• Recommendations for Working Effectively  with Interpreters

    Ensure Accuracy and Confidentiality


    Use an interpreter if you are not fluent in the other language.

    Avoid using family members, children or neighbors as interpreters.

    Do not use non-qualified interpreters.


    Prior to Starting an Interview


    Give the interpreter a brief orientation, before entering the room.

    Encourage clarification and expect interruptions.




    •  Speak to the Non-English Speaking Person (NESP)directly and not the interpreter

    Maintain primary eye contact with the Non-English Speaking Person (NESP)

    •  The interpreter will benefit from being able to see both you and the Non-English Speaking Person (NESP) to aid in communications.  They may need to mimic gestures.


    The Dialogue


    Allow the interpreter to introduce herself/himself to both parties to clarify the terms of engagement.

    Keep a comfortable pace that allows time for interpretation.

    Speak slowly and with an appropriate tone of voice.

    Mentally organize what you say to avoid confusing the interpreter with contradictions, conditional ideas   or stumbling over words.

    Remember that the more clearly the interpreter captures the message, the more accurately she/he can then transmit it.

    Encourage interpreter to clarify terms with you. Feel free to ask interpreter to interpret back to you whenever you are concerned about the accuracy and completeness of the interpretation.

    Remember that the more clearly the interpreter captures the message, the more accurately she/he can then transmit it.

    A good interpretation may require paraphrasing concepts that do not readily translate into other languages; allow additional time for this purpose.

    Repeat a segment if you sense a problem. Ask the interpreter to repeat back the segment if you detect difficulty.  Use related questions or rephrase the sentence to clarify the segment.

    Avoid long, complex sentences, and minimize the use of slang, jargon, or colloquial expressions; technical terms and professional jargon should be substituted by simple “layman’s” terms.

    When long explanations are needed, divide them up to make sure that the entire message is interpreted.

    Avoid ambiguous questions or statements, abstractions, idiomatic expressions, or metaphors that do not translate easily into the other language.

    Be aware that jokes and humor are often lost in the interpretation.

    Be aware that very few gestures and signs are universally understood.

    If you have a good understanding of the other language, you may be able to follow along and spot any errors in the interpretation.

    If you are concerned about the quality of the interpretation, speak to the interpreter privately about your concerns and inform the interpreting service agency.




    • Do not ask the interpreter to escort NESP or keep her/him company while waiting to be seen as this makes it difficult for the interpreter to maintain objectivity and neutrality.

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The interpretation service



What are the Services Protocols when Working with Interpreters?

Service providers are required to agree at all times to abide by the Standards of Practice and Ethical Principles as set out by the National Standard Guide for Community Interpreting Services (NSGCIS).


Service providers are encouraged to follow some service protocols for working effectively with interpreters. Please click below to see the Recommendations for Working Effectively with Interpreters.


Requirements for Interpreters



The following are the current standards Interpreters  listed  in the LIS Agencie's rosters must meet in order to be able to render their services.




     Code of Ethics


     Role & Resp.

Language Proficiency Tests


Successful completion of the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration’s (MCI) approved Interpreter Language Skills Assessment Tool (ILSAT).


ILSAT stands for "Interpreter Language and Skills Assessment Tool". It is designed to test an individual’s skills in English and another language, as well as the ability to perform competently, at an introductory level, consecutive interpretation and sight translation. It is a test marked by Across Languages in London, Ontario, and administered by LIS Agencies. The ILSAT language certification test is currently available in 63 languages. Please click on the bar below to see the complete list.



  • ILSAT Proficiency  Test Languages












    Creole (Haitian)




















    Kurdish Sorani

    Kurdish Badini


    Low German









    Punjabi (Gurmukhi)

    Punjabi (Perso-Arabic Script)




















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Interpreter Training


The interpreter training consists of up to 220 hours of training with several modules each made up of lectures, activities, practice and homework. An exam is administered at the end of training. Please click on the bar below to see the complete list of modules.



  • Interpreter Training Modules

    Fundamentals of learning interpretation


    •Goals and Objectives, Language Lab Demo and use of Online Resources

    •Modes of Interpreting, Constituent Tasks, Memory Retention drills

    •Note-Taking skills development

    •Prosody and Pronunciation • Introduction, Interruptions

    •Assertiveness, Role Plays

    •Paraphrasing • Language Register

    •Obscenities • Ethical Dilemmas and Role Conflicts

    •Cultural Awareness,

    •Telephone Interpreting

    •Simultaneous interpreting skills development

    •Sight Translation

    •Terminology Development


    Interpreting in Legal Settings


    •Criminal Law, an overview for Interpreters

    •Civil Law, an overview for Interpreters (Focus on Family Law)

    •Domestic Violence Presentation - VAWP

    •Guided Field Visit to Court

    •Domestic Violence -Language Interpreting Practice

    •Introduction to PAR

    •Simultaneous Interpreting in Court Settings

    •Immigration/Refugees (IRB)

    •Sight Translation + Consolidation Role Plays (Language Interpreting Coaching)

    •PAR Simulation - Whispered Simultaneous (Language Interpreting Coaching) • Interpreting for victims of torture

    •Probation and Parole


    Interpreting in Healthcare and Medical Settings


    •Health Care IA – Presentation – Introduction to HC Interpreting & Body Systems

    •Health Care IB - Language Interpreting Practice

    •Health Care IIA – Presentation – The Medical Interview

    •Health Care IIB - Language Interpreting Practice

    •Mental Health

    •Sexual Assault

    •Public Health – Introduction to PH Services

    •Simultaneous Interpreting in Health Care Settings


     Interpreting in Community and Social Services


    •Child Welfare (CAS)

    •Social services


    •Sexual Assault and Crisis centers



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Code of ethics for Interpreters


Similar to the Role and Responsibilities Statement, the Code of Ethics has been developed as an overall framework with clear expectations of how LIS interpreters across the province will perform their role and responsibilities. Please click on the bar below to see the complete Code of ethics for interpreters.

