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Exploring Theme choices in an English TV documentary and its Korean translation: A Systemic Functional Approach

한송이 1

1Freelance Translator

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the Theme analysis of an English documentary program transcription and its translation into Korean to investigate patterns of Theme choice drawing on Systemic Functional Linguistic (SFL) theory (Halliday 1994, Halliday & Matthiessen 2004) and a description of Theme in Korean (Kim 2007). Choosing appropriate lexical choices are not the only task that translators have to deal with when translating a source text into a target text. Translators are required to deliver the same message, and to generate a natural sounding document. According to SFL theory, Theme is “a point of departure” (Halliday 1994, Halliday & Matthiessen 2004) which orients readers to what the message is about and acts as a textual resource for the text’s progression. Effectually, where a translator makes certain Theme choices, target readers can be possibly oriented to a different direction to which the original author intended. Therefore it is assumed that natural flow and readability of a translated text is, to a large extent, determined by the choice of Theme (Kim 2007a). With this theoretical framework, this paper investigates Theme choices in a BBC documentary called ‘Auschwitz’ and its Korean translation. The paper will present major findings from the analysis in terms of Theme choices in both the Source text and Target text, and then it will investigate patterns of Theme choices between the Korean translation of Auschwitz and a comparable text originally written in Korean.

Citation status

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