What you need to know

If you need an interpreter, ask for one.

Many Local and National Government organisations must provide interpreters, but not all of them do.

  • Leeds City Council services all offer interpreters. This includes Housing Options, Children’s Services, Adult Social Care.
  • The Police offer interpreters.
  • Most NHS services offer interpreters, but they are not required to do so.
  • Citizens Advice run a “Help to Claim” Benefits Advice telephone helpline (0800 144 8 444)

Sometimes agencies will need to arrange interpreters and will ask you to come back when they have found one. Sometimes agencies will use interpreters over the telephone.

If a service cannot provide an interpreter, then you may need to ask a friend to help you to communicate with them.

Other things to think about

When you go to a place for the first time, ask a friend or relative who speaks good English to come with you, so the agency knows what you want and how they can help you.

If you do not understand something, ask the person to write things down for you, so you can show someone later on.

Small organisations often do not have interpreters or translated material. You may find apps like Google Translate useful for short questions and answers.

Google Translate

Last Updated: 17 June 2024

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