortisol and exercise can help to release this hormone. How we deal with our stress shapes who we are and our mindset. So get up and get moving, improve your health and confidence!

    2. Mindfulness

    Time out for mindfulness. Freelance translators juggle so many different tasks during the day, from admin and invoicing to translating, proofreading and responding to emails. This can be overwhelming at times. Innumerable studies have shown that we can benefit from a mind that knows how to slow down and focus.

    For example, simply being aware of your surroundings and taking the time to focus on your breath allow you to be mindful. Mindfulness meditation is also a great way to take time out. This can be as simple as sitting for five minutes and counting your in and out breaths, observing your thoughts but not dwelling on them, continually bringing your focus back to your breath.

    If you make an effort to meditate every day you will improve with practice. Mindfulness meditation widens the gap between stimulus and response, allowing you to react with care rather than emotion. If something happens, you will be better able to step back and respond with the big picture in mind.

    3. Journaling

    Translators are writers! I am a firm believer that if we want to write better we need to read more, but we also need to write! Journaling is a great way to step away from the screen, pick up a pen and to reflect, be creative, unwind and set intentions. Take a notebook and write down how you are feeling, draw pictures, let your ideas and gratitude flow. It may be uncomfortable at first, anything that helps us to grow usually is, but you will improve your writing skills and grow.

    4. Meal Preparation

    Translators often don’t think about what they are going to eat, their focus is on the next deadline and getting the work done. The risk is that when we decide to eat, it’s usually something quick and potentially unhealthy. When we are hungry we don’t have the patience to turn ingredients into food so we choose the easiest and most convenient option which is usually not the healthiest.

    Instead, think about how you can make the healthy options convenient. Cut up fruit, prepare snap lock bags with nuts or plan your meals for the week. You will soon notice the difference as you will be eating healthy nourishing food and you will be free of decision fatigue, giving you more mental energy to concentrate on your translation work.

    5. Me time

    Freelance translators often work from home and the lines between personal and professional life are often blurred. The problem is, there is often no time left to look after yourself. Me time is different for everyone but it’s just as important for everyone, including translators.

    You might like to take a bath, have a cup of tea, go for a walk or get a massage, whatever it is take time out for yourself to relax and refresh. You will feel better, be more productive and ready to deal with what your inbox throws at you!

    Nicola Thayil is a professional French to English translator and conference interpreter based in Melbourne, Australia. She has been practicing since 2013 after completing a Masters of Interpreting and Translation Studies at Monash University. Nicola specialises in legal, marketing and business texts, drawing on over five years' experience in marketing, as well as a background in international business. She also authors a translation blog here
      

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  • ALERT: Changes to the NAATI EOI Form

    NAATI is excited to release an important update to our NAATI Online portal. As of this morning, individuals can only submit an EOI application through NAATI Online.

    If you do not have a NAATI Online account, the process to submit an EOI application is as follows –

    1. Read through the relevant information on the NAATI website to check what you are applying for.
    2. Register for a NAATI online account by clicking the ‘I don’t have a NAATI number’ button. This will trigger an automatic email with your login details.
    3. Check your nominated email address for your login details.
    4. Login into NAATI Online and select the ‘Apply for Credentials’ link or the ‘Applications’ tab in the top menu.
    5. Once you have reached the Apply for Accreditation landing page, you will need to select the ‘By Testing’ link on the left to reach the application form.
    6. You will then fill out the application form and the process will continue as per page 4 of the information booklet.

    If you already have a NAATI Online account, you can also access the EOI form by logging in and following steps 4-6 as detailed above. Submitting an EOI form is free.

    Once NAATI has received enough EOI applications in your language, we will contact you to discuss the test date and levels available. Please note that NAATI may only be able to set a test date for your language once every 12-24 months.

    This change will assist NAATI in streamlining its systems and is an important first step in our efforts to expand our suite of online services.  

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  • PD Opportunity: update for interpreters working in domestic violence contexts

    The NSW Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV) has had a long history in delivering trauma informed training to assist workers to understand and respond effectively to the underlying trauma issues victim’s experience.

    ECAV would like to invite any interested interpreters to come along to their CE210 Professional development update for interpreters and BCEs workshop. This year's workshop will be delivered in a forum format featuring a number of guest speakers.

    The focus of this session will be on legal issues and the significance of the interpreter’s role in gathering evidence and making statements, as well as the importance of educating women in their communities about those processes.

    The list of guest speakers include:

    • Anna Butler and Emma Buxton (NSW DV Death Review Team)
    • Her Honour Deputy Chief Magistrate Jane Mottley (NSW Local Courts)
    • Judy Saba (NSW Police Force)
    • Susan Peir (Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Program & Legal Aid)
    • Professor Sandra Hale (UNSW)

    Key Details

    • Date: Wednesday 30 November 2016
    • Time: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
    • Venue: Sydney CBD
    • Cost: Free

    Click here for more details or to register. 

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  • ASLIA: the first 25 years

    During this year's inaugural National Auslan Conference (NAC) 2016, ASLIA's (Australian Sign Language Interpreters' Association) 25th Anniversary sub-committee presented a book entitled ASLIA: The First 25 Years. This publication documents ASLIA's history as an association from 1991-2016.

    Many of ASLIA's collective achievements have been recorded by a diverse range of members, individuals and organisation representatives including NAATI. The focus of the book is how these various elements have come together to support and grow ASLIA.

    The book includes:

    • A brief description of the interpreting landscape in the lead up to establishing AASLI (Association of Australian Sign Language Interpreters) in 1991.
    • The lead up to the introduction of NAATI accreditation testing in 1982 and NAATI's subsequent relationship with ASLIA.
    • A column from each of the nine presidents and convenors of ASLIA since its establishment in 1991.
    • Reviews and summaries of some of the key events ASLIA has held over the last 25 years.
    • Perspectives from individual interpreters, Deaf community members and interpreter service providers about what ASLIA has meant to them.
    • Photos from around the community.

    ASLIA's role and value should not be underestimated in the working lives of interpreters, Deaf people and the wider Australian community. The NAC 2016 was another significant achievement, marking ASLIA's 25th anniversary and Deaf Australia's 30th anniversary.

    This book is an extremely valuable resource for anyone wanting to know more about Auslan interpreting. NAATI is proud of its history with ASLIA and looks forward to celebrating another 25 years.

    Click here to download a PDF copy of ASLIA: The First 25 Years.

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  • The TIS National scholarship program

    TIS National has been offering scholarships to interpreters on the TIS National panel for NAATI accreditation (gained at the paraprofessional level or higher) since 1 January 2014. Scholarships are also offered for professional development short courses approved by TIS National.

    How much of my fees can be reimbursed?

    TIS National will consider reimbursing you the full amount. For NAATI accreditation, you must provide evidence that you have succeeded in obtaining your accreditation. For professional development courses, you must show proof of payment and completion of the course. Only professional development courses that earn revalidation points for NAATI accreditation will be considered.

    What are the benefits?

    Aside from having your course funded by TIS National you will also receive more interpreting assignment offers from TIS National when you successfully gain a higher level of NAATI accreditation.

    What criteria will TIS National look at when assessing my application?

    TIS National will consider a variety of factors when assessing your application. This will include but is not limited to; your location, your interpreting experience, the number of services you provide for TIS National, and the level of demand for services in your language.

    How do I apply?

    You can apply for either programme by sending an expression of interest to interpreters@border.gov.au. Once your email has been received you will be sent an application form and information pack.

    How many times can I be reimbursed?

    You may be eligible to have TIS National reimburse you for one NAATI accreditation testing fee and one Professional Development course per financial year.

    How to provide feedback?

    All feedback about the program should be formally lodged via TIS National Online Feedback form and will be resolved following TIS National feedback guidelines.

    Please note that you must be registered with TIS National in order to be eligible for this scholarship. Click here for more information about becoming a TIS National interpreter.

    TIS National reserves all rights on decisions to award a reimbursement of fees on completion and may discontinue the program without being required to provide any notice.

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  • Can you give us a quote and a turnaround time?

    By Corinne McKay

    "Can you give us a quote and a turnaround time?"

    As freelancers, we hear or read those words a lot - a client, or prospective client, has a document that they need translated, and they want to know about how long it’s going to take, and about how much it’s going to cost. So, when you’re on the receiving end of that request, what’s the best way to proceed? Let’s look at a few options.

    You could pick up the phone. If you have a confident but non-pushy phone manner, a phone call makes an immediate personal connection. "Just wanted to touch base about your document and ask you a few questions that will help me get a better sense of what you’re looking for. What’s the purpose of the translation? What’s the deadline?"

    On the plus side, you’re making the effort to make this personal connection, and you’re getting a better sense of what the client is actually looking for (which may be different from what they think or say that they’re looking for). On the minus side, the potential client might view the call as mildly invasive (if they’re thinking just tell me how long it’s going to take and how much it’s going to cost). You also need to make sure that you don’t sound awkward or overly sales-y on the phone.

    You could give them a brief and direct answer. It’s going to cost X, and it’s going to take X business days from your go-ahead. On the plus side, this is easy for the client to digest and respects the client’s time. On the minus side, there is no engagement here: the interaction is purely transactional (price and speed), and in a sense, encourages the client to select a translator based simply on those transactional factors. As an aside, *never* give a hard deadline (eg. next Tuesday), because you don’t know when the client is going to respond. Always frame it as "X days from your go-ahead".

    You could give them a less brief, but still direct answer. In my unscientific tests, I think that most clients respond better to multiple pricing options, even if the options are a bit of a stretch. For example if a client asks for a quote for a 10,000 word document, I’ll often say, "my normal turnaround time for 10,000 words is five business days, and the cost would be X".

    "However I could potentially translate this in four business days, for which the cost would be X. And if you’re not on a tight deadline and you have eight business days, the cost would be X”. I think that simply seeing multiple options makes the client feel that you’re flexible (even if the prices are not wildly different), and avoids a take-it-or-leave-it feeling.

    You could give a ballpark answer. It’s generally accepted in the negotiating world that the first person to say an actual number ("it’s going to cost…") is at a disadvantage. Because if you quote less than what the client was willing to pay, you’ve left money on the table.

    This is tricky: while it’s certainly possible to ask the client, “What’s your budget?” or “If you work with translators now, what are you paying them?”, it’s generally the service-provider who is expected to say a number first. I like the “what’s your budget?” approach in theory, but I’d be very turned off if I wanted to hire a new accountant, asked about her/his rates, and was then asked, “What were you planning on paying to get your taxes done?” It’s a little odd.

    Leave a little wiggle room if you want to. When I give a quote to a new client who looks promising (meaning that I’m very interested in their work), I always include phrasing such as, “If this is outside your budget, just let me know and we can talk further”.

    I’m not saying, “If this is too expensive, just say the word and I’ll charge less”. I’m just saying that we can talk about it. Maybe I can negotiate a longer deadline; or maybe I can ask about their budget and suggest what I could do for that amount of money. You’re not required to leave wiggle room, but it’s an option.

    Corinne McKay is an ATA-certified French to English translator based in Boulder, Colorado, USA. She has been blogging about translation since 2008, and is also the author of How to Succeed as a Freelance Translator, a career how-to guide with over 10,000 copies in print.

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  • Introducing the translation tracks project in central Australia

    By David Moore 

    In 2016 the Alice Springs Language Centre is providing a translation pathway for high school students to prepare them for employment in a variety of language-related occupations. This project grew out of a significant need in Northern Territory. 

    It has been translated into a reality by a project team being the Alice Springs Language Centre principal, a curriculum consultant, a translator and Arrernte language teachers. This Translation Tracks course meets a need as the language industry is in desperate need of trained interpreters, translators, liaison officers and language teachers in Central Australia.

    Language maintenance and language development are important. Students gain a deeper understanding of their own Indigenous languages. They also learn about English. They learn about the differences between languages and how to translate figures of speech and idioms, technical key terms, passives, nominalisation, and all aspects of translation.

    Students investigate miscommunications between speakers of the languages. They work on developing language resources such as apps and publications. Work skills are a major part of the course. Students visit workplaces and speak with Indigenous interpreters and liaison officers to learn more about the language professions.

    Stakeholders

    The course was discussed with Elders and Indigenous language teachers from eight language groups at Language workshops in Central Australia languages Arrernte, Western Arrarnta, Alyawarr, Anmatyerr, Kaytetye, LuritjaPintupi, Warlpiri and Pitjantjatjara.  

    It was also showcased and discussed at the Darwin indigenous language policy meeting with twenty representatives from Katherine and Top End regions. There was unanimous, whole hearted support from these groups. One Alyawarr translator said:

    “It’s good, students are learning this course as it is really important. It is hard going from Alyawarr to English and English to Alyawarr. We want our kids to understand that hard English so they can understand it in Alyawarr. This will help our students to get work and help others to understand Alyawarr”.

    A language industry stakeholder reference group advised the project to ensure it meets needs of the workplace and leads to direct employment pathways. This group consisted of stakeholders from employers who employ interpreters.

    Designing the Course

    The course was written at the end of 2015 based on the Australian Curriculum Aboriginal and T.S.I. Language Middle Years Achievement Standards and Content Descriptions. The course began with the year 9 Arrernte class at Centralian Middle School in term one 2016.

    The course was edited and translated into Alyawarr and in term two the course has been taught using interactive distance learning (IDL) with Alyawarr-speaking students at the remote Arlparra high school. Course materials were developed term by term as we learnt more about the learning needs of the students and improved the course accordingly. Quantitative and qualitative data was recorded at the start of the project and ongoing throughout the project.

    Launching the project

    At the start of Term 3 a Translation Tracks workshop was organized for teaching teams from remote high schools to learn about the project in order to begin the course in their languages in 2017. Following the workshop was a launch of the Translation Tracks Workbook which involved students, the language industry stakeholder group, media, the local MLA; elders, teaching teams and education leaders. A short movie showcasing students talking about the course was shown.

    Future directions

    Following the workshop it was decided by Yuendumu School; Ti Tree School and Ntaria School to translate the course into Warlpiri, Western Arrarnta and Anmatyerr. These courses will be developed in semester two 2016 and schools will start to teach the Middle Years course at the start of 2017.

    Then they will move onto the VET pathway in the senior secondary years. In the future other schools could adapt the Warlpiri and Alyawarr workbooks for use with their own languages.  There is also interest from the top end of Northern Territory for this to be a pathway for other Northern Territory high schools.

    David Moore is currently a doctoral candidate in linguistics at the University of Western Australia. His Masters thesis (2013) is entitled Alyawarr Verb Morphology and his current research is about the linguistic and translation work of the Hermannsburg Mission in the description of the Western Arrarnta language 1890-1910. David is also a NAATI accredited interpreter in the Alyawarr language and specialises as a forensic linguist in courts and tribunals.

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  • Major Victorian conference to examine challenges facing multiculturalism

    The upcoming Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria (ECCV) state-wide conference will examine, among a range of important issues, the many challenges facing multiculturalism now and into the future.

    The theme of the conference is "The Next Generation of Multicultural Victoria: Intergenerational Perspectives" and attendees will have the opportunity to provide input into what practical and achievable changes can be implemented to meet the challenges of the next generation of multicultural Victoria. 

    The conference is being conducted in partnership with the Ballarat Regional Multicultural Council (BRMC) in Ballarat on Friday 11 November, with pre-Conference events including a dinner on Thursday 10 November.

    It will be opened by the Minister for Multicultural Affairs, The Hon. Robin Scott, and will feature a wealth of speakers and presenters working in multicultural affairs throughout Victoria, including Helen Kapalos the Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission.

    Other high-profile speakers include ECCV Chairperson Eddie Micallef, ECCV Deputy Chairperson Marion Lau, lead author of the Scanlon Foundation Social Cohesion Report Professor Andrew Markus, Centre for Multicultural Youth founder and CEO Carmel Guerra and Scanlon Foundation CEO Anthea Hancocks.

    There will also be an extensive range of community leaders, experts, academics, bureaucrats, politicians from all the major parties, and representatives of young people and the elderly from multicultural communities within Victoria.

    Details:

    • Date: Friday, 11th November 2016
    • Time: 9am - 5pm
    • Venue: Mercure Convention Centre, 613 Main Road, Ballarat
    • Cost:  Young refugees/other new arrivals/students $75 per person, ECCV members/Concession and Community Sector $120 per person, Private and Public Sector $150 per person

    Click here to register or click here to see the full conference program.  

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  • The 2017 Victorian interpreter scholarship program

    The Victorian Government is offering scholarships to students who are accepted into the 2017 Diploma of Interpreting or Advanced Diploma of Interpreting programs at RMIT University to study interpreting in one of the following languages:

    Diploma of Interpreting: Assyrian, Chaldean, Karen, Lao, Punjabi, Rohingya, Samoan, Somali, Thai, Vietnamese

    Advanced Diploma of Interpreting: Greek, Italian, Macedonian, Tamil

    Scholarship details

    Up to $3150 will be awarded under each Diploma of Interpreting scholarship to assist with program fees. Advanced Diploma scholarships may attract up to $4320 to assist with program fees. 

    The specific amount will depend on each student’s enrolment status. Scholarships will be paid directly to RMIT University on behalf of the student.

    Applicants should be aware that the scholarship may not cover the full program fee. In such cases, students will be required to pay the balance.

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for a scholarship you must:

    • be an Australian citizen, or have permanent residency (consideration will also be given to applications from asylum seekers);
    • be enrolled in the RMIT University Diploma of Interpreting or Advanced Diploma of Interpreting in one of the targeted languages offered for 2017; and
    • remain enrolled and meet attendance requirements for each unit at RMIT University for the duration of the program in 2017.

    Eligible students will be offered scholarships in February 2017 and will be required to formally accept the scholarship offer by the 1 March 2017.

    NAATI accreditation

    Students who successfully complete either program and attain a pass rate of 70% or above in the interpreting accrediting unit will be eligible for accreditation by NAATI. 

    Detailed information about NAATI accreditation will be provided by RMIT University after enrolment. The cost of NAATI accreditation will be paid by the Victorian Government on behalf of students who received a scholarship.

    If you'd like more information about this opportunity, please contact the RMIT University Info Corner (Corner of Swanston and La Trobe Streets, City campus) on 03 9925 2260 or visit them between 9:00am-5:30pm Monday–Friday.

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  • Taking the plunge: Languages in the mainstream

    There are lifelong advantages to learning another language. Languages in the Mainstream is a partnership project between the Modern Language Teachers Association of Western Australia (MLTAWA) and the Office of Multicultural Interests.

    It comprises a year-long series of activities and initiatives to promote language learning and celebrate cultural and linguistic diversity.

    The first event on the project calendar is a public information session. This event will feature a series of five speakers looking at the cognitive, health, social and economic benefits of language learning.

    Come along to win a course in the language you've always wanted to speak!

    Presenters

    • From birth through school: Modern Language Teacher Association of WA President Kate Reitzenstein reveals the cognitive benefits of language learning.
    • University to future career: UWA Masters of Engineering student James Heath learned French at school.  He tells us why his motivation for learning languages has changed.
    • Working around the world: Currently teaching English as a Second Language, Athanassia Iosifidou’s multilingual skills have led her on a journey involving different cultures at home and overseas.
    • For the greater good: Economist, State Treasurer and Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Interests, The Hon. Dr Mike Nahan MLA discusses the economic and social benefits multilingualism can deliver to West Australians.
    • A better brain in old age: Senior Community Education Coordinator with Alzheimers WA, Heather Thorne shows us the health benefits of language learning in later life.

    Key Details

    • Date: Tuesday 1 November
    • Time: 5pm - 7pm
    • Venue: State Library of Western Australia, 25 Frances Street, Perth
    • Cost: Free

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • Upcoming JTA PD Seminars

    Our colleagues at the Japanese Translation Association (JTA) have extended an invitation to all NAATI accredited practitioners to attend (via live stream) some of their upcoming PD seminars over October and November. They include:

    1. The International Paralegal Profession and Legal Translation 

    Translation can be sometimes seen as a passive profession, consisting primarily of translators accurately transferring meaning between languages within a specified time frame. In contrast, international paralegals coordinate with related parties to meet specified objectives, offer suggestions as needed, and effectively use both Japanese and English in handling various formalities and creating necessary documents.

    This seminar will cover the international paralegal profession and how this profession utilizes translation knowledge and skills. It will also offer tips on how to simultaneously build professional knowledge and translation skills.

