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Korean Tradition of Translation: From the Gabo Reform to the Present

Kim Ji-won 1

1세종대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

It is certainly through translating that a nation actively takes part in the “Global Village.” If Korean culture would like to move beyond its current status as a local culture, it is essential above all to publish Korean versions of admirable foreign literatures. Since the Independence of 1945, the translation of foreign texts into Korean blossomed immensely. Specifically after the Korean War, Korean translations, including a host of complete works series and paperbacks as well as separate volumes, have been poured out on a grand scale. At the same time, it is equally important, if not more so, to select fine literatures containing Korean characteristics, translate them through the intermediary of effective translators, and introduce them to the readers all over the world. Most of the Korean classics have been neglected chiefly due to decades of political and socio-economic hegemony, which has tended to relegate some of historically (or culturally) significant facts according to its preference. Consequently, there still remains a considerable volume of fine works written in Hanja that needs to be translated first into modern Korean and then into other foreign languages such as English or French. The effect of translation upon cultural exchanges, international tourism and the improvement of trade cannot be overstated. Yet the translation field in Korea is, in many ways, in shambles. Although they agree with the importance and necessity of translators, most Koreans do not usually look so favorably on the status of the translator. There are neither systems nor institutions in place to nurture competent translators to the level of national or societal distinction. Therefore, finding and encouraging expert translators who will actively participate in the historical task to create a global culture is an urgent affair.

Citation status

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