The Importance of Driver’s License Translation for International Students in Australia

International students are attracted to Australia because of the first-class tertiary courses available. International students in Australia may spend 6 months, a year, or several years in the country and may work part-time to help pay for the cost of accommodation and food. International students will find that Australia is not an easy place to get around by public transport, so after a time will often rent or buy a car to get around. Students in Australia can use their license for a limited period, but must then pass a driving license test and acquire a state or territory driving license.

Why Do International Students Need Driver’s License Translation?

Not all international driving licenses need to be translated, as many students can acquire an international driving license, which is a version of their national driving license, printed in several major languages, including English. If they do not have an English language or international driving license, then Australian laws state that their driving license must be translated into English before it is valid.

Understanding Australian Driving Regulations

Anyone who intends to drive on public roads and highways in Australia must have a valid, current driving license and be over 17 years of age. As long as you have a valid national license of your own, then this can be used for 6 months while in Australia before converting it into a state or territory license. One of the peculiarities of Australia is that each state and territory has slightly different rules about driving and issues different driving licenses. They all permit international visitors, including international students, to drive for 6 months before having to acquire an Australian license.

Necessity of a Valid License for Driving in Australia

It’s wise to take Australian road rules, car roadworthiness, and driving license requirements while in Australia seriously. There are penalties imposed on anyone who disregards road rules, drives or owns an unregistered vehicle, drives a vehicle that is considered ‘unroadworthy,’ or drives without a driving license. Driving without a license includes driving on a foreign driving license that is not in English or an international license after having already lived in Australia for 6 months.

Fines are administered by state and territory transport departments and can be several hundred or more than a thousand dollars, so it is worth knowing the driving rules wherever you are a student in Australia and making sure you are compliant.

Language Barriers Faced by International Students

The nationality of international students in Australia is eclectic. Some use English as a first or second language, while others struggle with English and may even be in Australia to learn better English. It is this latter group who has to be particularly careful if they intend to drive in Australia as they need to understand the driving rules and of course, these are in English!

How to Get Your Driving License Translated

It is easy to get your driver’s license translated into English as several well-reputed translation agencies will do this for you for a small fee. It is important to remember that you must have your driving license translated by a certified translator while in Australia. Getting your friend or relative who speaks good English to translate your license for you won’t be acceptable. It is best to use a translation agency that is accredited by NAATI, the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

Benefits of a NAATI Driver’s License Translation 

The basic advantage of using a NAATI driver’s license translation is that there is certainty that it will be accepted by a state or territory transport department which oversees and processes driving licenses. NAATI is a respected accreditation authority as it has high standards and only offers accreditation to would-be translators who have gone through training and have passed exams in translation.

If you are an international student in Australia and are considering renting or buying a vehicle while you are here, make sure you get a state or territory driving license after 6 months of residency, and if you do use your driving license that an English translation is available if your license is not printed already in English. Using a NAATI translator means that your translated driving license is compliant.

Tips for Getting Accurate Italian to English Translations

Italian is a major European language and is the first language for 67 million people on that continent, second only to German. Italian is also spoken by many millions of people who make up the Italian diaspora, especially in North America, but in parts of South America and Australia, too. Italy has one of the largest economies in Europe and the language has had an influence through the ages on the culture of much of Europe and the rest of the world, especially through music, theatre, the arts, architecture, and religion. Modern Italian evolved from more rustic dialects spoken across what is known as Italy today and as a Romance language is closely related to Latin, Romanian, French, Spanish and Portuguese.

Because of the importance of Italian, it means that there is a constant need for English-to-Italian and Italian-to-English translation. If you need your content translated into or from Italian it is important to know how you can rely on accurate Italian translators.

Tips for getting accurate Italian-to-English or English-to-Italian translations

Tip#1 Look for a professional translation service with native Italian-speaking translators

The most obvious tip is to only engage professional Italian translators who are fluent in both Italian and your own language. Avoid in particular the temptation to use computer-generated translation services. Some businesses make the mistake of choosing to use computer-generated translation services because they seem cheap and easy. They are cheap and easy, but not accurate enough for anything other than the most amateur of content.

Tip#2 Use translation agencies with expertise in the content you need to translate

The translation industry remains a mystery to most people, but in fact, it is highly organized into different categories. Professional translators tend to specialize in different fields which involve different terminology and knowledge of subject-specific content. Legal translators who can translate Italian to English legal documents accurately are unlikely to be a good choice for businesses wanting to translate marketing material or manufacturers of scientific instruments.