    Topics covered:

    • What is the international paralegal profession? 
    • How are international paralegals and translators different?
    • What do international paralegals do?
    • Where do international paralegals work?
    • What kind of mindset do international paralegals need?
    • What skills and knowledge do international paralegals need?
    • How to attain necessary knowledge, abilities and skills.
    • How to improve professionally.

    Seminar date and time: Thursday, 27 October 2016, 6pm to 8pm (Japan time)

    Click here to learn more.

    2. Translating English Contracts into Japanese (Part 2) 

    Reading legal material is difficult, even if it’s written in one’s native language! In this seminar, the key principles of legal translation will be covered using a real life example contract. It will also cover some common pitfalls and mistakes people make when translating contracts into English.

    Topics covered:

    • Checkpoints for legal translation
    • Are you using colloquial English?
    • Do sentences make logical sense?
    • Are Expressions for Quantity and Duration of Time Accurately Translated?
    • Is their Consistency in Translation Terms Used?
    • Are the terms “and” and “or” Accurately Translated?
    • Commentary on Example Translation Used 

    Seminar date and time: Thursday, 8 November 2016, 10am to 12pm (Japan time)

    Click here to learn more.

    The JTA was founded in 1986 with the goal of researching and developing translation skills, training translators, and conducting examinations and certifications related to translation.

    All of JTA’s seminars are held at classrooms in Kichijo-ji, Japan or online. Zoom software is used to facilitate the online seminars, making it possible for practitioners to participate online from the comfort of your own home. JTA does provide instructions on how to use the Zoom system.

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  • How translators can benefit from yoga

    By Sofia Pulici

    Yoga has been a part of my life for nearly six years now. I was first drawn to yoga as a teenager. I liked the fact that it enables you to strengthen and calm the body and mind, and connect with yourself – but it was not until 2010 that I started practising yoga regularly.

    Back then, I had no idea that I would benefit so much from it, and that regular practice would have such an enormous impact on all aspects of my life, including my work routine. Yoga has helped me to become much more aware of my body and mind.

    As a consequence, I started making changes to my sitting posture and the position of my hands on the keyboard, while working. I noticed that my mind was calmer to reply to emails, communicate with direct clients, colleagues and agents, and reflect on translation options.

    What amazes me the most is that this all seemed to happen naturally – as my mind became more alert and more aware of what was happening, I started to become more aware of my sitting posture, how my back is supported, how my hands bend or move while typing etc. This awareness allows me to make instant adjustments, paying heed to what my body or mind is trying to tell me.

    For some time now, I have been keen to share all this information with my colleagues and fellow translators, so that those interested in starting this practice might also benefit from it. Below are some of the benefits that can be gained through regular yoga practice:

    • Releasing tension: as translators, we know all about tension, right? Tension can build up in the shoulders, neck and back muscles, in the eyes, even in the brain.
    • Releasing stagnant blood: translators sit for long hours and, and even if we take regular breaks and do physical exercise, we may forget about parts of the body that we do not move constantly.
    • Lubricating joints, including hip joints: this improves mobility (remember we experience long periods of sitting!) and helps prevent injuries.
    • Strengthening muscles: In particular, yoga can help strengthen the back and core muscles, which helps when sitting for long hours.
    • Irrigating the brain: excellent for the long hours of mental processing required of translators.
    • Stretching the muscles and spine: also good when sitting for long hours, as it helps align the spine, and causes energy and blood flow better.
    • Massaging internal organs: helping maintain perfect health of the organs, particularly in the lower abdominal region, which are compressed when we remain sitting for long hours.
    • Balancing and integrating the right and left hemispheres of the brain: positively influencing cognitive processes, helping with concentration and focus, and enabling us to learn better.
    • Releasing wind from the body: which, depending on the foods we eat, can accumulate with long hours sitting down.
    • Strengthening eye muscles: with eye cleansing techniques that strengthen the eyes and maintain eye health.

    Yoga is beneficial for the mind and it helps reduce anxiety and increase concentration. A clearer, calmer mind can be helpful when negotiating with clients or tackling stressful projects. I have learned that, instead of getting anxious or stressed over something a client has said, I am able to react more calmly and consciously.

    Yoga is not just about assuming certain body postures (called asanas). Other practices, such as meditation, yoga nidra(full body relaxation and deep state of consciousness), pranayama(breathing practice), and mantra chanting can all help you connect with your body and mind.

    Some important notes about yoga:

    • Yoga is not something miraculous or supernatural. Yoga helps you become aware of your body and mind and remove the layers (misleading thoughts, habits, patterns) that hide your true essence.
    • Although it is not something supernatural, yoga is a serious, subtle practice and should be practised with the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor who is serious about the tradition.
    • In order to gain the full benefits, you need practice yoga regularly. It is better to have two regular weekly sessions than to practice yoga sporadically, or at irregular intervals.

    Sofia Pulici is a linguist (MA Applied Linguistics) and a NAATI/ABRATES accredited Portuguese/English translator with 10 years’ experience. As a yoga practitioner since 2010, Sofia is committed to improving her yoga learning and techniques. She has studied Vedanta since October 2015 and has been learning the Sanskrit language. Sofia is also currently enrolled in a yoga training program. This article was originally published on the Carol’s Adventure in Translation blog and is reproduced with permission. 

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  • Will they come back when I come back?

    By Cátia Cassiano

    I’ve been a professional translator for almost 10 years. I love my job, but I must admit it has been a long journey to get where I am today. It is very hard to get your name in the market, but I believe that if you value quality, honesty and perseverance you will eventually get there.

    However, your personal circumstances may change suddenly and that may cause great anxiety or concern. I’m going through this experience at the moment as I try to work out how to balance being a new mum without losing my clients.

    After working hard over a long time, I’m finally getting more clients. In fact, the volume of my work has increased significantly over the past two years. The dilemma I face is that I don’t want to lose what took me almost 10 years to achieve, but I also didn’t want to miss out on being a mum.

    So I’m trying to deal with it in the best way possible in order to minimise the effect on my clients and also be a great mother to my child. I know that one of the major concerns is how maternity leave would affect your revalidation cycle with NAATI.

    I am appreciative of the fact that applications are assessed in a case-by-case basis. If you can’t meet the criteria for revalidation because you could not work for an extended period due to pregnancy, you can apply for an extension of your cycle by providing NAATI with medical evidence.

    But my major concern is losing my clients. Will they come back when I come back? There’s only so much you can do to avoid losing clients after a long absence, but I believe there’s a few things that can certainly help.

    For example, I’ve started by sending letters to my corporate clients three months in advance to make them aware of my upcoming maternity leave. This will help them to minimise any potential interruptions to their usual business.

    Secondly, I tried to minimise the amount of full-time leave I am taking. I’ll be totally unavailable for three months and then I will be available on a part-time basis. I know this option may not work for everyone, but it was the best option available to me.

    I’m very lucky that most of my maternity leave will be over the end of year holiday period which usually coincides with a slowdown in the amount of work. However, I still need to think of my clients and try to keep in touch with them over this period. At the same time, I will need to be there for my newborn child.

    Whilst you can’t really control the volume of your work, I do believe that you can quickly make up professional development points with a little careful planning. It sounds hard, I know, but I believe it’s possible.

    Even though I’m still worried that I might lose my clients at the end of the day, I know the quality of my work and I’ve invested time in building a great professional relationship with them. I am hopeful that my clients will recognise this and come back when I come back.

    Cátia Cassiano is a professional Portuguese translator who has been living in Sydney since 2006. She is the founder of Updated Words. Catia is passionate about the translation industry and loves to share her knowledge with others.

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  • NAATI accreditation and the Karen languages

    Recently NAATI has received a couple of questions about the credentials it has previously awarded in the Karen languages (namely, Karen S’gaw and Karen Pwo Eastern).

    Unlike the majority of languages we offer accreditation in, NAATI has never offered accreditation testing in the Karen languages.

    However, there are a small number of practitioners with Paraprofessional Interpreter accreditation as a result of a NAATI approved course (RMIT's Diploma of Interpreting).

    As of October 2016 in Australia, there are:

    • 6 current Paraprofessional Interpreter accreditations in Karen S’gaw.
    • 5 current recognitions in Karen S’gaw.
    • 1 current recognition in Karen Pwo Eastern.

    Should you wish to apply for credentials in the Karen languages outside of the RMIT Diploma of Interpreting, you will need to look at NAATI recognition.

    Click here to learn more about the Karen S’gaw language or here to learn more about the Karen Pwo Eastern language.

    Still have questions? Get in touch with our National Office today. 

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  • Q&A: working with Deaf Indigenous people

    By Jodie Barney

    Hi all,

    Below you'll find the answers to six of the most popular questions I get asked when I meet and work with Auslan interpreters.

    Question 1: What sign is best for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander or Indigenous?

    There are different signs for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Indigenous, First Peoples, First Nations, Native Australians, First Australians. However, in Auslan there are many variations that have been used over the years.

    It is always best to ask the Deaf client which they prefer. Their choice may be determined by upbringing, their connection to country, their connection to the Deaf community or their exposure to Auslan during their lives. Their preference is what is important to ensure cultural safety during the assignment.

    Question 2: What is the difference between the Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country?

    Welcome to country can only be done by the traditional owners of the land on which people will be meeting/gathering. This means that other indigenous elders from different areas do not do a welcome to country. It is the cultural practice of the custodians of the lands who have looked after it for generations.

    The welcome to country gives permission from traditional owners for you to be on their lands, to go about your business in helping the community and to do no harm. An acknowledgement of country is the respect people show to traditional owners and custodians of the lands, for allowing them to be on their lands, and to go about their business in a safe way.

    Question 3: Where should I look if I can’t use eye contact with Deaf Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person?

    If you have been asked not to engage in eye contact with a Deaf client, it is best to respect their choice. Some alternatives you could try include:

    1. Using Auslan for all participants and maintain eye contact with others in the room.
    2. Casting your own eyes to the ground during the interpreting job, to show your own respect to the client.
    3. Often women will look down to the left and men look down to the right, you may use these techniques if you observe others doing it.
    4. Many will maintain eye contact with you even if brief, if they have Auslan skills or have been within the wider Deaf community. They will wait till they trust you before engaging in eye contact.

    Question 4: What do Deaf Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders do when they can’t sign?

    As I mentioned earlier, the use of visual communication such as 'hand talk' are actually signs used in Aboriginal spoken languages. The ‘hand talk’ is often contextually bound signs that are used in that one community, but some are shared between communities. However, there are signs that are not permitted to be used in the wider community due to their significance to Lore, Women and Men’s business.

    Everyone knows these signs; they are used frequently and often so that many are aware of the protocols in using the signs during times such as Sorry Business, Lore, Men’s and Women’s business. Access to these signs is by invitation only. Many interpreters will see signs used in different context, in doing so, be mindful to seek clarification of the signs from elders, family and importantly the client.

    Question 5: How many Deaf Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people sign in Auslan?

    To my knowledge, there are around 260 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander users of Auslan in Australia, this number is my own personal data of Deaf people in communities over the last 25 years working in this area. This number really is for those who have a variety of Auslan skills from basic Auslan to fluent Auslan.

    The prevalence of hearing loss in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities is the highest in the world, with up to 90% of the community having ear disease and hearing loss. The use of signs/hand talk is frequent and common place.

    Other factors that impact communities are the disadvantages many have with accessing services or learning communication skills due to the high levels of racism, oppression and fear of being removed from their homes. Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people you must remember these factors as to support your client the best way you know how.

    Question 6: How will I know if the Deaf Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person understands Auslan?

    Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Deaf people, living in urban communities, will understand gestures, iconic signs and may have had some experience with Auslan at schools or socialising in the Deaf community. Also they have their own home signs and continue to use cultural 'hand talk' or sign systems passed down from their families.

    In remote and rural communities, Auslan isn’t used at home with various signing systems used in communities. Auslan usually isn’t seen by the many in remote or rural settings due to the difficulties in accessing interpreters, and mostly used in court, hospital (if placed in a city for care) or some educational settings for children.

    Deadly regards,

    Jodie

    Jodie Barney is a proud Birri-Gubba/Urangan (Badjala) and South Sea Islander woman from Queensland. She is the owner and lead consultant for Deaf Indigenous Community Consultancy Pty Ltd. Jodie is active across Australia raising the profile of working with Indigenous Deaf and Hard of Hearing peoples’.

    This article was originally published in across separate issues of the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • Experiencing the highs and lows

    By Debbie Draegar

    I would like to reflect on some of the highs and lows I’ve experienced while interpreting in an educational setting. Over the years I have experienced many joys and moments I would like to forget.

    Some of the joys include:

    • Interpreting in the Tassie Devil enclosure at a wild life park. Thankfully the presenter could see the huge triangle between himself, the student and I was not working and he invited me to join him in the enclosure allowing effective communication;
    • Attending a wide range of excursions and activities, the most memorable was a trip to the Gold Coast Theme Parks with a small group of senior students and staff;
    • Being kept on my toes with a quick witted student, who often stirred his teachers or had something funny to say; and
    • Being able to bridge the gap in social settings and seeing tense situations diffused and friendships grow, with the knowledge gained.

    Some of the not so joyous moments include:

    • Attending many detentions;
    • Receiving a black eye;
    • Working with a teacher who refused to talk to anyone in his class to prove he didn’t need an interpreter in his woodwork and graphic design classes;
    • Interpreting “You stupid old …oh I don’t know that sign!” (Just didn’t have the required intent); and
    • Being left behind at the theatre after a performance.

    The worst experience for me was the day a teacher looked at me a bit shocked and said “I forgot to tell you about the forum we are having today”. It was 3 hours of guest speakers on driver safety. At the end of the forum my arms were so weak with fatigue I was unable to drive, and the student had a headache and eye strain.

    So be assertive, take your breaks, and say no when appropriate. Don’t try to be nice and push yourself to the limits. The risk is too great, and it validates the idea that it’s ok to take the interpreter for granted. I am not Wonder Woman and when this happens it’s only because I allow it.

    I’ve followed young students from grade one through to college and seen them grow into young adults ready to take on the world and that keeps the passion alive.

    This article was originally published in the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • Get involved: multilingual cancer glossary project

    An exciting new project has been announced to develop a glossary of cancer terms translated into at least 15 different languages. This glossary will be a resource for professional translators, interpreters and bilingual workers in Australia.

    The project will be led by the Australian Cancer Survivorship Centre in collaboration with Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Cancer Council Australia and Breast Cancer Network Australia.

    The proposed glossary will be a unique central tool that will enable language professionals access to accurate, culturally and linguistically appropriate terminology. It will also build on previous work to deliver culturally appropriate written resources for cancer survivors and their carer’s in Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Greek, Italian and Vietnamese.

    Maintaining uniform terminology of cancer terms across community languages is challenging due to the nature of languages and a lack of consistent definitions. The languages chosen for the glossary will include those spoken by people with the most common cancers in Australia, by incidence and prevalence.

    This project has been made possible by Cancer Australia’s supporting people with cancer grant. NAATI will be following this project and provide further updates when they become available.

    For more information please contact Georgina Wiley at Georgina.Wiley@petermac.org or on (03) 8559 6222.

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  • FECCA releases strategic language policy report

    The Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA) held a thematic event on ‘Australia’s shifting linguistic landscape: Language policy and practice’ at the Museum of Australian Democracy (Old Parliament House) in Canberra last week.

    The report provides an analysis of FECCA’s consultation and research to develop an evidence base on language service provision in new and emerging community languages, that is, languages spoken by individuals who came to Australia as humanitarian entrants over recent years.

    FECCA Chairperson Joe Caputo said, “The provision of language services can enhance access to social services for migrants, assist to alleviate isolation and lead to better connections with the community”.

    “Quality language services can also improve health outcomes and enable access to fundamental rights, such as the right to a fair trial. The availability of well-trained, competent interpreters to work with individuals in complex circumstances, such as family and domestic violence situations, is critical to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of these individuals”.

    Training options for interpreters in new and emerging community languages is limited. In this report, FECCA has recommended an optimal training and accreditation model, based on a review of the various models across jurisdictions and the identification of good practice elements.

    There is a strong need for a national, multi-jurisdictional program to increase the quantity and quality of language services to meet the language services needs in new and emerging languages.

    With the diversity of Australia’s population increasing, a solution to address language services needs for emerging languages must be sustainable, flexible and forward-looking; one that can be contextualised and applied to specific languages and the changing circumstances of supply and demand.

    Dr Joseph Lo Bianco, Professor at the University of Melbourne stated, “to build our interpreting, translating and mediation services we need high levels of proficiency, support for less commonly taught languages, flexibility and innovation”.

    “It is in the interests of the entire national community that we support language services, because by doing so the entire community benefits”.

    The proposed solution could also have a positive flow-on effect for addressing language services supply and demand gaps for other, more established languages, by developing evidence of good practice and innovative solutions. FECCA’s report outlines a way forward.

    Click here to read the full FECCA report. Or you can click here to read a short executive summary. 

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  • NAATI develops new system for test setting and marking

    NAATI are currently developing an examiner ePortal to improve the efficiency, transparency, reliability and ease of test material setting and marking.

    With this in mind, the development of the examiner ePortal is the most significant change NAATI is implementing in 2016. It will address and improve the issues identified with the current test marking processes.

    The examiner ePortal will be an expansion of the existing NAATI Online ePortal with additional functionality for current and active NAATI examiners to log in. The portal will allow our examiners to manage, update and mark test materials completely online.

    It is intended that the examiner ePortal will interact with NAATI’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system and updates made in either the examiner ePortal or the NAATI CRM will automatically push a live update to the other system.

    We are currently in the development phase of this project with an expected delivery date of November 2016. This is a significant and exciting project which will deliver huge process and customer service improvements.

    NAATI examiners are a critical part of the NAATI business and we aim to make their involvement as simple and seamless as possible by taking advantage of some of the fantastic efficiencies ICT technology has to offer.

    NAATI will continue to publish updates on the progress of this project. Until then please join us in anticipating this step forward in NAATI’s systems.

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  • Stepping onto the stage

    By Diana Caruana

    Hesitant but excited at the prospect of trying something new, I accepted my first theatre interpreting gig. You know those times when your mouth works quicker than your brain and before you know it, you can't take your words back? That's how it felt when I said "yes".

    The script arrived first. It was from a local, contemporary ensemble for emerging artists. Quite an abstract and thought provoking production and like a lot of theatre, was open to interpretation. As practitioners we all know the importance of preparation. This is certainly true for theatre interpreting.

    Comprehending a script for a performance you haven't seen can be unnerving. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to watch the production with my mentor who is an experienced theatre interpreter. The significance of themes, timing, direction and the role of music became clearer.

    I took note of scenes that may present challenges because of my stage position, anything visual (that didn't need an interpretation), idioms and humour that required a succinct interpretation. You barely have time to "unpack".

    An intense forty-eight hours followed. Meeting up with my mentor to discuss notes and rehearse was invaluable. I was working on stage alone, but for the most part I didn't feel that way. She gave me guidance, advice and validated my understanding of the performance. I can see the importance of a consultant for the larger theatre productions. That support is necessary.

    Working alone on stage, using role shift can be hard when you can't see what's happening behind you. While I tried to prepare for this, there were slight differences in the dialogue between performances. Just because there is a script doesn't mean it will be followed exactly.

    There will be variances, actors do ad lib! Theatre interpreting is not just about conveying the message. It's about what you want the audience to feel and experience. "Give yourself permission to use free interpretation", was a great tip. Don't focus on words so much, but the meaning behind them. With this thought, I realise I can be freer with space too, without over doing it.

    I have a greater respect for colleagues that live and breathe theatre interpreting. You're amazing and I look forward to learning from you in the future. Thank you to those that worked with me. You certainly made me feel comfortable, not so nervous and allowed me to enjoy the experience all the more.

    Daina Caruana is a Paraprofessional Auslan Interpreter based in Sydney. She has been practising since 2013 after completing the Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan/English). Daina has a background in management and administration and has been immersed in the deaf community and culture since birth. She now enjoys interpreting in various settings and recently started interpreting in theatre. This article was originally published in the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • Social media engagement and maintaining a position of trust as an interpreter

    By Loretta Walshe

    As a major service provider in the Deaf sector, Deaf Children Australia (DCA) was invited to contribute to this continuing discussion on interpreters and their social media activities. We greatly appreciate the vital role that interpreters play in our workplace and our service provision.

