NZSTI Conference June 2020
NZSTI Conference June 2020


Below are details of the presentations and workshops you can look forward to at the 2024 NZSTI Conference.


Allyship and ethicality in practice: What does it mean and how do we do it

Agustina Marianacci & George Major

The landscape of Translation and Interpretation (T&I) research is constantly evolving to better reflect the reality of interpreting practice, challenging traditional notions of interpreter neutrality and highlighting the power that interpreters hold in interaction. This workshop delves into the concept of interpreters as allies, emphasising our responsibility to recognise and address power differentials while upholding our professional Code of Ethics. Drawing from perspectives in both signed and spoken language interpreting, as well as insights from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) service users, this session explores practical strategies for embodying allyship in diverse settings. Through interactive discussions and analysis of real-world scenarios, participants will gain insights into how allyship principles can be integrated into everyday T&I practice.

Art-ificial Intelligence: Great Leveller, Hyper Connector, Holy Grail

Alison Rodriguez

Following the hype of the brave new world of Artificial Intelligence, you could be forgiven for thinking that any and every task can and will be automatically relegated to AI. In this context, neural machine translation with artificial intelligence as its core technology presents as many challenges as benefits.  Language has long been considered a core social and human skill, yet statistical evaluation and measurement have become commonplace when thinking about human interactions.

The role of community and professional associations today is changing, but their significance has not diminished. They are important in defining the future of the profession. As a space for cooperation, they offer collegial peer-to-peer networking and support. There is no doubt that the ethical choices society makes now will impact every profession – indeed, every human.  

Understanding Forced Displacement: Essential Knowledge for Language Professionals

Dr. Alejandra González Campanella

Translators and interpreters play a crucial role in facilitating communication for individuals who have been forcibly displaced. In Aotearoa New Zealand, where a significant portion of language professionals serve migrant and refugee communities, it is imperative for them to possess a comprehensive understanding of the complexities surrounding forced migration.
This presentation aims to provide language professionals with essential knowledge to effectively support clients from refugee backgrounds. Beginning with an overview of forced migration in both international and local contexts, attendees will gain insight into the various forms of displacement, including refugee status claimants, internally displaced persons, convention refugees, and quota refugees.

The session will delve into key concepts related to displacement, elucidate the relevant legal provisions integral to humanitarian procedures, and outline the process for obtaining humanitarian protection within the New Zealand framework. By equipping translators and interpreters with this foundational understanding, we can promote accurate and respectful support for those navigating the complexities of forced migration.

How NAATI maintains its standards: from setting and marking tests to recertification 

Aurélie Sheehan

How does NAATI ensure its tests reflect the minimum standard required to work as a professional translator and/or interpreter in Australia and New Zealand? Who are NAATI examiners and how are they trained? How does NAATI ensure test results are consistent with its assessment rubrics? How does NAATI ensure its tests and credentials remain relevant as the industry evolves? What should certified practitioners do to ensure their practice continues to uphold the standard set by NAATI?... This presentation will provide insights into NAATI’s quality assurance processes from setting standardised test materials to ensuring consistency of awarded test results. It will also highlight continuous improvements and processes that support relevance and maintenance of the professional standard that NAATI tests uphold. 

Reaching Out a Hand - Parallels and Intersections with Sign Language Interpreters

Byron Gibbons and Jenn Gilbert - SLIANZ Board

Learn about the history of SLIANZ and how the organisation came to be. Jenn and Byron will speak about the dynamics and relationship between the Deaf community and interpreters, highlighting the unique challenges and advantages for sign language interpreters. We will compare and contrast with spoken language interpreters and, lastly, we will focus on how we can collaborate to enhance community service and professional success

Rethinking Kaitiakitanga in Māori Literature Translation: A Case Study of The Whale Rider’s Chinese Translation

Chao Guan 

The question of whether indigenous stories can be faithfully conveyed from the original indigenous beliefs and perspectives remains a problematic issue in translation. Māori, as the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, have unique human-nature concepts, especially Kaitiakitanga – humans’ active guardianship and conservation. However, as a low-resourced language outside of New Zealand, Te Reo often relies on English as a pivot language for transmission. To address this dilemma, avoid the loss of information and even cultural appropriation in the translation and dissemination of Māori literature, a translation model inspired by Kaitiakitanga needs to be explored. When a pivot language is required, initiatives such as active compensatory translation by translators, collaborative translation management, and support from Māori Whānau are crucial. Like the motivation and success of NZSTI's Treaty Times Thirty (2016) project, this study wishes to help expand the visibility of Māori culture in cross-cultural communication contexts through literary translation from Māori's own perspective.

