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Multicultural Health - interpreting and translating

interpreter services

Multicultural Ribbons Graphic
  Queensland Health Interpreter Service
  Queensland Health Language Services Policy
  Client right to an interpreter
  How to book an interpreter

A culturally competent organisation addresses the language barriers of consumers.

The Queensland Government recognises that a significant number of people do not speak English well enough or are not able to communicate adequately with Queensland Government staff and Queensland Government funded non-government organisations. The Queensland Government Language Services Policy states that clients should be provided with fair and equitable access to services that are responsive and high quality.

Queensland Health implements a high quality and accessible interpreter service which provides interpreters for clients who are not proficient in English.

The Queensland Health Interpreter Service can provide on-site, telephone and video remote interpreters 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 130 languages.

It is Queensland Government policy to use professional interpreters when possible.

About interpreting and translating

  • An interpreter deals with the spoken word.
  • A translator deals with written text.

The Queensland Health Interpreter Service provisides interpreting services for spoken languages. To access translated health information and resources to assist in completing translations, go to the Translating health information section.

Links to professional bodies

The National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) is the national standards and accreditation body owned by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments of Australia.

The Queensland Government Language Services Policy states that NAATI accredited or recognised professional interpreters should be used and that non-professional interpreters should not be used unless the situation is urgent and a professional interpreter is unavailable.

The Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators (AUSIT) is the professional association for translators and interpreters in Australia.

Go to Toptop of page

Last updated: 13 June 2012

What's new?

Queensland Health Guideline for multicultural policy implementation
A guideline to assist Hospital and Health Services and Queensland Health to implement the Queensland Multicultural Policy - A multicultural future for all of us effectively.

Report on client perceptions of the quality of the Queensland Health Intepreter Service
A new report on the perceptions on clients on the quality of the Queensland Health Interpreter Service is now available.

Would you like to provide feedback about the Queensland Health Interpreter Service?


National Interpreter Symbol

The blue interpreter symbol is the nationally recognised interpreter symbol.

national interpreter symbol

Click here for more information about this symbol.

Complaints about health or other services

Do you have concerns about a government or non-government health service or are you unhappy with the way an issue has been handled? Do you think you have been treated unfairly or are you concerned about a decision or action of a health professional?

It is ok to complain, and there are organisations that are independent of the government that can help you, free of charge.

Go to the Queensland Independent Complaint Agencies' website for more information.