Korea: 40% of English Translations of Literature Below Average

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40% of English Translations of Literature Below Average

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Staff Reporter

Around 40 percent of modern Korean literary works suffer from poor translations into English, according to Rep. Choi Ku-sik, a member of the Grand National Party and the National Assembly's Culture, Sports, Broadcasting and Communications Committee.

Choi said a report on the translation business by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism showed four out of 10 literary works translated into English have problems in conveying the basic elements and content of the original Korean text.

The report evaluated 70 translated Korean literary works, and 29 of them received a C grade for accuracy and readability. This includes six works from the 1970s, 10 from the 1980s, five from the 1990s and eight from 2000.

The C grade means the literary works have been translated poorly and have problems in conveying the essential elements of the Korean work into English. In terms of readability, the translated work is not easy to read because of awkward vocabulary that does not express the original Korean work's context and intent.

Only 10 percent or 7 out of the 70 works that were evaluated received an A grade. This includes two works from the 1970s, one work from the 1990s and four from 2000. The A grade is given to a translated work that successfully delivers the tone, theme, context and literary effect of the original work.

Choi proposed professional training of translators to ensure the quality of Korean modern literature and a more efficient evaluation system for the translation business.

cathy@koreatimes.co.kr

Source: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2008/10/117_31939.html


 

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