Language Listing policy
TIS National is a leading language service provider in Australia. We are also one of the largest, offering interpreting services in over 150 languages. We have around 2,700 interpreters working with TIS National, and we are continually appointing new interpreters with the highest NAATI credentials, wherever possible. This helps to meet ongoing demand for interpreting services, particularly in languages used by new and emerging communities settling in Australia.
TIS National aims to have a language list which is consistent with NAATI’s language names wherever possible. We also use Ethnologue: Languages of the World as our primary reference source for information on world languages. Ethnologue is a comprehensive reference publication that catalogues all known living languages. It draws on the expertise of hundreds of linguists and researchers from around the world. Ethnologue is revised regularly to maintain the most accurate, relevant and up-to-date information and statistics on all world languages.
TIS National recognises that language matters can be complex and opinions may differ, even among experts and native speakers. This is particularly relevant when determining which language names to use in our language list. The TIS National Language Listing policy sets out the criteria we must consider when naming languages in our language list. This ensures there is clear and consistent identification of languages.
Where NAATI offers credentials in a language, TIS National will generally adopt the language name used by NAATI. Where NAATI has not awarded credentials in a language, TIS National will generally adopt the language name stated by Ethnologue. In cases where an Australian Government policy mandates a specific language name, TIS National will adopt this name in our Language List.
TIS National may also choose to add alternative names to the primary name. This assists TIS National contact centre staff and agency clients in selecting the language needed for clients from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. Factors we may consider include:
- whether there is widespread use of an alternative name (i.e. is it in regular common usage in the community and understood across most or all of the geographic area where the language is spoken)
- the official naming conventions within the country(s) where the language is spoken.
TIS National may also add references to a language name to assist in identifying the language. These may include:
- macro language
- region or country of origin
- language from which a dialect stems.