KIM, Jihyeon



Faculty of International Research and Education, School of International Liberal Studies

Job title

Research Associate

Degree 【 display / non-display

  • 修士


Research Areas 【 display / non-display

  • Linguistics   Court interpreting

Specific Research 【 display / non-display

  • Revisiting the Interpreter’s Role in Bilingual Courtrooms: Normative Roles, Users’ Expectations and the Status Quo of Court Interpreting in Japan


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    The overall goal of this study is to link research and practice towards improved policy development and implementation of interpreting services for foreign defendants and witnesses in the bilingual courtroom. The study aims to identify the gap between de-facto norms, practitioners’ views, and the status quo in Japan with regard to the role of court interpreters. Over 20 months between 2018 - 2020, a total of 29 interviews with legal practitioners (i.e., judges, prosecutors, defense counsels), interpreters, and relevant institutions (i.e., Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court of Japan, JFBA) were carried out, along with field observation of court hearings and document research. Drawing on transcripts, field-notes, and a selection of government documents, the results were analyzed to validate the norms that constitute interpreting practices in terms of its content and internal coherence. The results will be further analyzed to discuss whether the current norms provide quality interpreting in alignment with the professional roles of court interpreters perceived by service users. The preliminary results indicate that high compliance by interpreters towards institutional guidelines has largely contributed to the development of their shared identities as an ‘intermediary’. However, the results also show persistent challenges of reaching consensus on the notion behind this intermediary role.