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Translating and Interpreting issues

Sometimes clients need the assistance of translating and interpreting services.

Translating and Interpreting Services
Why use an interpreter
Sign language interpreters
National Service
Teletypewriter (TTY)
Not only unfair but possibly discriminatory

Translating and Interpreting ServicesBack to top

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) provides the TIS national interpreting service for people who do not speak English and for the English speakers who need to communicate with them. TIS National has more than 30 years of experience in the interpreting industry, and has access to over 1300 contracted interpreters across Australia, speaking more than 120 languages and dialects. TIS National is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any person or organisation in Australia requiring interpreting services.

Why use an interpreterBack to top

TIS National recommends that interpreters should be used:
to ensure accurate communication between people who have different language needs
because effective professional practice requires both parties to have a clear understanding of each other because in times of crisis or stress, a person's second language competency may decrease
because all Australians have the right to access services freely available to English speaking Australians irrespective of their ethnic background and first language preference.

Sign language interpretersBack to top

A professional sign language interpreter is a highly skilled professional. An interpreter's role is to facilitate communication between people that use a spoken language, and deaf people that use a signed language. An interpreter must be able to listen to the spoken language, inflections and intent and simultaneously render them into the visual language of Auslan using the mode of communication preferred by the deaf consumer.

The interpreter must also be able to comprehend the signs, inflections and intent of the Deaf consumer and simultaneously verbalise in articulate, appropriate English. The interpreter not only makes a spoken language situation accessible to deaf individuals, but also for people who do not fluently sign to communicate effectively with Deaf people. An interpreter is there for all the people involved in the communication setting.

Interpreters provide their services in a variety of settings - virtually any situation where deaf people and those who cannot sign, need to communicate. Situations include medical appointments, parent/teacher interviews, employment interviews, university classes, therapy sessions, court hearings, public addresses, conferences, staff meetings and theatre performances for example.

Interpreting requires specialised expertise. While proficiency in English and in sign language is mandatory, language skills alone are not sufficient for an individual to work as a professional interpreter. Interpreting skills are developed through years of training and practice. A NAATI accredited interpreter is bound by a Code of Ethics which ensures that the interpreter displays upmost professionalism and honours ethical practices such as impartiality, confidentiality, accuracy and communication competence.

Furthermore, a professional interpreter can accommodate a wide variety of consumer needs for their interpretation. Deaf people may prefer to communicate using Australian Sign Language, a language distinct from English with its own structure and grammar, or to sign using a dialect of Auslan or in a manner which more closely parallels English. Importantly, interpreters must understand the cultures in which they work and apply that knowledge to promote effective cross-cultural communications.

National ServiceBack to top

NABS is the National Auslan Interpreter Booking and Payment Service. It is funded by the federal Government. NABS is based at the corporate office of Wesley Mission Brisbane, in Brisbane and provides services Australia-wide.

NABS provides interpreters to deaf and hard of hearing people who use sign language and would like an interpreter for private medical appointments. It is free of charge to Sign Language users and medical and health care practitioners. All interpreting services to Aboriginal and Islander Sign Language users are provided free of charge for both public and private health appointments.

Bookings for interpreting services can be made for both deaf adults and deaf children. This includes situations where there is a deaf adult and a hearing child or a hearing adult and a deaf child attending a private medical consultation. NABS also provides interpreters for deaf/blind people

Teletypewriter (TTY)Back to top

Teletypewriter (TTY) is a tool to allow a deaf or hard of hearing invidiual make a phone call.
A TTY is a special device that lets people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired use the telephone to communicate, by allowing them to type messages back and forth to one another instead of talking and listening.

Not only unfair but possibly discriminatoryBack to top

To not offer access to translating and interpreting services is not only unfair but could be discriminatory as well.