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414 professional refugee interpreters allotted by the ministry of justice

The qualified interpreters will provide support for refugee interviews during the three-year appointment period.

Newsnomics  AJAY ANGELINA reporter |

 

South Korea appointed 414 interpreters of 34 foreign lang uages who will be responsible for interpreting for refugee applicants in order to strengthen the fairness and professionalism of the refugee screening process announced by the ministry of justice on 29 January 2024.

 

In this regard, the Ministry of Justice certified 106 civilian interpreters 'refugee professional interpreters' and awarded them with letters of appointment who will work responsibly for refugee interview screening process. 

 

The 414 professional refugee interpreters in charge of interpreting 34 languages during refugees screening process include; 94 Chinese , 65 English , 63 Russian , 31 Vietnamese , 20 Mongolian , 15 Arabic , 13 Uzbek , 11 Myanmar , 8 Thai , 8 Turkic , 8 French , 7 Indonesian , 6 Sinhala , 6 Nepali ,6 Bengali , 6 Tagalog , 5 Urdu , 5 Kazakh , 4 Hindi , 4 Iranian , 4 Swahili , 3 Spanish , 3 Portuguese , 3 Japanese ,2 Malay , 2 Tamil , 2 Kyrgyz , 2 Malayalam, 2 Cambodian, 2 Twi, 1 Chin, 1 Cantonese, 1 Dari, and 1 Punjabi.

 

Since 2021, the Ministry of Justice is operating a certification system for professional refugee interpreters in order to enhance the fairness and professionalism of refugee affairs in line with Korea's increased international status, as well as to provide smooth interpretation support for refugee applicants who cannot fully express themselves in Korean language.

 

The professional refugee interpreters who interpret during the refugee interview process between refugee screening officials and refugee applicants are the experts verified as having foreign language skills suitable for interpreting in the refugee field. They are equipped with the refugee-related essentials such as refugee law, refugee conventions, and refugee interpreting ethics training. 

 

After completing training, the qualified interpreters receive certification from the Ministry of Justice will provide support for refugee interviews during the three-year appointment period.

 

The newly appointed refugee interpreters numbered 106 who will provide interpretation services in 25 languages until December 31, 2026.

 

 

According to the ministry of justice, there were 308 professional refugee interpreters (in 34 languages) working as of the end of December 2023, an additional 106 people were appointed as refugee interpreters bringing the total to 414 (34 languages).

 

The appointed professional refugee interpreters are composed of Korean citizens who are fluent in foreign languages and foreigners of various nationalities who speak Korean fluently. 

 

One of the Myanmar language interpreters entered Korea in 2006 and acquired Korean nationality in 2010.

 

As someone who has lived in Korea for 17 years expressed his determination, saying, “I will do my best to help with refugee protection and refugee screening through accurate refugee interpretation.”

 

The Ministry of Justice by implementing a certification system for professional refugee interpreters again this year notified to expand the number of professional refugee interpreters by improving the expertise of refugee

interpretation and securing interpreters in minority languages.

 

Shim Woo-jung, the acting Minister of Justice said at the appointment ceremony, “this is the first and very important step for refugee interpreters to accurately convey the language of refugee applicants to refugee screening officers that will be helpful in fair refugee screening.”

 

“Please do your best to ensure that refugees are protected through accurate interpretation.” Mr. Jung added.
 

 


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