About the Aboriginal Interpreter Service

The Aboriginal Interpreter Service in the Northern Territory (NT) has all of the following:

  • about 30 interpreters on staff covering the major languages of the NT
  • more than 400 casual interpreters covering close to 100 languages and dialects
  • seven trainers from backgrounds such as linguistics, health, adult education and law.

The service develops professional and accurate registered interpreters.

Interpreters are trained to interpret accurately and be impartial.

It is a skilled profession and an intellectually demanding role. Find out how to become an Aboriginal interpreter.

Benefits of using a registered Aboriginal interpreter

By working with a registered interpreter, you are unlikely to be blamed for unprofessional or inaccurate interpreting.

The service will follow up on any complaints or issues arising from instances of poor interpreting.

DVD — Right story in — Right story out

Watch some videos about the work of the Aboriginal Interpreter Service.

Chapter 1. Introduction to the Aboriginal Interpreter Service (13.1 mb)
Chapter 2. Why do I need an interpreter? (10.1 mb)
Chapter 3. Creating a better understanding (6.3 mb)
Chapter 4. The importance of understanding each other (9.7 mb)
Chapter 5. Behaviour to avoid while using an interpreter (6.5 mb)
Chapter 6. Reasons for using professional interpreters (8.7 mb)
Chapter 7. How to use an interpreter (8.4 mb)
Chapter 8a. Getting the most out of your interpreter experience (13.2 mb)
Chapter 8b. Getting the most out of your interpreter experience (13.6 mb)
Chapter 9. A better outcome for everyone (9.2 mb)

Risks of using other interpreters

Using other untrained bilingual people to perform this role, such as relatives, friends and other employees, can have serious consequences, such as:

  • breach of privacy and confidentiality
  • lack of impartiality
  • filtering of information to protect their relative or friends
  • inability to cope with subject matter or specialised terminology.

Read more about Aboriginal interpreter training.

Local language recordings about the Aboriginal Interpreter Service

To help you understand what the Aboriginal Interpreter Service does, you can listen to one of these audio recordings.

They are available in 17 Aboriginal languages.

You can read the following transcripts of the audio recordings in English:

Last updated: 20 June 2018