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Interpreter Profile: Jolanta Sieradzki

Jolanta Sieradzki studied English while at university. She was inspired to become an interpreter by her first experiences in Australia, after arriving from Poland in the '80's. Jolanta writes about her role, her commitment to help others, and her experiences as a bilingual speaker.  Her story follows ... 

A new life in Australia leads to a rewarding career  

Portrait of Jolanta Sieradzki, Polish InterpreterI was born in Poland during the time of communism. The country was being rebuilt after the damages of the Second World War. There were many challenges and lack of opportunities, especially for young people. I was inspired as a child by the life of my father. He experienced a more peaceful and happy life while he worked and lived in England for 12 years, so when the opportunity presented itself to study while learning to become an accountant, I was very happy. Learning a new language, as well as experiencing another culture, was always very appealing to me.

There were many hardships and in 1981, but despite all obstacles, I was able to fulfil my dream and emigrate to Austria and then to Australia in 1983 with my husband and young son. Knowledge of English proved to be a very useful and practical skill. In my spare time I enjoy reading books simultaneously in Polish and English if a translation is available. My favourite topics include: psychology, art and travel, but also novels and detective stories. My interests also include listening to music like traditional jazz, folk and baroque.

I was inspired to become an interpreter after attending medical or other appointments and seeing brochures translated into Greek, Polish, Arabic or other languages. I realised how important and useful it is to help others who do not speak the language. I knew that many people, especially elderly people in my community, would greatly benefit from such assistance. With my love of the languages and a desire to help my community, professional interpreting was an obvious choice for me. I have now been an interpreter for 10 years.

Interpreting gives me an opportunity to experience a wide variety of situations and areas that are not accessible to most people. This includes interpreting assignments offered by TIS National both face-to-face as well as over the phone. When my phone rings after 10pm at night I know that it might be TIS National with an interpreting request to assist with border control at an airport, or an emergency services call. Interpreting is interesting and challenging. It encourages continuous learning and expanding the vocabulary as well as improving interpreting techniques.

I still remember one interpreter who offered me some guidance after working in the field for over 30 years. Always be confident but respectful of others. Treat staff and agencies that offer you interpreting assignments.

Story: Talking TIS Spring 2017, published Nov 2017.
TIS National website: www.tisnational.gov.au

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What type of NAATI certification do I need?

Find out the steps you need to take to become a NAATI certified Translator or Interpreter. Certification is an acknowledgement that you have demonstrated your ability in translating or interpreting. It shows that you are committed to meeting professional standards in the translation and interpreting industry in Australia.

We've created two online wizards. Use these tools to work out which type of NAATI certification is best for you, and how to choose a pathway to be eligible for certification. 

What type of certification do I need? 

There are different of types of work you can do with your language skills. Use this tool to work out which certification type is best for you.

How do I become a NAATI certified Translator or Interpreter?

You may be already eligible for NAATI certification, or you may need to update your qualifications. Use this tool to work out your pathways to certification.

Pathways for Deaf interpreting will be added early 2018 

Useful links

Find out more about certification

Apply for NAATI certification 

Additional information about NAATI application forms and information booklets.

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NAATI is now accepting applications for testing in certification

From January 2018, NAATI’s new certification system will replace the current accreditation system. Applications for testing in the new certification system are now open for NAATI certification.

You can now apply for

NAATI certification
Credentialed Community Language test
(five bonus points).
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NAATI certification as a TRANSLATOR

Applications are now invited for applications for NAATI certification for:

  1. Certified Translator
  2. Certified Interpreter
  3. Certified Provisional Interpreter

Applications for the following NAATI credentials, will not open until early 2018.

  • Certified Advanced Translator
  • Certified Conference Interpreter
  • Certified Specialist Interpreter (Heath)
  • Certified Specialist Interpreter (Legal)
Credentialed Community Language test.

The Credentialed Community Language (CCL) test is a testing and assessment service related to migration and other government services. 

This service is completely separate to NAATI certification and cannot be considered as a NAATI credential. 

From March 2018, NAATI will offer a new Credentialed Community Language (CCL) test. For more information on the CCL test, see Other Services on our website.

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Scholarships for Interpreters in Western Australia

 The Office of Multicultural Interests (OMI) WA is offering scholarships to practising interpreters in Western Australia.

The North Metropolitan TAFE (NMTAFE) has advertised three core units of the PSP50916 Diploma in Interpreting (LOTE) – language other than English to commence in Semester 1 (February) 2018.  

image showing languagesOMI is offering scholarships to people who have already applied to NMTAFE, participated in the interview, and received a letter of acceptance from the NMTAFE.

The core units are:

PSPTIS001 Apply codes and standards to ethical practice

PSPTIS003 Prepare to translate and interpret

PSPTIS042 Manage discourses in general settings.

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