CAT is dead - long live CAT. Tools and Technologies in the Language Industry

Christof Schneider

Would you leave your car in a workshop with all the latest tools but nobody who can use them? Would you leave your car with a person who knows everything about your car and how to repair it, but who only has a screwdriver? Is surgery with a butter knife advisable if applied by a world-class surgeon? Do you have to have your own CAT tool to be a professional translator?

Christof Schneider will talk about the language technology landscape, and why he thinks that even though CAT tools are dead, CAT skills are as important to us as cultural and language skills.

Empowering Multicultural Communication: Outcomes and Insights from the Interpreter Training Boost Program

Despina Amanatidou

2M Language Services (2M) was selected in 2021 to deliver the interpreter training component of the Queensland Government Interpreter Training Boost (ITB) Program. This program aims to address a need for more NAATI-certified interpreters in rare and in-demand languages and better communication outcomes for multicultural communities in Queensland. The program is jointly delivered by 2M, TAFE SA, and NAATI.

The industry component of the program is delivered by interpreter trainers, AUSIT, and NAATI and includes training sessions, in-person and NAATI simulated assignments to support the students’ practical application of their skills and learnings, with a focus on teaching students how to apply intercultural competence and ethics. As a program targeting rare and emerging languages, our approach prioritises cultural awareness as a key influence on the quality of interpreting services.

This presentation will share outcomes that show how training initiatives like the ITB Program can improve participation within community through improved interpreter availability in low-resource and in-demand languages.

The ITB Program serves to drive an important change in addressing the emerging needs within community and is a viable model to roll out across New Zealand.

Embedding community feedback in the translation of public communications

Erika Gonzalez

The Covid-19 pandemic brought much disruption to the translation industry and elicited significant changes in the manner translations are commissioned and disseminated. Governments realised that adequate, efficient and targeted messaging was key to an effective pandemic response in multilingual societies. In order to achieve such goal, the inclusion of the community’s perspectives in the design and dissemination of public health messaging has become paramount.

The inclusion of the community in the translation process fits with functional translation theories that highlight the importance of collaboration among all the agents and stakeholders who participate in a multilingual communication process.
This presentation will provide an example of such collaboration in Australia, where the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT), the Federation of Ethnic Communities of Australia (FECCA) and the Department of Health and Aged care collaborated to develop Protocols for the Translation of Community Communications.

Advocating for a bicultural Aotearoa NZ using translation as a decolonising device

Dr. Francesca Benocci

When I moved to Aotearoa New Zealand chasing the origin of my favourite novel, I didn’t know my PhD thesis would lead me to a strong political stance in regard to the handling of multiculturalism in text and its translation. From wanting to learn te reo Māori in Italy as a self-taught rookie, to moving to the other side of the world, to publishing the first (partial) translation of it into Italian, to participating on a panel about adaptation alongside the Keri Hulme’s estate, The Bone People continues to shape my translation ethics and practice. If literature is always political, and it is, translation has to be hyper-aware of its power to silence, respect, and empower all voices. And all voices have a right to be heard, and the feeblest they are, the more threatened, the more we owe it to them to listen.

