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In Defense of Discussion on Translation Errors

Inkyu Lee 1

1국민대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Since 2007, when the Scholars for English Studies in Korea published In Search of Good Translations of English Literary Classics, discussion on translation errors has disappeared from translation criticism in Korea. Translators protested the SESK’s error-based evaluation of translation was not fair. Moreover, some critics’ personal insults on the translators incurred a strong consensus against error-based evaluation. The descriptive trend of translation studies and major critics’ disrespect to discussion on errors also helped the disappearance of discussion on errors from the discourse on translation. However, discussion on errors should not be neglected in translation criticism. A critic’s first work for his or her translation criticism is to compare an original text and its translation and to evaluate how faithful the translation is to the original text. Discussion on errors is, therefore, the essential part of translation criticism. Critics’ discovery and correction of errors can lead to cooperative communication with translators, for translators will be given opportunities to realize their mistakes and stimulated to produce better translations. This cooperation between critics and translators can be attained through a proper method of pointing out errors. Critics should be able 1) to discern and explain the causes and backgrounds of errors; 2) to use neutral rhetoric in pointing out the errors and refrain from hasty evaluation of the whole translation; 3) to stay away from the false sense of superiority over the translator; 4) to deal with only clear and indisputable mistakes; 5) to always bear in mind the fact that errors are unavoidable in translation.

Citation status

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