[52nd Korea Times Translation Awards] Winner of the Joanne Park Grand Prize for Poetry


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[52nd Korea Times Translation Awards] Winner of the Joanne Park Grand Prize for Poetry

Winner of the Joanne Park Grand Prize for Poetry
Winner of the Joanne Park Grand Prize for Poetry

Joanne Park was born and raised in Korea, although she lived and studied for several years in Brisbane, Australia. She studied history as an undergraduate at Yonsei University.

Park got into literary translation when she completed a two-year program at the Translation Academy of the Korea Literature Translation Institute (LTI Korea), and has since translated various works of fictional literature. as well as poetry. She received the LTI Korea Translation Award for Aspiring Translators last month for her translation of a short story by an unknown author titled “Gangdo-mongyurok”.

“I have been translating literature for 3 years now. I believe the urge has always been there. I have “straddled two worlds” most of my life without ever belonging to one of them. It can be difficult, rewarding and often lonely to reside in this gray area. I have always felt the need, sometimes practical, intellectual or existential, to bridge the two worlds, and that’s really what the translation is. It operates on a love for both languages, and its fuel is the need to communicate, ”Park said.

She chose a selection of poems from “The Assassination of Peter Rabbit” by Yu Hyoung-jin to enter the competition for this award.

Describing Yu’s fun-to-read poems, Park said, “I remember reading Yu’s ‘Mermaid Restaurant’ for the first time. It’s very powerful, I thought. inspires fairy tales and children’s stories to talk about deeper, darker themes like desire, loss, capitalism and how that desensitizes people to violence and inhumanity. ”

She said the hardest thing about translating Yu’s poems was conveying the tone and mood of the original work.

“The Korean language has various verbal endings that can convey not only who is speaking right now, but also subtle variations in tone and mood, and even clues to the speaker’s personality. however, it was therefore a challenge to produce the same effect in the translation, ”she said.

Park used to think of readability as “the gist and the end” of translation, but recently she realized that there is always a political dimension to translation.

“Some things just cannot be compromised for readability reasons. For example, I would never use ‘sake’ when the original is ‘makgeolli’. The world I have known so far is largely English speaking , US-centric and sadly xenophobic. The translation may not be strong or influential enough to balance the scales, but I hope it could be the brave little egg hitting the rock, “she said .

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