NZSTI Conference June 2020


Below are some of the talks you can look forward to at the NZSTI Conference 2022.You can see the full programme here.


KEYNOTE Presentation

A museum dedicated to the love of words and language: Planet Word

Ann Friedman


A former translator and newly retired primary school reading teacher, Ann Friedman was reading about the hands-on Museum of Mathematics in New York City when the idea struck her – why not a museum for words? After all, words in their endlessly evolving variety should be celebrated too, and there should be a place to do just that. So she set about bringing that vision to life, and in 2020 Planet Word opened its doors. 

Today Planet Word is an interactive, self-guided museum dedicated to renewing and inspiring a love of words and language. Using the museum’s state-of-the-art technology, visitors determine their experience through their own words and choices. Planet Word is a bold and imaginative response to the life-long importance of literacy and to the challenge of growing a love of language.
In this talk, Ann will discuss what prompted her to establish the museum, the visitor experience, the talks and events they hold, and future plans for the museum.  

KEYNOTE Presentation

Ko te reo kia whaihanga: creative translation – a look at how opposites attract

Ruth Smith


In this keynote address, Ruth will explore how two seemingly polar opposite concepts – creative writing and translation – can harmoniously coexist, given the right conditions. “It’s about knowing which rules to bend without compromising either the source text or the ideologies associated with the target language...” Enjoy an informative look into how to build your writing skills in an area that is still largely developing, particularly in te ao Māori.

Audio description: if your eyes could speak

Joel Snyder


Cultural activities are an important element of our society, often expressing values, trends, fads, historical perspectives, or future directions. People who are blind or visually impaired want and need to be part of society in all its aspects. Audio description (AD) – voiced in pauses between lines of dialogue or critical sound elements – provides the means for blind or visually impaired people to have full and equal participation in cultural life. By having more meaningful access to our culture, people become more engaged with society, more engaging individuals, and more employable.

A form of audiovisual translation, AD translates visual images to a sense form that is accessible for people who are blind or have low vision. Using words that are succinct, vivid, and imaginative, describers observe, select, and then succinctly and vividly use language to convey the visual image that is not fully accessible to a segment of the population.

In this talk, Joel will discuss:

  • who are ‘the blind’?
  • the history of Audio Description
  • Active Seeing / Visual Literacy
  • how to develop skills in concentration and observation
  • the art of ‘editing’ what you see
  • using the spoken word to make meaning

Co-translation of a Chinese novel

Jun Liu


In April 2021, New Zealand translator Jun Liu joined forces with veteran British translator Nicky Harman to translate prolific Chinese author Jia Pingwa’s latest novel into English. Due to be published in the UK shortly, 暂坐 (Zan Zuo, working title The Sojourn Teashop) marks the first time that the author shifts his focus from the countryside to a group of women in an urban setting, depicting their struggles to run their businesses, battle with bureaucracy and corruption, and find personal happiness. Leaning heavily on Chinese history, culture, folk customs and cuisine, this book challenges its translators to subtly convey the context and rich hidden meaning without hindering the literary flow. As native speakers of English and Chinese respectively, Nicky and Jun brought their unique strengths and perspectives to the co-translation process.

Using vivid examples, this presentation will discuss the unique characteristics of literary translation, the dynamic of the co-translation process, and the relationship with the translation partner, author, and publisher.

A different perspective: experiences of refugee women with interpreters while they resettle in New Zealand

Carolina Cannard


Women refugees are shown to be the most vulnerable refugee group. They face many risks during their resettlement to their host country, including family separation, psychosocial stress, trauma, violence, reproductive and sexual health complications. What’s more, due to low literacy rates, they are less likely to understand or speak English, and therefore more likely to rely on interpreters to assist them with communication during the resettlement process.

Carolina will talk about the importance and aim of her doctoral research, which examines the experiences of refugee women in New Zealand who use interpreters, to provide a deeper understanding for interpreting services and health professionals, and enable more mindful and comprehensive language assistance approaches to migrant communities. 

Diversification: winning and securing diverse jobs in the language industry

Pham Hoa Hiep


Diversification can help bring freelance translators greater stability in an uncertain world, as well as additional – and sometimes more lucrative – revenue streams. Hiep will provide an overview of the global translation and language services market before describing the range of potential jobs translators can take on beyond translation and proofreading, from machine translation post editing, cognitive debriefing, and brand name validation to coding for market research. Attendees will also benefit from practical advice and recommendations to help them develop the necessary skills to win and secure diverse jobs in the international market.

