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A Study on Textual Intervention in Korean-to-English News Translation

Hong Jung Min 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims at investigating textual intervention of translators in the process of Korean-to-English news translation in an attempt to gain a clue to the news translators’ interventionist role as gatekeeper or transeditor, and therefore the current state and future of the relevant services in South Korea. A total of 99 Korean source texts(STs) and English target texts(TTs) were analyzed based on six categories of news text processing strategies proposed by previous studies: literal translation(lexical borrowing, transfer of pattern), deletion, addition, substitution, (re)organization, and synthesis. Using these categories as a framework, the textual analysis revealed three major findings as follows:First, rather than simply adding encyclopedic knowledge and changing the location of sentences or paragraphs, Korean-to-English translators make use of comments from relevant experts and officials or information in the press releases which are not found in the STs, or drastically revamp the structure and focus of the STs. By actively transforming texts like this, the Korean-to-English news translators played a very interventionist role as independent gatekeepr or transeditor in the news text processing process. Second, some activities which are not categorized by the above-mentioned six strategies were also found to hint at to what extent the news translators are intervening texts in the Korean-to-English news production. All of the activities are based on translators’ independent reporting or data collection efforts, and result in TTs which are totally different from or without STs, indicating the translators are intervening texts much more actively and dramatically than previous studies suggested. To explain the newly-found activities, this study suggests ‘(re)creation’ as another category of news text processing strategy. Finally, the ‘(re)creation’ activities are expected to gain more ground amid increasingly competitive media market environment, ultimately requiring more and more interventionist role to Korean-to-English news translators.

Citation status

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