Ballymena Interpreting & Translation Service (BITS)

Ballymena Inter-Ethnic Forum provides Interpreters and Translators through its Community Interpreters and Translators Register.

Background to  BITS Service

This register now has over 60 interpreters covering over 24 languages.  Our interpreters are accredited with OCN community interpreting level 2/3.

In Autumn 2002, the Regional Health Interpreting and Social Service Project held one of their first courses in Ballymena.  15 interpreters became qualified and worked mainly within the health board.  Many other minority ethnic and local members in the  community who were interested in helping minority ethnic communities also became qualified and are now working for a range of service providers.

In the past 10 years we have seen the need increase as service providers become aware of the need for interpreters and the cost-effectiveness of improving services and the quality of life of minority ethnic communities. Along with the support of Ballymena Inter-Agency Ethnic Support Group, we are pleased to be able to offer further opportunities for our multi-skilled community interpreters and translators.  Our aim is in sustaining minority ethnic community activities. As the service is based through BIEF, we also offer community support, accredited training and guidance to our interpreters and translators.

General Interpreting & Written translation

If you require an Interpreter or Translator please contact Natasha Carleton – Admin/Finance Officer on 028 2564 3605 or email

What details do we require?

For interpreting:

  1. Client name
  2. Language or dialect required
  3. Name of person/company/organisation requiring service
  4. Venue
  5. Contact name and phone number
  6. Brief outline of purpose/nature of session
  7. Date required
  8. Time required

For translations:

  1. Name of person/organisation/company requiring service
  2. Client name
  3. Language or dialect required
  4. Contact name and phone number
  5. Document title
  6. Indication of ordinary or highly technical translation
  7. Indication of urgency
  8. Date required for document


General Interpreting

Costs will include the general interpreting fee per hour, and travelling costs.

  • NO show = 1 hour interpreting (where applicable) + travel allowance
  • Travelling time = £12.50 /hour
  • Mon – Fri
  •           08:00 – 18:00
  • £25/ hr
  • Mon – Fri
  • 18:00 – 08:00
  • £35/ hr
  • Sat/Sun/Bank and Public Holidays
  • All day
  • £35/ hr

Travel Costs

  • Mileage £0.45 per mile for interpreter using own transport
  • Other transport costs; cost so public transport depending on availability of bus, trains or taxis.
  • Our interpreters must provide receipts for public expenses to be reimbursed.

In Exceptional circumstances e.g. in emergencies, an additional cost may be incurred.

Waiting time:

In the event of sessions that are longer than 3 hours and an interpreter is not interpreting and waiting exceeds 1 hour, an additional charge of £10 per hour will be incurred.


Authorisation will be sought from the ‘customer’ for any additional time taken during translation.

Written translation including proof reading


Languages using roman alphabet Per 100 words £10/ 100 words
Languages using non-roman alphabet e.g. Chinese, Arabic, Russian etc Per 100 words £20/ 100 words


Languages using roman alphabet Per 100 words £20/ 100 words
Languages using non-roman alphabet e.g. Chinese, Arabic, Russian etc Per 100 words £30/ 100 words

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