1st Edition

Translating Controversial Texts in East Asian Contexts A Methodology for the Translation of ‘Controversy’

By Adam Zulawnik Copyright 2022
    132 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    132 Pages 10 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Zulawnik focuses on the broad concept of ‘controversy’ and issues pertaining to the translation of politically and historically controversial texts in East Asia.

    The research methodology is exemplified through a case study in the form of the author’s translation of the best-selling Japanese graphic novel (manga) Manga Kenkanryū (Hate Hallyu: The Comic) by Sharin Yamano (2005), a work that has been problematised as an attack on South Korean culture and the Korean Wave. Issues analysed and discussed in the research include translation risk, ethics, a detailed methodology for the translation of so-called controversial texts exemplified through numerous thematically divided examples from the translation of the chosen Japanese text, as well as examples from a Korean language equivalent (Manhwa Hyeomillyu – Hate Japanese Wave), and definition and contextualisation of the concept of ‘controversy’. There has been limited research in the field of translation studies, which seeks to exemplify potential pragmatic approaches for the translation of politically-charged texts, particularly in multi-modal texts such as the graphic novel.

    It is hoped that Zulawnik’s research will serve both as a valuable source when examining South Korea–Japan relations and a theoretical and methodological base for further research and the development of an online augmented translation space with devices specifically suited for the translation of multi-modal texts such as – but not limited to – graphic novels and visual encyclopaedias.

    1. Introduction 2. Navigating ‘controversial’ translation 3. Japan and Korea (or ‘Korea and Japan’?) – a historical background 4. Translation, Culture, and Functionalism 5. Translating Controversy and ‘Contraverse’ – a methodology 6. Case Study: Translating Manga Kenkanryū (Hate Hallyu: The Comic) 7. Conclusion


    Adam Zulawnik is a researcher and teaching associate/coordinator in Korean Studies at the Asia Institute, University of Melbourne and a founding member of the program. He was previously an Academy of Korean Studies Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Monash University, where he completed his PhD in translation studies and published his first co-authored book, Interviews with North Korean Defectors: from Kim Shin-jo to Thae Yong-ho (Routledge, 2021). His current research focuses on translation from the Korean and Japanese languages in political and historical settings and the development of a textbook about the history of the Korean Wave titled: The History of Hallyu: from the Kim Sisters to BTS (currently under contract with Routledge).

    "Adam Zulawnik’s book presents an original and innovative approach to the possibilities of applying a new methodology based on the open source program Great Manga Application Onidzuka (GMAO) to the process of translation of a Japanese graphic novel (but potentially to any multimodal text). The research paths that this methodology opens up are multifarious, contributing originally to the theory and the practice of multimodal translation with both didactic and political implications. The political role of the translator is actually seldom endorsed nowadays and still goes against any editorial guideline from any form of patronage (publishing houses, distribution companies etc.). Well-rooted in important previous studies on the topic (Mona Baker, Lawrence Venuti etc.), the author’s work highlights how politically charged texts can and should have a fundamental pedagogical function, encouraging the translator to assume a braver political stance. And in doing so, Zulawnik is brave indeed."---Prof. Irene Ranzato, Researcher and lecturer in English language and translation, Sapienza University of Rome