    Social media now plays a central role in the community, and particularly the Deaf community. There is an increasingly blurred line between our professional and personal lives which can be difficult for all of us to navigate. On the whole, we have greatly appreciated interpreters’ capacity to maintain confidentiality and impartiality.

    DCA expects the same professional behaviour from the interpreters we contract as we do from our staff. We engage interpreters via language service providers, most of whom have social media policies, or references to the same in their employment agreements or staff manuals. Interpreters need to be aware of their obligations under their employment agreements and the expectations of the organisations who contract them.

    As interpreters are privy to many confidential discussions and are in a position of trust, we have high expectations. We don’t want to have any doubts about their ability to maintain privacy and impartiality. We understand interpreters have connections across many parts of the Deaf community and it can be a fine balance between their professional responsibilities and personal lives.

    Yet whether they do or do not directly provide interpreting services to DCA, we expect all NAATI accredited interpreters to refrain from getting involved in any sector politics, publishing damaging comments, or sharing confidential information.

    If an interpreter engages in any debate in the Deaf sector and publishes his or her opinions, then turns around and wants to work with an organisation involved, it could be very difficult. It’s hard to maintain that professional reputation of neutrality in these circumstances.

    So our advice is to use your best judgement when engaging online. Remember that what you  publish on your personal pages can reach far and wide, and live on for a long time - so you may want to put your emotions aside and reconsider. Even reposting or liking someone else’s inflammatory comments can damage your professional reputation as an interpreter. 

    The best insurance is 'if in doubt...don't post'. If you make an error on a social media site, be upfront and honest about the mistake and correct it immediately. Remember to highlight that an amendment has been made.

    If you are accused of posting something improperly, such as copyrighted material or a defamatory comment, deal with it quickly outside of the social media site (for example by telephone or in person), and then apologise and correct it appropriately on the site. We appreciate your consideration of the complicated challenges which arise through our engagement in the social media terrain.

    Loretta Walshe is currently the Communications Manager for Deaf Children Australia.  She has previously worked in communications, marketing and fundraising with other not-for-profit and health sector organisations including Guide Dogs Victoria, CatholicCare, Australian Red Cross, Cancer Council Victoria and Austin Health. This article was originally published in the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • PD Opportunity: Hear NAATI CEO Mark Painting speak on revalidation

    Whether previously or recently accredited, all translators and interpreters should know about recent changes to the NAATI revalidation system.

    NAATI CEO, Mark Painting, will be talking about NAATI's to enhance the revalidation system and make it more user-friendly and practical.

    He will share ideas on how to meet the requirements for revalidation in a simple and effective way, and explain how previously accredited interpreters and translators may be affected by future changes.

    The AUSIT SA/NT branch Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place after Mark’s talk. Guests are warmly invited to remain for the brief meeting and catch up with colleagues and committee members over refreshments.

    Meet the presenter

    Mark joined NAATI as Chief Executive Officer in August 2015. Prior to this appointment, he held a number of corporate, commercial and operational roles at senior executive levels in the Australian and NSW Public Sectors, most recently in the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

    Prior to joining the Australian Public Service (APS), Mark worked in the NSW public service in a number of corporate and operational roles within the water industry. In addition to his public sector career, Mark also has experience as a Director on a commercial board and a number of governance and audit committees.

    In addition, he has experience as a part time lecturer/tutor at TAFE and university levels. Mark holds a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Sydney (Graduate School of Government), a Graduate Certificate in Management and a Bachelor of Business Degree.

    Mark is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.

    Key Details

    • Date: Wednesday, 14th September 2016
    • Time: 6 pm - 8.30 pm
    • Venue: Education Development Centre (EDC), 4 Milner Street, Hindmarsh
    • Cost: Free for all.

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • ALERT: Changes to revalidation requirements and feedback survey

    As part of our INT Project work, NAATI has been reviewing the processes and policies around revalidation. NAATI is fully committed to the principle of revalidating accreditations and recognitions and will continue to promote the merits of doing so.

    However, we also acknowledge that the current process can be improved and we are determined to work with the sector to improve the administrative process to support revalidation. Last Thursday, NAATI released an online feedback survey to current, revalidating practitioners. The feedback collected from this survey will assist us in making decisions about the future certification scheme. 

    NAATI CEO, Mark Painting, commented that “whilst we have had plenty of suggestions in general terms, some more useful than others, this survey will give us valuable direct feedback from those currently involved in the process. We accept that we have to make the process more user friendly and efficient and I commit us to work with stakeholders, both at individual and organisational level to ensure we can achieve that”.

    NAATI has also been reflecting on other issues associated with revalidation policy. Under our original policy, those holding paraprofessional level accreditation could only revalidate twice at that level before being required to attempt the professional level accreditation.

    A number of stakeholders raised concerns about this with NAATI management during the national INT consultation sessions in April 2016. In response to that feedback and further consideration, NAATI has removed this requirement from the policy.

    The CEO commented that “the paraprofessional level of accreditation is essential to providing the necessary level of service to the community, especially in particular language groups and whilst we will continue to encourage and provide incentive for practitioners to upgrade, I don’t think it is fair to mandate it. Further, allowing these to lapse will only exacerbate the problem of the shortage of accredited practitioners in these languages”.

    NAATI has now updated its revalidation information materials to reflect these changes. We will continue to release updates about our progress through the monthly NAATI eNews

    Click here to sign up to our NAATI news mailing list. 

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  • ALERT: NAATI launches a new look practitioner search

    One of the most popular tools on the NAATI website is our online directory of translators and interpreters. The directory allows people to search for an appropriate translator or interpreter based on certain criteria including language and location (country, state and postcode). 

    It has been in existence since 1981 and was launched as a free online web search in 2000. The NAATI team is very excited to release a significant upgrade to this important tool. This upgrade has drastically changed the search's user interface in order to make it easier to clearly see the number of practitioners available through each search criteria. 

    Here is a quick guide to performing a directory search:

    Step 1: Selecting the language

    • All you need to do is simply select the Language other than English (LOTE) needed in the first box.
    • Fill in the reCAPTCHA box and then press search.

    Step 2: Filtering the results

    • If there are practitioners available in your selected language combination, these will show up in a randomized order on the result page. If there are no practitioners available, you will see an error message.
    • On the left hand side of the screen, you'll see a number of filter options for your results. In order to use these effectively, you should ask yourself the following questions - 
      • Category: do I need a translator (written) or an interpreter (spoken)?
      • Experience: what are my requirements? eg. if you need a birth certificate translated for a government application you would generally pick professional level or above. 
      • Country: what Australian state or country should they be located in? 
      • Postcode or Suburb: Are there enough results so I can search for practitioners that are located closest to my postcode or suburb?
    • The brackets next to each option will tell you the number of results that will show up when you apply that filter. These brackets will adjust automatically as you work through the filters. 
    • To apply any of the filters to the search results, select your filter or filters and then press the apply button at the top of the box. 
    • The clear button will clear any filters you have selected. The go back button will take you to the search home page. 
    • In some cases the results will show that there are less than 10 available practitioners in Australia. In these cases, it is generally advisable not to apply any further filters. You should go through the results and contact your preferred practitioner (or practitioners). 

     

     

    Step 3: Going through the final results

    • Once you have a list of final results, you can click on each practitioner's name to find their contact details. Alternatively, you can choose to print your results by clicking the print results button on the right hand side of the screen. 
    • If you are looking for a translator, you will need to make sure you are selecting the right language direction. These language directions (to English or from English) are shown in brackets next to a person's credential eg. Professional Translator (Arabic to English)
    • It is up to you to contact your preferred practitioner (or practitioners). NAATI cannot do this for you. 
    • If you need to start your search again, click the go back button that sits above the filters column. 
    • To get back to the NAATI website, click the contact us link at the very bottom of the page. 

    If you are a practitioner that wants to be listed on our directory, please log on to NAATI Online or get in touch with our National Office. 

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  • Interpreting turbulence: expect the unexpected

    By Zane Hema

    I recently read a very interesting article about air turbulence; the violent or unsteady movement of air that makes for a bumpy flight. While it is normal and happens often, it can be dangerous. According to the FAA, in-flight turbulence is the number one cause of injuries to passengers and airline crew.

    The 3 types of air turbulence are:

    • (a) storm turbulence;
    • (b) mountain or wave turbulence; and
    • (c) unexpected turbulence.

    Storm turbulence is foreseeable. As storms are visible by radar and satellite, turbulence can be anticipated.

    With this information together with updates from the ground and other aircraft the pilot can fly the plane around the storm and avoid the worst. When strong winds blowing perpendicular to mountains, pass over the top, mountain or wave turbulence is produced on the other side.

    This type of turbulence can’t be seen but pilots can anticipate it and take the necessary action to avoid the worst of its effects. The third is termed unexpected turbulence or clear air turbulence. It cannot be seen and can happen without warning.

    Unless the pilot gets reports from other pilots who have just flown through the same region, there is little else the pilot can do to avoid injury to passengers. That’s why passengers are always advised to fasten their seat belts when seated and to minimise any time away from their seat.

    Interpreting may be likened to a flight that may encounter turbulence, if by that, we mean those bumpy moments, foreseeable or not, that have the potential to cause injury to our work. Co-working in an environment where it difficult to hear is an example of foreseeable interpreting turbulence.

    The working interpreter may avoid injury to their work by combining a number of factors at their disposal, including:

    • (a) making sense from the fragments of sounds heard in context;
    • (b) calling on the strength of their preparation;
    • (c) calling on their world knowledge; and
    • (d) support from the co-worker.

    Interpreting turbulence can also be unforeseen perhaps where a participant makes a reference to an event, individual or place where the interpreter does not have context.

    Or where a participant makes a surprise remark that causes offence to others as well as the interpreter. It could be a last minute change to the program. The potential for injury to work is greater and some quick thinking and sound judgement is required to decide a course of action, one that optimises safety for everyone.

    I remember my first interpreting teacher telling us to “expect the unexpected”, because chances are it will happen.

    Zane Hema is a professional Auslan interpreter but originally trained as a British Sign Language interpreter completing his Post Graduate Diploma in 2000.  He also works as an international interpreter educator and is the former President of the Association of Sign Language Interpreters (for England, Wales & Northern Ireland), Vice-President of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters and Secretary of World Association of Sign Language Interpreters. He gained his first NAATI accreditation in 2014. This article was originally published in the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.  

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  • Interpreting beyond cultural barriers

    By Jade Wu

    I remember vividly the first class I had as part of my paraprofessional interpreter course at South Bank Institute of TAFE.

    Our teacher, a professional interpreter and translator for over two decades, frankly declared to us, “if any of you here believe that being an interpreter means that you only need excellent language skills, you should stop thinking that now”.

    Now, after working as an interpreter for over six years, I truly understand the meaning behind that statement.

    There is so much more involved with being an interpreter. Every day is different and exciting with a wide variety of work available.

    Interpreters work with a diverse group of professionals that are, for the most part, very appreciative of the work we do. Occasionally I have come across people that really do not understand what we do or treat us like machines.  

    I really do feel like the cultural bridge between people, whether I am working face-to-face or over the telephone. My cultural background is Chinese and I find that Chinese culture can be very different to western culture.

    For example, I remember working with one client who had to ring a gas company to ask them to cancel a bill. He spent over 30 minutes explaining his position to the operator.  

    Then the operator asked him directly, “would you like us to cancel your bill?”, my client would not answer yes or no and continue to explain.

    I had to interrupt the call and explain to the operator that directly asking an organisation to cancel a bill can be embarrassing and even shameful to a Chinese person, as we are not accustomed to fighting for our rights.

    I then had to explain to my client that it is okay to say yes and that being so direct would not have consequences. After the call reached the hour mark, the yes was said and the problem resolved.  

    It has been my experience that a lot of elderly clients feel very intimidated or nervous when they meet or talk with English-speaking professionals. It requires a lot of them to move out of their comfort zone.

    On another occasion, a client told me to literally interpret everything they said without asking questions. The professional we were meeting with then had me ask the client what they meant by saying such things.

    As an interpreter, I become a client’s voice and help them to gather their thoughts so they can be understood clearly.

    However, sometimes I feel inadequate as I struggle to find the right words to convey the intensity of a client’s expressions.

    Once, during a police interview, the detective asked the alleged why he had assaulted the other man. The alleged person replied that other man had cursed at him, saying that “you are a stupid dog”.

    After I interpreted this, I realised the swearing sounded so much worse in Mandarin than in English. The police officer was finding it difficult to understand why this remark would trigger an assault.

    I then told the officer, that “even though it doesn’t sound very bad in English, it is very bad cursing in Mandarin”.

    After that assignment, I realised that I needed to do some more work on expanding my knowledge of insults and curse words.

    There are plenty more stories I could tell. I love this profession and I find that every day is different and challenging.

    I’d like to call on my fellow interpreters to hold our heads high and do our jobs with a sense of pride and joy, knowing that every day, we are bringing a little bit of sunshine to someone’s life.

    Jade (Ya Lin) Wu is a professional Mandarin - English interpreter working in Brisbane. She has been interpreting for over 6 years since gaining her first NAATI accreditation in 2010. Jade also has a degree in Commerce and is married with three children. 

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  • Highlights from the 2016 symposium on humanitarian interpreting

    By Marc Orlando 

    Most practitioners today realise that the work of interpreters in the 21st century is characterised by a need to adapt to many different contexts and modalities of work.

    One of these is the humanitarian context: in conflict zones, in disaster zones, in refugee camps or in terrorism trials for example, interpreters have to cope with specific demands and realities.

    Working in high-risk settings and stressful environments can pose numerous challenges to the interpreters involved in the field. How do interpreters respond to them? How are they prepared to face them? What policies are put in place to help and protect them?

    Because training for professional interpreters and interpreter users in this area is very limited, and in an attempt to bridge this gap, Monash University organised a symposium on humanitarian interpreting and interpreter training in April 2016.

    The two-day symposium looked at the challenges and the opportunities in the provision and use of interpreters, as well as adequate training solutions for such contexts of work.

    The symposium was attended by more than 120 participants each day: practitioners, trainers and researchers, but also end-users, policy makers, representatives of NGOs, and stakeholders from the full spectrum of industries were represented.

    The invited speakers were all experts in distinct but complementary fields which are fundamental to this important area of the professional work of interpreters which is now attracting greater attention and visibility.

    Conference speaker, and former AIIC President, Linda Fitchett said, "I was really impressed by the quality of presentations and discussion at this symposium. I took away as a lasting impression that the interpreters present, those using and even those mediating their services want to improve on the quality of service, to professionalise and therefore to invest in training".

    "Suffice it to say that Australia seems to be extremely well organised in the multilingual area of humanitarian action. How many other countries can boast such a plethora of services?”

    “All of these bodies deal in some way with the problems of multicultural communication, recognising the need for and using interpreters in their daily work with migrants, refugees and many less-favoured groups not proficient in English in administrative, social and legal settings".

    "I wish them and training institutes like Monash every success. I hope this kind of symposium will be repeated elsewhere – hopefully in Europe, where court and humanitarian interpretation needs help and encouragement through dialogue like this".

    Other symposium speakers included:

    • Maya Hess (Red T)
    • Professor Sandra Hale (UNSW and AUSIT president)
    • Abeselom Nega (SSAC)
    • Mark Painting (NAATI)
    • Gulnara Abbasova (FECCA)
    • Dr Jim Hlavac (Monash)
    • Trevor Neroy (TIS)
    • Charlie Powles (Refugee Legal)
    • Anita Bogdanovski (DHS)
    • Susan Burdon-Smith (VCAT)
    • Professor Sharon Pickering (Monash)
    • Adolfo Gentile
    • Lt-Colonel Andrew Baker (ADF)
    • Julie Judd (ASLIA)
    • Cecilia Lopez (Foundation House)

    Videos of all presentations are available here. You can also click here to learn about the petition urging the UN to protect translators and interpreters worldwide.

    The symposium was co-sponsored by Oncall Interpreters and Translators. For any questions about the symposium please contact Dr Marc Orlando at Marc.Orlando@monash.edu.

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  • Translating culture: an English to Persian example

    By Yavar Dehghani

    As a translator, I know that it can be difficult to find equivalent words for a specific word or phrase in the target language. This difficulty can become overwhelming when a word or phrase in the source language has no cultural equivalent in the target language.

    In my professional experience, the best solution for dealing with this type of problem is to explain the context where the word or phrase is used rather than translating them. My preferred method to do this is to use document footnotes.

    Below are some brief examples that illustrate this difference and some strategies to overcome the problem. These examples use English and Persian as either the source language or target language.

    Title and names:

    In Persian, when addressing people, you also include their occupation along with their title and name in this order: title/occupation/name. For example, Mr Dr Ahmadi or Mrs Engineer Bakhshi.

    When you translate this to English, you would delete the title and explain why in the footnote.

    Courtesy phrases:

    The Persian language contains a number of idioms to express appreciation and gratitude - dattetun dard nakone (your hand may not be sore) and qorbanet beram (I sacrifice for you).

    When translating these into English, you should try and choose the closest the most appropriate English version depending on the context – eg. thank you or sorry for the trouble.  

    Alcoholic drinks:

    As alcoholic drinks are forbidden in Iran, there are very few words to describe where you would purchase one and what the drinks are called.

    The following words and phrases have no equivalent in Persian and should be explained as you see below:

    • Beer garden: an area outside a pub where people can sit at tables and drink.
    • On the rocks: a drink where your alcohol of choice is poured over ice and served.
    • Cocktail: a mixed drink that contains both alcohol and non-alcoholic mixers.
    • A sour: usually this is a whiskey drink, but can be made with other types of liquor also. In addition to the alcohol of choice, a sour also contains sugar and lime juice or lemon juice to give it bitterness.

    Life and death:

    In Persian culture, what happens to a person after death is extremely important. This is why there are number of formal words for death including - marg, ertehal, rehlat, dargozasht, fot etc.

    Each of these words are used to express a particular degree of respect and formality. When translating these words into English, you would have to explain the degree of respect intended.

    To conclude, careful word selection and some extra contextual explanations can go a long way in making sure your translations can be easily understood by your audience or clients.

    Happy translating!

    Dr Yavar Dehghani is a self-published author, linguist and lecturer in Iranian languages including Persian (Farsi & Dari), Pashto, and Turkic languages including Azari and Turkish.

    He obtained his first NAATI accreditation in 2002. Click here to learn about his other works.

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  • ALERT: NAATI adds new EOI testing languages

    In early July 2016, NAATI introduced a new Expression of Interest (EOI) process in order to facilitate accreditation testing in certain languages.

    As a result of industry feedback, we are considering adding four new test languages to this process. These languages include: 

    1. Chaldean
    2. Kurdish (Kurmanji)
    3. Kurdish (Sorani)
    4. Kurdish, Southern (Feyli)

    Potential tests for these languages would be held at the Paraprofessional Interpreter level.

    By submitting an EOI, you are indicating to NAATI that, should a test be made available in your language, you intend to sit that test.

    In some languages, testing may only be offered once every 12-24 months depending on demand for that particular language.

    Should NAATI decide to offer a test in you preferred language, you will receive at least three months’ notice at which time you will be contacted to submit an application form.

    Click here to learn more about the application process. Or you can click here to submit an EOI form. 

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  • PD opportunities through the JTA

    One of NAATI's strategic goals is to provide a internationally renowned certification system. As part of that, NAATI connects and work with other certification bodies and industry organizations in other countries. Recently, we've been working with the Japanese Translation Association.

    The JTA was founded in 1986 with the goal of researching and developing translation skills, training translators, and conducting examinations and certifications related to translation. The association to improve the reputation of the translation industry. A significant part of their work includes holding a range of professional development (PD) seminars for practitioners. 

    The JTA has extended an invitation to all NAATI accredited practitioners to attend (via live stream) some of their upcoming PD seminars. They include:

    1. Writing Skills for Technical Translation: Ways to Create Easy to Understand Translations

    Have you ever heard the statement, 'The original text makes sense, but this translation sure doesn’t?' Translation isn’t about merely understanding the original text. Translation is converting the original text into another language in a way that readers find easy to understand. In this seminar, you will learn ways of translating into Japanese in a way that makes sense, and be able to implement these approaches when translating.

    Topics covered: 

    • Factors and background which explain why people want translators to use simple expressions
    • Being conscious of paragraph structure when reading
    • Order of presenting information that takes into account the principles of cognitive psychology
    • Tense and voice viewed from the reader’s perspective

    Seminar date and time: Friday, 26 August 2016, 6pm to 8pm (Japan time)

    Click here to learn more. 

