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Lessons to learn from Marshall R. Pihl’s translations of Korean short stories: In comparison with other translators

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2021, 22(2), pp.149-184
  • DOI : 10.15749/jts.2021.22.2.005
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies
  • Received : May 9, 2021
  • Accepted : June 24, 2021
  • Published : June 30, 2021

Sang-Bin Lee 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study aims to reveal linguistic and stylistic features of the late Marshall R. Pihl’s translations of Korean short stories. For this purpose, his translations of eight short stories—“Kapitan Ri” (꺼삐딴 리), “Uncle” (아찌야), “Seaside Village” (갯마을), “City of Machines” (기계도시), “Seoul: 1964, Winter” (서울, 1964년 겨울), “The Post Horse Curse” (역마), “Winter Outing” (겨울 나들이), and “Land of Exile” (유형의 땅)—are compared in detail with other translations of the same original works. This comparison is loosely based on Leech and Short’s (2007) linguistic and stylistic categories in fiction. Findings show that Pihl’s translations are distinctive in several areas such as culture-specific references, figurative phrases, punctuation marks (ellipsis and em-dash), phonological schemes, direct/indirect speech, and sentence complexity. This article concludes with the following suggestions. First, future translators of Korean fiction should use flexible translation strategies to faithfully express the source culture in a natural target language. Second, they should gain a far better understanding of typography and punctuation marks. Third, they should pay more attention to phonological details such as rhythmic patterns and onomatopoeic words. Fourth, they should be more careful in describing speech when it is represented in an indirect or complicated way.

Citation status

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

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.