Help Using TIS National Services

The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) is an interpreting service for people who do not speak English and for agencies and businesses that need to communicate with their non-English speaking clients. Our services enable non-English speakers to independently access services and information in Australia.

Services for non-English speakers

TIS National provides access to interpreters over the phone or to attend an appointment in person.

The majority of TIS National services are free to non-English speakers. Generally the organisation you are contacting will accept the charges for the service.

Immediate phone interpreting

TIS National's immediate phone interpreting service is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year by calling 131 450. See immediate phone interpreting for more information.

Pre-booked phone interpreting services

You may require an organisation to book a phone interpreting service for you in advance for a scheduled appointment or interview. Pre-booked phone interpreting services are usually booked by the organisation that needs to communicate with their non-English speaking client. See pre-booked phone interpreting for more information.

On-site interpreting

On-site interpreters can be booked in advance of an appointment to attend a particular location. On-site appointments are usually booked by the organisation that needs to communicate with their non-English speaking client. See on-site interpreting for more information.

Do organisations have to provide an interpreter?

Australian Government departments and agencies have an obligation to be responsive to the needs of clients with limited English skills under Australia's Multicultural Access and Equity Policy.

Some private organisations may not accept calls from TIS National, however if you call the organisation directly they may be able to call you back with a phone interpreter.

If you want to contact an organisation that is not a TIS National client and the organisation is not willing to accept the charges for the service, you may choose to create a personal account with TIS National and pay for the service yourself. Find out how to register a personal account with TIS National.

Organisations that use TIS National interpreters

You can view a list of the types of organisations that use TIS National services.

Using an interpreter in particular situations

Situation

Resource

Domestic and family violence

The Australian Government has developed a Family Safety Pack with information on Australia’s laws regarding domestic and family violence, sexual assault and forced marriage, and a woman’s right to be safe.  The pack includes four factsheets and a storyboard, translated into 46 languages.  The Family Safety Pack is available on the Department of Social Services website.

Complementing the Family Safety Pack are the Interpreting in domestic violence situations and Interpreters and family safety fact sheets aimed at raising awareness of the role and responsibility of interpreters in domestic violence situations.