Tip# 3 Look for a professional translation service that has proven good proofreading services

Proofreading is a very important part of any translation project. It follows the raw translation itself, then editing, which refines the content and ensures it matches the requirements of those who want their content translated. Proofreading may be done by the translators themselves or given to others in a team. Good proofreading is an essential aspect of accurate Italian-to-English translation.

Tip#4 Use a certified Italian translator for legal document translation

Most legal documents require certification of translation. It is typical for translators to certify the content that has been translated itself, but you do need to know what the rules are in the country where the translated content is to be circulated. In many European countries, for example, professional translators are known as sworn translators as they have to have their credentials examined by a court before they can become certified translators. In Australia, English-to-Italian translators are accredited by the national accreditation board, NAATI, and certify any translated content themselves.

Tip#5 Stay in direct communication with the translators

It is advisable to build a good working relationship with your chosen translator or translation agency. This helps to avoid miscommunication and potential inaccuracies before they arise.


If you’re looking for Italian to English translation services make sure you use professional translators or translation agencies that specialize in the type of content you need translated and use good editing and proofreading techniques.

Is Australia a dangerous country?

If you have been offered a job and qualify to work in Australia, you have been offered permanent residency on the basis of your skills, or you have a large sum of money and are thinking of migrating to Australia in the business category, you will be choosing to live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world. This is not just based on the high income that Australians of working age earn, but on the wealth of natural resources that Australia has become famous for.

Of course, there is more to life than just money. With current medical advancements and the high standard and quality of health care accorded to all that reside in the country if you intend to bring children with you and they were born between 2013 and 2015, a boy can expect to live to more than 80 years and a girl to almost 85 years. Those are statistics to be reckoned with, when compared to other similar nations.

Of course no one lives forever. 50% of Australians will have succumbed to cancer by the time they are the ripe old age of 85 years but the leading cause of death still lies with coronary heart disease. In many cases, this is preventable if you eat a healthy fruit and vegetable rich diet of which there is no shortage in the country. If you avoid a diet high in saturated fats you could outlive the prospect of dying from heart disease.

There are plenty of opportunities to take part in sporting activities, whether organised or self-made. New South Wales alone is home to a large variety of bushwalking trails and, of late, disused railways have been converted to off road bike trails.

You may worry if you go for a swim in the sea that you may get stung and lose your life to a box jellyfish encounter or a man eating shark. You don’t need to concern yourself about that as the authorities are almost always in the know if there is anything dangerous lurking in the waters. You will be warned promptly and that goes for the presence of dangerous sharks too. In fact, many of the swimming areas either have shark nets to keep sharks out or beach side swimming pools have been constructed for bathers to use in harmony with nature.

Snakes might be a worry to some would be migrants. There is not much you can do about that, except keep your eyes skinned when in the countryside and make sure you don’t walk into dense bush or through long grass.

You have probably heard Australia described as the land of flooding rains, fires and droughts. That is to a certain extent true, but the government is well aware and keeps the public fully warned. It ensures water restrictions are put in place when necessary; cyclone warnings are issued well in advance and fire bans are enforced well before dangerous fire levels exist.

One important thing about migrating to Australia is that all official documents such as birth and marriage certificates must be translated into English if your mother tongue and your documents are in another language. It is compulsory to use an accredited and approved NAATI translator to do the work.

Bad Valentine’s Day Mistakes in Translation

Valentine’s Day is just one of those days in the year that exerts remarkable pressure on people particularly those who are seeking out love which is often for the 1st time. Those who see Valentine’s Day as an important event try hard to rehearse the best phrases to use when talking with their new partner. Sometimes, words don’t flow as easily as they should to be effective and there are many people who end up with just the wrong words which could cause offense.

One such phrase found on a Valentine’s Day card was:

“I love you okay? I expect you forever. Please call me your telephone.”

This card could certainly have done with an accurate translation from a NAATI translator to have any true effect.

This sign couldn’t be much further from being romantic: “Love me: Don’t terrify me.”

Another sign says:  “Would you mind. Love enjoy. Going with you.” This sounds as clumsy as the last one and doesn’t look quite so sincere as one might expect from a Valentine’s Day card!

Another card said

“Honey. Well you go with me.”

This looks like a misspelling of the word ‘well’ but the recipient might not be too sure.

