The Treaty Times Thirty Book

Have you heard that the Treaty of Waitangi has been translated into 30 languages? And that all the translations are now available online? Here are the answers to questions you may have about the book and team of translators behind it.

What is the Treaty Times Thirty book?

The Treaty Times Thirty is a book by the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters. It comprises translations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi into 30 languages, plus New Zealand Sign Language.

Why was the book created?

New Zealand is home to more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages, which means it is classified as super-diverse. The Treaty Times Thirty book aims to help speakers of other languages in understanding of the Treaty of Waitangi.

The book was created by the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters in order to celebrate its 30th anniversary, and showcase professional translation in New Zealand.

Which languages are included in the book?

The book includes translations of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi into the following languages:

  • New Zealand Sign Language
  • Afrikaans
  • Arabic
  • Bislama
  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • Esperanto
  • Farsi
  • Fijian
  • French
  • German
  • Greek
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Hungarian
  • Indonesian
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Malay
  • Nepali
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Thai
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Why were Pacific languages like Samoan and Tongan not included?

The Treaty of Waitangi has already been translated into Cook Islands Māori, Niuean, Samoan, Tokelauan and Tongan. These translations were not included in the book, but are available on the New Zealand History website.

How can I see the translation into New Zealand Sign Language?

You can view the translations into New Zealand Sign Language here.

Note: as of writing, only Te Tiriti o Waitangi has been translated into New Zealand Sign Language. The translation of the English version of the Treaty of Waitangi will be available soon.

Which versions of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the Treaty of Waitangi were translated?

The following versions of the Treaty of Waitangi were translated:

  • The original English version of the Treaty of Waitangi available on the New Zealand History website.
  • The modern English translation of the Māori version of Te Tiriti o Waitangi by Professor Hugh Kawharu, available on the New Zealand History website. The English translation was chosen as there were not enough translators available to translate directly from the Māori version.

These texts are also available as a PDF on the Treaty Times Thirty website.

How were the texts translated?

Each text was translated by a minimum of three translators. First, the translators for each language worked independently, and then they collaborated to produce the best possible translation of each text. The finished translations were then reviewed by independent experts.

Who did the translations?

The translators are all listed in the Treaty Times Thirty book. Translators who chose to be included on the website are also listed here.

When was the book published?

The Treaty Times Thirty was published in February 2017. It was presented to the Governor General in a ceremony to gift the translations to the people of Aotearoa New Zealand at Government House.

How can I read the translations?

You can download a free PDF of the Treaty Times Thirty book here. The book will also be distributed to public libraries throughout New Zealand.

How can I order a copy of the book?

Please use the link on the Treaty Times Thirty website to order a copy of the book. The books printed in the first print run will be distributed to the contributors and public libraries. Once enough orders have been received, the team will order another print run. The cost per book will depend on the size of the order, but will not be more than around $30.

By Jayne Fox.

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