How ‘manner of speech’ is used and interpreted in court

Ran Yi


In Australia, judicial cases rely on oral evidence. And when one party in the courtroom requires an interpreter, interpreting accuracy is essential for a just outcome. ‘Manner of speech’ is defined as stylistic features in speech (such as fillers and hedges, false starts, and backtracking) and discourse markers (such as well, now, you know, see, I mean, I put it to you). It also includes intonation, register, tone, and non-verbal cues. In an adversarial courtroom, manner of speech can be strategically used to achieve a particular illocutionary point. And yet studies have shown that manner of speech has often been overlooked, omitted, mistranslated, or moderated in face-to-face interpreted courtroom interactions. 

But little is known about how it has been rendered by professional interpreters in non-European languages in remote settings. Ran will share initial findings from her PhD research, which investigates how manner of speech was rendered in Mandarin-English interpreting of cross-examination in courts operating remotely.

How gender-inclusive language can improve your translation and interpreting

Julia de Bres


Gender-inclusive language is on the rise worldwide, responding to growing awareness of people of diverse gender identities, including transgender and non-binary people. This talk will introduce the origins and key features of gender-inclusive language in English and explore how its use is evolving in languages other than English. It will address the benefits and challenges of using gender-inclusive language in translation and interpreting and explore how you can use gender-inclusive language to improve your own translation and interpreting practice. You will be invited to reflect on your own use of gender-inclusive language and gain practical tips on how to be a good linguistic ally to gender-diverse people in your work.

How multilingualism affects our perception of translated books

Mohsen Kafi


Wellingtonians love reading works of fiction, but does it make a difference if the text was originally written in English or has been translated from another language? More importantly, do readers prefer one over the other? Although New Zealand has a rich reading culture, translated literature attracts little attention in this country. 

For his PhD research, completed in early 2022, Mohsen set out to study how age, ethnicity, and knowing one or more second language or languages predicts readers’ perceptions of translated fiction. In this talk, he will present his findings, and show that bilingual or multilingual people do indeed experience the world differently, at least when it comes to reading habits.

Improving health outcomes by convincing clients to invest in language services

John Antonopoulos


Everyone should have the right to articulate themselves in their preferred language, especially in a healthcare setting. In this talk, John will draw on his experience of successfully advocating for the use of professional language services, as seen in his work to dramatically increase the use of interpreters in the Birth Unit at Dandenong Hospital, which improved the uptake of those who require language assistance from 22% to 66%. 

Attendees will learn how demonstrating the value of language services can improve community participation, health outcomes, and the everyday lives of individuals. Having worked as an interpreter, purchaser of language services, and key industry stakeholder, John will share these varied perspectives and discuss how policy, quality service provision, and initiatives to promote language services can influence stakeholders’ willingness to invest.

Innovations in NAATI’s Certification System and the Continuous Improvement Program

Aurélie Sheehan, NAATI


NAATI’s current Certification System was rolled out in 2018, bringing NAATI a little bit closer to fully realising its vision: a connected community without language barriers.

This presentation will give an overview of the current progress of certification testing and provide an update on NAATI’s Continuous Improvement Program and recent innovations.

The Interpreter Standards Transition Support: an update

Alison McDonald and Craig Stansfield, MBIE


A year on from launching the Interpreter Standards Transition Support package, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) will provide an update on what has been achieved so far, what remains to be done, and what is planned for the future. From the number of interpreters registered and credentials gained, to courses available, and specific regions and languages to potentially target, attendees will gain a greater understanding of the support available and future plans. Attendees will be able to ask questions about the support package.

LinkedIn 101: how to make your profile attractive to more of the right clients

Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo


Are you getting the most out of your LinkedIn profile? Or could it use some dusting off? In this session you’ll learn how to update and optimise your LinkedIn profile with the key information clients are searching for. And you’ll learn how to showcase your skills and experience to get more of the work you want. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile yet? No problem! Create a free account and follow along. You will learn effective ways to show up more often in your ideal clients’ search results and stand out as a top professional in your language pair and area of specialisation.

NAATI’s online certification testing

Michael Nemarich, NAATI


In 2018, NAATI rolled out its current Certification System which introduced innovations such as live dialogues, assessment rubrics, and specialist interpreting tests. Four years on, NAATI tests in 57 languages at its first level of interpreting test, and 36 languages in translation.

This presentation will give a brief history of NAATI and how the Certification System came to be, as well as an overview of how NAATI delivers and schedules these tests, the online testing platform, developments since COVID-19, and plans for future testing.  