    2. How to Start up a Global Company: Becoming a Successful Global Translator

    20 years have passed since the advent of the commercial internet and translation is one industry that can benefit the most from taking advantage of this amazing tool. By learning the basic skills for working in the global translation market, you can continue to work in translation now matter what country you choose to live in the future. In this seminar, the instructor will use provide specific examples in introducing ways of working in the global translation market.

    Topics covered:

    • Differences in the Japanese and global translation market systems
    • Necessary skills for working in the global translation market
    • Tips for finding work in the global translation market and how to market your translation skills
    • How to distinguish between different translation companies and clients - avoiding risks in the global market
    • Solutions for problems that can occur in the translation business

    Seminar date and time: Tuesday, 30 August 2016, 6pm to 8pm (Japan time)

    Click here to learn more. 

    All of JTA’s seminars are held at classrooms in Kichijo-ji, Japan or online. Zoom software is used to facilitate the online seminars, making it possible for practitioners to participate online from the comfort of your own home. JTA does provide instructions on how to use the Zoom system.

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  • Community interpreting, NAATI and the international community

    The ENPSIT (European Network for Public Service Interpreting and Translation) conference in Paris, June 2015, brought together a number of testing and accreditation authorities from different parts of the world.

    After the conference, representatives from the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway, Canada and Australia sat down to address and discuss issues arising around testing, recognition and accreditation of translators and interpreters working in the public services.

    Public service interpreting and translation, also referred to as 'community interpreting' in some contexts, can generally be defined as interpreting and translation services that make it possible for individuals and communities to access community services who do not speak the language the service is provided in.  

    All the bodies represented at this meeting face many common or similar challenges regardless of the fact that we operate differently in our respective countries. It was during this meeting the International Language Certification Network (ILCN) was formed. 

    The ILCN group - comprising of certification authorities, awarding organisations and regulatory bodies - agreed to set up an informal network to share knowledge and good practice, to exchange experiences and lessons learned and to jointly address and find solutions to the common challenges faced.

    The initials areas of interest for collaboration identified by the ILCN include:

    • The impact of technological change on candidate assessment and accreditation;
    • Assessing and certifying ‘rare’ languages where expertise is often equally rare; and
    • The application (and development) of international standards.

    ILCN participants have varying levels of expertise in these areas and the network aims to collaborate in addressing these issues to provide economies of scale and broader benefits.

    Future activities might include joint research, shared standard setting or bids to attract funding.

    The other members of the ILCN include:

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  • A story told in visual and cinematic style: Part 2

    By Patrizia Burley-Lombardi

    A good translation is one that helps the reader achieve a better critical understanding of the literary work.

    It is the little things that are the mark of a well-grounded translation; examples abound but, for lack of space, let me just mention one small observation: the family, which is central to the story, is the Vivaldis.

    When describing them in their home, the translator chose to leave the Italian definition casa Vivaldi, thus drawing us, the readers, into a truly Italian household without the mediation of the translated English. One other aspect of translation which needs to be understood is the dominant.

    Again quoting Cavagnoli, “…when beginning a translation, one must clearly know for whom the translation is meant, that is, who the reader of the novel or short story will be. But it is equally important to know what the function of that translation is.

    “One must focus on the dominant, that is, the component which is the focus of the text … What the author tells is important; however, the way the author tells it is not less important… To isolate the dominant of a text in its contents, or in the style in which the story is told, can influence choices….

    “It is even more important when the stylistic choices are peculiar … and the chosen words heavy with meaning”. Grave understands the above and A very normal man as a translated text ticks all the boxes. I recommend it for its merit as a very accomplished translation and a good read, but also a very useful text for those who study or teach translation skills and techniques.

    A very normal man is a celebrated work of modern Italian literature, written in 1976 and set in the so called years of lead (1969-1981), when bombs would explode in crowded places or guns would be levelled at innocent people, murdering them in the name of a new order.

    Cerami was a well-respected writer of film scripts. Even if we were not aware of this, we would notice that the dominant here is manifold: to tell the story in a visual and cinematic style, creating scenes for the reader to see through the eyes of imagination, in the most immediate way possible.

    It also tells a major piece of history, as it completely overturns the quiet and well-planned lives of a little bourgeois family in Rome in the 1970s, using the language spoken then by average Roman citizens living average Roman lives.

    The work describes the metamorphosis of Giovanni Vivaldi, a fastidious and respected employee in a Rome ministry office, a good man, into a chilling monster, and his descent into his own private hell. At the centre of the novel is a tragedy: the accidental killing of Mario, the dutiful son of Giovanni.

    This occurs while he is accompanying his son to take an entry examination which will gain him employment in a government department. Giovanni’s all-encompassing ambition has already been introduced in the opening page, when father and son are out fishing:

    “Farai strada, quant’è vero Iddio ... Comincerai proprio da dove sono arrivato io, dopo trent’anni di servizio ... e tu hai soltanto vent’anni ...”

    (You’ll go a long way, swear to God you will. You’re only twenty and you’re going to start out from the very spot I got to after working for thirty years…)

    As the tragedy unfolds, this is Cerami’s masterful and potent description of the absurdity of the young man’s death:

    “Il sangue usciva dai calzoni del ragazzo come da rubinetti lasciati aperti. A ucciderlo furono alcuni colpi di arma da fuoco [...] Cosa successe? Una rapina al Monte di Pietà, alla luce del giorno …”

    (Blood gushed from the boy’s trousers as if taps had been left running … He’d been killed by gunfire [...] What had happened? A daylight robbery at the central Monte di Pietà pawnshop.)

    Of the many novels set in this period, this is the one which conveys all the above with efficacy and immediacy. It concisely, succinctly and yet beautifully captures a great many of the nuances.

    It is no wonder that the novel was later made into a successful film directed by Mario Monicelli, starring Alberto Sordi in the lead role.

    In this case, the film doesn’t add to or detract from the written text, both in the original Italian and, commendably so, in Isobel Grave’s masterful translation.

    Patrizia Burley’s professional experience spans about 40 years.  She has lectured in Art History and Italian Studies and in Interpreting and Translating Studies in Australian and Italian Universities.

    She has worked as a freelance interpreter and a translator in Australia and Italy and as a radio journalist in Melbourne. This article was reproduced with permission. You can read Part 1 here.

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  • A story told in visual and cinematic style: Part 1

    Patrizia Burley-Lombardi reviews Isobel Grave’s 2015 translation of A very normal man (Un borghese piccolo piccolo) by Vincenzo Cerami (1976).

    At times the day starts with some kind of plan in mind, but fortunately fate has other ideas. This is what happened to me when I first came across this novel of only 117 pages. I went to the launch because I am a translator and this was the launch of the translation of Cerami’s Italian novel Un borghese piccolo piccolo.

    I was mainly interested in analysing the translation hot off the press. It is unusual, although not unheard of, for the translation of an Italian novel to be published in Australia. It is also unusual to translate a novel nearly 40 years after its original publication, unless it is a work of love.

    Here I found a model of a translated text where the original Italian maintains its voice and colour faultlessly. The mark of a good translation is not realising it is a translation, but Isobel Grave has taken this text to a higher plane, where we can feel we are reading an Italian work of literature, written by a very clever author with a unique voice.

    We are touched by how the passion, the tongue-in-cheek dark humour and the beating heart of unfolding evil are never lost to the English reader. All this in 117 pages written in an unforgettable style. This translation of Cerami’s first published novel, 39 years after its first publication, is an unexpected treat.

    It brings to the non-Italian reader the enjoyment of the original Italian narrative quality and flawless style, introducing them to a classic work of Italian literature. I wish more literary works were translated so well.

    Unfortunately, translations are usually noticed or discussed when there is something not to be liked about them. Translation is not just a skill and a craft but also an art form. The Italian translator Franca Cavagnoli says “to read a lot helps one to meet the challenge of a typical aspect of a literary text – its ambiguity.”

    She continues, “linguistic difficulties are actually only one aspect of the cultural difficulties one has to confront when a literary text is poured from one language into another”.

    So was the challenge of ambiguity met here? Did the literary text fare well from the source to the target language? These are very important points in translator terms, along with the issue of whether the images described by the author transition smoothly into the target language and are received equally well by the readers.

    “A translation must be faithful to the original text. It must transfer and preserve its meaning and its aesthetic integrity. Some translators opt for adaptation, that is, for rewriting the original text and adapting it to the target language and culture,” says Alda Marini.

    “As much as possible, I try to avoid this …The translator, however, deals not only with words, but with what lies behind the words. In a text to be translated, as in any work of art, what cannot be seen is just as important as what can be seen.”

    As a reader, I felt the translator surpassed the author without distorting meaning. I was able somehow to see the images in translation even better than in the source text. But then again, the role of the translator is to also open up new worlds to which one would have no access but by reading literature in translation.

    Patrizia Burley’s professional experience spans about 40 years. She has lectured in Art History and Italian Studies and in Interpreting and Translating Studies in Australian and Italian Universities.

    She has worked as a freelance interpreter and a translator in Australia and Italy and as a radio journalist in Melbourne. Stay tuned next week when we publish the final part of Patrizia’s article.

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  • Are you coming to NAC 2016?

    NAATI is proud to sponsor this year's National Auslan Conference (NAC) in Melbourne!

    This historic inaugural conference will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Deaf Australia and the 25th anniversary of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters’ Association (ASLIA).

    NAC 2016 is a unique opportunity to share knowledge and strengthen the interpreting community. It will also mark the start of the National Week of Deaf People.

    Keynote Speakers

    The organising committee is pleased to announce two international keynote speakers - Dr Jules Dickinson and Mr Shane Feldman.

    Jules is a practitioner-researcher, BSL/English interpreter and Professional Supervisor. She is particularly interested in how Deaf professionals and interpreters can work together. With this is mind she is keen to see a collaborative approach to interpreting in workplace settings, actively involving and engaging both Deaf and hearing employees in the interpreting process.

    Shane is the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development at the Communication Service for the Deaf, an organization committed to creating innovative technology and services that aim to transform the Deaf community’s experience.

    He will illustrate a vision of the future where ingenious laws, technology, and services transcend the status quo. These changes will position a Deaf person to develop meaningful and rich relationships with the people and organizations in their lives. Shane will describe how we can make the choices that bring us together to shape the future that we want to build.

    Click here to have a look at the whole conference program.

    Key Details

    • Date: Friday 14 - Sunday 16 October 2016
    • Venue: Pullman on the Park, 192 Wellington Parade, East Melbourne
    • Cost: Full registration $550, Deaf Australia/ASLIA member $550
    • Registration for individual sessions and events is available
    • This pricing is only available until 1 September 2016

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • Risk in Translation

    By Nicola Thayil

    For many people I know, I’m sure they think that just because I can speak French and English, I can translate texts from one language to another. But to get from one language to another, or from source text (ST) to target text (TT), requires a translator to go through a process. Firstly, this involves the translator making a number of choices about how to interpret the ST. 

    Secondly, it requires the translator to use resources and to apply technical skills in order to thirdly, re-express the message in the TT. From this description, we can conclude therefore that translation is a decision making process. Any kind of process has inherent risk. The Business Dictionary defines inherent risk as, "the probability of loss arising out of circumstances or existing in an environment, in the absence of any action to control or modify the circumstances".

    In translation, we could say that risk equates to the possibility of not fulfilling the translation's purpose as proposed by translation theorist Anthony Pym in his 2010 paper Text and risk in translation. I think that this is only a partial view of what we could consider as risk in translation. Within the decision making process of translation, I see three sets of risks to be managed and minimised. Text, technology and trade risks.

    Text-related risks are those that Pym refers to – the possibility of not fulfilling the translation’s purpose. This could have disastrous results for the client as many of the marketing and brand name translation fails show us. One particular favourite of mine is when KFC made Chinese consumers a bit apprehensive when 'finger licking good' was translated as 'eat your fingers off'.

    Technology-related risks are those faced by the translator in using software and hardware to produce and send translations. If your computer crashes and you don’t have a back-up, or your email client is unreliable, then there are definitely serious elements of potential risk to the translator, the translation and the client.

    Trade-related risks are the risks of doing business as a translator. Making sure that your business structure is in order, you budget for your expenses and do your homework on companies and agencies to ensure you get paid. Corinne McKay’s article on payment practices is a helpful resource on this topic.

    So how can we mitigate these three risks? A key element is relationship building. If you take the time to build and develop good rapport with your clients, they are more likely to see you as an integral part of their business. This will often result in clients providing you with more information in the pre-translation phase so that you can get the purpose right and add value to the client’s business.

    The same goes for trade risks. When you create a trusted relationship with clients by delivering on time, accurate translations every time, they will ensure your working conditions are correct and that you are paid on time. Admittedly some agencies and companies have long payment terms. If this doesn’t suit you, then don’t work with them!

    Technology risks are slightly different and it is the translator who assumes these risks. They must invest in the tools of their trade and take steps to protect their work and run their business efficiently. Sometimes it may seem like a time consuming chore, but technology and data management are a key part of a modern translator’s life, so we have to invest in them.

    Some translators may groan and whinge and say that clients don’t provide them with enough information. If that is the case, then take the opportunity to educate your clients. They need to know that you are there to add value to their business and to do so you require sufficient information that will both ensure that the translation fulfils its purpose and that any inherent risk is mitigated.

    Nicola Thayil is a professional French to English translator and conference interpreter based in Melbourne, Australia. She has been practising since 2013 after completing a Masters of Interpreting and Translation Studies at Monash University. 

    Nicola specialises in legal, marketing and business texts, drawing on over five years' experience in marketing, as well as a background in international business. She also authors a translation blog here

    This article was originally published in the Autumn 2016 edition of the AUSIT In Touch Magazine and is reproduced with permission. 

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  • How interpreters are helping power the 2016 census

    Some of NAATI's industry partners, including TIS National and VicDeaf, are working with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) to provide accessible information and interpreting services to assist culturally and linguistically diverse Australians to complete the Census.

    The Census of Population and Housing (Census) is Australia’s largest statistical collection undertaken by the ABS. For more than 100 years, the Census has provided a snapshot of Australia, showing how our nation has changed over time, allowing us to plan for the future.

    The next Census is happening very soon on August 9. It’s a moment for everyone to play a role in shaping the future of Australia.

    This Census will be Australia’s first Census where more than two thirds of Australia’s population, more than 15 million people, are expected to complete the Census online on August 9.

    The online Census form has received certification by internationally recognised industry leader, Vision Australia (VA), to ensure people who are blind or have low vision have a smooth experience when completing the Census.

    For other non-English speakers, TIS National interpreters can assist you calling the Census Inquiry Service with general enquiries. The Census Inquiry Service will be available from 22 July —30 September 7 days a week.

    However, due to the confidential nature of the information collected, the ABS won’t be offering a dedicated over-the-phone assistance service to complete the Census.

    Learn more on the Census website or watch the ‘Making Sense of the Census’ video series translated into six languages.

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  • Meet Drisana Levitzke-Gray, interpreter and Australian of the Year

    By Megan Beasley

    Interpreting runs in the family for Drisana Levitzke-Gray, the Young Australian of the Year for 2015.  It is believed that this is the first time that Deaf interpreting has run in a family for three generations, and this isn’t the only first in the family. 

    Drisana is among the first Deaf students to graduate from the Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan) at North Metropolitan TAFE, which is a NAATI approved course.

    Her mother, Patricia Levitzke-Gray, is one of the first two Deaf interpreters to have been awarded NAATI Deaf Interpreter Recognition, in December 2013. 

    Drisana is delighted with NAATI’s introduction of Deaf Interpreter Recognition is 2013, saying that NAATI’s recognition of the status of Deaf interpreting is the first step towards showing that Deaf interpreting is just as valuable as interpreting in the spoken languages. 

    She points out that NAATI is a leader in many areas, and also benefits from international advances, with the USA having certified Deaf Interpreters for many years. Once she has gained her NAATI credentials, Drisana plans to work officially as a Deaf Interpreter.

    2015 was a busy year for Drisana.  Not only did she tirelessly fulfil duties all over the world as a Deaf advocate and Young Australian of the Year, she also studied for and was awarded her Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan) at the end of the year, being the top student in her cohort. 

    Drisana expressed her gratitude towards her lecturers, who were very supportive and gracious about her frequent comings and goings. She found that her presence benefited the hearing students as well, since they needed to use their interpreting and language skills all the time.  

    Drisana is full of passion for the Deaf community.  A Deaf person herself, and the child of Deaf parents, she is acutely aware of the different roles played by Deaf and hearing interpreters, and the way in which all interpreters work together for the good of the client. 

    The different skills possessed by Deaf interpreters, who may interpret multiple sign languages, work in harmony with the skills of the hearing Auslan/English interpreter.

    The Deaf community is varied, with members coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, upbringings and languages. Drisana herself knows six languages.

    She has always pushed for Australian languages other than English to be more fully included in school curricula and Australian communities, envisioning a world where children in Perth schools learn the Noongar language and the Australian Sign Language. 

    Shenton College, where Drisana went to school, has offered Auslan as a LOTE for three years, and she has noticed that Deaf and hearing students there communicate freely with each other, with Deaf students feeling fully part of the school community. 

    With Auslan added as a LOTE to the new National Curriculum, Drisana sees a fantastic opportunity for children of all ages, both Deaf and hearing. 

    “Not only is it likely to be a major influence increasing the pool of accredited Auslan interpreters in the future, but it will also increase the number of bilingual professionals” she said. 

    Looking forward, Drisana believes the future is looking very bright indeed.

    Author Megan Beasley is NAATI’s State Manager for Western Australia. 

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  • See you at the AUSIT Mini Conference 2016!

    The AUSIT National Mini-conference, to be held in conjunction with the AUSIT National AGM, aims to provide a forum for practitioners and scholars to explore important issues in translation and interpreting.

    The theme for 2016 is Translation and Interpreting: Practice, Research and Publics.

    This year, AUSIT is focussing efforts on raising public awareness of the translating and interpreting profession. The theme of this mini-conference offers participants a forum to present on issues related to practice, research and translation and interpreting in the public space.

    It is also a wonderful forum developing professional relationships with fellow translators & interpreters, agencies and language service users, government departments, tertiary institutions and other industry stakeholders.

    NAATI is proud to announce that we will be the gold sponsor this year's mini-conference. 

    Call for abstracts

    You now have until Sunday 31 July to submit your abstract for a presentation at the AUSIT National Mini-conference.

    Proposals for individual papers should be submitted as abstracts of 250 words. Papers will be allocated 20 minutes for presentation plus 10 minutes for discussion.

    Presentations on all aspects of translation and interpreting are welcome. However, priority will be given to papers that address the following topics:

    • T&I practice and the public sphere
    • Interactions between T&I practitioners/researchers and their publics (i.e., dissemination of (mis)information, feedback mechanisms, knowledge and know-how transfer, partnerships between practitioners and academics, etc.).
    • Politics and ethics of T&I Studies
    • T&I Studies and migration
    • Transcreation, new media and the ‘medial turn’ in T&I Studies
    • Demands in the workplace and alternative T&I practices (e.g., translation into a second language, relay and/or collaborative translation, intralingual translation, nonstandard career pathways, etc.)
    • Problems and prospects in T&I education and training
    • T&I technologies

    To submit a proposal for the AUSIT 2016 Mini-conference, please click here

    Key Details

    • Date: Friday 18 - Saturday 19 November 2016
    • Venue: Room 14, Level 2, Building B, Monash University, Caulfield Campus.
    • Early bird prices: AUSIT/ASLIA member $75, Non-member $112, AUSIT student member $37, Non member student $56
    • Early bird registration closes July 31st.

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • PD opportunity: introduction to localization workshop

    One of the biggest markets for freelance translators currently is that of localisation. The industry is expected to reach $38.16 billion this year, and increase to $49.8 billion by 2019. The term Localisation refers to the cultural and non-textual components as well as linguistic issues when adapting a product or service for another country or locale.

    This presentation aims to introduce the basic concepts involved in localisation, provide examples of how it is used and explore the opportunities the sector provides to translators.

    It will also touch on the translation theory underlying the process, and some contemporary criticism of its effects on our profession. Attendees are expected to have some knowledge/interest in information technology, technical translation and/or cultural transfer. The ability to code is a plus, but not mandatory.

