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English-Korean Translation: Passive Constructions

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2005, 6(1), pp.121-142
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies

InJung Cho 1

1Monash University

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This study shows that English passive constructions should be translated into Korean based on the functions that they perform in a given text. In English to Korean translation, the English passive has long been recognized as one of the difficult elements and has received great attention from translators and researchers. However, this attention has mainly focused on the forms of the passive rather than its textual functions, as well as on ad hoc solutions without systematic analysis. Working with information structure theory and text linguistics, the present study first shows that the functions of the English passive can be expressed in forms other than the passive in Korean. Then, it presents how this knowledge of the differences between the two languages can be applied to translation through the analysis of several existing examples. From the analysis, it is concluded that the textual functions of the English passive should be the first and foremost consideration when translating them into Korean. It is also a necessary to distinguish the long passive, which contains the agent expressed in a by-phrase, from the short passive without a 'by + agent' phrase since they perform very different textual functions. The findings of this research are not just limited to translation. They also have implications for the general English and Korean education.

Citation status

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