KLTI Translation Academy 2007

The KLTI has decided that all the different language groups this semester will be working on the short story 아름다움이 나를 멸시한다 by 은희경.  I have prepared a text of this, that can be viewed as a Web page or saved as an MSWord document, with each week's assignments indicated.

As we work through the collective translation each week, I will prepare a draft version of our translation, for reference. When you have time, please go over it again, looking for ways it might be improved.

4 small groups of 3 members each are listed below, where each individual is assigned a number and is responsible for translating the portion of the portion of text marked with that number each week.

From May 17, members of each group (communicating through the  Academy Cafe or by email, and HP)  will prepare together a communal translation of their complete section of text (by exchanging suggestions for improvements in one another's texts) and a brief group presentation about the main difficulties and challenges encountered. Each group will include at least one native speaker of English.  The person named first in each group is asked to be responsible for ensuring that a class report is ready at the start of the class on May 17, 23, 31, and June 14.

For this to be possible, each person must have completed the translation of their assigned paragraph by midday on the preceding Saturday; the translation is then to be sent to me by email, and to the members of your group (only!).  The finalized version should be sent to me by the evening before each class.

The usual language for class presentations and discussions will be English, since several of our members have stressed to me that they need as much practice in using English as they can get. Obviously, Korean can be used as well, to clarify nuances in the original etc.

Group 1.
Kevin Lee
2. 서재영

Group 2.
4. Sora Kim-Russell
5. 김푸른샘
6. 이유진

Group 3.

9. 염영자

Group 4
10 Agnel Joseph
11. 이한중
12. 홍연주

Some of you may have already translated other portions of the Eun Hui-gyeong short story; please do not share that with others. It will be best if each member of the class prepares their own translation of the passage assigned each week, so that we can work with a full variety of options. I have divided each week's assigned passage into 4 sections, a total of 12  parts, so that each member prepares a draft of one short part each week, each group then working together in the days prior to the class, so as to produce a draft translation of one section and to identify the problematic points that need to be discussed in the class.

One important factor is regularity; if anyone already knows that they will not be able to attend a class, please linform me and also the other members of your group. Your translation will be  needed in any way, of course!

 Please note that on May 23 our class will be held on Wednesday, May 24 being Buddha's Birthday, a holiday.

The author of our text will be coming to meet all the Academy members on June 7. Please prepare some intelligent questions!

Brother Anthony's Guidelines for literary translators

1. Translators should adopt a respectful approach to the author's decisions as to the words used, the grammatical constructions, the paragraph breaks. S/he must be assumed to have had a precise reason for every aspect of the published work.

2. In a preliminary draft, the goal must be to represent in one way or another
every word found in the original, although the great difference between Korean and English means that there can be no such thing as a ‘word-for-word’ translation, but the basic rule is "add nothing, omit nothing."

3. Grammatically correct Korean should be translated by grammatically correct English.

4. Plain Korean sentences should be represented by plain English sentences.

5. Complex Korean sentences should be translated by complex English sentences.

6. Ordinary, everyday Korean vocabulary is to be translated by ordinary, everyday English vocabulary; abstruse or high-level abstract vocabulary by terms of a similar level, vulgarity by vulgarity (but see Problem 1 below)

7. Natural-feeling modern Korean prose should be translated into natural-feeling English prose.

8. Excentricity of style should be indicated by excentricity of style.

9. One Korean paragraph should usually be represented by one English paragraph.

10. A lively narrative style must be translated by a lively narrative style. A plodding style demands a plodding style.

The translator’s difficulties begin with a number of problem situations which have no easy solution:

1. Colloquial expressions, slang, oaths or regional dialect employed in dialogue.

2. Vocabulary for objects or activities that have no equivalent in English culture.

3. The use of different grammatical ‘levels’ to indicate social hierarchy or personal feelings.

Any considerable degree of stylistic editing of a text, that clearly modifies some aspect of the original (systematic changes in sentence breaks, paragraph breaks, etc.) should only be undertaken after completion of a seriously reviewed 'full' translation on the conservative lines outlined above. The author's permission should be requested if the translators feel that really radical editing is in the best interests of the readers of a translated text.

Editing includes inserting phrases or notes to explain culturally opaque details.