Interpreting Canterbury

Interpreting Canterbury is the South Island branch of Interpreting New Zealand, an independent, not-for-profit incorporated society which provides interpreting or ‘spoken translation’ to support effective communications between non-English speakers and government agencies or private businesses.

The organisation trains, employs and provides professional community interpreters in some 70 languages.

Services are available around the clock, 24 hours, seven days a week, including weekends and public holidays.

Interpreting Canterbury provides interpreters face-to-face (onsite) and by telephone, depending on the clients’ requirements and physical locations, including many South Island regions in addition to the wider Canterbury area.

The organisation has a particular focus on the needs of refugees and new migrants. Interpreters are usually native speakers of the languages they interpret. Interpreting Canterbury also provides qualified NZ Sign Language interpreters for the Deaf.

Interpreters’ services are generally provided free to the non-English speaker by the agency that makes the booking. This reflects New Zealand’s human rights legislation and the health and disability code, which promote a person’s right to effective communication.

Projects 2011

Training as an Interpreter

Interpreting Canterbury trains and employs interpreters in some 70 languages. Our interpreters work in person (onsite) or by telephone. They may travel to different regions of New Zealand and handle calls from all parts of the country and overseas.

We recruit people who are very proficient speakers of English and another language. We particularly need languages spoken by refugees and new migrants to New Zealand.

To train as an interpreter, you need to be

  • generally available during normal working hours
  • a New Zealand citizen or holder of Permanent Residence status
  • living in New Zealand for 18 months or more
  • well educated, with a broad general knowledge
  • keen to learn and expand your horizons
  • mature and of high moral integrity.

Introductory in-house courses are run six-monthly and in Christchurch, they are presented in 5 weekend modules plus site visits. The training programme is specifically designed as in-house training for interpreters who will work for Interpreting Canterbury.

To apply for the next Christchurch based course starting on 19 March 2011, please complete the online application form click here or download a hardcopy (Word or PDF) and return by 11 Feb 2011. If you have any questions, please or call 03 372 9311.

Experienced interpreters with existing qualifications, desirably NAATI or Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting, are encouraged to contact us at any time of the year.

Keeping on learning

Interpreters never finish learning. Interpreting Canterbury runs a selection of short professional development courses each year for qualified interpreters who are contracted to us. Subjects include medical conditions and treatments, ethics and behaviours, and the functions of enforcement agencies. Interpreters are trained for the demanding area of Court interpreting in a series of advanced courses.

Our current programme is regularly updated. You can register for courses by emailing us from this site.

Provisional 2011 Training Programme

Mar 20 and Apr 10 Ethics Workshop on Life Scenarios (Christchurch)
Mar 19 to Jun 12 Introductory Course (Christchurch)**
May 22 Workshop on Glossary Making (Christchurch)
Jun 12 Workshop on Legal Terminology (Christchurch)
Jul 23 Workshop on Medical Terms (Christchurch)
Aug 6 to Oct 30 Introductory Course (Christchurch)
To be announced Workshop on Voice Protection (Christchurch)

**Enrolment for these courses is underway. Please e-mail us for enrolment, course outline, and further details

Contact details:

Contact Atena Hensch –
Phone: 03 372 9311

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