Recently I’m yet again entralled by the world of translation. It’s not hard to see why. Translation is seemingly about accuracy (especially for documents/ factual articles) and yet it is also stylistic in nature (literary translation). Rather like a form of art. I have always been fascinated by things that are somewhat in between so it’s not hard to see why I developed an interest.
Especially towards literary translation. There’s so much going on in the original work, and it takes a skillful writer and reader with a deep understanding of languages to be able to save as much of these content/meaning/style in the translated work. Someone with a wide ranging skill set and quite a bit of flair.
I have been developing an interest in this area for quite a few years already, but I needed to first work on my Korean. I was able to read but it was slow and tedious at times. But miraculously it’s getting a lot easier (and faster) and I am able to now pay attention to other aspects of the work besides checking up new vocabulary ever so often.
I tried my hand at some kind of literary translation twice and what came out was stilted, stiff and rather bad. But I think I’m improving. It is nothing short of arrogance if you think that translation is an easy peasy task that you can be good at immediately. There’s so much to learn, so much to absorb.
I’m totally new to this area and sometimes I wonder if there are rules when it comes to things like dialogue, reported speech, tense, active/passive voice. Should we keep such format(?) in the translated work, are there recommended rules or is it up to the translator?
All these questions prompted me to get both the original work and translated version of 엄마를 부탁해 (please look after mother)
The reason why I chose this is that the translated version gained a lot of praise and it is an international bestseller. Learn from the best lol. Hahaha also I have been rather intrigued by the storyline too.
Super excited when I started on it the other evening (: First, I translated two paras on my own and then I look at the translated version to pick out my mistakes and compare.
But maddeningly frustrating. I cannot understand why a reported speech is keep as reported speech in one instance but translated as a dialogue in another >< Or why there is seemingly a change in tense sigh. But it's amazing to see how some sentences are being tweaked to sound natural in English but yet retain the original meaning. Heh wrote quite a lot of notes in the English version (: I haven't annotated an English book since lit days years ago in middle school lolol. It's awesome that so far I can understand 98% of the words in the Korean version, so I can concentrate on looking at the process of translation (: So many things to learn!! (: I think there are some of you who are learning or have studied translation in school, any good books or resources to share? Would like to learn about translation as an academic discipline. P.s. I'm doing this simply for my own leisure purposes and learning. Because I happen to be one of those people who loves studying hahahahaha.