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A study of legal interpreting service providers’ and users’ perceptions of the norms in legal interpreting

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1이화여자대학교

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ABSTRACT

This paper examines legal interpreting service providers’ and users’ perceptions of the norms in legal interpreting on the basis of a questionnaire-based survey of 139 legal professionals and 48 interpreters in Korea. The legal respondents include judges, attorneys, prosecutors, prosecution investigators, and police officers, and the interpreting respondents include both sign language interpreters and foreign language interpreters. The study reported in this paper canvassed the respondents’ profiles, such as age, gender, and work experience, and their views on the role of the legal interpreter and practical issues related to accuracy in legal interpreting. The data analysis revealed a gap in the legal professionals’ and the interpreting professionals’ perspectives on the role of the legal interpreter, specifically, cultural mediation, reproduction of speech styles and irresponsive testimony, and coping with mistranslation. The findings indicate that both groups of respondents lack accurate understanding of the norms in legal interpreting, which may have implications for legal proceedings. This paper argues for education for both groups of respondents to raise their awareness of the norms in legal interpreting for quality interpreting.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.