    Short biography of presenter

    Sam Berner is currently the principal partner of Arabic Communication Experts, one of Australia’s leading translation services and cross cultural training specializing in the Middle East. Born in Europe and raised by her archaeologist father in and around archaeological digs in North Africa and the Middle East, Sam can fluently speak 3 languages and stutter in three others.

    She worked as an interpreter for the UN in a conflict zone and one of the first female publishers in the North Africa. Sam’s excitingly diverse background no doubt contributes to her ability to engage her audience. An active AUSIT member and a former National President, Sam continues to mentor and motivate many aspiring translators to expand their vision globally.

    Key Details

    • Date: Saturday 30 July 2016
    • Time: 1pm to 5pm
    • Venue: Queensland Multicultural Centre, 102 Main Street, Kangaroo Point QLD 4169
    • Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA member $80, Non-member $120, AUSIT student member $40, Non member student $45
    • There will be refreshments (tea/coffee/juice/water, biscuits) provided for afternoon tea.

    Click here for more details or to register. 

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  • Meet Multicultural Affairs Queensland's first NAATI recognised interpreter

    Multicultural Affairs Queensland has been leading a project to address a lack of training options for individuals wishing to enter the interpreting industry in regional areas of Queensland.

    The Interpreter Training Project involved the delivery of a pilot, eight week course in five different regional locations across Queensland. It was unique in that it involved the collaboration of multiple organisations.

    RMIT University in Victoria delivered the training and other project partners included ACCESS Community Services, MDA Ltd, Centacare Cairns, Townsville Multicultural Support Group and Kyabra Community Association.

    On successful completion of the skill set course, Multicultural Affairs Queensland assisted participants (without prior industry experience) to connect with language services agencies that can assist in providing sufficient work experience to meet requirements for NAATI recognition.

    Mr Sibbo Sengabo, a Townsville based participant, has been the first to gain NAATI recognition in Swahili and Kinyarwanda after successfully completing the training.

    Since participating in the project, Mr Sibbo has been able to provide on-site and telephone interpreting in the medical, employment and settlement service sectors.

    Other project participants who have successfully completed the training in Cairns, Rockhampton, Ipswich and the Gold Coast and meet NAATI requirements also have the opportunity to apply for formal interpreting qualifications in new and emerging languages.

    MAQ will be releasing information on future courses on their project page here.

    Or you can click here for more information on the Queensland Language Services Policy.

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  • From one interpreter to another: food for thought

    By Heather Loades

    My name is Heather Loades and I am the eldest child of the family and both my parents are Deaf. I have worked in the field of interpreting for around 26 years in Adelaide having operated as a freelance interpreter and managed an interpreting service.

    Lots of change has taken place during these years, but sometimes it seems the more we change the more we remain the same. Technology has had a positive impact on our profession and I love not having to look for a phone box in the pouring rain to call the agency in answer to a page.

    Another positive change is the demand for interpreting services in a variety of areas has grown and now with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) rolling out even more growth. Now, in emergency situations such as fires or floods the emergency services now include interpreters on the television screen.

    Recently in this state there has been a lot of chatter regarding the falling standard of interpreters. So my question is: as a profession how do we address this issue and how do we make sure that we as interpreters can equip ourselves with the necessary skills to keep up with the needs of the Deaf community?

    The growth in the provision of interpreting services in the last few decades has been stunning. Interpreters are employed in a wider variety of situations. However, supply has not kept up with demand and, increasingly, interpreters find themselves being asked to work in areas for which they are neither really qualified nor equipped to do.

    It is ok to say no to assignments, and ethically that is what we professionals should be doing. We should not be accepting work that is beyond our skill level. Consumers, Deaf and hearing, have the right to a service that ensures both parties leave the appointment with the same understanding.

    Education and on going professional development is a must for all interpreters. Learning the language at TAFE and participating in a Diploma of Interpreting course is a good start but one needs to engage in continuing education.

    So, if it is at all possible enrol in the Macquarie University course or, if this is not possible due to distance, investigate enrolment at a local university to complete an undergraduate degree. Having mentors that we trust and can go to for advice is invaluable.

    I would recommend to new interpreters starting out developing a relationship with an experienced practitioner. Interpreting can be a lonely profession and having a mentor provides access for ongoing support and advice.

    Interpreters are human and as such we have all had assignments that we wish we could forget, but these are the times when we need to be honest with ourselves when reflecting on our own practice.

    Then we are able to acknowledge areas for improvement. Perhaps we can keep the conversation going in a robust manner so that improvements and change can take place to make the profession stronger.

    As they say in the Theatre World break a finger, happy interpreting.

    Heather Loades is an experienced Auslan interpreter, based in Adelaide. She gained her first NAATI accreditation in 1991. This article was originally written for the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • Meet Afaf Barakat, Arabic interpreter

    As part of our work to increase awareness of the translating and interpreting profession, our friends at TIS National have allowed us to share some personal stories from their interpreters. This is Afaf's story.

    Afaf, originally from Zahle in Lebanon, arrived in Australia with her family in 1965. Today, Afaf is one of TIS National's longest serving Arabic interpreters.

    A business career while interpreting

    Soon after arriving in Australia, Afaf had a career of working as a sales consultant for Bessemer cookware and Tupperware, and owning and running various businesses. Her mother, sisters and brother asked the owner of the factory where they worked if they could take three sewing machines home to do extra work.

    She sewed men’s shirts and pyjamas while raising her young children and looking after her family. After having her fourth child, the machine work became too difficult so Afaf got a part-time job at Woolworths working as a cashier while attending night school to learn English.

    After seven years of sewing and part-time cashier work, it was time to move on to a new business. Afaf and her husband purchased a seven day mixed business selling groceries, "we opened from 6.30 am - 9.30 pm for two years, but my husband couldn’t cope, he didn’t like staying inside all day".

    Afaf then decided to apply to be an aide interpreter.

    30 years working for TIS National

    In 1985, the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) was not yet providing services nationally. Afaf started working for TIS as an aide working on the phone. Her supervisor encouraged her to gain her NAATI accreditation as an Arabic interpreter.

    Whilst there may have not been much demand for Arabic back then, Arabic is now one of top ten high demand languages for TIS National now.

    Challenges of interpreting

    After years working from home as a machinist, Afaf’s new challenge was to find her way around Sydney to perform on-site interpreting assignments. If she couldn’t find the address for the assignment, her next challenge was to find a phone box to call the agency contact.

    Staying up to date with each language can also have its difficulties. To enhance her English knowledge, Afaf studied for the Higher School Certificate in Australia and she has three dictionaries she refers to: English to Arabic, Arabic to English, and a medical dictionary.

    She says, "when interpreting in the hospital, you hear medical terminology you are not aware of. When I come across unfamiliar terminology, I ask the doctor to be more specific".

    Tips and advice

    "Before interpreting, I was very shy and unable to communicate well".

    Afaf now finds that her ability to stand up for herself and communicate has strongly improved since becoming an interpreter. "Interpreters must have confidence. It is so important for someone to have a lot of confidence. Trust in yourself". She also recommends gaining knowledge of the place where you live, your town, and your country.

    The future of interpreting

    "Communication will always be difficult between a professional and non-English speaking person". And with demand growing stronger in particular fields like health, law, family matters and conferences, Araf believes interpreters will always be needed in the future.

    Find out more about working with TIS National interpreters.

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  • Influencing change: join the national multicultural women's conference 2016

    On the 3rd of November 2016, the Parkroyal Parramatta will host the inaugural National Multicultural Women’s Conference and we are inviting everyone with an interest in multicultural women’s affairs to join in.

    This national event is an outcome of an innovative partnership between Settlement Services International (SSI) and the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), with support from Ethnic Communities’ Council of NSW, that will provide a holistic perspective towards shaping a shared vision and driving change.

    The NMWC organsing committee are very excited to announce a call for presentation abstracts that cover the conference theme of Influencing change: Vision and Impact.

    This conference aims to create a collaborative, inclusive and engaging platform to share knowledge, inform the national agenda, and recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution women from diverse backgrounds make to our society.

    Join practitioners, decision makers, community members and thought leaders, and participate in what will be a lively and productive national dialogue.

    Key Details

    • Date: 3-4 November 2016
    • Venue: Parkroyal Parramatta, 30 Phillip Street, Parramatta
    • Early bird pricing: Student/concession $275, Non-gov organsation employee $295, Full delegate $340
    • Early bird registration closes: 31 August 2016
    • Abstract submission deadline: 5 August 2016

    Single day and function tickets are separately available. Click here to register or download a conference flyer here.

    Attendance at this conference may contribute professional development points towards NAATI revalidation.

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  • PD opportunity: Live-streamed medical terminology workshop

    Whether you’re an interpreter or a translator, spoken language or Auslan, here’s an opportunity to enhance your contextual knowledge of two important fields of medicine.

    You will hear from a world-renowned expert in paediatric orthopaedics, and a prominent specialist in addiction medicine, who will each provide an overview of his field for the lay person: typical medical conditions, their causes and treatment, and current trends in research.

    Following the presentations, there will be an opportunity for questions and a discussion of the linguistic and cultural challenges posed.

    This event will be live-streamed with Auslan interpreting available. Questions from remote locations can be sent in by SMS.

    Meet the presenters

    Kerr Graham is the Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Melbourne and the Consultant in Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgery at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

    Kerr is also the current director of The Hugh Williamson Gait Laboratory, an internationally recognised gait laboratory where children with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy are seen and their walking patterns analysed prior to reconstructive surgery.

    The Gait Laboratory is the central point for Kerr’s clinical work (looking after children with difficulties in walking) as well as research (Chief Investigator in the National Health & Medical Research Council’s Centre of Research Excellence in Cerebral Palsy).

    Alan Gijsbers is a specialist physician in addiction medicine, dealing with patients struggling with common addictions to drugs such as alcohol, opioids, benzodiazepines, psychostimulants, tobacco, and other dependancies, and has described himself as an ‘applied neuroscientist’.

    Alan is the first Medical Director of the Addiction Medicine Service at Royal Melbourne Hospital, an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor with the Department of Medicine at the same hospital, and Medical Director of the Substance Withdrawal Unit at the Melbourne Clinic, Richmond.

    Key Details

    • Date: Saturday 16 July 2016
    • Time: 10am - 1pm
    • Venue: VicDeaf, Level 3, 340 Albert Street, Melbourne (or you can access anywhere via live-stream)
    • Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA member $40, Non-member $60, AUSIT student member $20, Non member student $30

    Click here for more details or to register. Special thanks to Auslan Connections for arranging the live-streaming free of charge.

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  • Foundations of theatre interpreting

    By Alana Wiekart

    Auslan Stage Left in partnership with Macquarie University presented the Foundations of Theatre Interpreting Workshop, which was held in Melbourne on the first weekend of April, and was nothing short of incredible.

    I was one of 40 Auslan Interpreters and Auslan Consultants from all over Australia who were extremely fortunate to have the very animated Alex Jones and the delightful Della Goswell as trainers. Alex is a Deaf Actor, Theatre Interpreter, Consultant and Presenter in both New York and Sydney.

    Della is the Convenor of the Auslan-English Interpreting program at Macquarie University in Sydney as well as a Theatre Interpreter and Educator. Both of them generously shared their wealth of knowledge, expertise and advice with us.

    One quote that particularly resonated with me was that, “theatre interpreting is not deaf cultural theatre – it is a ‘window’ into hearing culture". Deaf Theatre and Interpreted Theatre are two separate art forms. Interpreted Theatre is not direct communication but rather a hybrid translation of both Deaf and Hearing theatre.

    After discussing the translation process we were split in to groups and I was fortunate to work with the very experienced Paul Heuston and Trudy Fraser. We were assigned to translate and then perform the final scene from A Streetcar Named Desire.

    At certain times throughout the weekend the Auslan Consultants received specific training about their role, how to give feedback to interpreters, amongst other things. All of the interpreters greatly appreciated the Deaf perspective and their honest but sensitive manner of offering feedback.

    Interpreters were also trained to receive this appropriately without responding emotionally. Part of the learning process involved watching our scene, preparing a sight translation of the English script to Auslan, doing research, filming ourselves interpreting, presenting the Auslan interpretation to the consultant for review and feedback.

    On Sunday we implemented the feedback we received from our Auslan consultants and then presented our rehearsed scenes in front of the group. Our scenes were either taken from Shakespeare's Hamlet or from A Streetcar Named Desire.

    Receiving feedback not only from our consultants, other interpreters and our trainers but also from watching back the footage of our performance provided us with a unique insight that we could never have seen on our own.

    Auslan Stage Left intend to run this workshop on an annual basis so I definitely recommend applying if you can. It was such a fun and informative way of improving our interpreting skills that can be applied both in and out of the theatre.

    Alana gained her NAATI Paraprofessional accreditation as an Auslan Interpreter in 2006 and is passionate about delivering the best service possible for her clients. She regularly attends professional development and is currently working towards attaining her NAATI Professional level accreditation. This article originally appeared in the ASLIA national e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • Call for papers for the 2017 FIT world congress

    On the 3-5 of August 2017, our partners at AUSIT will play host to the world's largest conference on translating and interpreting – the FIT World Congress!

    The FIT 2017 organsing committee are very excited to announce a call for congress papers and presentations that cover the congress theme of Disruption and Diversification.

    Presenting at congress offers a valuable opportunity to meet other translation and interpreting professionals, academics, service providers and other stakeholders.

    FIT invites all those interested – practitioners, academics, students, agencies, software makers and policy makers, accreditation bodies, and buyers of services – to submit proposals for papers and posters that deal with the following themes:

    1. Translating from/into minority and indigenous languages: politics, knowledge gaps, globalisation, literature, oral heritage
    2. Language and conflict: interpreting in war zone, technologies and skills, preservation, vicarious trauma
    3. Community interpreting and translation: New and emerging communities, refugees and asylum seekers, aging populations, recognition and remuneration, certification, accreditation and regulation, pedagogy and research
    4. Sign language interpreting: developments, access politics, markets, future, technology
    5. Localisation as a genre: developments, markets, future, technology
    6. Social media translation trends: QA, economic pressures, technology, future of the professional in the world of the amateur
    7. Globalisation, ethics and status of the profession: research, legislation, teaching, changes, invisibility
    8. Translation practice and academic research: change, growth, strategies
    9. Future shock – technology, disruption and the new industry paradigm: effect on LSP's and buyers of language services, diversification, responses, quality
    10. Creativity and translation in the post-modern world: trans-creation, copywriting and literary translation
    11. Freelancing as a reflective business practice: learning, business skills, perceptions, training, sustainability, diversification

    Session timings

    • Presentations: 30 mins + 10 mins Q&A
    • Posters: displayed throughout the day, with the presenter being available for 40 mins to answer questions from delegates
    • Panels: 60 mins + 30 mins discussion from the floor
    • Workshops: 120 mins

    Why present?

    • You will raise your profile through sharing of expertise and best practice
    • You will learn and grow professionally through attending high quality sessions
    • You will expand your network and meet new professional partners
    • You will contribute to the professional knowledge of the translating and interpreting community

    So what are you waiting for? Click here to learn more the submission guidelines and selection process. You will need to submit your complete paper abstracts or presentation outlines by 1 October 2016.

    FIT (Fédération Internationale des Traducteurs/International Federation of Translators) is the professional body representing associations of translators, interpreters and terminologists across the world. Over 120 professional associations and training institutions are affiliated to FIT, representing more than 80,000 practitioners in 60 countries. Click here to learn more about FIT.

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  • Demand for sign language interpreters

    by Laura Peppas

    As an Australian Sign Language interpreter, Sarah Strong has broken communication barriers for graduations, weddings and everything in between.

    “I might be interpreting for a corporate meeting, then I’ll go to a specialist appointment, a parent teacher interview, or a cooking class,” Sarah says.

    “They say it’s from the cradle to the grave, we’re there for all facets of deaf people’s lives – from pre-schoolers to people in their 70s or 80s – I think that’s a real privilege.”

    The Canberra resident became an Australian Sign Language (Auslan) interpreter for The Deaf Society twelve years ago, after studying a Certificate II, IIII and IV in Auslan, Diploma of Auslan and a Diploma of Interpreting.

    “I was actually thinking of getting into special education, but I took a year off before going to university and in that time I started learning about Auslan and I actually saw interpreters working,” Sarah says.

    “I thought that looked like my kind of thing – I love working with people.”

    Demand for Auslan interpreters and people with Auslan skills is expected to swell after the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) roll out this year, which will see more deaf or hard of hearing people gain access to interpreters than ever before.

    “Within six months of the NDIS trial site in Hunter [NSW], The Deaf Society saw a 119 per cent increase in demand for interpreters,” says Leonie Jackson, CEO of The Deaf Society.

    “We anticipate a similar outcome in the ACT as more deaf people apply for and receive NDIS packages, with full rollout expected by July 2016.”

    Recognising the increasing need for Auslan-English interpreters and people with Auslan skills, The Deaf Society has recently launched accredited Auslan courses starting with a Certificate II in Auslan.

    The six-month course, which starts in February, is designed to provide students with a basic ability to sign and read back signing, and facilitates an understanding of the sociocultural contexts in which the language is used.

    Sarah says interpreting is a fulfilling career with “many rewards.”

    “My favourite part of the role is developing relationships with the people I work with on a regular basis,” she says.

    “One of the most memorable pieces of feedback came when I was interpreting for a man at a work meeting. After the meeting his colleagues said to me ‘we’ve never heard his sense of humour before, we’ve never realised how hilarious he is.’

    “They hadn’t had an interpreter come in before, they’d only communicated with him using emails and text – so it was the first time they’d gotten to see that side of the colleague. A sense of humour can be lost in text-based communication, so it was fantastic that I could help uncover that part of his personality.”

    Laura Peppas is HerCanberra's senior journalist and communications manager. She is enjoying uncovering all that Canberra has to offer. This article originally appeared on HerCanberra.com.au and is reproduced with permission.

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  • PD opportunity: Professionalism in community interpreting

    We keep constantly talking about professionalism, professional standards and the need to be professional, but what does this concept really mean for interpreters?

    The team at AUSIT SA have organised this upcoming PD workshop on professionalism in community interpreting. We’d like to invite all accredited and revalidating practitioners to attend.

    This workshop will analyse the different theories of professionalism and present a suitable definition of professionalism for community interpreting. This definition will help build your identity as a professional working in specialist areas such as law or medicine.

    You will also acquire strategies that will help identify your strengths and weaknesses as interpreters. By the end of the seminar, you will be able to understand better the standards required to perform at the highest professional level.

    Meet the presenter

    Dr. Erika Gonzalez is a lecturer and tutor at the University of NSW and at the Western Sydney University, where she teaches translation and interpreting at undergraduate and postgraduate level. She also works as a freelance translator and conference interpreter.

    She completed a PhD on professionalism in community interpreting and believes that education and training are the key for achieving high professional standards and recognition. Erika is also the AUSIT National PD co-ordinator.

    Key details

    • Date: Monday, 20th June 2016
    • Time: 6 pm - 8.30 pm
    • Venue: Room E409, TAFE SA, 120 Currie Street, Adelaide
    • Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA member $40, Non-member $60, AUSIT student member $20, Non member student $30

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • Image, privacy, engagement and the social media savvy practitioner

    By Alessia Maruca

    These days, I am sure many translators and interpreters are already using social media in some capacity in our lives. For some, it means posting across online forums, linkedin and twitter every day or simply logging into facebook once every couple of months to see what old friends are up to.

    Let me be clear from the outset - practitioners are entitled to private and personal lives. However, from NAATI’s perspective, the sharing nature of online social media can create issues when the personal encroaches on the professional, or where the distance between private person and certified professional becomes blurred.

    As an early social media adopter, I have had my own successes and failures when trying to find the right balance between online sociability and professionalism. And I firmly believe that translators and interpreters can use social media in a positive way to showcase our profession as well as to communicate, interact and share best practices and resources.

    However, all too often people jump into using social media to represent their professional lives without thinking it through first. A practitioner’s use of social media, either in a professional or personal capacity, can challenge the privacy, security and reputations of other practitioners, NAATI, ASLIA, AUSIT and the entire profession.

    Every practitioner needs to understand that each core value identified in the ASLIA or AUSIT codes of ethics must be considered when making decisions about social media in their identity as a translator or interpreter. These core values are of equal weight and importance. When you sign a NAATI application form or revalidation form it means that you accept these ethical standards as set out by ASLIA or AUSIT as a condition of your accreditation or recognition.

