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A Comparative Analysis of the English Translations of “Seoul, the Winter of 1964”: With Emphasis on the Textual Background, the Interpersonal Factors and the Lexical Factors

Park Ocksue 1

1영남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The faithfulness to the source text has been considered to be one of the most valued qualities in the realm of literary translation. In the case of English translation of Korean literature, however, the communication between the source text and the target language readers is a frequently raised issue. To communicate target language readers, the translator should pay attention to the special conditions in which transferring a minority language to a majority language. The objective of this paper is to analyze and draw implications from the two translations of “Seoul, the Winter of 1964”. This paper has examined the two English translations of "Seoul, the Winter of 1964" as a case study of examining what the translator of Korean literature in English should put priority on: faithfulness to the source text or communication with the target readers. In terms of the methodology in the analysis, the data is organized into three categories : the factors of textual background, the interpersonal factors, and the lexical factors. First, the analysis of the textual background factors is required for dealing with the situational context. The background factors in the source text presuppose the cultural setting that the author shares with the source language readers. Interpersonal factors are another main issue dealing with the themes of a short story text. An author achieves a semiotic function through the dialogues of the characters. Kim in the work fulfills his role as the first-person narrator. Ahn appears as a character showcasing the typical aspects of a youth in his own generation. The characters of Kim and Ahn are quite contrasted with that of a book salesperson in the story. The dialogues between the three characters clearly manifest their identities. The language in a short story is highly condensed and seeks delicateness when compared with other genres including novels. A short story writer usually reproduces a text where some details are closely watched under the microscope and draws the readers' attention to produce the intended effect. In the process, the typical expression of the source text might be a tool to show readers of translation the intention of the author. Therefore, a success or a failure of a literary translation depends largely on whether or not expressions are transferred appropriately. The basic discussions of the analysis in the three fields are as follows; the extent of dynamic relationship between the source language and the target language, the effectiveness in communicating with the target readers, and the way to achieve faithfulness to the source text.

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