Skip links and keyboard navigation

Multicultural Health - interpreting and translating

Interpreter services

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 provides interpreters on-site and by telephone and video-conference 24 hours a day, seven days a week in more than 130 languages for clients who are not proficient in English. More information can be found here.

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.

Queensland Health provides 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's 2017-18 report on Our Story, Our Future: Queensland's Multicultural Action Plan 2016-17 - 2018-19
Queensland Health's progress against achieving actions in Queensland's Multicultural Action Plan.

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

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.