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A Study of Chinese Translation and Reader Reception of the Modern Korean Novel, Focusing on the Last 5 Years

Choi Eun Jeong 1

1계명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This article is an analysis of the status of the modern Korean novels translated into Chinese over the past five years and how they are perceived by readers. Translation of modern Korean novels over the past five years has a few important characteristics as the following. The first characteristic is diversity. Books written by the most representative modern Korean writers, like Lee Gwang-soo, Kim Yu-jung, Kim Dong-ri, and books of the authors with very unique ideas, such as Park Kyung-ri, Lee Mun-yeol, Shin Kyung-suk, Gong Ji-young, Kim Young-ha, Park Min-kyu, Cheon Myung-gwan, and Kim Ae-ran have been translated and introduced to the Chinese population. Secondly, there are active translation of the books written by female writers. Lastly, without the support of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea or the Daesan Foundation, the number of works translated and published is slowly increasing. As a result of the increasing number of translations, the quality of translation is improving. However, interest on the part of Chinese readers in the modern Korean novel is not very high. But, the works of authors like Kim Young-ha, Cheon Myung-gwan, Kim Ae-ran, and Park Min-kyu, who began their literary careers after the mid-90s, are drawing relatively more attention. The common features of such works are the novelty of the narrative methods, attachment to reality, and readability. The interest shown by Chinese readers is significant in explaining the two following factors. First, it is true that many modern Korean novels are available in China, but only those that have been read will continue to be read. Second, the indifference of Chinese readers to modern Korean novels is because they are not yet aware of the existence of such works. It is important to train professional translators who can properly translate literature and also to focus on introducing the differences in modern Korean novels through canonical translation. To achieve this aim, not only supportive policies, but also cooperation between researchers in the field of modern Korean literature, translators, and publishers is essential.

Citation status

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