Community interpreting: Asian language interpreters’ perspectives


  • Sophia Ra Student at Macquarie University
  • Jemina Napier Director, Centre for T&I Research


community interpreting, interpreters, Asian language, Asian language community interpreters, interpreter’s role


With an increasing migrant population worldwide requiring community interpreting services, the role of the community interpreter has been a critical focus in interpreting studies research. As Australia is a multicultural country and one of the leading countries in providing community interpreting services, with a large proportion of immigrants from Asian countries, this paper examines the perspectives of Asian language community interpreters working in Australia on their role and cultural conflicts they can face. Based on an online survey and telephone interviews with Asian language community interpreters accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters in Australia (NAATI), this paper investigates their perceptions on the interpreter’s role and the status of Asian language community interpreting in Australia. The key finding of the study was that Asian language community interpreters predominantly defined their role as a facilitator of communication, and believed that Asian language community interpreting was different from interpreting between two Western or Indo-European languages.