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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between Interpreting and Translating?

A: The key differences between interpreting and translating are interpreters interpret spoken language orally, while translators translate the written word. Both require deep cultural and linguistic understanding, knowledge of subject matter, and the ability to communicate clearly. While the terms are often cited interchangeably, understanding the distinctions between these closely related linguistic fields is essential when choosing the service you need.

Q: What information do I need to provide when I call to make a booking?

A: ABC’s bookings consultants will assist in guiding you through this process, the information we require is:

  • Name of person placing booking to keep a record for both ourselves and your own accounts department.
  • Contact information phone number/email, this is so we can communicate directly should any difficulties arise or any further information be needed for the booking.
  • Name of organization being billed for the service; in the case this is a third party (insurer etc.) include relevant approval via email.
  • PO Number (purchase order) if applicable.
  • Language If the language/dialect needed cannot be determined we are able to assist if provided their background, country of origin etc. However this advice is general in nature, we cannot guarantee this is correct and you will still be charged if the wrong language/dialect is booked.
  • Is the booking onsite, via telephone, a conference call or AVL (MS teams, Zoom, Skype etc.)? If via AVL or conference call it is your responsibility to provide us with the relevant links/numbers/information to connect the interpreter and all relevant parties.
  • Date, time and duration of your appointment. Duration is particularly important, (whilst if an interpreter is free, they may stay longer) if you book for a shorter time than required the interpreter is under no obligation to stay and in many cases may not be able, as they are booked elsewhere.
  • Client’s first and last name, gender, any relevant reference/file/job seeker number that will be used to identify the client with your accounts department.
  • Location, the exact address, is it a home visit or a business address (if so, specify business name) as well as any extra relevant information to help our interpreter attend the correct location promptly.
  • Context of appointment, we take a personal approach to filling each booking and want to send the best interpreter for the job to ensure the best possible service and outcome. Fore knowing the nature of your clients’ appointment can drastically change the level of service we are able to provide and in some circumstances is a necessity.
  • Preferred gender of interpreter. Particularly important for medical appointments.

Q: What is the minimum time for a booking?

A: Onsite bookings carry a 1 hour minimum and are charged in 15-minute increments thereafter. Telephone/conference calls/AVL links carry a 15-minute minimum (30 minute for Indigenous languages) and are charged in 15-minute increments thereafter.

Q: Where can I find pricing information for your services?

A: Please contact our office on 8364 5255 (international languages enquiries) or 8249 7688 (Indigenous languages enquiries) and our friendly team will be happy to assist.

Q: Where can I find a list of languages ABC is able to provide services in?

A: Click HERE for a list of languages that we are able to provide translators and HERE for a list of languages for interpreters. If the language you require does not appear on these lists, it may be because it has temporary limited availability due to the size of the community or a required specific gender. Either way, please give us a call and we would be happy to help.

Q: How does ABC ensure the quality of their interpreters and translators?

A: To ensure the required standards, we engage services of contract interpreters and translators, who are credentialed by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) in all languages where such credentialing is offered. In instances where testing is not available, we use NAATI Recognised, experienced practitioners with a demonstrated knowledge of English and the other language(s). Those interpreters – similar to the accredited/certified ones – are usually endorsed by their respective communities, bound by the AUSIT's Code of Ethics and Professional Standards provide us with current criminal checks and sign Confidentiality Agreement.

Q: How do I know the interpreter will keep information confidential?

A: All our interpreters understand the importance of confidentiality and have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements to ensure that all matters spoken within these sessions is kept private. All client information shared with ABC for booking purposes is also confidential. Names/personal information/the nature of bookings is never shared outside of the office and is used to ensure we avoid conflicts of interest with our interpreters further protecting confidentiality and the integrity of each interpreting session.

Q: Can I request a specific interpreter for a booking?

A: Absolutely, if you or your client has a preferred interpreter, we will engage them (availability willing) to fill the booking. Please specify when placing booking.

