I am looking for work as an interpreter and/or translator. Can WAITI help?

WAITI is a professional association of interpreters and translators, not an agency providing language services. However, WAITI does inform members of potential job opportunities by e-Bulletin if appropriate.

WAITI also maintains a website listing of members offering their interpreting/translating services. The page is accessible free of charge.

Can I find employment with WAITI?

WAITI is not an employer. WAITI is a not-for-profit organisation concerned with the professional interests of its member interpreters and translators.

I speak English and …......... (Language Other Than English) well and would like to work as an interpreter/translator. What do I need to do?

Speaking English and another language is not sufficient for interpreting and translating; it is only a prerequisite for acquiring interpreting/translating skills and knowledge. You can use these language skills to achieve a qualification and/or certification through tertiary or higher education and/or testing by NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters).

Where can I study interpreting and/or translating?

Australia-wide, a small number of TAFE colleges, private registered training providers (RTOs) and universities offer interpreting and/or translating courses at Diploma/Advanced Diploma level (TAFE) or Degree/Post-Graduate level. (university).

For courses offered by TAFE or private RTOs search: www.myskills.gov.au/Courses/Search

For university courses you will need to consult a university’s website.

I have a problem with the language services provider I work for. Can WAITI help?

WAITI can help if you are a Member and have a genuine case related to your contractual relations with the provider. Please write to secretary@waiti.org.au.

I have an issue with a colleague. Can WAITI help?

WAITI can help if you are a Member and have an issue related to interpreting /translating that affects you personally. Please write to secretary@waiti.org.au.

Does WAITI follow up complaints about an interpreter or translator?

WAITI can only deal with complaints about an interpreter or translator, if that practitioner is a member.

If the person concerned is not a member, the complainant can refer the matter to the National Accreditation Authority (NAATI) provided that the interpreter or translator holds a NAATI credential.

How long does it take to translate a document?

That depends on the task at hand and should be part of the quote. As a guide, expect 48 hours for short routine documents. Turn around time for any other translation is a matter of negotiation with the translator.

How much does a translation cost?

WAITI is not permitted – by law – to publish an official schedule. Generally translations are negotiated based on a word count (per 100 words or part thereof). The charge for large documents such as manuals, booklets, books, etc is agreed to by negotiation only.

Additionally you may incur a fee for (to name a few):

  • non-Roman scripts
  • hand-written docs
  • short turn-around time
  • involvement of a reviewer (necessary for certain documents)
  • involvement of an editor
  • complexity of the original (source) text
  • reproduction of special lay-out, formatting, graphs
  • required certification
  • requirement of an affidavit or statutory declaration

Always ask for a detailed quote.

How much do interpreters charge?

WAITI is not permitted – by law – to publish an official schedule. Charges vary according to the task, the required level of performance and expertise and duration of an assignment and are subject to negotiation, for instance:

  • Interpreting the conversation between two speakers, each speaking a different language, that is constantly moving between two languages.
  • Interpreting, into another language, of a speech, presentation or similar after a speaker has finished, typically in large gatherings such as forums, seminars, conference sessions; i.e. the interpreter interprets one-way only.
  • Interpreting a speech, presentation or similar whilst a presenter is speaking, generally with the interpreter using electronic audio equipment in a sound proof booth; i.e. the interpreter interprets one-way only.

Additionally you may incur a fee for (to name a few):

  • travel and accommodation
  • preparation
  • need for a second interpreter

Always ask for a detailed quote.

Does WAITI accept payment by credit card?

As a not-for-profit organisation, WAITI does not engage in commercial activities. Therefore we do not offer credit card facilities. Our preferred payment is by direct electronic transfer.

Is NAATI Accreditation a qualification?

No, ‘NAATI Accreditation is not a qualification. It is a credential awarded by NAATI until 2017 to an individual on application subject to certain conditions.

Is NAATI Certification a qualification?

No, ‘NAATI Certification’ is not a qualification. It is a credential introduced in 2017 by NAATI to replace Accreditation and just like Accreditation, is awarded to an individual on application subject to certain conditions.

Do I need a formal qualification to obtain the Certification credential?

No, you do not need a formal qualification. NAATI has developed its own eligibility criteria which are published on its website (www.naati.com.au)

How can I obtain a formal qualification in interpreting and/or translating?

By successfully completing a nationally endorsed TAFE course (Diploma or Advanced Diploma of Interpreting and/or Translating), or

By successfully completing a higher education undergraduate or post graduate course in interpreting and/or translating (BA; Masters; PhD; Graduate Certificate; Graduate Diploma).

Is the Accreditation credential still valid?

The Accreditation credential is [quote] an absolutely valid credential [unquote Mark Painting, NAATI CEO, 10 Feb 2018]

Will the Accreditation credential expire?

NAATI Accreditation was in place from 1977 to 2017 when it was replaced by Certification. Accreditation was awarded either permanently or subject to revalidation:

  • Accreditation granted pre 2007 was awarded permanently and consequently does not expire.
  •  Accreditation granted from 2007 to 2017 was awarded for a three year period only. Holders of the credential had to re-validate on expiry.

Will the Certification credential expire?

Certification replaced Accreditation in 2017. It is awarded for a three year period. Holders of the credential have to re-certify.

What will happen to my Accreditation if I don't volunteer to transit to Certification?

  • If you were awarded permanent Accreditation (pre 2007) it does not expire. Its validity can be verified on the NAATI website.
  • If you were awarded Accreditation from 2007 onwards, Accreditation was subject to revalidation every three years and your Accreditation expires three years after the last date of revalidation. If you need to hold a NAATI credential for the work you do, you have to transition into the Certification scheme.

What should I do if my work (translation completed) is not being recognised by a government agency?

Provide the client with your NAATI Accreditation number and instructions where to find the Accreditation verification tool on the NAATI website and advise your client to pass on the verified details to the relevant agency.