Language, Power and the Liminal: A Korean Translator/Interpreter's Role in Shaping Identities in the London (UK) Business Community


  • Fiona Moore Royal Holloway University of London



Translators, Korea, identity, language, power, liminal


The impact of translators and interpreters on transnational business is not often considered, and yet, they have the ability to ensure the success or failure of communication during transnational business ventures, and to shape and define the identities of organisations. As part of a wider ethnographic study of the Korean community in London (UK), I focus on the case of “Mrs Park,” a professional Korean interpreter and translator, and the ways in which she mediates between Korean and non-Korean organisations. We conclude that to understand the roles language and identity play in transnational business, the position of the translator/interpreter as a cultural intermediary must be taken into account.

Author Biography

Fiona Moore, Royal Holloway University of London

Fiona Moore is a Reader at Royal Holloway University of London. She has a DPhil from Oxford and has conducted research with BMW and DG-Bank. Her recent research includes a study of sojourner adjustment among Korean entrepreneurs in London, in collaboration with colleagues at Kingston University, a study funded by the Nuffield Foundation on the social networks of Taiwanese businesspeople in the UK and Canada, and a study of corporate and national culture in Tesco in collaboration with researchers at INSEAD and Anglia Ruskin university. Her research has been published in such journals as JIBS and Global Networks, and she is the author of the monograph Transnational Business Cultures: Life and Work in a Multinational Corporation. She can be contacted at and her website is at