Vet­eran in­ter­preter as­sists Trump

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kim Se-jeong

Be­hind U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at his summit with Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in on Tues­day was a rather fa­mil­iar face, an eth­nic Korean in­ter­preter.

The 60-year-old woman, known as Dr. Lee is a full-time Korean-English lan­guage ser­vice provider for the U.S. State De­part­ment.

Her Korean name is Lee Yeon-hyang and she was the main in­ter­preter for for­mer U.S. pres­i­dents Ge­orge W. Bush and Barack Obama. When for­mer Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye vis­ited Wash­ing­ton for meet­ings with Obama, Lee was in charge of in­ter­pre­ta­tion for the heads of state.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­ports, she had been an as­pir­ing vo­cal mu­sic stu­dent. She got her foot in the door for in­ter­pre­ta­tion work via her friend who was pre­par­ing to be­come a pro­fes­sional in­ter­preter.

Dr. Lee stud­ied in­ter­pre­ta­tion at Hankook Univer­sity of For­eign Stud­ies.

In 1996, af­ter years of work, she won a teach­ing po­si­tion at the Mon­terey In­sti­tute’s Trans­la­tion and In­ter­pre­ta­tion Pro­gram based in Cal­i­for­nia where she taught for eight years.

Through her teach­ing ca­reer, she joined the U.S. State De­part­ment for lan­guage ser­vice. In 2004, she re­turned to Korea, taught at Ewha Wo­mans Univer­sity and re­turned to the State De­part­ment in 2009.

Lee Yeon-hyang

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