I spent my (sunny) Saturday morning inside Victoria University’s Language Lab surrounded by other interpreters, going through the AUSIT Code of Ethics and studying for the Paraprofessional and Professional Interpreting examinations offered by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters Ltd (NAATI), the national standards and accreditation body for translators and interpreters in Australia.
There are two parts to the examination. The first part is the interpreting activity itself, which carries most of the points of the exam. The second part is divided into questions related to ethical issues (which one should answer based on the AUSIT Code of Ethics) and questions related to cultural understanding (which one should answer based on the knowledge of both your home country and Australia/New Zealand). It turns out that, although getting all points for the ethical and cultural questions in the exam won’t mean you get a top grade, failing at it will mean you fail the entire exam. This means I have been trying to memorise every word in this 15-page code, something I haven’t done since I finished university. Thankfully, the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters shares the principles listed on this code and has been so kind as to include them on the back of my membership ID card:
Because New Zealand and Australia are best buds, I can sit for the examination here, in windy Wellington. I’m not sure when this is going to happen, but I find the possibility exhilarating. The interpreting profession turns out to be something of a rabbit hole. In a good way: I see myself falling deeper and deeper into it. We’ll see where it leads!