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English-to-Korean Translation on Body Language

Silo Chin 1

1세종대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Body language is a huge part of human communication. Its role is as important as verbal language’s one, and its relationship with culture is as strong as verbal language’s. Therefore the same body language can mean very different things in different cultures. In other words, one culture set of acceptable body language or gesture may not be understood with the same meaning in a different culture. For example, in Korea to ask someone to come over, people usually raise a hand with palm facing outward and then bend and straighten it, but the same gesture is used to ask someone to “go” or to say “good-bye” in America. Since similar misunderstandings often occur in translation, translators should sometimes manipulate the expressions including gestures so that target readers can understand the exact meaning of the body language and, as a result, the whole text. This study investigates the common mistranslated cultural body languages between English and Korean languages and offers some practical translation strategies, in order to help translators avoid the pitfall of ‘non-sense’ or ‘distorted meaning’ of body languages.

Citation status

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