Introduction and Minister's foreword

Read the Introduction and Minister's foreword in the Effective translation guidelines.

Minister's foreword

Language services play a vital role in our diverse, multicultural society.

As stated in the new multicultural policy Victorian. And proud of it, the Government wants all Victorians to have access to the services they need. In doing so, we aim to ensure that language is not a barrier to accessing government services.

Without the assistance of interpreters and translators, Victorians who are unable to communicate effectively in English cannot access services properly and could experience poorer outcomes from the services they receive.

With our increasing diversity, interpreters and translators have never been more important. New migrants face many cultural and linguistic challenges. The assistance of language professionals is critical to help overcome these barriers.

Our established migrant and refugee communities also rely on language services especially as they grow older and need access to health and aged care services.

The Government actively supports a professional, high quality language services industry in Victoria. We also encourage government service providers to make effective use of language services whenever they are needed.

These Guidelines will assist government departments, agencies and service providers to use language services effectively.

Robin Scott MP, Minister for Multicultural Affairs


Effective communication between service providers and clients is essential to delivering high quality services. The Victorian Government is committed to ensuring that all Victorians have equal access to government services, regardless of their English language skills.

The provision of interpreting and translation services (language services) is essential to ensure that all Victorians have proper access to services.

These guidelines are a practical guide to managing translation projects effectively and are highly recommended for all government departments and funded agencies to assist in providing information in languages other than English.

Government departments and funded agencies need to ensure that, whenever required, language services are provided and used effectively. Cultural competency training for staff should be provided to develop understanding and skills on when and how to use language services.

The guidelines set out the obligations of government departments and funded agencies to provide language services and give advice on the practical aspects of planning and delivering translated information. An overview of the translation process is provided in the appendix on page 18.

This guide is especially relevant when translating information for community campaigns and other broad communication activity. Translations may also be required for individual clients, for example to provide personal information in a language other than English, such as an individual care plan, court order or correspondence.

This publication focuses on translations. The following companion publications are also available:

The following companion publications are also available:

  • Using Interpreting Services Guidelines
  • Providing multicultural information online