Sunday, April 20, 2014

EBS 'Report' on Yi Kwang-su's Novel The Soil

Headlines + News Close Up
Posted December 23, 2013

I just happened to stumble across this four-month-old announcement (and grammar lesson!) yesterday on Korea's Educational Broadcasting System (EBS), specifically, at EBS Morning Special's You Tube site, starting at 2 minutes and 19 seconds into the video:
U.S. Journal Recognizes 2 Korean Translations

English translations of two Korean literary works - Yi Kwang-su's The Soil, and Hyesim's Magnolia and Lotus - were included among 75 Notable Translations in an American international culture and literature magazine's December edition. Hwang Sun-ae, one of The Soil's two translators, said it was difficult to use natural English without any of the original novel's meaning getting lost in translation.
EBS's English grammar lessons are often played on city buses, so a lot of Koreans may have heard our translation of The Soil used as an example of how easily things get lost in translation. (Thanks a lot, there, EBS.) The broadcaster then goes on (in the video's notes) to explain this idiom, "lost in translation," for the benefit of Koreans:
1) to get lost in translation (v.)
the original meaning of something is misunderstood or not clear because of differences between languages
번역 한계 때문에 뜻이 어색해지다

ex) This song sounds strange in English because a lot of it is lost in translation.
The magazine -- coyly referred to as "an American international culture and literature magazine" -- was, of course, World Literature Today, and I've previously noted the honor.

Anyway, those of you interested in a great big grammar lesson can order a copy of The Soil at Amazon Books.

And while you're there at AB, check out my novella . . .

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At 12:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you and Sun-Ae for recognition of your work. I prefer non-fiction original works in my own language but do enjoy foreign language fiction as a medium of transmission of language and culture. Isn't The Soil a multi-volume work in Korean? Did you and the missus translate the entire series?


At 8:41 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Sonagi. The Soil was one volume but two parts, I think. Anyway, it was published in a newspaper in installments, so it's a bit episodic and repetitive.

Jeffery Hodges

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