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The Concept of Thematic Development Applied to Undergraduate Students’ Korean-English Translations: Focusing on Issue Analysis and Comparison with Professional Translators’ Renditions

Gyung Hee Choi 1

1평택대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is aimed at analyzing Korean-English translations of newspaper articles rendered by undergraduate students to improve their translation abilities as well as their English. In Korea, translating into English as a B language is not only a possible option but can lead to a more lucrative career than the other direction. However, there seems to be little literature available on how to teach Korean-English translation, in particular for undergraduate students, leaving a big gap between the dire need and the reality. To help narrow the gap, this paper uses as theoretical framework the concept of theme, particularly thematic development and marked themes, as explained in Systemic Functional Linguistics (Eggins 2004, Martin and Rose 2007). The main data include two Korean news articles, their translations by 12 undergraduate students and two professional translators’ renditions of the same source texts. The results of the analysis of the students’ translations show that, unlike the professional translators’ work, they tend to preserve the sentence sequence of the Korean source texts, thus failing to follow thematic development, in particular marked theme, in the English texts.

Citation status

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