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A Study on Machine Translation of Dramas ― focusing on character of Drama “The Bus Station

  • The Journal of Study on Language and Culture of Korea and China
  • Abbr : JSLCKC
  • 2023, (68), pp.3-32
  • DOI : 10.16874/jslckc.2023..68.001
  • Publisher : Korean Society of Study on Chinese Languge and Culture
  • Research Area : Humanities > Chinese Language and Literature
  • Received : April 10, 2023
  • Accepted : May 20, 2023
  • Published : May 31, 2023

Jieun Kim 1

1한국외국어대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The use of machine translation is becoming more common, and the quality of the translations is steadily improving, sparking ongoing discussions in academia on the utility of machine translation. However, skepticism remains on the evaluations of machine translation performance. Notably, many voices insist literary translation is an area where replacing human translators with machines would be difficult. If so, then how well do machine translations work with dramas, a literary genre relatively close to everyday conversational forms? Unlike novels and poetry, dramas are meant to be both read and acted out, and the characters’ lines are written in a form that resembles everyday conversation. Thus, the translation task hinges significantly on an understanding of literary expression as well as individual character traits. Importantly, the Korean language employs much inflection and has developed numerous honorifics, so the translation must be preceded by a clear grasp of the relationships among the characters in the story. This study compares existing Korean translations of three leading Chinese one-act plays—The Bus Station—with the translations produced by Naver Papago and Google Translation, and then seeks to identify the potential and limitations of machine translation with respect to drama.

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