6 steps to an effective translation

  1. Take time to consider which languages to select for translations.

Consider which community group will most benefit from your resource, and which communities have a low rate of English proficiency.

To find out information on new arrivals in the last five years, visit: Australian Government: Settlement Reporting

For information about Victoria’s population visit: Victorian Multicultural Commission. Or visit id. population experts, build your own community profiles.

  1. Think about the best format and dissemination method for your translations.

This could be a printed flyer, an audio file or a video. The best format and dissemination will vary with each community or language group. Consider dissemination and format methods in your community consultation and factor this in.

  1. Develop a budget, time and process for your translations.

Undertaking translation is a process and should be considered a project with a budget and timelines. Discuss your needs with the translation agency first and plan your timeline by working backwards from the time it takes for a translation to be completed.

  1. Check your resource you want to translate is written in ‘plain English’’.

If you use any special terminology, explain it in the text.  Avoid figures of speech and metaphors. Use the active voice not passive voice.

  1. Find a – translator

You can find translators on the NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters) and the AUSIT (Australian Institute of Interpreters and Translators) websites. If you don’t find one…especially for newly-arrived communities may be harder to find a NAATI (refer to HTD website)

Using a translations agency can be useful. They can work directly with the translators, help you input the translated language into a design (known as ‘typesetting’) as well as assist with the community checking.

  1. Test your translated resource with the community

To ensure that your translation is accurate and clear, ask a sample of the target audience to check it. This can be done through a community focus group or on an individual basis.

If you need assistance with your translation, please contact us.

Related Information

First Aid Resource

CEH has produced a first aid resource in plain English and Arabic, based on St John’s Ambulance DRSABCD Action Plan. CEH worked with community members and a graphic designer to adapt the language and images of the St John’s first aid message for Arabic readers.
This resource outlines how to assess if someone has a life-threatening condition and immediate first aid actions to take. This resource is best used by people who have done a First Aid course but and can also be used to inform the general public. We suggest printing it out for display in public areas such as housing estates, medical and community centres.

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Finding a home in Victoria

Finding a home when you are new to Australia can be difficult, and confusing. Renting, paying bills, finding help in a new system… all present challenges for new arrivals.
Finding a home in Victoria was developed to support people of refugee backgrounds to find their way around the housing system. It includes information on tenants’ rights, how to choose an energy provider, social housing, who can help in case of homelessness… This online booklet was developed in consultation with newly-arrived communities and is published in English, Arabic and Dari. It was developed with funding from the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

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Interpreters and the NDIS fact sheet

This fact sheet helps clarify when interpreting services are funded by the NDIA for people with a disability and English language needs.
It borrows extensively from the excellent resource developed by Amparo Advocacy Inc in Queensland: Accessing interpreting or translation services for NDIS participants (see reference in Further Reading at the end of this Fact Sheet).

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