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How to access free interpreting services in Australia?

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) provides interpreting services to people who do not speak English and to agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients. These services enable non-English speakers to independently access services and information in Australia.

Over 60,000 agency clients, including the Department of Home Affairs, are registered with TIS National. Some of their clients include:

  • state and federal government departments

  • local councils

  • medical and health practitioners

  • pharmacists

  • utility companies

  • telecommunication companies

  • emergency services

  • legal services

  • settlement and community service providers

When you call TIS National you will be greeted by an English-speaking TIS National operator who will ask what language interpreter you need. After you have requested a language, you will be placed on hold while the operator searches for an available interpreter. Please stay on the line even if there is no hold music.

If an interpreter in your language is available, the operator will connect you with the interpreter and ask you which organisation you need to contact. Please have the name of the organisation, their contact phone number and your client or account number with the organisation (if any) ready when you call TIS National.

Our operators must remain impartial and cannot recommend which organisation you should contact. When you are connected with an interpreter, the interpreter will not engage in informal conversation with you as they are required to remain impartial during all interpreting assignments.

The interpreter will tell the TIS National operator who you need to contact and the operator will proceed to call and connect you and the interpreter to the organisation requested.

If no interpreter is available in your language, the operator will ask you to call back soon. If you speak more than one language, you may like to request an interpreter in another language.

Credit: TIS


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