Translation Strategy for Culture-Specific

Translation Strategy for Culture-Specific Items in Korean-English Translation

Translation is a work of understanding and interpreting about the culture of people who have unique tradition, custom, persons traits etc. A good translation is the one that does not undermine the equivalence between the source text and target text. Especially, it is important to translate literary works because it helps to understand other cultures and spirits.
Translators often encounter culture-specific items in the process of translation, and such items can be the keys to fully understanding a text. And the understanding of culture-specific items enables target text readers to get the same level of arousal source text readers do. So the translator has to be a mediator to bridge the gap in understanding culture-specific items and help the target text readers share the equivalent connotations.
A Korean literary text implies its own culture-specific factors: proper nouns, food, clothing and shelter, specific events and figures, idiomatic expressions, dialect and so on. If these were translated literally, the most of target readers may not grasp the meaning. In such cases, a translator should use the appropriate translation strategies for reducing differences in meaning. So it is essential that when a translator translates a literary text, he/ she should understand both the language and the culture of the target.
The aim of this paper is to examine and analyze what strategies are used to solve the non-equivalence of culture-specific items. To this end, this paper selects many modern Korean poems and two Korean short stories that contain a number of culture-specific items.
To analyze culture-specific items, various translation strategies are taken from theoretical backgrounds from Mona Baker’s theory. Among her twelve translation strategies for non-equivalence of words and idioms, eight translation strategies that are often used are chosen. These lists are the…

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