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The Translator’s Visibility in Bandi’s The Accusation

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2020, 21(2), pp.193-224
  • DOI : 10.15749/jts.2020.21.2.008
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : May 5, 2020
  • Accepted : May 25, 2020
  • Published : June 30, 2020

Lee, Dong-hae 1 Sung, Seung-eun 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study explores the translator’s visibility in The Accusation, the translation of a work by a writer with the pseudonym of Bandi, who currently lives in North Korea. Consisting of seven short stories of ordinary North Koreans, the source text has received keen interest around the world as only the manuscript was smuggled out to the world. The translator of this novel, Deborah Smith, is generally known for her focus on readability and effect on the readers vis-a-vis faithfulness to the source text. This implies a certain level of translation shifts can be found in the translation as revealed in previous studies. Moreover, since so little is known about North Korea, some kind of translator intervention is deemed inevitable. These render the text a good example to track down the translator’s visibility. The translator’s visibility is defined in this study as the translator intervention in content as a result of repeated patterns of translation shifts. The translator’s visibility is explored by comparing the source and target texts to observe repeated translation shifts, which are labelled translator intervention. The text analysis is then cross-checked with the translator’s paratexts—interviews and other written contributions. The results revealed the translator’s visibility on three points: emphasizing poverty in North Korea, explicating character images, and generalizing cultural references. This study also suggests a simple classification framework to identify translation shifts in target texts, which can be used for wider purposes such as observing translation strategies or translator style.

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