    Practically, these values and obligations mean that when using social media, every single NAATI accredited or recognised practitioner is obliged to:

    • Be responsible for what they write;
    • Respect their audience, both visible and invisible; and
    • Respect copyright and intellectual property.

    Any activity which represents a failure to meet these obligations may be determined as a breach of the codes of ethics and so NAATI reserves the right to counsel and, in certain circumstances, cancel a NAATI accreditation or recognition.

    Now that we have some well-defined boundaries, there are some practical steps you can take to ensure that you are doing your best to comply with your ethical obligations as a practitioner. The values that underpin the ASLIA and AUSIT codes of ethics form a solid base for you to start thinking and ask yourself a few questions, namely:

    • Should you have separate personal and professional profiles? If I use one profile, do I have enough time to separate or filter out content so it is only shown to the right people?
    • Do your social media comments or posts reflect who you are as a professional? Can these posts be taken out of context?
    • Are your photos of a nature that reflects how you want to be seen?
    • Are your privacy settings suitable? Who can see your profile?
    • Are you accepting appropriate people to be friends or connections on your profile? Are you rejecting requests from people (e.g. current or ex-clients or colleagues) that could put you in a difficult situation?
    • Do your friends or colleagues have any photos of you on their sites that you may be “tagged” in? Do these photos reflect how you want to be seen?
    • Have you web-searched your own name? Does the search result reflect how you want to be seen?

    Answering these questions is important. As a translator or interpreter you are performing a public service in a position of trust requiring high ethical standards. As a general rule, I would always recommend against sharing negative professional experiences or views on a client, meeting or employer, or posting work-related documents on any social media account.

    While everything you do or post online can be tracked or found, it doesn’t mean you should simply post nothing on the profiles you create. It simply means giving some thought to what you do post, as a professional, and remembering that what goes online generally stays online. Social media requires careful thought, time, commitment, patience and content to make it a meaningful professional exercise.

    Alessia Maruca is NAATI's communications manager. She is responsible for managing editorial and promotional support for all NAATI communication material as well as co-ordinating communication and stakeholder strategies, digital media and other services and projects. This article was original written for the ASLIA e-update and is reproduced with permission.

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  • Learn about ATIS voice-automated immediate phone interpreting

    Are you a regular user of TIS National’s immediate phone interpreting service?

    Have you heard about ATIS Voice?

    ATIS Voice is TIS National's automated voice-prompted immediate phone interpreting service, allowing people to access interpreters in high demand languages without having to wait in a queue to be assisted by an operator.

    TIS National have released this new video that explains the simple five step process to accessing an immediate phone interpreter through ATIS Voice.

    ATIS Voice uses voice recognition technology to identify the language requested and automatically connect you with an interpreter in that language.

    The service is currently available in the following 18 languages:

    • Arabic*
    • Bosnian
    • Cantonese
    • Croatian
    • Dari
    • Farsi
    • Greek
    • Italian
    • Korean
    • Khmer
    • Mandarin
    • Russian
    • Serbian
    • Spanish
    • Somali
    • Turkish
    • Vietnamese

    *Sudanese Arabic is not available through ATIS Voice.

    For languages not serviced through ATIS Voice, call the TIS National Contact Centre on 131 450.

    Learn more about ATIS Voice here or click here to learn about the other services that TIS National provide.

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  • PD opportunity: AALC project management tools webinar

    The AALC ROUNDTABLE ONLINE is a regular webinar bringing thought leaders in the language service industry in Australia and New Zealand together to discuss pertinent industry developments and issues. Discussions will be based on pressing and relevant topics which will be familiar to all in the industry.

    This particular roundtable will discuss how language companies are using software tools to assist with project management and the various approaches available for obtaining or developing project management systems.

    Topics covered include:

    • Project management systems – what’s included? Workflow, client and supplier information, quotes, invoicing?
    • What are the most common approaches to these systems for language companies?
    • Popular project management systems for the language industry.
    • Examples of language companies developing their own software tools or systems internally – pros and cons.

    Non-members are invited to register, with attendance being free to all for the Roundtable Online.

    Webinar details:

    • Date: Tuesday 7th June, 2016
    • Time: 4pm (AEST)
    • Cost: Free

    Please register here to confirm your attendance. Access details for the webinar will be emailed to you once you have registered.

    More information about the webinar can also be found on the AALC website here.

    Attendance at this webinar may contribute professional development points towards your NAATI revalidation.

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  • Translating for the XXI century: part 2

    Article by Sam Berner

    Prices of translation around the world are falling rapidly and are expected to fall by another 50% in the next two to three years. Pretending that this is not happening or making a fuss publicly is not working. We cannot, and should not, stop progress. We also cannot ethically expect clients to want to pay more than what they can afford.

    In this Darwinian economy, the fittest are those among us who know how to obtain and utilise the correct knowledge, and then have the guts to make the jump into a highly disruptive and very volatile market.

    So what does it take? As translators:

    • Let us be reasonable about our expectations of the foreseeable future. Time will not turn back.
    • Let us not panic. The translation market in 2015 is predicted to be worth around USD33.5 billion. Most of that value is in software, but there is still enough to go around to those who want to make money in the industry – mostly through localisation and post-editing.
    • We really need to start thinking like our clients so we can pre-empt their needs. Without clients we can kiss our profession goodbye.
    • We need to use the new technology to our own benefit. We must become technologically savvy. Since localisation is the biggest market at the moment, it would make sense to learn to program software.
    • We also need to understand that technology changes all the time, and we must change with it. Otherwise, reality will overtake us and we will drop out of the market.
    • We need to get out of the freelance mode and work together - creating ad-hoc teams that band and disband fast, where members complement each other’s skills and where large amounts of work can be done smoothly and quickly.
    • We also need to become more business savvy, learning how to market our services through the plethora of social media, blogs and audio-visual platforms that are now available for free online.
    • We need to act business-like at all times giving this profession our all. Translating is no longer a cottage industry. If you don't give it all your time and effort, don't expect it to give you money in return.
    • We need to stay informed. The biggest disfavour we can do to ourselves, is not to know where our industry is going. We end up believing in self-created myths of disempowerment.
    • We need to concentrate on doing professional development that produces financial results, take responsibility for what you learn, and be weary of spending money on useless exercises.

    To conclude: As a translator you need to think outside the box, step outside your comfort zone and embrace change and disruption.

    May the power of words be with you on your journey!

    Sam Berner is currently the principal partner of Arabic Communication Experts, one of Australia’s leading translation and cross cultural training services specializing in the Middle East. Having spent over 30 years translating, Sam continues to mentor and motivate many aspiring translators to expand their vision globally. She is also an active AUSIT member and a former national president.

    This article was reproduced with permission. You can read Part 1 here.   

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  • Our position on constitutional recognition and reconciliation

    Today marks the start of National Reconciliation Week (NRW) 2016 which is a time for Indigenous and non-Indigenous people to celebrate and learn about our shared history, cultures, achievements and plan for our future.

    We'd like to use this year's NRW as an opportunity to publicly state NAATI's support for reconciliation and the recognition of Indigenous peoples in Australia's constitution. 

    Why are the NRW dates significant?

    National Reconciliation Week is held from the 27 May - 3 June each year and these dates mark significant milestones in Australia's reconciliation history.

    May 27: 1967 referendum

    The referendum of 27 May 1967 approved two amendments to the Australian constitution relating to Indigenous Australians. Technically it was a vote on the Constitution Alteration (Aboriginals) Act, 1967, which after being approved in the referendum became law on the 10th August of the same year.

    The amendment was overwhelmingly endorsed, winning over 90 per cent of voters and carrying all six states. The significance of the 1967 referendum was to provide the Federal Government with a clear mandate to implement policies to benefit Indigenous peoples.

    The other aspect of the constitutional change, was the enabling of Indigenous people to be counted in population statistics, resulting in awareness of the social and economic disadvantage experienced by Indigenous Australians.

    June 3: Mabo

    On 3 June, 1992, the High Court of Australia delivered its landmark Mabo decision.  The Mabo decision overturned the idea that Australia was ‘terra nullius’ (land belonging to no-one) at the time of European settlement.    

    The Mabo case centred on the Murray Islands in the eastern part of the Torres Strait Islands between Australia and Papua New Guinea. The Meriam people, led by Eddie Koiki Mabo, received recognition as traditional owners of their land. 

    The Mabo decision paved the way for the recognition and protection of native title across Australia and led to the Native Title Act.

    Native title is the recognition in Australian law that some Indigenous people continue to hold rights to their land and waters, which comes from their traditional laws and customs.

    How does NAATI work with Indigenous peoples? 

    Many Indigenous Australians living in remote Australia speak English as a second, third or fourth language. As such, there is a high need for interpreters in many widely spoken Indigenous languages.

    Since 2012, NAATI has been proudly working with the Australian Government and the Northern Territory Aboriginal Interpreter Service (NTAIS) to improve access to the accreditation system and increase the number of accredited Indigenous language interpreters.

    NAATI works collaboratively with a range of organisations to deliver the Indigenous Interpreting Project (IIP) including the Kimberley Interpreter Service Aboriginal Corporation (KISAC), NTAIS, the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre (WMPALC), TafeSA and others.

    Learn more about our Indigenous Interpreting Project (IIP) and check out this Indigenous Language Map of Australia. 

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  • ASLIA Victoria turns 30

    On Saturday the 14th May, over 100 people gathered in the historic surrounds of the North Melbourne Meat Market to enjoy a fabulous tribute to the achievements of ASLIA Victoria over the last 30 years.

    The night had all the hallmarks of a great 30th birthday party: a beautiful cake, delicious food, a well priced and a well-stocked bar, a video presentation, and a room full of happy friendly people.

    It was important to note that the bar was run by the World Federation of the Deaf youth who are raising money for their biennial camp.

    ASLIA Victoria's current president, Julie Judd, was the MC for the night, introducing an array of speakers who told the story of the three decades of best practice in sign-language interpreting.

    There were special tributes which recognised:

    The pioneering work of John Lovett in the establishment of the association

    A song in memory of Deb Lummis

    The continuing work of Meredith Bartlett who has been on the executive committee for all of those 30 years!

    Special thanks go to Auslan Stage Left who provided wonderful entertainment in the form of snippets from theatre interpreting performances along with dancing to complete the night.

    The most significant highlight of the night were the members of the Deaf community, interpreters, committee members, family and friends just having a great time as they renewed old acquaintances, shared stories and met new faces.

    Thanks to the amazing work of the Coordinator, Jen Blyth, all attendees left with a beautiful book of facts, photos and interviews commemorating ASLIA Victoria's first 30 years.

    NAATI would like to congratulate ASLIA Victoria on hosting a wonderful night and we look forward to sharing the next 30 years with you!

    Click here to find out more about ASLIA and its other state and territory branches.

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  • Translating for the XXI century: part 1

    Article by Sam Berner

    It is argued that we live in the knowledge economy, and that translators are knowledge workers.

    This implies that we need to be knowledgeable in specific areas or descend from professionals to unskilled labour. Our knowledge, therefore, intrinsically impacts on our financial bottom line. It is not so much our linguistic knowledge, because that - so far - is a given, but the skills set that we need in addition to it - that is what I want to touch on in this article.

    When we glance at the knowledge environment that we live and function in, we see that it is a very interconnected world. Social media, handheld devices, the Internet of Things (IoT), big data are all things we need to know about because this is what we are expected to translate about. In addition, the modes of production in our profession are being disrupted by crowdsourcing, globalisation, and artificial intelligence.

    Translators today are expected to not just know, but also to work, on online platforms provided by clients - sharing their translation memories generated through CAT tools, and post-edit the ever-improving machine translation output. We are expected to work in teams made up of project managers, terminologists, editors and proof-readers with large multilingual jobs distributed across a number of translators all working simultaneously in the cloud.

    Another factor effecting our bottom line is the power of certain languages vis-a-vis others. Any entity wanting their work to be read internationally, is forced to write it in English. If we want to be able to use the myriad of products that the consumerist world throws at us, Chinese is the language to know.

    Other languages become important for various reasons - conflict, mass migration, international events with their importance then subsiding. Then, there are languages that never become international. This McDonaldisation of the world acts on the minority languages by obliterating them. Translating becomes a moral duty, rather than a money-making exercise, best suited to crowdsourcing.

    The pervasiveness of social media as a marketing tool, the speed with which businesses want to access expanding markets, the need to translate faster than the competition does, and at an acceptable quality, means that the market wants more, faster and cheaper. It is just a matter of time before all this hits the translators, but it would be unreasonable to expect that it could be any different.

    Time is money. In the translation process, time is wasted at every junction: during quoting, project managing, translating and typesetting, during quality assurance and so on. For a client wanting their website translated into 20-30 languages, this is a massive amount of time (and therefore money).

    Yet over the past decades, translators have consistently failed to accommodate the client. We continued doing what we do best: translating in the same way we have been for hundreds of years, oblivious of how change was affecting our clients. Into the vacuum of our inaction stepped others including programmers with very little understanding of translation but great understanding of artificial intelligence.

    Sam Berner is currently the principal partner of Arabic Communication Experts, one of Australia’s leading translation and cross cultural training services specializing in the Middle East. Having spent over 30 years translating, Sam continues to mentor and motivate many aspiring translators to expand their vision globally. She is also an active AUSIT member and a former national president.

    Stay tuned next week when we publish the final part of Sam’s article. Part 2 will cover practical tips that all translators can apply in their own practice.

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  • INT project 2016 briefing session summary

    INT Project 2016 Briefing Sessions Between the 4th and 26th of April 2016 NAATI held briefing sessions in each Australian capital city with over 300 people attending across all sessions.

    Overall feedback suggested that sessions were a positive and valuable opportunity to learn more detailed information about the project’s direction.

    For those that missed out on attending, click the video below to watch a summary of what was presented - 

    The video has closed captions available for the deaf community. 

    Thank you to all the attendees for engaging with us we hope to host another round of briefing sessions next year.

    Some frequently asked questions by attendees can be found with answers here

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  • ALERT: Delay on all self-inking stamp orders

    Due to some unexpected issues with our supplier there is a delay for all those who have ordered and are ordering self-inking translator stamps.

    This means that if you ordered a stamp four or more weeks ago, we have arranged to supply you with a rubber stamp at no extra cost.

    The rubber stamps will be sent out early next week with the self-inking stamp sent out as soon as we receive them from the manufacturer in the next three weeks.

    If you are planning to order a self-inking stamp please be aware that it may take up to seven weeks to get to you. We will be updating our website to let people once normal time-frames have resumed.

    In the meantime, if your stamp has expired and a client needs to verify your translation, please use our online verification tool here or get in touch with our national office.

    NAATI would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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  • Empathy, resilience and a sense of humour: working as an interpreter

    Interpreter and AUSIT ACT committee member, Eirlys Chessa, shares some of her experiences working with the Italian community in Australia.

    As an interpreter and translator, loving and understanding your community is a major prerequisite. So is empathy, resilience and a sense of humour, as the stories you hear will often be highly sensitive or confidential.

    Not all are tragic or stressful however. Our presence, however brief, often relieves the tension and helps clarify minor issues!

    The role of the interpreter and translator is often misunderstood, and sometimes even misrepresented, so here are a couple of examples from my experience, which I hope will give you an insight.

    I work mainly with elderly members of the Italian community, who have been here 50 years or more. One day, I was called to the Emergency Department to interpret for an elderly Italian-Australian, adamant she needed an interpreter.

    The nurse could not understand why, as the patient spoke excellent English! I introduced myself and she immediately said: “I have lived here 45 years! I speak English! But I can’t understand HIM!” (pointing at the doctor).

    The doctor repeated the question that was the issue : “..’re y’in pin? ” He was speaking with a heavy Gaelic accent that reminded of a scene from “Chicken Run”.

    I smiled politely and interpreted: “Are you in pain?/ Ha dolore?”.

    “YES!”, she said. That’s all it took and the rest of the ED assessment went smoothly. I really thanked my Scottish-Irish-Italian ancestry that day.

    On another occasion, the pre-admission nurse called me to assist a patient who some months before, had been consented with his daughter summarising the doctor’s explanation (the daughter had power of attorney).

    I overheard him talking to himself in the corridor, and realised that he had not understood the nature of the operation. For months, he had been convinced his ear would be removed, instead there was only going to be a small graft to close the hole in his eardrum.

    I immediately told the nurse, and we described the entire procedure again, showing him pictures of the procedure (which his daughter had avoided doing at the time, so as not to “worry” him, fearing he would not consent).

    He emerged happy, grateful and hopeful that his hearing would finally be restored, while his daughter finally realised why he had been extremely depressed for months in the lead up to the operation.

    Sometimes, it is the small details that count.

    Click here to learn more about AUSIT. This article has been reproduced with permission from Volunteering and Contact ACT.

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  • PD Opportunity: family violence and interpreting short course

    Thanks to our friends at the Victorian Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, the translation and interpreting studies program at Monash University is offering a short course on family violence and interpreting.

    This is a four week short course that will commence on May 24 and run until June 14.

    The course is intended for interpreters who have commenced working or who plan to work in family violence settings. It examines the various facets of working in family violence settings, discusses best practice for interpreting in this field and features guest presentations from experts in the field.

    Course sessions will be held in the evening, from 6 to 9 pm, at the Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale St, City. This is the same venue as the Domestic Violence & Interpreting Forum from last year.

    The cost of this course is:

    • AUSIT members: $120
    • non-AUSIT member: $150

    For further information or to apply for this course click here. Places are limited, so be quick and apply today.

    Completion of this short course may contribute up to 40 professional development points towards NAATI revalidation.

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  • Kriol - the largest language spoken exclusively in Australia

    Article by Dr Greg Dickson

    It’s not a trivia question I’ve come across. But if someone asked: “which language, only found in Australia, is spoken over an area the size of Spain and is the second most common language in the Northern Territory?” would you get it right?

    The correct answer – Kriol – is not a traditional Indigenous language, but refers to the creole language spoken across swathes of northern Australia. No one really knows how many people speak it, but the 2011 census figure of 4,000 is certainly an under-representation. Linguists put the number of Kriol speakers closer to 20,000, knowing that census data struggles to accurately capture high levels of multilingualism in remote Aboriginal communities.

    Kriol is now even a language of Shakespeare. The critically acclaimed King Lear adaption The Shadow King (2013) was partially translated into Kriol by Aboriginal actor and musician Tom E Lewis. It will debut internationally in London this June, coinciding with celebrations for Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary.

    But what is Kriol? Well, Kriol is (not surprisingly) a creole language. Some may immediately associate the word “creole” with southern USA, which is home to French-influenced culture, cooking and language. But that association is a red herring.

    Creole, as a linguistic term, is a type of language typically born out of abrupt and often brutal colonisation processes. Creoles are generally based on the dominant language of the colonisers, such as French (as in creoles spoken in Haiti, Louisiana or Mauritius), English (as in Solomon Islands, Belize or Hawai'i), or even Portuguese (in Cape Verde).

    The lexicon and grammatical structures of creole languages are largely derived from the dominant language, called the “lexifier”. But speakers of creole languages adapt and innovate upon the lexifier to such an extent that the creole becomes incomprehensible to people who only speak the standard form of the lexifier.

    The emergence of Kriol

    The genesis of Northern Australia’s creole language is attributed to a combination of factors, including the expansion of the pastoral industry into the Northern Territory and Kimberleys, the violent frontier deaths that swiftly diminished the numbers of speakers of local Indigenous languages, and the establishment of missions.

    At the Roper River Mission (now Ngukurr), established in 1908, Aboriginal children from various traumatised language groups were placed into dormitories with reduced parental contact. Bound together by a Pidgin English developed in New South Wales, they developed it into a fully-fledged creole: a language in its own right with a distinctive vocabulary, sound system and grammatical rules.

    Over the course of a century, Kriol has spread or emerged in many other northern remote communities and where it has, it dominates daily life. English is usually reserved for dealings with white people and traditional languages so endangered they are barely heard.

    In the fringes of Kriol country, some communities have recently created new languages, like Light Warlpiri and Gurindji Kriol, that systematically mix Kriol with the original language of the community.

    The label Kriol is now used uncontroversially in many (but not all) places, but it took several generations to be legitimised. In the 1960s and 70s, linguists challenged the idea that creole languages were unsophisticated, lacking rules and a poor imitation of English.

