About Interpreting and Translating Service NT

The Interpreting and Translating Service NT works with government and businesses to help them communicate with Territorians who speak languages other than English.

This includes:

  • face-to-face interpreting or translating in migrant and refugee languages
  • advice on preparing text for translation into migrant and refugee languages.

Many of the interpreters are accredited through the National Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

Find out how to book an interpreter or how to book a translator.

Aboriginal language interpreting is provided by the Aboriginal Interpreter Service.

Role of a translator

A translator provides translations in written form.

Translated material is useful for any of the following:

  • providing detailed information to a culturally and linguistically diverse person
  • improving community knowledge of available services, resources, rights and entitlements
  • reducing or eliminating the need for an interpreter.

Why use a professional translator

A professional translator ensures that texts are communicated accurately, using an appropriate style and terminology.

They can tailor the original text to your target audience if requested, and make allowances for cultural and linguistic differences.

Professional translators must follow a code of ethics. They have accreditation that certifies their linguistic competence.

Role of an interpreter

There are two types of interpreter services - an on-site interpreter or a telephone interpreter.

On-site interpreter

An on-site interpreter will physically come to your organisation or required venue to act as an interpreter.

Read more about using an on-site interpreter.

A telephone interpreter

Telephone interpreting usually involves a three-way phone connection.

Telephone interpreting is best suited for discussions over the telephone that will take less than 15 minutes.

Interviews that are complex or will take longer than 15 minutes should be conducted with an on-site interpreter.

Read more about using a telephone interpreter.

Styles of interpreting

There are four main styles of interpreting. Knowing the difference will help you to know which style is best for your situation.

Consecutive interpreting

This is the most common style of interpreting, where the speaker and the interpreter speak one after each other.

The interpreter listens to a few sentences or messages, and then says them in the other language, while the speaker pauses.

The speaker will then continue and the process repeats itself.

Simultaneous interpreting

This is commonly used in conference proceedings where the interpreter listens to the first words that the speaker says, then interprets this immediately and continuously as they continue to talk, so that the speaker and the interpreter are speaking at the same time.

Chuchotage interpreting: whispered interpreting

This is commonly used in court proceedings where the interpreter keeps the client informed of discussion taking place within the body of the court, such as legal deliberations between the parties or evidence of other witnesses.

Sight translations

This happens when an interpreter is required to provide a spoken and instant interpretation of a written text, such as a court order or a form.

Last updated: 27 June 2017