ChatGPT: a tool for interpreters

Ghassan Emmanuel

Interpreters preparing for the NAATI CPI test have found a lack of freely available practice dialogue resources. Preparing a meaningful dialogue can take 3-4 hours, which makes it an overly time-consuming task. While dabbling with ChatGPT, I tried using it to generate practice dialogues. Firstly, I devised some scenarios and ‘asked’ ChatGPT to generate dialogues based on these scenarios. I then took it a step further and got ChatGPT to generate a translation of the segments to be spoken by the LOTE speaker, from English into LOTE.  The final product was a meaningful and logical dialogue. The dialogues covered various disciplines including medical, legal, refugees, insurance, tax, banking, job interviews, and divorce disputes.
In this presentation, I will share my experience with ChatGPT and use live examples to show how this tool can be used to generate practice dialogues for interpreters preparing to sit the NAATI certification tests or wanting to hone their skills.

Unlocking Success: Navigating the Opportunities and Challenges of Teamwork in Translation Projects

Dr Hiep Hoa Pham

Teamwork is widely acknowledged as the key to successful translation endeavours. In an ideal scenario, collaborative efforts involve concerned colleagues who not only identify overlooked errors during proofreading or reviewing but also offer insightful suggestions to refine the quality of translations. However, the dynamics of teamwork are not always conducive to positive outcomes. Diverse approaches and conflicting perspectives within a team can lead to varied solutions to linguistic challenges, while communication barriers, disparate linguistic preferences, ideological differences, and varying professional backgrounds and experiences can hinder progress and compromise the quality of translations.

This presentation explores the complex landscape of collaborative translation processes. It sheds light on the diverse array of projects that necessitate teamwork. It then critically examines both the advantages and obstacles inherent in collaborative translation efforts, offering attendees invaluable insights into navigating these complexities.

Translating and interpreting in Aotearoa New Zealand

Ineke Crezee

This presentation will briefly outline the history of translation and interpreting in Aotearoa New Zealand from the establishment of the professional body and the very first interpreting and translation courses in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Over the last few years, the New Zealand government has supported interpreter professionalisation through compulsory NAATI credentialing. Educational programmes in Aotearoa must now prepare students to sit for NAATI tests at different levels. In alignment with this year’s conference theme, interpreter education must also focus on interprofessional education to equip future practitioners for collaborative work with other professionals in different settings. In this context, self-care and vicarious trauma are also vitally important.

In the field of translation, students need to be familiar with post-editing, the NZSTI Code of Ethics, thematic knowledge and sociolinguistics. However, training must go beyond these to include other related skills such as marketing, business operations and intercultural awareness.

In light of these needs, the presentation will examine recent developments in a post-pandemic world from the perspective the programme leader of T&I at AUT. 

Simultaneous and Conference Interpreting in Aotearoa

Isabelle Midderham Wannenburg, Wladimir Padilla Silva and Vanina Schembari

Join our panel comprising Isabelle Wannenburg, interpreter, and founder of SiNZ, Wladimir Padilla Silva, interpreter and lecturer at the University of Canterbury, and Vanina Schembari, founder of the Here and Now – Interpreting YouTube channel. Each panellist brings a unique perspective and expertise to the discussion.

We will start by introducing SiNZ, exploring its inception, purpose and contribution to the language industry in New Zealand. We will delve into the differences among interpreters, their remuneration, work environments, and academia's role in shaping the profession. We will also cover some of the techniques interpreters can add to their toolkits to tackle simultaneous interpreting challenges both in the booth and in other scenarios. Join us to explore the future of the profession in New Zealand. 

Walter Benjamin’s concept of story-telling versus information as a model for human postediting MT output and AI-generated utterances

John Jamieson

This paper tries to show how the process of postediting MT output involves managing a series of relationships – between narrator and audience, between narrator and other actors within the text, between different words within the text, and even between different parts of speech. All of these relationships are reflected in how the text would be “spoken”, and hence how its “story” would be told. Walter Benjamin’s discussion of these two modes of communication in his article on the Russian author Nikolai Leskov provides a useful analogy for the contrast between machine and human output, and how we can get from one to the other.

The Language of Forms: Exploring Artistic Interpretation and Cultural Connections in Translation and Interpreting

Dr. Kumiko Sato Jacolin

Retention is a vital skill for interpreters, extending beyond the realm of words. Dr. Albert Mehrabian's assertion that communication is 10% verbal and 90% non-verbal underscores the importance of visual and haptic senses in facilitating diverse connections. This presentation looks at the ongoing study investigating how art and shared cultures can enrich the language professional's toolkit.