    Bible translation and academic research began to demonstrate that what was dismissed as Pidgin English was actually a language. The name Kriol was introduced and, fifty years later, it remains.

    Gaining recognition

    In legitimising the language, linguists and Kriol speakers showed that it was rule-governed and distinct from English. For example, Kriol speakers use the English word we (spelled wi) but the Kriol wi and English we are false friends. Kriol has finer distinctions and its speakers use four pronouns to cover what English speakers use only we for.

    Sometimes, a word might be a recognisable English form, but the meaning is unique to Kriol. Drand, from “drowned”, simply means to go underwater. Death is not implied. Spilim, from “spill”, means to pour liquid intentionally. You can spilim ti to make your cuppa once the billy has boiled. But if you knocked it over, you might use the verb dilbak.

    While most of Kriol’s lexicon is derived from English, words like dilbak, from traditional languages, make a small but important contribution to distinguishing Kriol further from English. In Ngukurr, you ngarra when you look surreptitiously. A few hundred kilometres away in Beswick, the word roih is used to describe the same thing. Words like roih and ngarra that differ based on geography also exemplify how different dialects have evolved across the large area where Kriol is spoken.

    Kriol is a fully-functional, expressive language and can be used in all facets of life. Internationally, some creoles are national languages, as with Bislama in Vanuatu or Krio in Sierra Leone. Australia, with its monolingual mindset, has struggled to afford prestige to Kriol, as it has with traditional languages. Despite this, in the space of fifty years, Kriol has gone from an unnamed creole, to a language that has been used in government education, liturgy, in stage and popular music, is interpreted widely, and now heard daily in ABC News.

    The emergence and growing acceptance of Kriol is not without issues. Not everyone who a linguist would say is a Kriol speaker is comfortable applying that label to themselves. Kriol speakers typically place greater cultural importance and prestige on traditional languages, and those languages are declining rapidly.

    For Aboriginal people who are concerned about the loss of traditional languages, Kriol is an obvious scapegoat, seen by more than a few as a language killer. Counter-arguments can be made that the same forces of colonisation and inequity have caused both phenomena: the loss of traditional languages and the emergence of Kriol.

    Actor Tom E Lewis, who grew up speaking Kriol at the Roper River Mission, says Kriol is a 'double-edged sword':

    "We’re proud to speak Kriol. But it kinda backfired, because our [traditional] language is gone."

    Whether you see Kriol as a positive or a negative, it deserves to be more widely known, if only because it is the largest language spoken exclusively in Australia. In its short history, it is now a significant part of Australia’s rich linguistic fabric. Kriol is a growing language, heard across much of Northern Australia, yet remains under-recognised and unfortunately is still sometimes stigmatised.

     

    Dr Greg Dickson is an ARC Postdoctoral Research fellow based at the University of Queensland. You can find out more about him and his work here. This article was reproduced with permission from the conversation.

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  • PD Opportunity: AUSIT QLD Mini-Conference

    The daily challenges professional translators and interpreters face are numerous and often underestimated. At AUSIT Queensland's 7th Annual Mini-Conference, seasoned practitioners will share their experience and expertise so new and established practitioners can benefit by developing and refining their tools and skills.

    As a platform, this mini-conference provides a great opportunity to debate, exchange ideas and share information amongst friends and colleagues.

    Speakers and topics include:

    • Patricia Avila on AUSIT's hidden treasures
    • Sam Berner on the 3s' = staying solo sane
    • Maureen Fordyce on the challenges and growing need for interpreters skilled in working with people with a disability
    • Elisabeth Kissel on the life cycle of a translation project
    • Rola Mizian and Miriam Elliott on face-to-face vs. phone interpreting
    • Zhen Guan on proofreading in a government environment and working as a proofreader
    • Diana Sedhoum on the interpreter's glossary
    • Renata Munro with an interactive workshop on posture issues

    Click here to see the full program.

    Details:

    • Date: Saturday 28 May 2016
    • Time: 9:30 am - 4:45 pm
    • Location: Queensland Multicultural Centre, 102 Main Street, Kangaroo Points
    • Cost: $100 (AUSIT members) or $150 (non members) or $40 (member students) or $50 (non member students)

    Participants will be able to earn up to 40 professional development points towards revalidation of their NAATI accreditation or recognition.

    Click here to register.

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  • Meet Jason Luu, Vietnamese interpreter

    As part of their work, our friends at TIS National have allowed us to share some personal stories from their interpreters. This is Jason's story.

    Jason Luu is a Vietnamese TIS National interpreter who loves to Broadway dance in his spare time to keep his mind and body active. He was inspired to become an interpreter by his father who was a lecturer of economics. His father spoke with overseas businessmen and encountered negative experiences with interpreters.

    Jason graduated in 2000 from Vietnam National University completing his Bachelor of Arts - interpreting and translating. He was offered a job as a teaching lecturer in the college of foreign languages section at the Vietnam University while practicing as a conference interpreter (which involves simultaneous interpreting as opposed to consecutive interpreting).

    In 2002 he was awarded a full scholarship for an intensive course on conference interpreting in Brussels, Belgium. In the same year he was awarded a second scholarship from the Australian government and came to Melbourne to complete a master’s degree in education interpreting at Monash University. Jason is now a dual citizen.

    Advice for interpreters and those who use them

    Jason has worked for TIS National since 2008 and really enjoys his job. He has lots of great advice for those wanting to work in interpreting and for those who need to use interpreters.

    "If you want to be successful in interpreting it’s not only the skills but the background knowledge. With business people you need to cut down to the main message as they are busy, but working in a legal setting make sure you interpret precisely what is being said. I like to be an actor and represent body language so it’s conveyed as part of the message" he said.

    Jason’s’ top tip is "the best interpreters are the most invisible ones. I am just your voice. Interpreters need to forget themselves and not take it personally’". He advises interpreters to do as many courses as possible.

    When working with interpreters, Jason suggests the biggest challenge today is ensuring agencies know how to work with interpreters. He recommends that reading information on how to work with interpreters beforehand is helpful.

    The future of interpreting

    Jason believes the future of interpreting is in simultaneous interpreting. He said "if more people were qualified as conference interpreters it would save time and resources for all parties. More and more Australian business people are going to see what opportunities are overseas and investors are coming to Australia".

    Find out more about working with TIS National interpreters.

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  • Hobart induction course for new interpreters

    On behalf of our friends at AUSIT Victoria and Tasmania, we’d like to invite all new and prospective interpreters to this special Hobart induction course.

    The AUSIT Interpreter Fundamentals Course has been developed as a non-language-specific course specially designed for those who wish to sit for a NAATI interpreting test in order to enter the profession, or who already have NAATI accreditation or recognition but are new to the profession. It consists of 12 hours of instruction over 2 days (participants are expected to attend both sessions).

    The course covers the following topics:

    • An overview of interpreting (how it is done and what its objectives are)
    • What the core competencies and skills needed
    • How to develop and enhance interpreter skills
    • Interpreting practice
    • Sight translation
    • Ethics and professional conduct
    • Social and cultural issues
    • NAATI test requirements

    Meet the presenter

    David Deck has worked as a translator and interpreter in Indonesian and Malay since 1993. He is an examiner with NAATI and for many years ran training workshops for prospective test candidates. At RMIT University he has taught translating and interpreting (T&I) on the Masters and Advanced Diploma programs, taught T&I classes for Indonesian and also conducted training workshops for other T&I teaching staff. David is on the National Council of AUSIT and is chairman of the Victorian and Tasmanian branch.

    Key Details:

    • Session 1: Saturday, 7th May 2016
    • Session 2: Saturday, 21st May 2016
    • Time for both sessions: 9:15 am - 4.30 pm
    • Venue: Acacia Room, Migrant Resource Centre, 49 Molle Street, Hobart
    • Whole course cost: AUSIT member $60, Non-member $90

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • New DSS resources to help interpreters and the community

    The Australian Government has developed a Family Safety Pack for men and women coming to Australia. It includes information on Australia’s laws regarding domestic and family violence, sexual assault and forced marriage, and a woman’s right to be safe.

    The family safety pack is a key initiative of the Second Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. Under the National Plan, the Australian Government is committed to understanding and addressing violence against women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and improving support available to CALD women and their children.

    Interpreters play a crucial role in ensuring that people who don’t speak English, or speak English as a second language, are able to access appropriate support and legal services.

    To complement the Family Safety Pack, the Australian Government has developed the following two factsheets to raise awareness of the role and responsibilities of interpreters in domestic violence situations:

    • Interpreting in domestic violence situations: This fact sheet has been developed by the Department of Social Services for interpreters who may take on work in domestic violence situations. It includes information on the AUSIT Code of Ethics, training and professional development opportunities, and where to go for confidential and professional support.
    • Interpreters and family safety: This fact sheet has been developed by the Department of Social Services for anyone working in the domestic violence sector. It includes information on how to access an interpreter, tips for working effectively with interpreters, and what to do if there are concerns that an interpreter has acted inappropriately.

    The purpose of these factsheets is to raise awareness of the importance of using professionally trained interpreters, how to effectively engage with interpreters, and awareness of interpreters’ responsibilities under the AUSIT Code of Ethics.

    For more information about these resources please contact the Department of Social Services here

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  • The role of the interpreter in legal practice

    by Rachel Spencer

    Lawyers cannot assume that their clients are able to speak and read English. Interviewing a client involves being certain that the client has a level of English proficiency to the extent that the client understands what the lawyer is saying. The client must be able to communicate with the lawyer, ask appropriate questions and give competent and accurate instructions.

    A rudimentary comprehension of the English language is not sufficient for a client to fully understand his / her rights and to convey all of the information that a lawyer requires in order to provide comprehensive advice. The law is already complex and intimidating for the lay client. Linguistic factors add another dimension to the lawyer-client relationship. If your client is not proficient in English, you should obtain additional professional help in order to ensure that communication is actually taking place.

    An interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication between two or more people who use different languages, being either spoken or signed. This means transferring messages from one language to another in a way that makes their intended meaning as understandable to the recipient as possible.

    An interpreter facilitates communication between the client(s) and the English speaker(s) by transferring their utterances from one language to another as accurately as possible and in an unbiased and non-judgemental manner. The interpreter is not responsible for what is said by either party, but is responsible for ensuring that everything that is said is communicated accurately in the other language.

    When engaging the services of an interpreter, it is important to consider a professionally accredited interpreter rather than just a family member or friend of the client. Family members may not have the requisite objectivity and may inhibit the client from giving detailed instructions, especially in sensitive matters like family law or sexual assault cases.

    Professional interpreters in Australia are accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). NAATI is the only authority that issues accreditations for practitioners who wish to work in these professions in Australia.

    NAATI accreditation tests are available in 61 of the major language groups of the Australian community. [NAATI “Recognition” based on proficiency in English, interpreter training and interpreter work experience is also available in languages for which NAATI accreditation is not available.] There are different levels of NAATI accreditation: Paraprofessional, Professional and Conference.

    An interpreter who is qualified at Paraprofessional level (formerly known as Level 2) has a level of competence in interpreting for the purpose of general conversations and non-specialist dialogues.

    Lawyers seeking to engage an interpreter should ask for an interpreter who is NAATI accredited with Professional Interpreter level competence (formerly known as Level 3). This is the minimum level recommended by NAATI for work in banking, law, health, and social and community services. There are two more levels beyond the Professional level which are for Conference Interpreters (levels 4 and 5).

    All interpreters in Australia are required to adhere to the principles of the AUSIT (Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators) Code of Ethics. These ethical principles include accuracy, confidentiality, impartiality and competence. In Australia, clients who use the services of a NAATI-accredited interpreter can expect that whatever information they divulge during the course of the interpreting service will remain confidential. They can also expect the interpreter to remain completely impartial at all times.

    It is appropriate in certain circumstances for lawyers working with interpreters to brief them prior to the interpreting session and/or debrief them afterwards. However, the interpreter should interpret everything that is said back to the client, and should under no circumstances engage in a private conversation with the lawyer.

    When working with an interpreter, lawyers should speak at all times to the client, not to the interpreter. This means keeping eye contact with the client, even when the interpreter is speaking. Use short sentences, and give the interpreter time to interpret everything that you say. Make sure that you give the client time to respond, and then allow time for the interpreter to interpret the client’s words back to you.

    This is undoubtedly a complex and sometimes frustrating process, but it is important to remember that the client’s rights are paramount, and that in acting in the best interests of your client, you must ensure that the client understands what you are saying, and feels comfortable talking to you, even though it is through a third party.

    Lawyers working with interpreters will obtain the best service if they use clear language. The interpreter might ask for repetition, rephrasing or clarification if a message lacks clarity and should not be held responsible if the non-English- speaking client does not understand the message because of concepts that are linguistically or culturally unfamiliar to them.

    The interpreter should alert the lawyer if a concept is untranslatable or culturally inappropriate. The interpreter must tell the client what they are saying to the lawyer. So for example, if the lawyer is talking about precedents, the interpreter might know the word for precedent, but the client may not understand if the client comes from a different legal system. The interpreter should then say to the lawyer that this concept does not exist in the client’s culture.

    Contact between the interpreter and the English-speaking lawyer and non- English-speaking client should cease as soon as the interpreting service is completed. This means that the interpreter cannot be expected to clarify any information after the interpreting service has ended nor to provide other help or act as a friend to the client. The lawyer should not ask the interpreter to give an opinion about the client’s health or state of mind.

    Do not ask the interpreter direct questions about the political situation of the client’s home country or whether the interpreter believes that the client is telling the truth. Nor should a judicial officer ask such questions of an interpreter. The interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication with the client/witness and should not be treated as an expert witness on the subject of language or culture.

    It is important to note the difference between an interpreter and a translator. Translators are concerned with the written word. They transfer written text from one language into another, undertaking assignments which range from birth certificates to more complex written materials, such as commercial material, articles in specialised professional journals and literature.

    Rachel Spencer is the Director of Professional Programs at the University of South Australia and is a member of the NAATI South Australian Regional Advisory Committee. This article was prepared with the assistance of members of the NAATI Regional Advisory Committee.

    This article was published in The Bulletin, Law Society of South Australia, Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 36- 37, and is reproduced with the kind permission of The Bulletin.

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  • How BYO and conference interpreting go together

    When I arrived on the shores of Sydney in 1997, Down Under had a whole swag of surprises and cultural curiosities for me. One of the things I learned quickly was the BYO formula. Bring your wine to the restaurant, bring your chair to a neighbour’s garden party…

    Today there are BYO phone plans and BYO cups for coffee shops and BYOD is the increasing trend towards employee-owned devices within a business, so we shouldn’t be surprised that BYO has even found its way into the world of conference interpreting.

    For all of us, technology is driving the ways we communicate and conduct business, no matter what industry you are in. The key to success is to stay one step ahead of the game. This means we all have to be open and boldly pilot new applications. As Charles Darwin famously said: ”It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

    So what’s new out there in the interpreting world? Here’s a brief overview:

    What equipment is currently used for conference interpreting?

    When it comes to equipment, gold standard for conventional simultaneous interpreting is the use of soundproof booths, interpreter consoles and wireless receivers using digital infrared technology, as this is secure, interference-free and ensures superior sound quality.

    In cases where budget might be an issue e.g. for large numbers of delegates, radio frequency receivers could be considered. Consoles now have a series of new features including ergonomics and the ability to connect external video display screens to the interpretation system, and interpreters can select the visual content that is most useful to them.

    What is BYOD?

    BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) kicked off in earnest approximately 5 years ago. Whilst smartphones are the most common example, employees also take their own tablets, laptops and USB drives into the workplace.

    BYOD is part of the larger trend of IT consumerisation, in which consumer software and hardware are being brought into the enterprise. Benefits include reduced costs and higher employee satisfaction, but security concerns and compliance issues are among the downsides.

    BYOD in conference interpreting

    Now conference delegates can use their own smartphones to connect to the simultaneous interpreting system through an app. Their phone becomes the receiver, and the app streams audio via WiFi straight out of the interpreters’ booths.

    Event organisers see clear advantages as there is no need to rent receivers and headphones anymore, nor distribute them, collect them or replace lost or stolen ones. The more costly infrared digital infrastructure is not needed, and overall costs are thus reduced.

    Another upside are streaming services to the Net. These allow for people to view/listen to an almost live webcast of an event and the interpretation (5-10 second delay only), or to a recording later.

    What are the challenges?

    The audio quality is not as good as with digital infrared and will suffer if the WiFi connection becomes slow. If you use it in 3G or 4G mode on your phone, you will chew through your data allowance very quickly, as we are talking about streaming audio, and it will be unacceptable for overseas delegates due to roaming fees.

    At a conference, the WiFi infrastructure is already under pressure with all the devices that want to connect i.e. there are potential latency issues. An alternative is to build a separate WiFi system to only support the interpretation. This requires a specific build of access points.

    In addition, if you wish to provide the audience with access to the Internet (Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter etc.) then a gateway needs to be provided, which means significant additional data charges for the event organiser.

    Security concerns are another issue for meetings of a sensitive nature or where privacy is required. Recording, transmission and disclosure might not be allowed. On the delegates’ side, some might not be allowed to download an app or use an untrusted connection on their work phones. And phones can run out of battery.

    Depending on the meeting, not every delegate might have a smartphone or some might have forgotten their device. Furthermore, delegates are entitled to multilingual communication when paying registration fees and it is the organiser who is responsible for it.

    What is Video Remote Interpretation?

    Remote Interpreting includes all forms of interpreting where the interpreters are not physically in the same place as the delegates. With the Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) method, interpreters are working through a videoconferencing solution.

    In Australia, this is often used for short interpreting assignments in hospitals, Courts, or businesses in regional Australia where no accredited interpreters are based. VRI equipment suppliers make it easy as you can merely download the software to your computer and access it on your phone. The efficiencies in travel costs, time and logistics are significant.

    Disadvantages are possible audio and video feed disruption, delay and other quality issues. Another problem is that interpreters cannot always view body language and visual cues, so VRI is not suitable for events of high interactivity. An onsite technician is recommended but often not provided, leaving interpreters with the added stress of having to take care of technology instead of concentrating on interpreting.

    What is Booth Borrowing?

    Here, the interpreters and their booths are not located in the same room where the meeting or conference is taking place. This common scenario enables facility managers to overcome physical space limitations, handle last minute venue changes more easily and is mostly used when the meeting room does not have enough space for all interpreters. Video transmission provides the interpreters with visuals of the speakers.

    Virtual Multilingual Meetings

    Here, everyone is offsite and connects to the web conferencing service. Participants can choose their language, and dedicated video remote interpreting software provides more security and a smoother process than a generic video calling app like Skype for example.

    Remote interpreting is here to stay and the future will improve these solutions and the quality. High profile meetings still rely today on robust technology and onsite interpreting.

    Machine Interpreting

    Also known as automated interpreting, Machine Interpreting combines machine translation (MT) and voice recognition software. Automated telephone interpreting that allows users to turn spoken words into a foreign language already exists. But for interpreting to be simultaneous, the technology would need to be able to predict and interpret sentences before they finish, a task challenging in languages which place the verb at the end of the sentence (e.g. German).

    Furthermore, voice recognition is unforgiving with heavy accents, regional dialects, background noises and any slight mispronunciation. Machines still lack human judgment and cultural awareness, so this solution will still take a long time before it becomes viable.

    Horses for courses I say. There are instances where it is appropriate to employ new technology, and others where it is clearly not suitable yet. But we need to continue to test and pilot and, most importantly, listen to our stakeholders and respond accordingly. This will ensure our survival.

    This article was written by Tea C. Dietterich, CEO, 2M Language Services. The original blog post can be found here.

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  • Newly updated DFAT requirements for NAATI accredited translations

    A recent review conducted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has found a large number of translations performed by NAATI accredited translators in Australia did not include the correct information in order for the translation to be accepted.

    DFAT receives copies of translations because often Australian documents require a form of 'legalisation' before they will be accepted for use by foreign governments or organisations. Legalisation by DFAT occurs in two ways: either through the affixing of an apostille, attesting to the validity of a signature/seal or through a chain of authentications of signatures and/or seals.

    For translations, the legalisation relates to the signature or seal of the NAATI translator. In light of NAATl's function as the national standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia, a stamp/signature of a NAATI-accredited translator can be treated as an 'official certificate' for the purposes of issuing an apostille only where it is accompanied by additional information, designed to protect the integrity of both NAATI, the translator and DFAT.

