Chief translator and manager

The translation work that Quintin Ridgeway does for the Department of Internal Affairs has a clear and direct effect on people's lives.

Key facts

Career: Chief translator and manager at the Department of Internal Affairs
Programme: Master of Translation
Subject: Translation Studies

“My main role as manager of the Translation Service involves advising government agencies on the best use of language to communicate with New Zealand’s ethnic communities and assisting them in developing language strategies.

"My role as Chief Translator also involves overseeing the translation process and working on improving our translator’s use of technologies such as translation memory, machine translation and AI automation to help with the growing demand.

“Studying translation not only taught me the technical skills required to carry out effective translations using current technologies, it also taught me a lot about how language works and how we think. Many words or phrases have become so familiar to us that we think we understand what they mean, but we’ve never really though that much about their meaning or the choice of words.

"Translation skills develop this awareness of meaning, shades of meaning and the motivations behind words. I believe this is a crucial skill for engaging with people and media that often uses word selection and rhetoric to cloud meaning or mislead rather than to be clear and upfront.

In the public sector, the translations we work on have a clear and direct effect on people's lives. There are many opportunities to conceive, plan and instigate projects that have a positive impact on society.

“There is nothing more important today than a broad and insightful understanding of the world and why it is the way it is. An Arts degree gives you the flexibility to study a topic in depth that you are truly passionate about.

"The soft skills and insight that you will gain through pursuing a subject with enthusiasm lays the groundwork for a meaningful life and a meaningful career."