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Abstract

This article aims to examine the findings of a research study into challenges faced by court interpreters in New Zealand. Despite the research being conducted on court interpreters who were based in New Zealand, implications of this article may also be applicable to overseas court interpreter educators and practitioners. The research included an online survey followed by interviews with practicing court interpreters. A total of 30 court interpreters throughout the country participated in the survey, and 11 volunteered to be interviewed. Survey respondents were asked about challenges encountered at work, including legal terminology, terminology in other domains, tag questions, and so on. Based on the survey results, five questions were generated as an outline for semi-structured interviews. The authors report on the lexical and discursive aspects of these challenges established from the online survey and the interviews. It is hoped that the findings of this study can be used to improve court interpreter education and practice, and promote equal access to legal rights for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals residing in not only New Zealand but also other English-speaking countries.

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