Bislama translators

Each translation of the Treaty and Te Tiriti was drafted by a minimum of three translators. These translators first worked individually, and then together, to create the translations of the Treaty and Te Tiriti. These translations were then reviewed by independent reviewers to ensure the highest possible quality.

All of the Bislama translators are listed in the Treaty Times Thirty book. Translators who chose to be included on the website are also listed below.

Robert Early, Bislama translator

Dr Robert Early

Robert is Senior Lecturer in Pacific Languages and Director of the Pacific Languages Unit at the Vanuatu Campus of the University of the South Pacific.  Early interest in linguistic description for Polynesian languages has broadened over four decades to include involvements with Melanesia and Micronesia across a wide range of language related areas.

Robert has prepared and taught tertiary level courses in face-to-face, online and distance education modes, including applied linguistics areas such as translation and lexicography, as well as postgraduate supervision at doctoral level. He has conducted research on a number of Pacific languages, and supported language development activities in numerous locations in the region, most recently collaborating with language specialists in Niue to prepare a thesaurus for their language.

In recent years, Robert has been involved in language policy review and planning, literacy assessment, vernacular resource development and professional development for teachers as part of multilanguage education projects funded by major agencies for Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

Caroline Nalo, Bislama translator

Caroline Nalo

Caroline is originally from Cornwall in  the UK, but has lived in the Pacific since 1959, first in Solomon Islands and then in the New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) or New Caledonia. She has been a citizen of Vanuatu since 1982. She has five children and eleven grandchildren.

Caroline has a degree in Archaeology and Anthropology from the University of Cambridge, with emphasis on archaeology. She speaks English, Bislama and French. Much of her working time has been spent in Noumea, New Caledonia, where she was chief editor for the South Pacific Commission (SPC), a regional organisation serving 22 Pacific countries and territories.

Her work in Vanuatu has involved extensive use of Bislama. She was responsible for conducting the first ever census of inland Santo in 1967, in areas with no roads and mountains up to almost 6,000 ft, rarely visited by outsiders. Soon after Vanuatu gained its Independence in 1980, she was appointed to open the Lands Department office in Santo, where she was tasked with explaining the new land laws to traditional land owners and guiding discussions with those who wished to lease their land, for foreigners cannot own land in Vanuatu. After a second term of service in SPC, which she had accepted only because the house the family occupied in Port Vila had been destroyed by a major cyclone, Caroline became office manager in the newly opened Vanuatu Maritime College. Here she was responsible for overseeing repairs and maintenance, clearing vast amounts of equipment through Customs, writing reports for donors, and editing and translating into Bislama curriculum materials on fishing, engineering and nautical matters.

Caroline retired from the Vanuatu Maritime College in 2008 at the age of 70 and since then has been a freelance editor and translator, working from her home, surrounded by plants, cats and members of the local reggae band for whom she was treasurer.

Leina Isno, Bislama translator

Leina Isno

Leina moved to New Zealand from Vanuatu at a young age of 19 to study midwifery as a dream and passion. She is currently practicing as a Registered Nurse in a private perioperative setting in Wellington with over 13 years of service. Leina also has three postgraduate qualifications in health.

Leina speaks her native Vanuatu language Ninde (which translates to “what is it?”) and Bislama fluently and has a good command of French. She has been involved with Freelance Bislama translations for the NZ Seasonal Workers Scheme.

With a love of community volunteer in her blood, she is actively involved with various organisations doing volunteer work; one of these organisations is NZ Red Cross where she has served over 6 years of resettling refugees. She also collects linguistics data for the University of Waikato and actively translates them to help save the language for the children of Vanuatu.

Aside from maintaining a full time job, Leina dedicates her time to serving on the Pacific Advisory Group at the Wellington City Council and the Pacific Advisory Group at NZ Red Cross. She also volunteers her time to the Board of the Zonta Club of Mana (District 16 International), and serves as a committee member on the local Paremata Residents Association for the local government council as well as the Porirua City Pataka Museum. She has worked tirelessly from 2005 being the secretary to the Wellington Vanuatu Community to which she leads and organises a few successful humanitarian projects from to help Vanuatu.

Leina is also a NZ Registered Independent Marriage Celebrant and a Real Estate Investor who loves looking at houses and designs. In-between providing mentorship to young aspiring real estate entrepreneurs, she does regular house and pet sittings for friends. She loves writing and blogging-both as a hobby towards publishing an autobiography as a long term goal.

After being abroad for more than 16 years, Leina still works closely in partnership and collaboration with her father in Vanuatu for International projects to serve her local community as a legacy. She has plans to return home to Vanuatu for retirement in the future. You can check out further on: