1st Edition

Pragmatics in Korean and Japanese Translation

By Jieun Kiaer, Ben Cagan Copyright 2023
    170 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    170 Pages 41 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores how the greater amount of pragmatic information encoded in Korean and Japanese can result in pragmatic (in)visibility when translating between those languages and English. Pragmatic information must be added when translating from English to Korean or Japanese and is easily lost when translating in the other direction.

    This book offers an analysis of translations in Japanese and Korean of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Hobbit, or There and Back Again to show how the translated versions crystallise the translators’ interpretations of relationships in the way characters address one another. This book discusses fan translations of Korean and Japanese to English of various popular media, observing that the emotional meanings easily lost when translating in this direction are often deemed important enough to warrant the insertion of additional explanatory material. The book additionally discusses the role of fan translation in the construction of international online communities and a heightened communal commentary on translation. Western translation commentary has historically lacked sufficient emphasis on translation to and from East Asian languages, and these case studies help to address a problem of central importance to translation to and from languages that encode interpersonal dynamics in dramatically different ways to English.

    This book will be of interest to students and researchers in translation studies, particularly in Korean and Japanese translation. The book will also appeal to students and researchers of the Korean and Japanese languages.


    List of Figures

    List of Tables



    1 Pragmatic (In)Visibility1.1 Rethinking Translation

    1.2 Defining Pragmatic Invisibility

    1.3 The Complication of Multimodal Modulation

    1.4 Deconstructing the Invisibility

    1.5 Translating Pragmatic Invisibility: Through the Lens of Film

    1.6 The Future of KoreanEnglish Translation

    2 Address Terms in the Japanese Translations of The Hobbit, or There and Back Again and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

    2.1 Our Approach

    2.2 Pronoun Omission

    2.3 Indexical Meaning

    2.4 Alternatives to Second-Person Pronouns

    2.5 The Distribution of Particular Second-Person Pronouns

    2.6 Pronoun Alternation

    2.7 Conclusion

    3 Address Terms in the Korean Translations of The Hobbit, or There and Back Again and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

    3.1 The Hobbit

    3.2 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

    3.3 Conclusion

    4 Fan Translation

    4.1 What is Fan Translation?

    4.2 Manga, Manhwa, Anime, and Webtoon Translation

    4.3 Korean Popular Culture Fan Translation

    4.4 A New Age of Translation Culture

    5 Conclusion

    5.1 The Future of Translation

    5.2 Big Data-Driven Machine Translation

    5.3 The One Inch Barrier and Translational Injustive

    5.4 Translational (In)Visibility




    Jieun Kiaer is Professor of Korean Linguistics at the University of Oxford. She publishes widely on East Asian translation, with particular emphasis on Korean translation. Her publications include The Routledge Course in Korean Translation (2018); Translation and Literature in East Asia: Between Visibility and Invisibility, with Jennifer Guest and Xiaofan Amy Li (2019); Korean Literature through the Korean Wave, with Anna Yates-Lu (2019); and On Translating Modern Korean Poetry, with Anna Yates-Lu and Mattho Mandersloot (2020).

    Ben Cagan read Japanese and Korean at the University of Oxford from 2008 to 2013 and discovered a passion for translation studies while working on his graduation thesis: a data-driven stylometric investigation into the distinctive language features of Murakami Haruki as a translator. After studying law at the University of Law, London, and qualifying as a financial regulation lawyer, he returned to the study of translation in 2017 with a Masters in Translation at SOAS University of London. He has been a professional translator for several years.

    "Pragmatics in Korean and Japanese Translation is undoubtedly a seminal addition to works on East Asian translation, featuring examples of translations from English into Korean and Japanese, and from Korean and Japanese into English. It provides diverse, timely insights on the pragmatic difficulties encountered when translating in these language pairs. The case studies involve critically acclaimed literary texts of the twenty-first century as well as highly popular graphics texts of manga and webtoons. The analyses will surely lead to productive conversations about pragmatics in translation. I highly recommend this book to students and researchers of East Asian translation and linguistics. Not limited to specialists, its accessible language and materials such as The Hobbit and Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will surely attract a wider audience as well."

    Young-mee Yu Cho, Associate Professor of Korean Language and Culture, Rutgers University


    "Pragmatics in Korean and Japanese Translation is a fantastic addition to works on translation studies. Currently, there is a growing interest in Korean and Japanese pop culture, and a thirst for understanding the meanings that end up lost in translation. Translation culture has changed dramatically over the last few decades, with more and more ordinary people getting involved in and questioning translations. This book demonstrates the dynamic nature of translation. Such topics have been heavily explored in Eurocentric areas, but this book contains fascinating and novel evidence from Japan and Korea. I strongly recommended this book not only to scholars of Asian studies but to scholars in wider translation studies as well."

    Mee-Jeong Park, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair, East Asian Languages and Literatures, University of Hawaii at Manoa