A couple of young bloggers, who came across my radar as I was searching for other things, who are really, REALLY good.^^
Ryung068 is a blog by a young scholar who appears to be Korean and interested in translation. Some good stuff here including some translation of what looks like original poetry. But I was mainly struck by the cool paper here: Limitations in Translation and Spreading of Korean Literature.
The paper commits the common Korean mistake of thinking that the Nobel Prize for Literature would mean “globalization/internationalization” of Korean literature. In fact it would not, but that is an issue for a different post.^^
It’s nice to see young scholars thinking about these issues and one of the issues he/she thinks about is the role of the translator. Speaking about Kim Chi-young (translator of “Your Empire is Calling You,” “Please Take Care of Mom,” etc), Ryungo68 notes:
Remarkable point, is that, she has changed some minor parts in the novel. About this, she has been criticized since some people believes that the texts should be untouchable. However, she believed that for the sake of foreign readers’ comprehension, some changes should be undergone. Also, there was an agreement between the writer, editor and translation for that modification.
Ryungo68 ends up defending annotation as a good technique for maintaining original cultural content while also expressing meaning in the target culture.
Just as impressive is askakoreanteenager (which pretty much has to be a riff on the super Ask A Korean website). It is not as tightly focused on Korean literature and its international role, but it does have this post on Shin Kyung-sook and Chi-young Kim. The young blogger is clever enough to note the importance of the translator in the success of Shin’s book. Here is her money quote:
Shin is the kind of person I’ve been dreaming about becoming for a long time. And another new role model, the one person who deserves a little more attention than now, is Kim Chi-young, the translator of the book. For this kind of cultural connection to take place, (I know it’s not an every day thing, from my taste of the work done in Korean Cultural Center NY) both the content and the ‘bridgework’ have to be JUST RIGHT. A purely Korean story written by a Korean that westerners can relate to? It’s not an everyday thing at all. But this is exactly what I aspire and these two women have proven that it is possible, this cultural connection.
Please visit these two sites and give their young authors a shout-out. Encouragement can only help them develop into even better thinkers and writers. So go over to their sites and leave them nice comments. 😉