At our 2012 AGM and Workshop, we explored ways of thinking and going about ‘interpretation’. One of the outcomes was a list of quotes that we found inspirational and instructional for our work.

If you have a favourite quote about interpretation, send it in and we will add it to our list.

  • Live like an adult. Think like a child.
  • Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. Awaken people’s curiosity. It is enough to open minds: do not overload them. Put there just a spark. If there is some good inflammable stuff there, it will catch fire.
  • More is sometimes less.
  • Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. –William Butler Yeats
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.
  • The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way man thinks. –Gregory Bateson
  • Interpretation provides a wonderfully protected and neutral atmosphere through which visitors can come to know others different from themselves.
  • Interpretation is revelation based on information. –Freeman Tilden
  • It’s about telling our stories and telling them so well that people believe and feel something–they develop an understanding and an attachment, they are interested and they want or need to know and do more. –Unknown author
  • Where there is revelation, explanation is superfluous. –Joseph Franck
  • He ana te mea nui o te ao? He tangata! He tangata! He tangata! What is the most important thing in the world? It is people! It is people! It is people!
  • Interpretation is revelation based upon information. –Freeman Tilden
  • We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are. –Anais Nin
  • A story is the shortest distance between people.
  • Reading is good but the garden is the best teacher.
  • Don’t be such a scientist!
  • All human knowledge takes the form of interpretation. –Walter Benjamin


Interpreting the heritage of New Zealand