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A survey-based study of police interpreting practice and police officers’ perspectives on police interpreting

  • T&I REVIEW
  • Abbr : tnirvw
  • 2015, 5(), pp.93-120
  • DOI : 10.22962/tnirvw.2015.5..004
  • Publisher : Ewha Research Institute for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : January 12, 2015
  • Accepted : April 8, 2015
  • Published : June 30, 2015

Jieun Lee 1

1이화여자대학교

ABSTRACT

Jieun Lee (2015), A survey-based study of police interpreting practice and police officers’ perspectives on police interpreting: Criminal suspects and defendants, who do not understand the language of the host country, are entitled to free assistance by interpreters under international laws. Provision of interpreting by competent interpreters is crucial to due process and the protection of human rights and legal rights of people from non-Korean speaking backgrounds in the criminal procedure. With the rising demand for interpreting, interpreting has increasingly become a common practice in South Korean police settings, but little is known about the current practice with respect to police interpreting. This case study seeks to examine the current practice of police interpreting in South Korea and police officers’ perspectives on police interpreting based on a questionnaire-based survey of twenty seven police officers. Police usually requests interpreting services from those who have agreed to serve as interpreters in local areas, but also turns to any bilinguals when there is a problem with finding available interpreters. The interpreters who offer police interpreting include non-professionals and volunteers. The results also indicate that the police lacks understanding about the risks associated with engaging people, who have potential conflict of interest, such as co-offenders, acquaintances and police investigators. Such practices cast doubt on the quality of police interpreting although a half of the participants responded that they trust the quality of police interpreting. Furthermore, the remuneration for police interpreting is very low, which may fail to attract competent interpreters in this field. Police interpreting occurs both on site and on telephone to a lesser degree. This paper draws attention to some areas in which the South Korean police needs to adopt good practice and internationally accepted norms in police interpreting.(GSTI of Ewha Womans University, South Korea)

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