Derived from my PhD thesis on the case of New Zealand potter James Greig translating the Japanese ceramic world in Kyoto, Japan, this study explores the intersection of art, culture, and interpretation. This study delves into how interpreters can draw inspiration from hands-on artistic endeavours to enhance memory retention. By inviting interpreters and translators to engage in a discussion, we aim to explore the potential benefits of incorporating visual and haptic senses in language professionals' cognitive processes.

Embracing AI: Redefining the Translator's Role and Unique Selling Point in the Translation Industry

Lan Hoang Bao

In an era of rapid technological advancements, the translation industry is experiencing a transformative shift with the integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI). As AI-powered translation tools become increasingly sophisticated, translators are compelled to reassess their roles and redefine their unique selling points to stay relevant in this evolving landscape.

While AI-powered tools can quickly process vast amounts of text, they often lack the nuanced understanding and cultural context that human translators provide. Translators have a unique ability to interpret context, understand cultural nuances, and convey the intended emotions behind the text. This human touch becomes a vital element that AI struggles to replicate. Instead of viewing AI as a threat, translators can leverage these tools as collaborative partners, assisting in the initial stages of translation, providing quick drafts or rare terminology searching that human translators can then refine and enrich. 

Enhancing Interpretation Excellence: Working with the Future of Interpretation Technology

Liam Ennis

In an increasingly interconnected world, the demand for high-quality interpretation services is at an all-time high. This workshop will focus on the advantages of partnering with specialised interpretation equipment companies to elevate the interpretation experience, with a particular emphasis on our cutting-edge conference equipment and technology. It will cover the areas of: booth and technology showcase; onsite, remote and hybrid settings; and the role of technicians in interpretation excellence.

Wellness when working from home

Malakya Yoseph & Thalia Green

Those of us working from home are a unique lot.  We’re the envy of many, with our flexible hours and our ability to work in our pyjamas and raid the fridge whenever the mood strikes. However, with these freedoms also come challenges as the line between work and personal life can become blurred.

We forget that we can only do our best work when we’re taking care of our own needs first.  We are after all humans, not machines! Gentle habit shifts and lifestyle changes in sleep hygiene, movement, diet, ergonomics and social interactions can help you to feel better and therefore work smarter. Malayka will cover how to get quality sleep, have the best mental alertness, eat a balanced diet and cultivate a happy mind. Thalia will focus on movement and workspace ergonomics. Walk away with a toolbox of ideas on how you can sustainably work from home in a healthy, happy way.

Mentoring interpreters of new and emerging languages for Australian courts and tribunals 

Miranda Lai

Training interpreters of the so-called “new and emerging” languages has always been a challenge in Australia for universities and vocational institutions. It is often extremely challenging to find trainers who have the required teaching qualifications, while possessing interpreting credentials in these languages. Moreover, many community members from these language backgrounds do not meet the prerequisites to enter these programs; or if they do, tuition fees may be prohibitively expensive, even with study loans. As a result, interpreters working in specialised areas such as courts and tribunals in these languages often have little or no formal training. 

This presentation describes a pilot mentoring program, where a group of 13 interpreters from new and emerging language backgrounds were paired with 4 professional mentors for a mentoring period, during which their mentor accompanies them to each court interpreting assignment. The results of the pilot program show that initiatives like this have the potential to bridge a gap in the system and can be a viable means to fill the gaps that formal education cannot cover.

In conversation with communities: Having their voices heard.

Peter McLellan

Interpreting agencies are frequently not considered when discussing the role of interpreting in cross-cultural communication. However, interpreting agencies play a major role in the process of enabling communication. The business mission of an interpreting agency can largely determine how their services are provided, who can access interpreting services, and who can deliver the actual interpreting service. These business decisions have a significant impact on the communities that rely on interpreting for effective communication. 

