The first thing you should know is who you need, do you need an interpreter or a translator? A translator works with written text while an interpreter works with the spoken word. Some interpreters will also provide translating services while some translators also do interpreting, however this isn’t always the case. Therefore, it’s important to discern whether you need someone to translate written text or to interpret a verbal speech.

 The second important consideration is determining if you require a certified or noncertified interpreter. So what does certification actually mean? Certification designates interpreters who are officially recognised as having the qualifications to interpret. A certified interpreter is often required when dealing with Legal matters, Australian Government departments, foreign embassies or in some business affairs. The certification system for interpreters and translators in Australia is run by a company owned jointly by the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments. Level 3 interpreters are always required in courts of Law and can often be called for in medical situations, business affairs and translation of government related documents. Certified interpreting services are often more expense than non-certified translation services.

knowing where and when to call on a certified interpreters is also important. Business may require the services of a certified interpreter during a meeting or conference. Providing interpretation services may expand the potential client base when dealing with international markets, or ease working relationships between business partners. It is possible that you may need more than one interpreter if there are many speakers, if each speaker speaks for a significant amount of time or where multiple languages are being spoken. Interpreters may also be required in the courtroom. Court interpreting is seen as essential in the carriage of justice. In Australia, courts almost always require a level 3 certified court interpreter.Interpreters also play an important role in the medical field. Patients who are unable to communicate in the language of their health care providers are at risk of receiving inadequate or inappropriate care. Communication between patients and their health care providers is vital, as it improves access to care, removes health disparities, avoids medical errors, and reduces overall costs. Medical interpreters facilitate communication between patients and healthcare professionals who do not speak the same language.

Finally, it is worth knowing how to choose whether you require a certified or noncertified interpreter. The choice will depend on your needs. It is quite possible to receive quality interpreting services from someone who does not hold certification; an interpreter can provide excellent services without being certified. However, certification does guarantee a minimum level of quality and professionalism. There are some instances where certified interpreters are required by law, like in courtroom proceedings. Otherwise, the certification requirement may be left to the discretion of the purchaser of the interpreting services. As mentioned earlier certified interpreters generally command higher prices than uncertified interpreters. This may be something you need to consider when choosing between a certified and uncertified interpreter.