This phrase below was found on a balloon and said

“Happy Valentine’s Day. When you are delighted I will be a good friend continuing love of you.”

This is certainly quite confusing and would not convince anyone. It needs a helpful hand from a professional translator so that it is written in good English.

Valentine’s Day pressures can affect almost anyone, but even if a mistake has been made in a translation there is always someone out there who has probably made a worse one than you, especially if it has been translated from one language to another.

If this is the year when you are going to include capturing the international market in your company’s marketing campaign through using Valentine’s Day, then you should pay extra attention to ensuring that any Valentine’s Day material you want translated into another language you use a competent NAATI translator who will ensure the translated material is appropriate for use in Valentine’s Day messages.  There is nothing worse than making mistakes in messages that are meant to convey love!

Does Quick Turnaround of Translation Mean High Quality?

When you are running a business and you have competitors the chances are you race through everything from marketing to selling to delivery. Speed is important to outwit your competitors so that your revenue is maximized and your costs are minimized, spread over a period of time, or spread through your volume of sales.

Translations fit into the same category as any business and those that request document translation services related to the marketing of their products want them done as fast as any other tasks in the running of their business.

Sometimes you have to think twice when it comes to the speed of the delivery of a product and in particular translations. A NAATI translator being told to rush a translation means quality is not met and in the end, satisfaction is less.

All translators are bilingual but when it comes to translating a text it doesn’t mean the task can be completed as quickly as a typist types out a letter or a thesis for a student. A typist may be able to type a minimum of 40 words a minute and in many cases more but a translator can only complete around 2 to 2,500 words a day and for a day that runs for 8 hours that is only 5 words a minute.

Of course, this is only an average, and the speed at which a translation is carried out depends on other variables too such as the context of the translation and how much prior knowledge the translator has in that area. Some translators have created glossaries of the most common terms used in a particular language but they still have to search for the right words that fit inappropriately with the text.

What is involved with a translation?

There is no doubt that every translation is different and not all the original text is necessarily easy to understand let alone translate. In order for a translation to closely resemble the text is not the only word for word translation but context and culture to requires not only language knowledge but the ability to interpret the context and thoroughly understand the culture of the translated language. Often linguists need to conduct research to find the best word that fits nicely into a contextual relationship. This will mean the translation will be of high quality and best suit the client’s requirements.

Spanish Words That Have No Literal English Translation

Every language has its own special idioms and sayings that cannot be translated literally. English is full of them, which makes the language hard for those who are learning it. Americans are used to seeing Spanish everywhere these days, especially in the Southern and Western states. Many people in the U.S. are making a serious effort to be able to speak Spanish, not just so they can communicate more easily with that country’s largest immigrant community, but so they can take advantage of the fantastic travel opportunities south of the Rio Grande and right down to the tip of South America.

The Spanish English translation is not so common among translation service providers in Australia, but one would expect that a professional NAATI translator who offers Spanish translation would be able to understand the range of Spanish idioms that are described below. Much translation work these days, especially for marketing, requires a thorough understanding and feel for the uniqueness of the languages they translate.

Take the Spanish word “sobremesa”, for instance. Literally, it means “on the table,” so the amateur translator might scratch their head and think it really was all the things on the dinner table. That’s not the Spanish meaning, which is more idiomatic. It’s actually the after-dinner talk that goes on after a nice meal together with friends or family.

An afternoon meal in Spanish is “merenda” and to go out and have a meal with some friends in the afternoon is the verb “merendar”. It has no literal translation in English that means anything quite like that.

Some expressions can be guessed at but may be more specific than you think. Te quiero, for example, means “I want you” or “I like you.” Well, with the talk getting intimate like that, the translator may wonder just how much the Spanish speaker ‘wants’ the listener. The answer is that it is somewhere between liking someone’s company and really loving them. A sort of ‘sit on the fence’ or intermediate position when it comes to relationships!

The word anteayer is a little easier to grasp, although there is no single word in English to represent it. Literally, it means ‘before yesterday and in this case, that’s what it does mean!

It’s hard to imagine exactly how often the word tuerto would come up in a translation services agency in Australia. It means “one-eyed” in Spanish. Of course, it is essential to use a NAATI translator if you are contemplating immigration applications into Australia and there will be equivalent translation requirements in many other countries, so perhaps describing yourself as a tuerto may be necessary if you really are one-eyed and not a pirate!

