Master of Arts student
Anni Tang understands the difficulty of being understood in a different language, and when accessing healthcare services, this communication barrier can have serious consequences.
The Master of Arts student’s research focuses on older speakers of Mandarin, and she hopes to be able to help them when they access health and support services in Auckland.
“I’m specialising in medical interpretation. My AUT supervisor, Associate Professor Ineke Crezee, has been promoting a hospital role named patient navigator, so I’m studying the difference between medical interpreters and patient navigators, to see if there is a gap between patients’ expectations and duties of interpreters.”
An abstract on her research, Older Chinese Immigrants’ Lived Experiences of Health Service Encounters, has been accepted for the 51st AAG Conference in Melbourne in November.
Giving people a voice
Anni says interpreters have an important role in the community, and her research will help her become a better communicator.
“Interpreting is always about practising, but research helps interpreters understand the needs of people they interpret for, and add their own value to interpretation.
“Unlike translation, interpretation involves face-to-face interaction, and requires more skills in human communication,” says Anni who is an approved translator for driver licences and immigration documents.
Immersed in New Zealand culture
As an international student from China, Anni has worked hard to improve her local language capabilities by being involved in several community groups.
“I participated in AUT Toastmasters, and served as the vice president for a year. Our club helped to start a Māori Toastmasters club at AUT, and we were interviewed on Māori TV news programme Te Karere as an example of the promotion of Māori culture.
“I’ve also worked as a volunteer translator and English trainer for a Chinese newspaper, AUT’s never2old exercise programme, the Auckland Baptist Tabernacle, The Asian Network Incorporated and Auckland central police station. A lot of Chinese people learned about the interpreting courses at AUT through my introduction.”
AUT helps students succeed
Anni found that AUT’s peer mentoring service was invaluable when she faced challenges in improving her academic writing. With the help of a mentor from the student learning team, she turned her grades around.
“I didn’t do too well in my first academic writing essay, and I thought I would fail the paper, and felt extremely upset. The student learning team and the Chinese Centre arranged a peer mentor for me and I ended up getting an A at the end of the semester.
“It was so nice to know that there are people out there who will listen to you and support you.”