The objective of this study is to analyze Korea’s current foothold in the field of interpreting studies research and present the future path through the use of comparison between the patterns in interpreting studies research in Korea and overseas. To this end, this study sets forth classification of research in interpreting studies, comparing and analyzing papers published in academic journals both at home and abroad. The time range of the corpus of analysis is from 1997 to 2015. The corpus for analysis is 600 studies including: 274 studies on interpretation published in three overseas academic journals, namely Interpreting, Meta and Translation and Interpreting studies; 298 studies on interpretation published in three local academic journals, namely Conference Interpretation and Translation, Interpreting and Translation Studies and The Journal of Translation Studies; and 28 studies on sign language interpretation registered on the Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS). Utilizing the classification of research, trend in research is quantitatively analyzed according to year, language, type and genre of interpretation, and scope and theme of research. The results are as follows: 1) Journals that are leading interpreting studies research are Conference Interpretation and Translation and Interpreting and Translation Studies in Korea and Interpreting overseas. Time analysis shows that interpretation related papers are consistently published in the leading journals, whereas great discrepancies exist in the number of interpretation related papers published in the non-leading journals depending on the publishing year; 2) Papers on sign language interpretation account for 9.85% in overseas journals, whereas the number stands at a mere 0.67% in Korea. This showcases the disconnection between research on sign language interpretation and oral language interpretation; 3) In researches that do not distinguish between simultaneous and consecutive modes of interpretation, conference interpretation and community interpretation account for similar proportions in researches abroad, whereas conference interpretation takes up a predominant share in Korea; 4) The analysis on the scope and sub-themes of studies on oral language interpretation shows that the most researched area overseas is descriptive interpreting studies, followed by application, general theory and partial theory, in this set order. In Korea, the most focused is application, followed by general technology, general theory and partial theory, in this order. The order for sign language interpretation research is consistent both at home and abroad, the most researched being general technology, followed by application, general theory and partial theory, in this order. However, the sub-themes of different scopes of studies varies both in the case of oral and sign language.
The implications of the results of analysis and the future path that the Korean academia of interpretation should take are as follows. First, in function-oriented DIS, more attention should be given to the relationship among interpretation participants and the atmosphere of acceptance of interpretation. Second, efforts should be made to close the gap between diverging directions of research on oral and sign language interpretation. Third, effort should be made to fill the void that exist in the scope of research. Fourth, all boundaries in interpreting studies research including language format, interpretation mode and genre of interpretation should be dismantled.