Foreign language translation services

Interpretation, translation and communication support

You must make provision to provide interpretation, translation and communication support when asked.  Please note you will need to provide a cost centre as there will be a charge for these services.

Interpreting into languages other than English (except British Sign Language)

We use an external provider to provide both face to face and telephone interpretation.  This is currently the Big Word.

Telephone interpretation is available immediately and costs you less.  Before you start, you will need:

  • your access code.  This is different for different areas of the council so that it can be charged back to the appropriate cost centre.  If you, your colleagues or your manager do not know your access code, contact the Communication support team on extension 25094 for advice.  Please note that new codes take effect from 1 April 2018 so you will need to re-check the code for your department.

Dial 0800 757 3025 to reach an automated line that will ask for your access code followed by a language code.

Face to face interpreting can take a few days to organise and is more expensive. 

Call 0800 757 3100 or send a request to  You need to provide contact details, language requirements, date, time, duration of meeting and whether there are any specific requirements such as interpreter gender.

Translating into languages other than English or Braillie

Written materials do not always have to be translated to meet individual language needs.  It may be more appropriate to offer an interpretation service instead.  However, if you need a document translated into another language or Braillie, you can arrange this via our in-house Communication Support Service.  

Contact on: 0191 211 5094 (extension 25094) or email:                 

Communicating with people who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind

British sign language interpreting, lip speakers, note takers, deafblind interpreters and speech to text reporters can be arranged via our in-house Communication Support Service.

Contact on: 0191 211 5094 (extension 25094) or email:

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