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Interpretation and Translation Services

The IWK is committed to offering a welcoming and inclusive environment where diversity is respected, embraced, and valued in all that we say or do. To ensure that all IWK patients and their families are able to communicate with their physician or health care provider, we provide a professional interpretation and translation service. 

How we help

Health interpretation services in French are provided by the IWK Bilingual Services Coordinator. Health Interpretation in other languages is also available and can be arranged when requested by the family.  

You can call the clinic or IWK inpatient unit before your visit to request a professional health interpreter. This request needs to be made in English. Once the service of an interpreter is arranged, he or she will call you to confirm.

Once in the clinic or on the unit, if you are not comfortable talking to your IWK physician or other health care provider in English please ask an IWK staff member for an interpreter who speaks your language.

A family member or friend may be able to help you understand what a doctor or other health care provider is saying, however due to the sensitive nature of the situation and sometimes complex language used, it is better to have a trained health interpreter assist as he or she will ensure that you understand everything the IWK health care provider is saying and that the health care provider understands what you are saying.

The IWK has translated a number of patient brochures to other languages: French, Arabic, and Simplified Chinese. You may ask for these documents when you visit IWK Health. 

When you visit the IWK, your health interpreter will work directly with your family and the health care provider to ensure you understand what is being said. The interpreter will be present during important conversations and will interpret line by line what the health professional is saying to you and what you are saying to the health professional. The health interpreter can also help you ask questions to the physician or health care provider to ensure you understand everything about your situation and help you make informed decisions. 

After you leave the IWK you may have more questions about what you learned while you were there. For post-care interpretation, please call the IWK to request an interpreter.