Comparative Analysis of Korean Translations of George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London

2019-11-22T04:26:16Z (GMT) by Hyun-Jun Roh

Down and Out in Paris and London is a work of memoir by George Orwell in 1933. It provides realistic reportage style commentary with a sentiment of social criticism. Down and Out has been translated into Korean three times over a period of 18 years, which is unusual for a literary text less popular than Orwell’s other works. These three translated texts are different from each other in terms of style, translators’ affiliations to Orwell, and level of localisation. This thesis investigates the literary features of Down and Out in Paris and London, and compares the approaches taken by Korean translators to represent key source text elements in the target texts. It identifies important shifts over the course of time in the translators’ approaches at textual and contextual level, and relates these shifts to the rapid globalisation of South Korean society in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. In contrast, translators’ understanding of social dynamics is found to remain relatively static across the three translations. This analysis contributes to understandings of how translators interpret context. Interpretation of context does not mean seeking equivalence between the source text and target text in translation activity. Rather, it is about identifying indicators of core message in the source text, weaving patterns and inter-connectivity between key elements in the source text, and representing them according to the prevailing, and constantly changing, norms of the target culture.