Interpreting in the Judicial System

It is Monday 21 September 2020, and I am waiting in the Downing Centre District court in Sydney CBD for trials to begin. One ongoing trial involves interpreting in French. Another trial, to begin today, involves Arabic, Portuguese and Vietnamese interpreters. Two Spanish interpreters, one French and one German, have been booked for a third trial.  I didn’t come here today as a participant in these trials but to observe the way judges work in criminal proceedings when an interpreter is involved.  These court observations are part of the research project Judicial officers working with interpreters in courts and tribunals: Implications for access to Justice. This project is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and is supported by eight Partner Organisations who are industry stakeholders. NAATI is our major sponsor in this project who came on board in the early stages of our application.  In this project, a team of researchers from UNSW Sydney – my colleagues and I – focus on the court environment where interpreters […]

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Building Infrastructure, Realising Benefits

Over the last twelve months, NAATI has made significant investments in its ITC infrastructure, making, amongst many other things, the COVID-19 forced working from home arrangements almost seamless and was an unexpected benefit of the already planned migration. NAATI has taken a strategic and long-term ITC view to how it does its work and how it supports the many thousands of T&I practitioners and anyone else that interacts with our systems. The aim is to make these interactions simple and as efficient as possible, whilst increasing our operational efficiency and effectiveness, resulting in an overall customer experience improvement. This year […]

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AUSIT Conference 2020

NAATI is a proud sponsor of AUSIT’s conferences, and in this week’s post, Despina Amanatidou writes about their upcoming national conference and highlights one of its keynote speakers.  Traditionally the AUSIT National Conference is the most awaited professional development and networking event of the year. It is an optimal environment for presentation of research relevant to T&I but also interdisciplinary, for original exchange and debate and also a space where all stakeholders from practitioners to Language Service Providers to academics, etc. interact with each other and form professional relationships.  The centrepiece of the industry’s professional development calendar promises this year to be even more unique due to restrictions in the movement of people imposed by COVID-19. For the […]

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International Translation Day and Saint Jerome

Today is International Translation Day, and as far back as 1991, the International Federation of Translators (FIT) promoted the idea of the day as a means of supporting the profession, and as a mark of solidarity across the worldwide translation community. On 24 May 2017, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 September International Translation Day and invited international and regional organisations to observe the day as a means of raising awareness of the importance of professional translation. For 2020 celebrations, FIT states that It wants to highlight the importance of translators, terminologists and interpreters in managing crisis situations, both […]

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International Day of Sign Language

This week’s post is from Alex Jones, an advocate for people who are Deaf or have a hearing impairment. Learn a bit of ASL slang! Alex hails from New York University as a professionally trained actor, joining the Australian Theatre of the Deaf in 1997. He has appeared in a number of Australian TV, films, stage productions, and was a regular guest comedian at the Don’t DIS my ABILITY comedy night. Alex currently works at the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. David McQuiggin provided the Auslan-English interpretation of Alex’ video. David is a practising Auslan/English Certified […]

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Research is Fundamental to NAATI’s Work

Back in 2011 NAATI commissioned research – led by Professor Sandra Hale – that produced the Improvements to NAATI Testing report. Subsequently, recommendations from this report formed the basis of the certification system that commenced in January 2018. The report was the start of our journey to raise the standards for certification, and therefore testing, for people who wanted to become translators and interpreters in Australia. Ultimately, providing quality assurance and a better experience for those people using the services of T&I professionals. The certification system places greater emphasis on practitioners continuing their education, training, and ongoing professional development.  Practitioners […]

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Who Knew? An Introduction

Every year NAATI adds more and more languages to its catalogue, increasing the number for T&I certification and underscoring our commitment to ‘a connected community without language barriers.’ Where do these languages come from? Who speaks them? Why are they important to Australia? In this occasional post, we will shed light on new languages as they are added to the certification program, both as a means of breaking down barriers and creating a better understanding of our fellow Australians. This week I want to give you a couple of brief stories about recent additions in 2020 – Pashto and Swahili, […]

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Professional Development in the T&I Sector

Since I started working for NAATI in 2018, I’ve often had questions from practitioners asking about the Professional Development requirement for recertification. What is it? Why is it important? How can I complete it? Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how to answer these questions. What is it? Professional Development (PD) is a broad term that covers the ongoing process of learning and improvement that you engage in throughout your professional life. When NAATI talks about PD, we are referring to any events you have attended or activities that you complete on a regular basis […]

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Incentivising Interpreter Engagement in General Practice

Effective communication in health care is critical and interpreters can play a key role, particularly in language discordant consultations, where a patient and a clinician do not share the same language.    Despite the government-funded Free Interpreting Service (FIS)—which makes interpreters available in private specialist consultations, including general practice, at no cost to eligible patients—the level of interpreter engagement remains substandard. Instead, there remains a widespread practice of involving family members and friends to facilitate communication.  Adverse outcomes arising in such situations, such as poor patient satisfaction and experience, are broadly known. What is needed, according to a recent report by the Migrant and Refugee Health Partnership […]

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Supporting Indigenous Language Interpreters to Achieve NAATI Certification

August was a big month for Indigenous languages in Australia. Firstly, the third National Indigenous Languages Report (NILR) was released, which includes the findings of the National Indigenous Languages Survey, the most comprehensive analysis of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander language use in Australia. Soon after, the Federal Government announced the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap which outlined 16 new targets, the last of which seeks ‘a sustained increase in number and strength of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages being spoken by 2031.’ There is widespread hope that these events signal a greater acceptance of the central position of language in […]

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