Market demand for conference interpreting: Key factors affecting recruiting decisions in South Korea

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This study explored market demand for conference interpreting in South Korea, focusing on clients' views on the key factors that affect their recruiting decisions. The study conducted a semi-structured interview using fictitious resumes with 14 participants who are clients of conference interpreting services. The study's results indicate that: (1) participants place high importance on interpreting quality, particularly emphasizing quality items such as content accuracy and terminology awareness; (2) domain-specific interpreting experience, academic background, and price serve as important quality signals in their recruiting decision-making; and (3) price-quality association is present. Furthermore, the interview results suggest that a collaborative approach from clients is necessary to create an enabling environment for quality interpreting services. Ultimately, this study presents noteworthy information regarding clients' rationales for their recruitment criteria. This information is expected to widen our understanding of the interpreting market in South Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-48
Number of pages25
JournalForum (Germany)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 11 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Ewha Womans University Research Grant of 2018 (Grant number: 1-2018-0593-001-1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Benjamins Publishing Company.


  • conference interpreting
  • market demand
  • qualification
  • recruitment criteria
  • signal


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