New Zealand translators in international literature

On Saturday afternoon we are offering you a special treat. Make yourself comfortable and listen to readings of extracts from recently published books featuring characters based on local New Zealand translators. David Groves will be joined by John Jamieson in a live dramatic reading of extracts from his comic novel comic novel about languages and translation Invisible Cities and Professor John Minford has prepared a reading from Poison for Breakfast by none other than Lemony Snicket.

The power of language in war: the case of the Russian Warship meme*

Anna Gubinskaya


Language is a vehicle of feelings, emotions, and hope. In a country at war, language is a powerful tool to boost the morale of the troops and civilians resisting the occupant. Language has been seen as a major factor in distinguishing ‘Self’ and ‘Other’, and the situation of war is the most radical manifestation of this divide.

In this talk, Anna will look at the catchphrase ‘Russian Warship, go f*ck yourself’ as a case of a destructive meme, examining how the meme was created and popularised, discussing:

  • the background and creators of the meme and the channels through which it was spread
  • how this phrase created an alternative narrative
  • the consequence of the memefication
  • the role language played in its transmission and how the language is indicative of the wider cultural context in the region
  • how Ukrainians adopted and transformed this meme into official communication
  • how this meme was adopted and incorporated into the Russian cultural discourse by the political opposition
  • how the phrase was translated across the languages of states involved in the conflict, and the status of the English translation

*Please note that this presentation will include discussion of the use of profanities

Resilience and selfcare of interpreters in the time of Covid

Ineke Crezee and Miranda Lai


Interpreters can be negatively impacted by the distressing content of interpreting assignments. What’s more, this can be more pronounced when interpreters are isolated, as when working remotely. With lockdowns implemented across Australia and New Zealand, many interpreting assignments moved online, and this issue became even more pertinent.

To seek to understand how community interpreters were experiencing working remotely and in person, Ineke and Miranda carried out a joint study in New Zealand and Australia between 2019 and 2021. Their research focused on how interpreters coped with such significant challenges and what they did to maintain their resilience. In this talk they will share their findings, with the hope of both helping interpreters develop and maintain resilience, selfcare, and mental health; and helping educators and student interpreters prepare for the working life of an interpreter.

Simultaneous interpreting: how the mind works

Xiaoyu Zhao


Simultaneous interpreting (SI) is considered an extremely complex, mentally taxing activity that requires interpreters to produce a rendition almost immediately while the speaker continues to speak. So how do interpreters do it? 

Xiaoyu will begin by reviewing theoretical and empirical studies on the cognitive process involved in SI, focusing on where SI takes place cognitively, the concept of cognitive load, and how it’s measured. Drawing on results from psychometric tests, behavioural analyses, and lexical density, she will discuss hesitation markers in interpreter renditions (such as silent and filled pauses) as potential indicators of cognitive load that are applicable to remote interpreting situations.

Subtitling matters. A little overview of an art and a profession

Adriana Tortoriello


We are truly surrounded by audiovisual products, from the most arresting, arty feature films, to educational and inspirational webinars, all the way down to marketing, advertising and (self) promotional material. In other words, videos are everywhere. As a consequence, many translators have been looking at audiovisual translation and have considered adding that string to their bow. 
But – what is audiovisual translation, and more specifically, what is subtitling? How does it differ from more ‘traditional’ forms of translation? And, does it happen to have something in common with said forms of translation?  

This talk will try and provide some answers to the above questions, along with a little overview of the current state of the industry and the main characteristics of the profession. While nobody has a crystal ball as to what the subtitlers’ future holds, we’ll try and provide some pointers for those who would like to find out more about this specialisation and take an informed decision.

Where’s the joy in that?

Alison Rodriguez


A short journey across the arc of language rights access, the joy of language, human creativity, cohesion and identity, and their role in a sustainable profession that sparks satisfaction and belonging. 

Why should clients work with you? Features, benefits, and communicating value to clients

Nicola Thayil


Why should someone do business with you? Your value proposition is one of the first things people should read on your website or LinkedIn profile. It's also closely related to your own values and what inspires you as a translator or interpreter. We often find it easy to list features, such as a qualification, software skills, or experience in a certain industry. But we can forget to link these features to the benefits they offer our clients, such as peace of mind that a translation will work in a new market or the right subject matter expertise to attract new customers. 

This presentation will help you examine your features, benefits, and the value that you bring. You will be inspired to consider how you can use your words to show current and prospective clients why they should work with you.


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