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Department of Linguistics

A/P Jemina Napier

Jemina Nappier

Formal name: Jemina Napier

Position: Associate Professor, Coordinator, Translation & Interpreting Programs

Personal Title: A/P

Qualifications: PhD (Macq), MEd (UTS), MA (Durham), BA Hons (London Guildlhall), NAATI Accredited Interpreter

Telephone: +61 2 9850 8756

Fax: +61 2 9850 9199


Location: C5A 424

Web Pages: Selected Publications


Jemina Napier is a native British Sign Language (BSL) user, with extensive experience of interpreting. As a BSL/ English interpreting practitioner she specialised in mental health, conference, media and educational interpreting. She coordinated and taught on the Sign Language Interpreters Training Course at the City Literary Institute in London for two years, before moving to Sydney in 1998. Jemina now practices as an interpreter between English and BSL, Auslan or International Sign, specialising in conferences and linguistics. In 2001 she completed her PhD thesis, which analysed the linguistic coping strategies of sign language interpreters in terms of omissions made and why. She joined the staff at Macquarie University in 2002.

Jemina is the immediate Past President of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters' Association (member of the Executive Board since 2002; Vice-President 2005-2007, President 2—7-2009); and former member of the Executive Board of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (regional representative for Australasia/ Oceania 2005-2007); and is a member of the Auslan Examination Panel (co-chair 2004-2007) and the Qualifications & Assessment Advisory Committee of the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.


Jemina is head of the Translation & Interpreting section in the department, and in her teaching specialises in sign language interpreting, T&I research methods and interpreting pedagogy. In 2006, Jemina received Division of Linguistics & Psychology and Macquarie University citations for 'outstanding contributions to student learning', and a 2007 Australian Learning & Teaching Council (ALTC - formerly Carrick Institute for Higher Education) citation award 'For pioneering and developing an innovative research-led program and complementary resources to enhance the learning experience of sign language interpreting students.' Additionally, Jemina engages in scholarship of teaching, and has been involved in leading various teaching-research projects, including a current Macquarie University-wide project funded by the ALTC to investigate leadership in teaching in the context of peer review.


Jemina is Director of the Centre for Translation & Interpreting Research, and member of the Applied Linguistics & Language in Education and Sign Language Linguistics Research Groups. She is also a member and joint project leader for T&I (with Helen Slatyer) in the Centre for Language Sciences. She held a Macquarie University Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from January 2004 - December 2006.  She is currently involved in various research projects, as follows:

  • a national study of deaf juror comprehension of courtroom discourse via interpreters
  • effectiveness of remote sign language interpreting for legal purposes
  • development of an interactive online Medical Signbank (with A/Prof Trevor Johnston)
  • action research to review the T&I curriculum at Macquarie University

She has recently completed other projects, including:

  • a survey of T&I practitioners throughout Australia (with Helen Slatyer)
  • perceptions and comprehension of sign language interpreting
  • mentoring of sign language interpreters (with Tamara Pearce)
  • a pilot of deaf juror comprehension as compared to hearing jurors (with David Spencer)

Jemina has published over 40 books, chapters and journal articles discussing aspects of sign language interpreting or translation and interpreting pedagogy. She is editor of the 'International Journal of Interpreter Education', and editorial board member for the International Journal of Interpreting & Translation Research.

Main Research Interest

  • Signed language interpreting and translation
  • Discourse and interpreting
  • Translation & interpreting pedagogy
  • Distance education pedagogy

Wider Research Interests

  • Discourse analysis
  • Bilingualism
  • Language contact
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Applied Sign Linguistics



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