Translation and Interpretation

This page provides information about translation and interpretation assistance for people requiring language services.

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Translation and Interpretation Organisations

 Organisations   Websites
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is part of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. 

TIS National provides language services for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients.

What does TIS do?

  • an immediate phone interpreting service 24 hours a day, every day of the year
  • free interpreting services to non-English speakers
  • free interpreting services to eligible agency clients
  • a range of interpreting service options to meet your needs
  • a range of informative publications and promotional materials about our services.

National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters LTD
 Why you should use NAATI accredited interpreters:
  • to ensure accurate communication while taking into account cultural sensitivities 
  • in times of crisis, traumatic or emotionally-charged situations, second-language competency may decrease dramatically
  • because qualified interpreters are bound to practice impartiality, confidentially and accurately when interpreting

Issues when using a non-accredited interpreter:

Issues when using friends, relatives or children as interpreters:

  • the language skills of friends, relatives and children are unknown, untested and possibly unreliable as they may become too emotionally involved
  • there is no guarantee that the relatives or friends will not have vested interests and will not seek to exploit the situation
  • a child should not be put in a position of having to take responsibility for the outcome if a mistake is made

Issues when using bilingual staff as an interpreter:

  • bilingual staff are not bound by the Code of Ethics
  • they may not keep information confidential
  • the language skills are unknown and untested
Interview techniques:
  • speak in 1st person directly and clearly to the non-English speaking client
  • use simple language
  • check for understanding
  • be aware of possible cultural differences in body language
  • allow plenty of time to conduct the interview/conversation
  • ensure everyone can hear clearly

Other resources

Multicultural Language Services Guidelines for Tasmanian Government Agencies

Developed by Tasmania State Government

A Guide to Working with Interpreters in Schools

Developed by Victoria State Government

Scenarios highlight common pitfalls and effective strategies when working with interpreters:

Guidelines for Working Effectively with Interpreters in Mental Health Settings

Developed by Victorian Transcultural Psychiatry Unit (VTPU):

The Phoenix Centre, a program of the Migrant Resource Centre (Southern Tasmania), receives funding from the Crown, through the Department of Health and Human Services, to provide the Tasmanian Transcultural Mental Health Network


Advice on Managing Distress05-Apr-2019

Advice for communities, parents and care givers on managing distress and taking care of themselves in times of crisis. Fact sh..    read more

Managing distress in times of crisis 05-Apr-2019

Fact sheets in Arabic, English, Farsi and Somali with advice for communities, parents and caregivers on how to manage distress..    read more

February TTMHN Meeting27-Feb-2019

Insights into Interpreting Guest speakers will explore the role of the interpreter including best practice and ways to improve..    read more