21 Feb 2014

Shake-up for Maori translators' licences

8:06 am on 21 February 2014

Varying linguistic skills among some new Maori translators have promoted an overhaul of the way they are licensed.

Te Haumihiata Mason.

Te Haumihiata Mason. Photo: RNZ

The changes are being made because the sector is increasingly attracting second language learners, not native speakers.

Presently, translators are able to provide their services in a range of areas.

Under the changes, the translators will be allocated licences according to their specialist area of knowledge.

There are more than 100 Maori translators and interpreters, who've been registered by the Maori Language Commission - Te Taura Whiri i Te Reo Maori

The commission's Kaitiaki Reo and senior manager of Te Matapuna, which looks after licences, Te Haumihiata Mason, says new translators appear to be second language learners and not native speakers.

She says second language learners have learnt the language, and unlike native kaikorero (speakers) they sometimes do not have the depth and breadth of Te Reo, and the experience to draw from in order to become skilled in translating.