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Study on Retranslation of Korean literary texts into French

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2018, 19(4), pp.277-320
  • DOI : 10.15749/jts.2018.19.4.010
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : August 12, 2018
  • Accepted : September 27, 2018
  • Published : October 31, 2018

Mikyung Choi 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to examine aspects of the French retranslation of Korean literary works when they have gone through a new translation. Our corpus consists of 20 fiction and short story samples selected among the 522 works published in France from 1892 (when Printemps perfumé, the first Korean book translated into French was published) to the present days. Our aim is to explore the theory of retranslation (Pym, Berman, Monti, etc.) and review different retranslation phenomenona. We try in particular to check whether those retranslations contribute to deepen the understanding of the original text and foster a more accurate reception of the work. Our analysis shows that only one novel, Printemps perfumé, offers matter to a diachronic study. The retranslation of the Chunhyang story under the title Le Chant de la fidèle Chunhyang published in 1999 waves off the heavy load of exoticism added to the former translation and re-establish the original text in its original features. The other 19 texts retranslated recently are sometimes successful in increasing readability and deepening the understanding of the texts. On the other hand, some retranslations alters the original text, especially one, Les Piquets de ma mère, although it amply duplicates the first translation. Our study shows that retranslation does not always implies an improvement : retranslation is subject to the effect of the ideology, methodology, competence and experience of the translator. Retranslation often provides a text much different from the first translation with no predictable sort of development or evolution. Indeed, it makes more sense to talk of new translations than of retranslations.

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