  • Code of Ethics for Interpreters

    Accuracy and Fidelity:


    The LIS interpreter will render the message faithfully, conveying to the best of her or his ability the content of the message and the intent of the speaker. Interpretation will be provided without addition, omission, or distortion of meaning.




    The LIS interpreter will not disclose any information learned and/or transmitted during the performance of interpretation unless he or she has the express approval of all parties or when required by law.




    The LIS interpreter will show no preference or bias towards either party involved in the interpretation.


    Respect for Persons:


    The LIS interpreter will demonstrate respect towards all persons involved in the interpreting situation.


    Conflict of Interest – Maintenance of Role Boundaries:


    The LIS interpreter will disclose to all parties any actual or apparent conflict of interest. Any condition that interferes with the objectivity of an interpreter constitutes a conflict of interest. A conflict may exist if the interpreter is acquainted with or related to any party or has an interest in the outcome of the interpreting situation. An interpreter should not engage in conduct creating the appearance of bias, prejudice, or partiality.




    The LIS interpreter is responsible for the quality of interpretation provided and accountable to all parties and the organizations engaging the interpreter’s service.


    Professional Integrity:


    The LIS interpreter will consistently conduct him/herself in a professional and ethical manner while dealing with the interpreter service and while on assignment.




    The LIS interpreter will only accept assignments in areas for which he or she has been trained, and in those language areas for which he or she has been, "screened" and "tested". The interpreter will strive to maintain professional competency through participation in skills development, training and research



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Interpreter Introduction


In most cases, an introduction is to be done at the beginning of each assignment in English and the Target Language. Please click on the bar below to see the complete outline of the contents in the Interpreter Introduction.


  • Interpreter Introduction

        • First Name and Language

        • Name of agency

        • Will deliver message as faithfully as possible

        • Will interpret everything that is said

        • Will interpret in the first person

        • Will keep everything that you hear confidential

        • Will remain impartial

        • May take notes to aid your memory

        • May need to interrupt for clarification

        • May I begin the Interpretation (ask permission to be the interpreter)


    Sample of an Introduction at a Face to Face Assignment


        • My name is Darlene and I am the French Interpreter

        • I am from… (Name of Agency)

        • Everything said will be interpreted

        • I will deliver the message as faithfully as possible

        • I will keep everything said today confidential

        • I may take notes to aid my memory and will destroy these notes in front of you at the end of the assignment

        • I ask that you speak directly to each other

        • I will remain impartial

        • I will interrupt for clarification

        • May I be your interpreter today?


    Sample of an Introduction given by telephone includes the ten points plus the following additions


        • Are you both in the same location?

        • If yes, will you be using a speakerphone? Will you be passing the phone back and forth or will you each be on an extension?

        • I will need you to speak in shorter sentences.

        • I will say OK when it's time for you to continue speaking.


    Introduction in a group setting


    Introduction is the same as a face-to-face introduction except you introduce to all English speaking persons once.


    If more than one interpreter is present, select one interpreter to introduce the others. For example, I am Darlene and I am the French interpreter and I will be interpreting for Paula. Lin is the Mandarin Interpreter who will be interpreting for Fei ... (then continue the introduction covering the 9 remaining points)


    Sample of an introduction to a child


    Hello, I'm __________ I'm here to help you speak to this person (pointing to the SP). Whatever you say I'm not going to tell anybody else. Whatever you say I'll tell only this person (pointing to the SP). I'll write a few things down just to remember but later I'll tear my notes up. I want you to speak to this person (pointing to the SP) directly and I'll repeat what you say in his/her language. I don't take anybody's side. If I don't understand something, I may ask you to repeat. Are you ready to start now?


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Role and Responsibilities of an Interpreter


The Role and Responsibilities Statement provides the parameters and scope of the function and duties for an interpreter associated with the LIS supported initiatives across the province. There may also be additional duties and responsibilities specific to the agency, which provides the Interpreter services.


NOTE: This statement of Role and Responsibilities is intended to govern the practice of the LIS Interpreters throughout an interpreting assignment. For on-site assignments it applies throughout the time spent at the location of the assignment. This includes any time spent alone with either the Non-English Speaking Person (NESP) or the service provider. While the interpreter is not required to adhere to the statement of Role and Responsibilities in his or her personal life, it is expected that he/she will not, at any time, discuss any facts or issues related to an interpretation assignment. Please click on the bar below to see the complete outline of the  Interpreter's Role and Responsibilities.


  • Role and Responsibilities of the Interpreter

    Role Statement


    To deliver, as faithfully as possible, messages transmitted between individuals who do not share a common language.




    In relation to all parties


        • Explains the role of the interpreter.

        • Interprets accurately the meaning and intent of words spoken.

        • Interrupts for clarification.

        • Respects the integrity and right to confidentiality of all parties.

        • Does not impose own values and opinions.

        • Maintains professional conduct at all times.

        • Does not discuss details of the assignment with the victim/perpetrator or service provider.

        • Does not disclose personal information and/or opinions related to an assignment.


    In relation to self


        • Declines to interpret when there is a conflict, or the perception of a potential conflict of interest, or a factor or belief that may affect objectivity.

        • Participates in ongoing interpreter knowledge and skills development.

        • Reveals and corrects any errors made in the interpretation.


    In relation to the organization


        • Adheres to policies and procedures of the organization.


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Interpreter training programs