We’re highlighting the great work our translators do helping to make our elections and services accessible to every member of the community. Here we sit down for a brief Q&A with KC Jung, our Korean language translator.
What is your background and what brought you to working in local government at King County?
I am originally from Seoul, South Korea. I first came to the U.S. to study English and decided to adopt this country as my new homeland because of the diverse background of people and places. After completing my education, I started my career in local government at the City of Federal Way. As the Korean Community Liaison, I helped bridge the gap between Korean residents and the city. I was able to create and engage in many programs that benefited residents. After years of working for the city, I was ready for a bigger role, so I joined the U.S. Department of Commerce where I was able to expand my community engagement on a larger scale. In this role, I was able to not only engage with the Korean community, but also with other minority communities all over Washington State.
In my off time, I volunteer at the Puyallup School District. Once my kids were enrolled in middle and high school, I needed to dedicate more time to them. That’s when I decided to look for a local government job that continued my commitment to serve the community, which led me to King County Elections.
Why did you choose to work in Language Services for King County Elections?
For the past 10 plus years I have worked (and volunteered) as a translator for my community and I wanted to continue to serve my community in the same capacity. In addition, since becoming a U.S. citizen and gaining the privilege to vote, I wanted to relay the message of the power of voting to all eligible voters.
How does your work support the King County Elections mission of conducting fair, open and accurate elections?
By offering election services in additional languages, we help voters with limited English proficiency be able to exercise their right to vote. We provide them with clear and concise information so that they can make an informed decision without any undue influence.
Why is it important to do this translation and interpretation work and represent the many diverse groups and cultures within King County?
Our work is about bridging the gap between King County government and its services and the citizens of the county. Since King County is known to be one of the most diverse counties in the country, being able to have clear and concise communication is a key component to understanding and respecting each other.
What is the biggest challenge of your job, and what is something that you enjoy the most about it?
Since the Korean election system is so different from the American one, often times I run into situations where I have to be creative with words to describe certain terms or phrases. My goal is to ensure that nothing gets lost in translation.