본문 바로가기
  • Home

Case Study on English-Korean Translation of Slang and Vulgarism: Analysis of Shifts in Formality Levels

한미선 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In general, both spoken and written languages require proper levels of formality and a change in these levels usually lead to a certain shift in the style of a discourse or a text. In light of the fact, this study aims to demonstrate that, as far as novel translation is concerned, it is necessary to translate slang and vulgar expressions in the original into TT equivalents with corresponding levels of formality. To that end, this study employs a comparative corpus analysis based on a five-level word formality model. According to existing research, emotional forces of slang and vulgar words in original texts tend to be lessened to some extent or completely missing in translated novels. That’s because such expressions in the original are often replaced with those of different levels of formality, resulting in the change in stylistic effects and the diminution of negative emotional values in translated texts. To illustrate this argument, dialogues containing slang and vulgar words and their translated counterparts were extracted from three novels and their English-Korean translated texts and then the shift in word formality levels between ST and TT was analyzed based on the aforementioned model. These three novels have in common that slang and vulgar words serve metalinguistic functions assigned by original authors. Therefore, by analyzing these three texts, it can be easily clarified that, if these words of lower formality are translated into words of higher formality or omitted completely, there will be certain losses and which will lead to a failure in reproducing similar stylistic effects to the original.

Citation status

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