Since its incorporation, INZ has been a community based, non-for-profit initiative with a strong link to local communities. In this presentation, we discuss how our community focused mission has oriented the projects we have implemented with local communities. These include developing local interpreting capabilities, access to interpreting services, and advocacy for professional interpreting. This review will show why a constant conversation with local communities is essential for our mission: Aotearoa New Zealand free of language barriers.

Judges, lawyers and interpreters – Views on interpreting mode in New Zealand criminal courts

Tineke Jannink

New Zealand is a small, yet incredibly culturally and linguistically diverse country. As such, there is significant demand for interpreters in court. This is crucial for ensuring that individuals have fair and equal access to justice. Despite this being a constitutional right, only recently has notable policy been developed by the New Zealand government around the expectations for those providing these services and there is a dearth of empirical research on court interpreting in New Zealand.

This session will focus on the preliminary findings of Tineke’s first study, which draws on interviews with practising judges, lawyers and interpreters. It aims to provide attendees with an overview of current court interpreting practice in the New Zealand courts, particularly in relation to mode use, as well as touching on the methodology and these preliminary findings. 

A difficult conversation whichever way you look at it - Working together to support end-of-life care discussions 

Hospice panel

A team of community clinicians from Hospice West Auckland will be sharing their experiences of and reflections on working with interpreting and translation colleagues to facilitate ‘end-of-life’ and ‘goals of care conversations’. We will talk about the variety of settings and scenarios we find ourselves in, and how pivotal the interplay between interpreting services and the community hospice team are. The hospice team invites audience participation to share experiences and stories – with a view to exploring developing needs in this niche area.

Please join Dr Oleg Kiriaev (Palliative Medicine Specialist), Patricia Gosper (Social Worker), Johanna Loodin (Clinical Nurse Educator), Tara Hahn (Occupational Therapist), Nina Dullabh (Community Nurse), Trish Fleming (Community Liaison Manager) and panel facilitator Zain Ali (Spiritual Care Advisor) for this important conversation.

Here and Now Interpreting: relevant interpreter resources

Vanina Schembari

Interpreting is a profession that requires practitioners to continuously develop their skills through ongoing training and practice. This is true for aspiring interpreting students sitting an exam as well as established professional interpreters preparing for a specific assignment or recertification exam, or simply wanting to hone their skills. In New Zealand, the interpreting profession is certainly growing. This, along with initiatives such as the adoption of NAATI credentials, will not only generate more demand for interpreters but also increase the need for interpreting practice material and environments so to help interpreters practise and polish their skills to meet that demand. I have experienced the scarcity of practice material first hand so I decided to contribute to the growth of our profession locally and internationally through the creation of an online, free, relevant and ever-growing interpreting practice resource library on YouTube. In my presentation, I will introduce the “Here and Now Interpreting“ YouTube channel and discuss its background, benefits, initial results and next steps.

We should work with lay readers, but how?

Wei Teng

Multilingual resources and services for CALD members are commonly provided in New Zealand’s public sectors. Despite the good intention of providing the services and relevant guidelines, CALD communities have yet been included in the translation process to ensure the quality of those multilingual materials. Such an absence can be crucial as input from CALD communities may have a positive impact on not only translation quality, but also the quality of services provided. The current study, along with previous studies, advocates the necessity and values of including feedback from CALD members in regards of providing good quality community translation, while also revealing potential issues of including lay readers in the translation process. 

Expectations and challenges for participants in interpreter education in NZ

Xiaohan (Christal) Guo

The New Zealand government’s recent requirement for interpreters to hold NAATI certification has stimulated interpreter training opportunities. This study investigates the aims, approaches and learners’ experiences of two interpreting programmes: one offered by a service provider, Interpreting New Zealand, and one by an academic institution, Victoria University of Wellington. This presentation will share findings on two aspects of the interview data: trainees’ expectations from the training and perceived challenges in their learning experiences. We will look at their common expectations, which include refining interpreting sub-skills, further developing practical/technical skills, understanding professional practice norms, and establishing connections with interpreting peers. We will also look at their common perceived challenges in training include native language attrition, difficulties in comprehending complex legal and medical terminologies in English, difficulties in building interpreting sub-skills, and balancing the demands of professional, personal, and study commitments.


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