Friday, February 28, 2014

TIS the way to get on the same page

The Settlement Council of Australia reminded us recently of the availability of interpreting services for free for real estate agents.

Many government and community agencies (including the TU!) use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) to provide free interpreting services to people who don't speak English to access services. Generally the agency pays for the service and need to be registered with TIS National.

In order to help non-english speakers, and particularly humanitarian entrants to Australia, find and maintain housing for themselves, TIS is conducting a pilot program in which real estate agencies are given free access to the service. After a successful initial period, TIS has opened up access until July 2015 for all real estate agencies in selected areas. It covers large parts of Sydney as well as many regional areas.

So far 104 real estate agencies across NSW have signed up, Good on them! You can see the full list here. We hope that it is utilised on a day to day basis, and avoids disputes that can arise from two people misunderstanding each other.

TIS National provided these tips to using an interpreter:

How should I use an interpreter most effectively?
You can use a TIS National interpreter most effectively by:
 preparing all information that you need for the session before calling TIS National
 being patient and waiting for the interpreter to finish interpreting before speaking again
 using short sentences
 avoiding using slang or jargon that the may be difficult to translate
 understanding the role of the interpreter
 not asking the interpreter for advice or to advocate for you
 notifying the interpreter, organisation or TIS National immediately if you are having difficulty understanding the interpreter.

As you'd expect, TIS also have this and many of their resources in a range of community languages.

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