Idioms are the fun part of learning another language and if you intend to polish up your Spanish, be aware that it is full of amazing idioms waiting for your efforts and appreciation!

Why is it so Easy to Fail the NAATI Translation and Interpreting Tests?

Do you think that you are an experienced translator and have you ever had the chance to take a NAATI test in interpreting and translation? If you haven’t quite got that far you should read Dave Deck’s comments about what NAATI said recently about why it is some translators fail the NAATI test and therefore do not have the qualifications to complete NAATI translator which is often required for government departments in Australia for things like work visas.

Dave did a presentation on test marking by NAATI at the annual conference of the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters, in Wellington last June.

What are NAATI tests?

First of all, NAATI stands for the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. This authority conducts tests in New Zealand and Australia. Translators who pass the NAATI exam have the qualifications to apply for full membership of the Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) as well as the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI). If you have taken and passed the NAATI Paraprofessional exam, you have the qualifications to apply for NZSTI affiliate status or AUSIT membership.

The translation is typically tested at the professional level only and candidates complete the examination using paper and pen. Testing using keyboards is planned for the future. Interpreting tests can be taken at both the professional and the paraprofessional levels, and pre-recorded tests are used. The tests have a section on ethics for interpreters and translators.

Two markers mark each test and if there are any wide discrepancies a third marker will be used. The tests do not have fixed responses but are marked by determining acceptable responses. Accuracy of the translation of the course is the most important aspect of marking. The language quality is viewed mainly in terms of how it contributes to accuracy.

Is the NAATI exam difficult?

The NAATI certification tests in both translation and interpreting are a fair test of skills required to be a certified translator or interpreter in Australia. Whether they seem difficult or easy depends more on the level of preparation that someone attempting to get certification has made rather than the actual difficulty of the tests themselves. The overall average pass rate in NAATI tests seems to be quite low at about 15%, meaning that 8 to 9 of every ten people taking the NAATI test fail to reach the required level of achievement.

What is the passing score in NAATI?

There are two main “dialogues” that have to be passed in every NAATI test. The pass rate in each dialogue is 29/45. The candidate must reach 29 as a minimum in each dialogue. Also, the total score, which is a combination of the scores in both dialogues, must be a minimum of 63/90.

The reason translators fail the test

Dave Deck on passing NAATI translation and interpreting test translators explained that there are some particularly common reasons for failing the tests.

The NAATI CCL pass rate is generally quite low, averaging around 10-15%. This is primarily due to a significant number of candidates being ill-prepared for the exam. Some individuals take the test solely to accumulate points for Australian immigration purposes.

In the translation examination, lacking proficiency in what is called L2, the translator’s 2nd language is the reason why exam takers fail. Some candidates attempt to translate into their 2nd language, which means they have difficulty expressing complex ideas. When they translate into their native language, one reason for failure is misunderstanding the text. Some exam takers do have problems with technique meaning they either translate over-literally or, use paraphrasing that is unnecessary. Some other reasons are :

  • Insufficient preparation for the NAATI test.
  • Failure to review relevant materials or take practice exams (NAATI test sample).
  • Inability to manage time effectively during the test.
  • Not fully understanding the format and structure of the NAATI test.
  • Limited knowledge of specialized terminology related to the test subject.

How to prepare for the NAATI test

There are some obvious ways to prepare for NAATI certification tests. Apart from ensuring that you are fluent in the language pair or pairs that you will be tested in, you need to have completed a translation or interpreting course at a recognized institution. Several organizations provide sample NAATI tests to complete on a trial basis to see if you are regularly reaching the standard required. Note that these sample tests are never identical to those used by NAATI informal assessment.

How Vital is Website Translation for International Business?

Mastering geographical barriers and centralising information and knowledge are all part of the new globalized world we live in today. This has all started to fall into place despite linguistic barriers. Exchanging goods over vast distances and moving people too is all part of this new commercial world. All these exchanges can only take place if linguistic barriers are reduced. In order to take part in lucrative trade relations language services are at the forefront of providing a means of communication that is beneficial to all parties.

Because being part of the global business market is now so important, professional translation services are required to prepare products for the multilingual world. It is no use marketing product information online only in English just because the business has its base in the English speaking world because English is just one of a multitude of languages spoken by the world’s population. E-commerce promotes internationalism but it is only useful if online customers can speak the language used.

Using a machine translator is quite affordable and can help business but its accuracy isn’t perfect and a human is required to proofread and edit the outcome. Machine translations cannot adapt to intricate meanings and do not understand the human side of what is to be translated.

