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A Comparison of the Process of the Early Translation of the Bible in Korea and Japan

An, Jeong-Whan 1

1한남대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This paper has followed the subject of studying the Bible translated early in Korea and Japan, and provided a comparative analysis of the following two. One concerns notation centering on ancient scripts used in the Bible, the other is about a comparison of the process of accepting Chinese words in the Chinese Bible which is a source book. The research findings are summarized as follows. First, it is about notation. As the Bible was translated at first, there was a strong movement for the two countries to translate the Bible only in indigenous characters. However, when a complete translation phase reached, the two countries began to show different aspects. That is, while Korea had a strong tendency to write it only in Hangul, the Korean alphabet, Japan took the form of using Kana letters, Japanese own letters mixed with Chinese characters. Next, it is about the comparative outcome of the process of accepting Chinese characters in the Chinese Bible which is a source book. It was confirmed that Japan accepted all Chinese characters separating Sound and Meaning from the beginning while Korea accepted them only as Sound except for a very few. This must be a noticeable difference as a relative characteristic shown in the two Bibles. It was also verified that in case of the Japanese “Meiji Translation”, the Chinese characters accepted as Meaning far exceeded those accepted as Sound. This phenomenon was reconfirmed through the comparison between “the Korean and Chinese New Testament(1906)” and the Japanese “Kunten Bible(1980)”.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.