July 14, 2024

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On 112, the police will provide simultaneous translation into English and Chinese

On 112, the police will provide simultaneous translation into English and Chinese

SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) — The Korea National Police Agency (KNPA) announced Sunday that it will provide a simultaneous translation service on its emergency hotline starting Monday.

Two English-Korean interpreters and two Chinese-Korean interpreters will join the 112 center in Seoul. The police thus hope to reach out to foreigners established in South Korea and ensure that they do not hesitate to contact them. When the Itaewon stampede occurred in October last year, none of the 93 calls to 112 came from foreigners, while the drama took place in a popular district with foreign residents and claimed lives. 26 foreigners.

Seoul Police Agency (SMPA) Central Emergency Number 112, October 20, 2022. (Resale and archiving prohibited)

The Korea Tourism Office (KTO) has until now provided simultaneous translation to foreigners using emergency numbers. The NPA calculated that, on average, these calls lasted six minutes and 13 seconds. But with the new system implemented directly at the centre, the duration of calls was reduced to three minutes and 52 seconds during the pilot phase.

The NPA plans to share videos and distribute flyers at major airports, railway stations and embassies and consulates in the country to inform about the service’s availability. NPA may expand this service to other languages ​​based on the need to evaluate the performance of this service.

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