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For Whom Fidelity should be Maintained?: A Study on Translation Patterns of Four-letter Words and the Survey for Reception of Translation

Kim, Gahee 1 Park, Yoon Hee 2

1인천대학교
2동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The translation of taboo, swear, and slang words is one of the trickiest jobs translators can face in literary translation. Nevertheless, they need to be translated faithfully to achieve the aim that is to create a text which will produce the same pleasure for target readers as the source text does. The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the notion of 'fidelity' for target readers with regard to translation patterns of the four-letter word 'fuck'. To address this, the translation of the lexeme fuck and its morphological variants (fucking, fuckwit, etc.) into Korean is analyzed based on the same criteria proposed by McEnery and Xiao (2004). The analyzed novels are Bridget Jones's Diary (1996) and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (1999) by Helen Fielding and their Korean translations. A significant feature in analysis is that both translations trivialize a highly sensitive resource such as the corpus of fuck through 'omission' and 'mitigation'. In regard to this, a survey asking respondents' views on these omissions and mitigations in translated books is conducted targeting 245 college students and 48 in work. What the respondents expected from existing translation and for whom fidelity should be maintained are reconsidered with the results drawn by the statistical study on the basis of this survey. Readers accepting and consuming translation products are expected to increasingly take the important roles on the market in the near future. Therefore, this paper suggests that more studies on 'readers' are needed for better translation.

Citation status

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