[KS] Competing Translations

Dr. Edward D. Rockstein ed4linda at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 8 07:53:56 EDT 2008

I second the motion!  There are those who'd assert that great literature, moreover, should be reinterpreted every generation.  I can sympathize, on the other hand, with those who regret that there is not more Korean literature in translation, but a second, competing translation, a waste of time?  I think not! 

Dr. Edward D. Rockstein 
Senior Language Instructor 
Language Learning Center (LLC) 
Office 410-859-5672
Fax 410-859-5737 
ed4linda at yahoo.com 

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.  "  Thomas Jefferson

--- On Mon, 7/7/08, Ross King <jrpking at interchange.ubc.ca> wrote:

From: Ross King <jrpking at interchange.ubc.ca>
Subject: Re: [KS] Competing Translations
To: ansonjae at sogang.ac.kr, "Korean Studies Discussion List" <koreanstudies at koreaweb.ws>
Date: Monday, July 7, 2008, 9:33 PM

Dear Brother Anthony and colleagues: 

While it would be nice, in a perfect world, to know what other translators are
doing all the time, it seems rather unreasonable to achieve this, and I am not
persuaded that having multiple translations of the same work is a bad thing or
a 'waste of time', especially if we're talking about students and
translators who are still learning their craft. 

When it comes time to _publish_ such translations, yes, for copyright and other
legal reasons, this becomes important, but in my ideal world, multiple
(published) translations of the same work is not a bad thing, and there are
plenty of precedents for this in the world of literary translation. On a
related note, taking too much of a proprietary attitude toward translations
(the whole 'agents' thing) is already stifling interest in certain
authors on the part of certain translators, and this is something that the
struggling field of Korean literature in translation can ill afford. The more
the merrier.


Ross King
Professor of Korean and Head of Department,
University of British Columbia, 
Department of Asian Studies


Dean, Korean Language Village, 
Concordia Language Villages

Mailing address: 
Ross King, Department of Asian Studies, UBC
Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

vox: 604-822-9240
fax: 604-822-8937

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