In Australia there are many different professional translation services but the most competent is a NAATI translation. Translators with NAATI accreditation can interpret and retain the meaning that is required for international communications and business requirements. Translation services in Australia can produce a document that matches the original document not just in the language required but with the required layout and presentation that a business should expect.

A quality language translation can bridge the gap by assisting companies to reach a global audience by providing the type of translation potential clients are able to clearly understand and relate to. Whether it’s for a traditional street business or a new online venture, A NAATI translator has the skills to provide readable, translated content for all types of businesses in virtually all languages.

Techniques Required for Financial Translations

Globalization has lead to banks and companies establishing their offices and even their headquarters in many places throughout the world. This means that any documents related to their business have to be translated into the languages of the countries they either base themselves in or do business in. If your company is a German company and you want to conduct business with an Australian company there are translation services in Australia based all around the country. In fact, every major city will have its own translation services.

Overall, there is a tendency for conferences and other meetings to adopt English as the main language for communication but there are always times when a translation is required, especially if some of the key business players are not fluent in English.

Translators do have a plan when performing document translation services for companies or financial institutions which involve specialized techniques and rules.

Techniques for a Financial Translation

  • The starting point for a translator working for translation services in Brisbane or any other major city is having experience in translating for financial institutions as banking terminology is specific and the translation must be correct. Depending on the audience for the translation it may be necessary for the translator to translate complex terms into an easily readable form.
  • As a financial translation often involves numbers and finer details it is crucial that the translator who is working for document translator services makes no mistakes when it comes to these details.
  • It is essential with any financial document that the translator reads it carefully before starting the translation. Understanding the overall document will mean the translator will be quicker at finding appropriate words throughout the translation process.
  • A good financial translator will not allow any mistakes at all and this is what financial institutions expect. Institutions such as the United Nations Federal Credit Union and the World Bank are prestigious financial institutions and will pay highly for a good translator who makes no mistakes. Large well-known industries such as MacDonald’s fast-food restaurants need translators who understand their product and can translate it appropriately into the languages of their customers which are spread across the globe and English is not their first language.

This applies to international companies as well as they expect translations to be perfect. The same rules apply because we are usually talking about important brands that have headquarters all over the world. Take the example of a Chinese company that has headquarters in France. As an extremely bureaucratic country, France will require a lot of paperwork, which eventually will need a translation. In this case, as well, the lack of attention to details or a misunderstanding can cause confusion among the members of the company. The translator will have to be very professional and check his work carefully before submitting it. In this case, as well, the paycheck will be high, so the work must be done perfectly.

In conclusion, the most important translation techniques in the financial industry are background knowledge, attention to detail, and the ability to be organized. Communication with your employer is also important in certain cases such as ambiguities of the language. The work of a translator in this sector is really difficult, but it is one of the fields that will give you the certainty that the long hours of work will be paid off.

4 Typical Translation Service Misconceptions

Misconception 1: If you are able to speak a 2nd language you have the capability for being a translator

Experience has shown that this is not the case at all. In fact, not all speakers of many languages have the qualities to be an effective translator. Translation work is a specific skill with its own set of rules and conventions which not all multilingual people possess.

To begin with, a NAATI Translator needs to be meticulous and pay attention to every detail however small. Perfect writing skills come next which includes perfect use of punctuation and grammar. A translator needs to be in possession of exceptional language knowledge in the language that is being translated (the source language) and the language that this language is being translated into (the target language).

Misconception 2: If you are able to interpret you can translate

There is an important difference between an interpreter and a translator and that is that translators work with a language that has been written, but an interpreter plays the role of an intermediary coming between a minimum of two people who are taking part in verbal communication. The role of an interpreter requires exceptional oral skills, a quick reaction time and the ability to focus quickly on speakers, subjects and situations.

Misconception 3: It is not necessary for a translator to have an understanding of what they are focused on translating

To successfully translate a document, the translator has to possess the ability to perform a translation of a document into the required target language. It is crucial to understand every word in the text and have an understanding of the topic in question, so that an accurate meaning is included in the translation. An understanding of different writing styles is important too so that the text is reproduced in the required style for its purpose.

Misconception 4: You get well paid as a translator

There is no doubt that money can be earned as a translator but it does not translate into amounts that will give you access to millionaire status. Translators do work long hours and have to be on call to perform a translation while deadlines are important too.