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Interpreting Warrant Officer System and Defense Interpreting in Korea

Joong Chol Kwak 1 You-jin Lee 2

1한국외국어대학교
2한국외국어대학교 통번역대학원

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ABSTRACT

In May, 2012, a new system of Interpreting Warrant Officer (WO) was introduced in the Korean Army under the directive of Korea’s Defense Ministry. The rationale of the system was to meet the increasing demands of translation and interpretation (T&I) from the joint operations of the Korea-U.S. Army. It also aimed at maintaining the continuity and upgrading the professionalism of T&I jobs in the army by complementing the existing system of Interpreting Officers (IOs). Earlier in 2012, the Korea Defense Language Institute (KDLI) was established to incorporate the foreign language training of the entire Korean armies (the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force including the IO education. Until 2012, IOs were selected and trained respectively by each army according to its characteristics and features. Now the incorporated IO training period is 12 weeks, just half of that for WOs. The curriculum for WOs and IOs is focused on T & I only, while the Advanced course for higher ranks has an introductory T & I class in its curriculum. This paper casts a glance at the history of defense interpreting and its education in Korea before and after the new system of WOs. For the newly-established system to take root, some parts in of the current education process need to be complemented to improve the level of Korea’s defense language services.

Citation status

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