The purpose of this study is to examine how ideological orientations are reflected in institutional translation by analyzing Korean news articles containing translations of English news and commentaries of foreign news publications on the sinking of the naval vessel Cheonan. Drawing on the theories and concepts of frames, narratives, macrostructure, and agency, the paper explores how Korean journalists as institutional translators consciously and/or unconsciously try to change the meanings and tones of the texts so as to portray the government and the President in either a positive or a negative light, depending on their ideological orientations.
The study compared and analyzed eight sets of English news articles from foreign news media(ST), Korean articles based on translations of STs published by Yonhap News Agency as a quasi-governmental news agency(TT1), and articles written in a similar manner by local, private news media(TT2). The focus was on the shifts in narrative structures, frames, and headlines as well as on lexical changes. The study found that on both macro- and micro-levels, the TT1s tend to emphasize the merits of the actions of the government and the President, while trying to gloss over their weaknesses. By contrast, the TT2, which mostly have left-wing orientations, showed the opposite tendency.