    This means, that a translation submitted to DFAT must include:

    • Your NAATI stamp (with your NAATI number); AND
    • Your language and type of accreditation; AND
    • Your name as the translator; AND
    • A statement attesting to the truth and accuracy of the translation of the document presented e.g. "this is a true and accurate translation of the text provided on the attached document/s"; AND
    • The date of the translation; AND
    • Your signature.

    Please remember that you must include the information above on both the copy of original document AND the translation. If a copy of the original document is not attached to the translation, then your statement must have some indication as to what the original document was, e.g. "this is a true and accurate translation of the text provided on the Birth Certificate issued on by <organisation/government>."

    NAATI recommends that you adopt this practice as the standard for any translation work you undertake.

    If you have any further questions regarding this policy or the legalisation of documents can be directed to DFAT via email at consular.policy@dfat.gov.au

    Both NAATI and DFAT thank all accredited translators in advance for your cooperation.

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  • Alert: Phasing out of NAATI recognition for selected languages

    NAATI recognition is granted in emerging languages or languages with very low community demand for which NAATI does not offer accreditation testing. The granting of NAATI recognition is an acknowledgement that an individual has recent and regular experience as a translator and/or interpreter with no defined skill level.

    Should the demand for the services of translators and interpreters in a recognised language increase, NAATI may establish testing to accredit practitioners, and phase out recognition for that language.

    As testing is well established in the following languages, NAATI has decided to phase out recognition from 1 April 2016 for:

    • Armenian
    • Assyrian
    • Dinka
    • Hazaragi*
    • Nepali*
    • Nuer
    • Oromo
    • Swahili

    (*Only interpreting recognition is phased out for this language. Translating recognition is still available as translator testing in this language is currently not available.)

    This means that from 1 April NAATI will no longer accept applications for recognition for these languages and recognitions that have been awarded in these languages will expire over the next three years. NAATI has contacted people with affected recognitions to advise them of this change and of the expiry date of their recognitions.

    NAATI encourages practitioners whose recognitions will expire to apply for accreditation testing prior to the expiry date of their NAATI recognition in order to maintain their ability to work. Practitioners interested in sitting a NAATI accreditation test should click here.

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  • Learn about the 2016 international mother language day walk

    Article by Mecia Freire

    The International Mother Language Day Walk is getting bigger and better, according to the president of Canberra’s International Mother Language Movement committee Mr Ziaul Hoque.

    On Sunday the 21st of February, on which the UNESCO-designated day is held, saw a large crowd of multilingual Canberra walking across the lake from the flag display under Questacon to Commonwealth Park in a show of strength for the use and acceptance of diverse languages under the 2016 slogan, “walk together, talk together.”

    Members of many diverse language groups waving their association’s banners were welcomed by Caroline Hughes Director of the CIT’s Yurauna Centre on behalf of the Ngunnawal People. They were joined by dignitaries, including the Hon. Gai Brodtmann Member for Canberra, Nipuni Wijewickrema, Social entrepreneur Young Australian of the Year 2016 (ACT), H.E. Kazi Imtiaz Hossain High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Australia. ACT Arts Minister Dr Chris Bourke launched the proceedings. Mrs. Mécia Freire, AUSIT ACT Chair, said a few words about the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators.

    As the crowd commenced their walk across the Commonwealth Ave Bridge, at Stage 88, the Gourmet Band was opening the cultural showcase with a little rock music, swiftly followed by the Wassa Wassa African Drumming group from Red Hill Primary School, Portuguese dancers from the Monaro Portuguese school, the school children singing from the Australia School of Contemporary Chinese and the ACT Tongan Language and Cultural School choir.

    A new feature of Mother Language Day came in the form of entirely original performance poetry, mostly written especially for Mother Language Day. Ngambri elder Shane Mortimer recited a poem in the Guumaal Language and other poems performed by Jessie Liu, Sayan De, Tyson Powell, Abhi Gupta, Tasnim Hossein and Jolly Bhattacharjee.

    The program also featured songs by a group drawn from Canberra's Afghan community, a Gujarati folk dance by Divya Joshi, the Bangladeshi mother language song and, in a lively finale, Dante Musica Viva Italian choir singing two Neapolitan songs, ‘Funiculi Funicula’ and ‘O Sole Mio’ as the audience clapped along. Although initially overcast, the day quickly turned sunny, perfect for the younger visitors, who made good use of the jumping castle, henna and children’s drawing tables.

    Event coordinator Mr Ross Dennis mentioned that the Language Walk and cultural program has been a great success in bringing together so many nationalities and languages together in one place to be celebrated. He also noted that Canberrans have now been celebrating the International Mother Language Day since 2014 with this event now becoming a firm favourite in the fabric of Canberra’s community.

    Thank you to Mecia and AUSIT ACT for sharing their story with us. You can find out more about AUSIT here

     

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  • PD opportunity: Interpreting in the healthcare setting workshop

    On behalf of our friends at AUSIT ACT, we’d like to invite all accredited and revalidating practitioners to attend this upcoming PD workshop on interpreting in healthcare settings.

    This workshop offers an overview of interpreting in the healthcare setting. It aims to provide interpreters with the specialised context knowledge including medical discourse characteristics, and the interpreter’s role in facilitating direct communication and rapport building between the patient and the healthcare provider.

    It also aims to enhance interpreter’s skills in resolving professional challenges in the healthcare setting.

    The following key aspects of interpreting in healthcare are covered in the program:

    • Patient-centred care and medical discourse in the context of healthcare delivery in Australia
    • Applying interpreting techniques appropriate to the context and the goals of the interaction
    • Ethical and other professional challenges in the medical setting
    • Strategies to effectively deal with a range of challenges

    The workshop also provides a forum for networking with peers and sharing practice challenges as well as effective strategies for dealing with them. Participants will have the opportunity to apply problem solving skills to authentic case scenarios.

    Meet the presenter

    Anna Kenny is a Professional Development Coordinator with NSW Health Care Interpreter Services. She develops and facilitates education and training programs for healthcare interpreters across NSW. She completed a Master’s Degree in Interpreting and Translation Pedagogy at Macquarie University. Anna’s areas of interest are medical interpreting, interpreter ethics and decision-making skills.

    Key Details

    • Date: Saturday, 30th April 2016
    • Time: 9 am - 4.30 pm
    • Venue: CIT BRUCE CAMPUS, Room J 111, 35 Vowels Crescent, Bruce
    • Cost: AUSIT/ASLIA member $100, Non-member $150, AUSIT student member $50, CIT students $35, Non member student $75

    Click here for more details or to register.

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  • Alert: NAATI offices will no longer be certifying documents

    From April 1st 2016, NAATI offices will no longer be certifying supporting documents for NAATI applications.

    This means that applicants should collect and organise all their relevant documentation before they lodge or send in their application.

    Why are we doing this?

    Our state offices are currently experiencing high volumes of people and enquiries. Wait times are often an hour or two long. In an attempt to reduce that wait time we will now require applicants to have their documents certified elsewhere before lodging their application with NAATI.

    Why do my documents need to be certified?

    NAATI accreditation is extremely valuable to anyone wanting to work as a translator or interpreter. Because of this, we require certain information on our application forms to be certified because we need to be confident that applicants are providing genuine information.

    So who can certify my application documents?

    If you choose to visit your local NAATI office, they can provide you with details of some local justices of the peace (JP’s) that will be able to assist you.

    Otherwise, you can have any of the following people certify your application documents:

    • Members of the legal profession (solicitors, judges, magistrates)
    • Full–time teachers (with a minimum of 5 years' employment at a school or tertiary institution)
    • Public service employees (state or commonwealth with a minimum of 5 years' service)
    • Accountants
    • Bank managers
    • Chartered professional engineers
    • Clerks of courts
    • Dentists
    • Justices of the peace (JP)
    • Pharmacists
    • Registered nurses, medical practitioners or veterinary surgeons
    • Police officers
    • Translators or interpreters who hold NAATI accreditation

    The person certifying documents must be 18 years of age or over, must not be related to the applicant by birth or marriage, and must not be in a defacto relationship with the applicant.

    If you have any concerns, please get in touch with our National Office.

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  • PD opportunity: Monash uni symposium on interpreter training and humanitarian interpreting

    The work of interpreters in the 21st century is characterised by a need to adapt to many different contexts and modalities of work. One of these is the humanitarian context: in conflict zones, in disaster zones, or in refugee camps for example, interpreters have to cope with specific demands and realities.

    How do interpreters respond to them? How are they prepared to face them? What policies are put in place to help and protect them?

    This two-day symposium on interpreter training and humanitarian interpreting will look at the challenges and difficulties posed by such contexts of work and presentations will offer diverse perspectives on these and other related questions.

    This symposium is intended for not only practitioners, trainers and researchers, but also end-users, policy makers, representatives of NGOs, and stakeholders from the full spectrum of industries involved in relevant areas. The invited speakers are all experts in distinct but complementary fields which are fundamental to this important area of the professional work of interpreters which is now attracting greater attention and visibility.

    Speakers and topics include:

    • Dr Maya Hess (Red T) and Ms Linda Fitchett (AIIC) with a keynote address on the quest for protected-person status for linguists in conflict situations
    • Julie Judd (Vicdeaf/ASLIA) on the National Emergency Management Project and sign language interpreter provision and training
    • Professor Sandra Hale (UNSW) with a keynote address on the the need for specialist legal interpreters for a fairer justice system
    • Lt Col. Andrew Baker, CSM (Australian Defence Force) on the use of interpreters in a day to day military setting

    Day 1 will also feature a panel discussion on working with interpreters in humanitarian contexts with leading industry bodies (including NAATI's CEO Mark Painting).

    Click here to see the full program.

    Event Details:

    • Date: 1-2 April 2016
    • Location: Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
    • Registration: contact Genevieve.Fahey@monash.edu – Registrations will close on March 24
    • Full Cost: $150 or AUSIT members $110
    • 1 Day Cost: $90 or AUSIT members $70.00
    • Symposium Organiser: Dr Marc Orlando, Senior Lecturer and Monash T&I Program Director

    Participants will be able to earn professional development points towards revalidation of their NAATI accreditation and renewal of AUSIT membership. Click here to learn more.

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  • Sydney, Melbourne & Perth NAATI office testing shutdown

    The Melbourne and Sydney NAATI Offices are now closed until 9am on Friday, 4 March to conduct our quarterly Mandarin, Vietnamese and Hazaragi interpreter testing. 

    Our Perth office will also be closed only on Wednesday, 2 March to conduct the same testing.

    During the closure period, these offices will not be responding to phone calls or emails.

    Any phone calls or emails will be responded to as soon as practicable from Friday. If you have not had a response to your query within 7 days from the date the office re-opens, please call again or resend your email.

    Alternatively, you are welcome to get in touch with our National Office in Canberra.

    Does NAATI hold quarterly testing for all languages?

    Generally, no. NAATI will contact you to set a date, time and location for your individual test.

    However, due to high demand, testing for the following languages is held quarterly on set dates:

    • Chinese Translator testing
    • Hazaragi Paraprofessional Interpreter testing
    • Mandarin Paraprofessional Interpreter testing
    • Vietnamese Paraprofessional Interpreter testing

    Click here to see those set dates and times or learn more about NAATI accreditation testing.

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  • Registration now open for RMIT's IISI Conference

    The International Interdisciplinary Social Inquiry Conference (IISIC) aims to bring together scholars, teachers and practitioners from different disciplines from around the world to collaborate in thinking through and planning responses to local and global issues such as people movement, environmental, urban and indigenous issues.

    The IISIC welcomes papers from scholars in fields relating to culture, interpreting and translation, economics, politics, social care, criminology, psychology, education and environment and all aspects of the social sciences. Selected papers will be published, subject to peer review, in the International Journal of Social Inquiry and the Istanbul Journal of Sociological Studies.

    The IISIC 2016 conference has been organised in collaboration with RMIT University (Melbourne, Australia), Uludag University (Bursa, Turkey), Istanbul University (Istanbul, Turkey) and the Council for the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS, Melbourne, Australia).

    Conference themes

    The theme of the conference is interdisciplinary perspectives in the social sciences and related areas including:

    • Politics and people movement
    • Interpreting and translating in intercultural communication
    • Economics, management and social responsibility
    • Social care, education and health Rights, justice, crime and security
    • Environmental, urban and indigenous sustainability

    Key Details

    • Date: 01 Sep 2016 - 02 Sep 2016
    • Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm (UTC +10:00)
    • Venue: Swanston Academic Building, RMIT City campus

    To register or learn more, click here.

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  • The amazing journey of an interpreter

    Article by Yati Raj Ajnabee

    I started on this path almost seven years ago. The day I arrived in Australia, I attended an orientation session presented by Centrelink where an interpreter was provided. That was the second time in my life that I heard and saw an interpreter in action before an audience. The idea of becoming an interpreter first came to me in the refugee camp when the representatives of the UNHCR spoke to a crowd of some three thousand people through an interpreter. I was impressed by the way the language facilitator converted the information presented by the native English speaker into a language which could be understood by all.

    My aptitude for bilingualism began at the end of primary school where the medium of instruction was English. My interest in Nepali literature has also contributed to my language skills. If it were not for my curiosity about the literature of these two languages, I would not have become an interpreter.

    The first interpreter I had witnessed inspired me with his linguistic proficiency and the second raised my awareness of how complex the job is and how a poor translation of another person’s words can have serious repercussions. Interpreting is one of the most challenging jobs for those who honestly and earnestly take it as a profession and not merely as a way of making a living. To really enjoy something you should have both passion and patience. I work as an interpreter not only to earn money but also to serve those who can’t speak or understand English although they have minds and intelligence like everyone else.

    The majority of about 100,000 resettled Nepali speaking Bhutanese would not have had a clue of what resettlement would be like and how they would benefit, if UNHCR had not provided them with an interpreting service for the information session before they opted for resettlement. As a member of the Nepali speaking Bhutanese community, I thank the Australian government on their behalf for the provision of the interpreting service without which they would not have had access to any of the services, such as Centrelink, Medicare, hospitals, schools, etc. Nothing is more testing than starting a new life in a country you had never thought of in your wildest dreams. Dealing with a language barrier makes it even more daunting.

    The satisfaction you derive from interpreting for the needy is indescribable. As interpreters, we have to work in a variety of settings, We are privileged to learn new things during every assignment we perform. Challenging ourselves to work in different scenarios exposes us to the different terminology and jargon used in various professions and situations. One of the most remarkable experiences I have had through interpreting is working in detention centres. In many instances, I have learned to be hopeful about life while working with the hopeless detainees and their service providers. I have also come to know many incredible people.

    Thankyou to Marina Morgan and her team at TafeSA for sharing this story with us. 

     

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  • Translators shape legal milestone

    Translators have played a crucial role in shaping an SA legal first.

    The Legal Services Commission of SA has published – in ten languages – a summary of the State's key laws in a series of guides aimed at migrants. Never before have these SA legal publications been made available in so many different languages.

    “We had to summarise the most important laws, present them in simple terms, and do so in ten languages; as you can imagine, this gave us some headaches!” said Commission legal education officer Kate Muslera.

    “This was about more than simply translating language. It also included the challenge of conveying legal concepts which do not exist in some cultures. Fortunately, we worked closely with skilled translators who went beyond the semantic language to give life to the underlying legal purpose of the words.”

    The Law For You guides are available in ten languages commonly spoken by new arrivals in South Australia (Arabic, Burmese, Chinese [Mandarin], Dari, English, Hindi, Persian, Swahili, Nepali and Vietnamese). They cover laws relating to common life events including renting a home, buying a car, getting married, raising a family, dealing with police and fines, separation and divorce, family violence, and purchasing goods or services.

    Top judge highlights legal language barriers

    The guides mirror the sentiments of Australia’s top judge – High Court Chief Justice Robert French AC – who has highlighted the legal hurdles facing migrants.

    Earlier this year, Chief Justice French said “those involved in the administration of justice in various ways should ensure so far as they can that people are not disadvantaged in their access to or interaction with the justice system by reason of their culture.

    “With the very significant shift in the composition of the Australian population and the many countries of origin from which Australians now come, the potential for misunderstanding and misinterpretation, by people of different cultures, concerning the working of the justice system and the potential for misunderstanding and misinterpretation of those people by those involved in the justice system is real.”

    “The Law For You guides are free of legal jargon and are extremely practical,” says Commission Director Gabrielle Canny. “They directly address some of the concerns raised by Chief Justice French.

    “The Commission provides legal advice to all South Australians - and that must include those for whom English is not their first language.”

    Helping new migrants

    The Legal Services Commission has a long history of working with translators and interpreters. It provides free legal advice services by phone and face to face. All members of the SA public can make an appointment to seek legal advice in person at the Commission’s offices, at no charge and with a professional interpreter present if required.

    "One of the challenges was to work out the level of detail the guides contained,” said Commission legal education officer Kate Muslera. “As lawyers, we often seek to provide the most comprehensive legal outline to clients. But in this case, the challenge was to strip things back to the key points so that migrants would have an accessible overview that introduces them to key aspects of the law.”

    The guides were produced using funding from the Law Foundation of SA. They were launched at a weekly gathering of Adelaide's Bhutanese community, one of SA's newest migrant groups.

    The Law For You guides are available in electronic and hardcopy form through the Legal Services Commission of SA, which has offices around Adelaide. For further information, click here.

    Translators applauded

    “This successful project has attracted national attention – and we couldn’t have done it without the work of the expert translators involved,” said legal educator Kate Muslera.

    “We were dealing with different languages, different legal concepts and different legal systems."

    “The guides again demonstrate that translators are an essential – if not always sufficiently recognised - part of the justice system.”

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  • Changes to Hazaragi paraprofessional interpreter accreditation testing

    NAATI has decided that Hazaragi Paraprofessional Interpreter accreditation testing will move to quarterly test sessions on pre-scheduled dates (see the Accreditation by Testing booklet for the dates and other information about the testing). This is the same model currently used for Mandarin and Vietnamese Paraprofessional Interpreter accreditation testing.

    There are limited places available in all States for each session. The maximum numbers vary depending on the location you wish to sit the test. To avoid the disappointment of not being able to be tested in your preferred session and location you should lodge your application as early as possible.

    Should NAATI not be able to offer you a test in your nominated testing location we will notify you as soon as possible and you may be given the option of another testing location or being assigned to the next available session. NAATI will issue results for these tests as quickly as possible but it may take ten weeks or more.

    Once we have processed your application and determined when you can be tested, we will send confirmation of the arrangements for your test in writing.

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  • Alert: scam emails to NAATI practitioners

    NAATI has become aware of further questionable approaches to NAATI-accredited translators which might be related to their listing in the NAATI directory. They appear to be very similar to a scam that NAATI notified practitioners about over the last few years.

    There are two types of recurring fraud issues:

    (i) Payment via international cheque: Translators are contacted by someone who claims to be from overseas, who has a document they would like translated in English. People committing fraud generally inform the translator that they can pay by certified cheque or international certified cheque only.

    (ii) Requiring refund from overpayment: As with the previous scam, it appears that once the translator agrees to take the job they are sent a money order or cheque for more money than agreed for the assignment. The client claims that this is an error on their part and then asks to be refunded the overpayment, generally through Western Union to a given name and the address varies. The original payment to the translator will not be cleared by the bank, even though it may appear that payment has been cleared. It appears that it can take some time for the bank to advise the translator that the funds have not cleared and this can result in the translator having already refunded money they have not actually received.

    Please note the above names are only a few examples that have been recently reported to NAATI and we have provided them here as an example.

    Be aware that fraud perpetrators can also supply fake documents, which seem official such as passport biographical pages. If you have doubts about processing payments from a client please contact your bank and inquire about payment methods, as they may able to warn against similar cases of fraud.

    NAATI strongly urges practitioners to take great care.

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  • INT project trainers symposium

    The first INT Project Trainers Symposium was hosted on 3 February 2015 in Canberra. The aim of the INT Symposium was to bring together a range of experts from a key stakeholder group; educators who prepare translators and interpreters to practise in Australia. For more information please click here.  

    Or click here to learn more about the INT project.

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  • Practitioner’s directory renewal reminder

    Renewal emails have been sent to Practitioners listed on the NAATI website with information regarding their renewal process. The cost to be registered for one year is $60.00 and will be active from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016.

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