Publication details [#64255]

Ng, Eva N.S. 2018. Common Law in an Uncommon Courtroom. Judicial interpreting in Hong Kong. (Benjamins Translation Library 144). John Benjamins. xxvi, 226 pp.
Publication type
Book – monograph
Publication language


This book takes you into a common-law courtroom which is in no way similar to any other courtroom where common law is practised. This uniqueness is characterised, in particular, by the use of English as the trial language in a predominantly Cantonese-speaking society and by the presence of other bilinguals in court, thus presenting specific challenges for the interpreters who work in it, and at times rendering the interpretation service superfluous. This study, inter alia, problematises judges’ intervention in the court proceedings, Chinese witnesses testifying in English, as well as English-language trials heard by Chinese jurors. It demonstrates how the use of chuchotage proves to be inadequate and inappropriate in the Hong Kong courtroom, where interpreting in an English-language trial is arguably provided to cater for the need of the linguistic majority.