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Modulation of Negative Expressions in English-Korean Translation

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ABSTRACT

Modulation of Negative Expressions in English-Korean TranslationKim, Se Jung(Sejong University)The purpose of this study is to examine the necessity of modulation according to pragmatic differences, in translating negative expressions. Negation has semantic features and expressions that contrast with affirmation, especially the functions in discourse. Expressive functions of negation in Korean differ from those of English. When emotional differences in the source language (henceforth, SL) and target language (henceforth, TL) occur in spite of a grammatically correct translation, modulations are needed. In this case, modulation occurs in terms of negative expressions, negative sentences or messages. Negative expressions in both English and Korean are not only a matter of refusal or denial, but also emphatic or euphemistic uses. For example, translators sometimes change affirmative sentences into negative ones to emphasize or insinuate the message of SL. A double negative may be used to emphasize a speaker's positive attitude or express a speaker's hesitation. Negative Expressions in English and Korean need obligatory modulations between the two languages. In other words, translators should literally translate message from ST to TL with special consideration of unique expressions of both. Besides, optional modulation is also necessary based on pragmatic differences of English and Korean. Translator should not translate literally but rather, deliver somewhat altered message in TL based on cultural context, structure and function of discourse.

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