Phone interpreting

TIS National provides the following telephone interpreting services:

  • Immediate phone interpreting.

  • ATIS Voice automated voice-prompted immediate phone interpreting.

  • Pre-booked phone interpreting.

Please view our interpreting service charges before requesting TIS National services.

Immediate phone interpreting

Immediate phone interpreting is available for agency clients and non-English speakers who need to use an interpreter immediately over the phone.

The immediate phone interpreting service can be accessed by agency and non-English speaking clients who need to use an interpreter immediately over the phone with the assistance of a contact centre operator.

TIS National provides access to immediate phone interpreters 24 hours, every day of the year. Call the TIS National contact centre on 131 450 at any time of day or night to access an immediate phone interpreter.

When you dial 131 450 an automated prompt will ask you what language interpreter you require. Currently this is in place to help us tune our system so that in the next system upgrade our operators will be informed of the language you require prior to being connected.  We appreciate your patience and cooperation with this step while we work to improve our services.

When your call is answered the TIS National operator will ask you for the following information:

  • to confirm your required language

  • your client code

  • your agencies name and the section you work in

  • your name and phone number

  • the non-English speakers name and phone number

  • any required information your agency has requested be recorded by TIS National (for example, an identification number or claim number).

To help our operators process your request as quickly as possible, please have this information ready to provide when requested.

ATIS Voice automated immediate phone interpreting

ATIS Voice is an automated voice-prompted immediate phone interpreting service. ATIS Voice is a service for agency clients to access an interpreter in high-demand languages without assistance from a TIS National operator.

ATIS Voice uses voice recognition technology to identify the language requested and automatically connect you with an interpreter in that language. ATIS Voice allows you to avoid lengthy call wait times you may experience when calling the contact centre for an immediate phone interpreter during peak times.

ATIS provides phone interpreting services in the following high demand languages:

 Arabic * Greek  Russian 
 Bosnian Italian  Serbian
 Cantonese Japanese   Spanish
 Croatian  Korean  Somali
 Dari  Khmer  Turkish
 Farsi  Mandarin  Vietnamese

* Sudanese Arabic is not available through ATIS Voice.

For languages not serviced through ATIS Voice, call the TIS National contact centre on 131 450.

You can access ATIS Voice through a single free call 1800 number, reducing flag-fall costs for high volume users. ATIS Voice users also receive a 10 per cent discount off TIS National’s immediate phone interpreting charges, so using the service is an excellent opportunity to reduce interpreting costs.

To use ATIS Voice you need to have an account number and an access number (this is different to a TIS National client code). To request an ATIS Voice account number and an access number, complete the ATIS Voice application form or contact a Client Liaison Account Manager.

ATIS Voice cannot create a conference call for you.  Check you are using a phone that has conferencing ability to call your non-English speaker if they're not with you.

To access ATIS Voice: 

Step 1

 Call 1800 131 450. 

Step 2

 When prompted, say the language interpreter you need.

 An automated voice will repeat the language back. Confirm if the language is correct by saying 'yes' or 'no'.

Step 3

 Choose the gender of your interpreter by pressing:

  1. to select either gender
  2. to select a female interpreter
  3. to select a male interpreter.

Step 4

 Enter your ATIS Voice account number followed by your ATIS Voice access number, then press #.

Step 5

 You will be given a job number. Write this down as a record of your conversation and use of ATIS Voice.

If ATIS Voice is unable to allocate an interpreter for your request, your call will be re-directed to a TIS National operator. When calling ATIS Voice please have your TIS National client code ready in case your call is re-directed to an operator.

You can also view the ATIS Voice help sheet for more information about using the service.

ATIS Voice video

TIS National has produced a short video explaining the simple five step process to accessing an immediate phone interpreter through ATIS Voice.

Watch the ATIS Voice video.

Pre-booked phone interpreting

The pre-booked phone interpreting service is available for agency clients to book a phone interpreter in advance of an appointment.

Pre-booking your phone interpreter will ensure any special requirements can be catered for and that the best available interpreter can be secured for the time you nominate. Pre-booking an interpreter is recommended when the assignment may be complex, requires specialist knowledge or the availability of interpreters in a particular language is limited.

Pre-booking allows time for background or briefing material to be provided and examined by the interpreter, so the actual interpreting time is used in the most efficient manner. In many cases, using a pre-booked phone interpreter has proven to be an effective and less expensive alternative to providing an on-site interpreter.

Requests for the pre-booked telephone service should be sent using the online interpreter booking form on the TIS National website.

We endeavour to allocate an interpreter to your request by close of business the day before the proposed booking time. Once an interpreter has been allocated to the assignment you will receive a booking confirmation including the appointment details.

Bookings will only be accepted for appointments up to three months in advance of the date of request.