Q: Can I request a specific gender of interpreter for a booking?

A: Absolutely, we recognise that certain matters and cultural sensitivities carry different requirements, and we are more than happy to cater for all these requests. Please specify when placing booking.

Q: Can I make a booking for outside of business hours, weekends and public holidays?

A: Yes, whilst you can only place a booking during business hours Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm the request can be for any time, any day, all year round. Please note that bookings made for afterhours service carry additional charges.

Q: Are there fees for cancelling or modifying my booking?

A: Yes, these terms and conditions are given when you register as a customer with ABC. Alternatively, please call us on 8364 5255 (international languages enquiries) or 8249 7688 (indigenous languages enquiries) and our friendly team will be happy to assist.

Q: How do I provide feedback?

A: In our endeavour to provide you the best service possible we encourage your feedback. Please feel free to call us on 8364 5255 (international languages feedback) or 8249 7688 (Indigenous languages feedback) or email us at (international languages feedback) and (Indigenous languages feedback) with any concerns or comments positive or constructive.

Q: Are there any specific guidelines and protocols for working with interpreters?

A: Yes, whilst we recognize each booking is different and our interpreters are flexible and able to adapt to each booking, you might find THIS guide can aid your experience.

Q. Why do I need to have my documents translated by a professional when translating software is readily available for most languages?

A: While there have been great advances in translation software available to everyone, machine translation should not be used for any formal documents or important information. There is a difference between translation and transliteration; with skilled professionals being able to understand and apply context, cultural differences, and semantics involved with translating a range of documents. ABC Multilingua believes in working with the finest and most experienced translators in the industry ensuring that we provide the highest level of quality to all clients. We are able to match translators to specific types of documents suitable with their individual experience and background i.e. medical documents may be better suited to one translator but not another.

Q: What cost is involved, and do I need to provide a copy of the document if I am only requiring a quote?

A: For translations we calculate cost based on word count, content of the work to be translated, formatting and typesetting required, etc. Due to this a copy of the material being translated is required, even at the quoting stage. Please contact our office on 8364 5255 (international language enquires) or 8249 7688 (Indigenous language enquires) or email for a free quote.

Q: How should I send my documents for translation?

A: The best way to send your document is to send a PDF copy or clear photo by email to our Translations Coordinator. Otherwise, hardcopies can be sent via post, or you are welcome to visit our office in person. Please don’t hesitate to call us on 8364 5255 (international language enquires) or 8249 7688 (Indigenous language enquires) to discuss your options.

Q: How will completed translations be delivered?

A: All translations are available as a secured PDF which can be provided by email, with hard copies also available by post or by visiting our office. Please don’t hesitate to call us on 8364 5255 (international language enquiries) or 8249 7688 (Indigenous language enquiries) to discuss your specific requirements.

Q: What other services does the ABC Multilingua Translation department provide?

A: Our translations department are also able to provide translation services for audio and visual materials. This can mean transcribing and translating already recorded material, translating scripts prior to recording, or translating recordings for subtitling. We can also provide professional reviews and checking of already translated materials. More information for these services can be provided upon request.

Indigenous translations.

Whilst Australian Indigenous languages are among the oldest in the World they have only existed in a phonetic written form in the last 80 years. As such translations are not word for word and require a large amount of interpretation and consultation of the core message of your source material to appropriately convey the translation in the story telling nature of language group. This can appear as shrinking or swelling of the written text (this can also happen in international languages).

NAATI Certifed Translations

NAATI Certified translations include a declaration by the translator stating the translation is true and accurate in addition to the translator’s signature and unique NAATI Credentialed stamp. This stamp includes their unique credential identifier number, the language direction for which they are credentialed (note some translators only work in one language direction i.e. English into Arabic NOT Arabic into English), the validity date of their credentials, and the date of completion of the translation. The translation itself will not expire as a valid translation.