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‘Autonomy’ in Children’s Literature Translation: Focusing on Korean Translations of Dickens's A Christmas Carol

Inkyu Lee 1

1국민대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Refuting Venuti’s definition of the autonomy of translation as “the textual features and operations or strategies that distinguish it”(Venuti 2004: 5) from the non-translational texts, this paper finds the autonomy of translation in the essential condition of translational action itself: the vast textual possibility for a translation of a source text. Based on this position, this paper examines how much autonomy a translator can exercise in the translation of children’s literature, focusing on three Korean translations of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. The close examination of the three Korean translations of A Christmas Carol shows that translators’ autonomous textual intervention happens in many different ways. These textual transformations are classified under four main categories: reduction, expansion, simplification, and manipulation. Reduction includes omissions and condensation, while expansion consists of additions and over-translation. And simplification comprises sentence-breaking and paraphrasing, while manipulation implies bold transformations by free interpretation or creative domestication. The three Korean translations of A Christmas Carol, compared with the most recent translation for adult readers, turn out to contain a very wide range of translational autonomy. Especially, one of them carries out this freedom far more actively and expansively than the others, to the extent of becoming so-called ‘an unfaithful beauty.’

Citation status

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