[KS] Competing Translations

Michael Pettid mjpettid2000 at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 8 07:53:27 EDT 2008

Dear Ross and colleagues,

I concur completely.  Who is to say whatever is out 'there' in translations should not be challenged with another rendition?  It is not a waste of time or repetition, but another understanding of a work.

In a perfect world translations would be done once and that would suffice; however, we aren't perfect, so a couple of attempts might add to the general understanding of a difficult work.  This is, of course, all the more true for premodern works that are neglected for the most part.

Michael Pettid
Associate Professor of Korean and Korean Literature
SUNY Binghamton

--- On Tue, 7/8/08, 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: Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 10:33 AM
> 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.
> RK
> --
> Ross King
> Professor of Korean and Head of Department,
> University of British Columbia, 
> Department of Asian Studies
> and 
> 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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