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Study on Korean Film Title Translation

오미형 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

A title represents a text, a play, a song, or a book that it belongs to and, therefore, influences the impression that readers or the audience form about whatever it represents. This is truer in the case of films as they have only short period to compete with each other in a given market. Hence, movie titles need to be translated such that they retain the attractiveness and informativeness that they possessed in the source language. This study analyzes 723 Korean film titles and their English translations in order to understand the kinds of translation methods used. It also discusses some considerations that we have to make when the methods are to be employed more effectively. The analysis shows that literal translation, text production, adaptation, and transliteration, in this order of popularity, are the methods chosen for the K-E translation of movie titles in the market. Although literal translation is a convenient and justifiable choice, serious consideration should be given to the naturalness of the expression. In the cases of text production and adaptation, the general trend is to reveal the plot of the movie more clearly in its English title. Expressions that are frequently used in the target language or that arouse intertextual relations in the target culture need to be investigated further to determine if they create impressions that are far-removed from the actual images and/or plots of the movies. The transliteration method, although rarely used, demands careful assessment to determine the extent to which Korean, as a lesser known language, is, and can be, accepted in the target culture.

Citation status

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