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Korean Characteristics of OkJoongHwa and J. S. Gale's Translation Practices in “Choon Yang”

Lee Sang-Hyun 1 lee jin sook 1

1부산대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Korean Characteristics of OkJoongHwaand J. S. Gale's Translation Practices in "Choon Yang"Lee, Sang Hyun ․ Lee, Jin SookThe objective of this paper is to investigate translated individual words in J. S. Gale's "Choon Yang" in comparison with its original OkJoongHwa(『獄中花』)while referring to early modern bilingual dictionaries and missionaries' ethnography. Gale faced a lot of translation difficulties because the source text had a verydifferent cultural system from the object text. OkJoongHwa was a Korean pansorinovel which meant it included many Korean characteristics. However, Galeconsidered its Korean characteristics were deeply connected with Chinese classics. Even famous people and place names cited from the Chinese classics in OkJoongHwarepresented the Korean thinking. Gale tried to faithfully translate the source textas much as possible whether the words were Chinese or Korean. In this paper,we deal with mostly various translation aspects of the Chinese-letter words inOkJoongHwa. Gale's first method to translate words made of Chinese Character is transliteration,the examples of which are the name of Chinese famous people and places, andChinese poems. The second method is to parallel transliteration and Englishinterpretation equivalent to the Chinese Character. The examples are the namesof main characters like "Spring Fragrance or Choonyang," "Mongyong, orDream-Dragon" and in his translation of word play in Osa (Commissioner), orKamsa (Governor), kaiksa (a dead beggar). The third is literal translation of Chineseidiomatic phrases as Gale translated 侵魚落雁 into "She’d make the fishes to sinkand the wild-geese to drop from the sky." The fourth is a little free translationof the title of public office, the various names of Korean yamen servants andthe unique Korean clothing and ornaments. We expect Gale's many translationdifficulties as we can see the translated long list of yamen clerks and Koreanclothing and ornaments. After our investigation of his translation practices in "Choon Yang" we concludethat he tried to translate its literary language very faithfully though he could notavoid inevitable loss caused by the cultural difference involved in two languages. Gale's "Choon Yang" contributed to introducing the uniqueness of the classicalKorean novel and Korean culture to the world more than any other English translationworks of that time through his faithful translation.

Citation status

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

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.