Practitioner Spotlight: Chris Flynn

Raising an interpreter You can say that there are two types of interpreters/translators – those who grew up with both languages, and those who didn’t. I fall into the latter category, growing up on a farm in central west NSW, far away from anything remotely resembling a foreign language. But a life-changing first trip overseas in the early eighties and a series of unusual events set me on the path to learn Japanese, and a NAATI accreditation. Fast forward a few years I found myself married with three children, and a determination to raise them bilingual, giving them the opportunities […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Dipa Baral

I grew up in a tourist town called ‘Lakeside’ in a Himalayan nation – Nepal. Tourists from around the world come to Nepal for treks to the Himalayan Ranges such as Annapurna and Everest Base Camp. Growing up, I met people from all over the world but most of them were ‘Whites’. Interestingly, even though they all looked alike, the way they spoke English was very different. I found this fascinating. Moreover, they seemed so carefree and had a lot of money to buy anything, eat in the restaurants and live in the hotels. I thought, at their home, do […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Hui Tao

Interpreting in the healthcare sector Working as a health care interpreter is never as easy as people think. We need to have knowledge of medical terminology to be able to do the job, have the skill to confidently switch between simultaneous and consecutive interpreting modes, and we also need to prepare ourselves for emotional or difficult situations that do not typically occur in other settings.  I have worked in a range of scenarios that are common to health care interpreters, but I am most passionate about interpreter-mediated language assessments or therapy sessions with speech pathologists. I can still remember the […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Gabriela Callaghan

I originally trained as a bilingual clerical officer and later did a Bachelor of Philosophy degree at Adelaide University, so I got to this occupation in a roundabout way but am so happy I did .  I was born in Lima, Peru, too many years ago and had the opportunity to learn English from early childhood. After finishing high school I trained as a bilingual clerical officer, which led to a position with the recently opened New Zealand Embassy in Lima.  This work introduced me to the fascinating world of “foreigners” (little did I know I would one day live […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Hadi Zaher

I am humbled to be featured in the NAATI Practitioner Spotlight. I have always found it difficult to talk about myself, but I will give it a try.  I grew up in a border city in Pakistan that is home to a diverse range of cultures and languages. Many of my friends from the street were from different communities and spoke completely different languages at home. We all had to learn to communicate, often using a patchwork of words and phrases that was developed on the streets and made complete sense only to us. Speaking a second or third language […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Jiting Pan

Whenever people ask me ‘how did you become an interpreter and translator’, my thoughts always wonder back to the scene when I was visiting my late grandma one day as a five-year-old.  I was flicking through the pages of a new calendar given to grandma by a friend and the calendar was titled Famous Landmarks Around the World.  On the last page, a unique-looking building with a gleaming white sail-shaped roof had me absolutely mesmerised! After finding out the building was the Sydney Opera House, I said to grandma: “I really would love to visit there one day”.  And her […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Joanna Rhee

Life often presents unexpected twists and turns and I feel very blessed to be able to work as a NAATI certified translator at this stage of my life. I trained as a speech pathologist in Queensland and still do some private work as a speech pathologist. As part of my role, I was given a grant to develop CALD resources for patients admitted to hospital requiring speech therapy. These resources aimed to provide some preliminary information about a patient’s speech and language skills before formal assessment could be conducted as well as provide a communication board to express basic needs […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Maho Fukuno

I originally learned English as part of the standard Japanese high school curriculum and first visited Australia for a one-month English program at university. Being immersed in a new culture, even for a very short time, was eye opening for me, particularly the cultural diversity and free expression of that diversity – I felt as if I could breathe more easily in Australia. After this experience, I decided to return to Australia as an exchange student at ANU. While studying, I took a course on cross cultural communication, and I think that it was the first spark of my interest […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Peter Bonser

Born in Sydney, I am the eldest child of deaf parents who used Auslan (Australian Sign Language). I had normal hearing and lived with my parents together with hearing relatives in an extended family situation for the first 10 years of my life. Growing up in this environment meant that I acquired fluency in both Auslan and English. I have always been comfortable switching between languages depending if I was communicating with either hearing or deaf people. My parents were very social and I remember many of their deaf friends visiting our home and my parents taking me to visit […]

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Practitioner Spotlight: Thad Patradoon

When I was a university student in Thailand, my lecturer at the Architectural School always used Australian cities as our case study. Being a new country with one of the most advanced planning systems in the modern world, I was intrigued by the idea of seeing the ‘real’ Australia. My dream came true when my application to extend my degree was accepted by the School of Architecture at Melbourne University. I decided to stay on working as an apprentice with numerous design studios in Melbourne after my study. Then one day, an opportunity came knocking on my door. I was […]

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