NAATI Interpreting Scenarios

Since Australia is a multicultural nation, there is often a requirement of interpreters in various organisations and scenarios. Thus, NAATI Interpreting test is also based on those real scenarios that interpreters would experience in their career. These areas include but are not limited to Health Care, Social services, Legal, Education, and Political settings.

In this article, we will discuss in brief some of these areas and try to gain some understanding about these.

Health Care

In Australia, healthcare system includes both private and public sector. Both these sectors are highly regulated and public sector receives its funding from Commonwealth or State governments. Medicare card is offered to public to provide free access to medical services in Australia and it also helps pay some of the specialist expenses. However, there are still some services which are not covered under Medicare. Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme is also run by the Commonwealth government so that people can buy subsidised prescription medicines.

Since health care is a very broad area and impacts almost every general member of the public, interpreters in Australia are likely to face medical scenarios more often than any other. Thus, there is a high probability of this topic to be there in the NAATI CCL exam. Therefore, it is vital that test takers are aware of various medical areas and develop understanding of most common diseases that can be discussed between a patient and doctor. It is however not possible to know each and everything in detail but some knowledge is also helpful to be able to face medical topic in the CCL exam with confidence.

Social Security

Government provides financial support to people who have served the country whole their life or are disadvantaged. This support is provided through Centrelink and is referred to as Social Security. There are various programs run by Centrelink covering a wide range of areas including pensions, health, housing, education and employment etc. through which people gain assistance in a form allowances or benefits.

The role of the interpreter comes in when someone who speaks LOTE seeks assistance from Centrelink. Scenarios may include a face to face consultation or a telephone conversation. Thus, interpreters in Australia must have knowledge of what type of social security services offered are by government and must make themselves familiar with commonly used terminology. There are high chances of a Centrelink scenario to be in the NAATI exam.


Under Australia’s legal system, powers are distributed between commonwealth, state governments and territories. Each state can make its own laws within certain boundaries which are defined by the constitutions. There are also three self governing territories in Australia. Australian legal system includes two law sources: cases- also known as Common Law – which are court decisions made by judges and legislations – also known as Federal Law-which legal rules defined by the Parliament. The court system is also divided in two segments – Federal court and State and Territory courts.

Generally, interpreters may be required at any level and any legal proceeding including police enquiries, court hearings, mediation sessions etc. The issues covered can include criminal offences, divorce, commercial disputes, public liability etc. It is quite important to familiarise yourself to the legal terminology that is commonly used in Australia and understand common scenarios that can be included in the CCL exam.


Generally, interpreters are requested by Department of Immigration and Border Protection when there are some immigration related issues and the person in question only speaks LOTE. They may be required on call or in person generally at the airport, police station or an embassy. Usually involves interviews of entrants to Australia, people carrying prohibited items etc.


Interpreters are usually required in the Primary and Secondary sector of Australia. They may be required in situations like regular parent teacher meetings, consultation, enrolment enquiries, complaints and other kinds of information sessions that are run by schools from time to time. These can be one-on-one sessions or collective meetings as well. NAATI CCL test takers must, therefore, should have some knowledge of the education sector of Australia and the kind of vocabulary that is commonly used.

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