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A Dual Scandal of Translation: The Un-ethics of Domestication in the Korean Bestseller Translation of the English book Don’t Eat the Marshmallow... Yet!

Gyung Hee Choi 1

1동국대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

In translation, fluency has long been appreciated and used extensively in both literary and non-literary texts. In particular, fluent translation seems to have characterized translation strategies adopted to produce bestsellers (Venuti 1998 Chapter 7). While fluent strategy is an inevitable part of the translating process, it entails the risk of domesticating the foreign text by distorting its foreignness (Venuti 1995; 1998: 11). The domesticating strategy dominant in America and UK may also be prevalent in countries like Korea, where a considerable number of published books, and in particular, bestsellers, are translated works. As a case in point, this paper investigates one of the highest-selling translations ever in Korea, the self-improvement parable Don’t Eat the Marshmallow... Yet!, and its Korean translation (2005). In analyzing the translated text, emphasis will be given to the ethical aspect of the translation, which has already been embroiled in a proxy translator scandal (Berman 1992; cf. Nord 2007). The analysis reveals how the translation misrepresents foreignness not just in individual culture-specific content, but also in the message of the parable, seemingly as a result of an active intervention by the publisher with the purpose of boosting sales.

Citation status

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