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Language Issues in Korean Courts


Language Issues in Korean ...

Foreign nationals are entitled to interpretation assistance when they appear before Korean courts. This right was acknowledged by the Korean Supreme Court in 2008.

However, the courts have not yet developed an accreditation system that would guarantee an adequate quality of interpretation for foreign nationals.  Currently, anyone approved by the presiding judge may act as an interpreter.  There is no system in place to evaluate the fluency or abilities of the designated interpreters/translators. This has resulted in some inconsistencies in the service as potentially, some possible miscarriages of justice.

For example, an inexperience or less than fluent interpreter could translate:  “Do you admit to the charges levied against you?” to “Are you aware of the charges levied against you?”  The accused would likely answer ‘Yes’ to the wording of the latter question, while the interpretation of the ‘Yes’would be in response to the question regarding guilt.

Foreign nationals can bring their own translator at their own expense. 

K4E Editor: Korea4Expats.com tries to ensure that the information we provide is accurate and complete, so should you notice any errors or omissions in the content above please contact us at info@korea4expats.com.

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Last Updated on 2015-04-13


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