Corps de l’article

The present study, based on findings from the review and analysis of current translation practices of culture-specific items, aims to identify factors that must be taken into account when translating culture-specific terms by language (English, Chinese, and Japanese) and propose translation strategies for such terms.

In order to achieve the objective of this study, outcomes of the Study on the Current State of Translation and Translation Strategies of Culture-Specific Items, a policy task of the National Institute of the Korean Language, has been introduced and used as the basis for review of major factors that need to be considered when translating cultural references. Communicability, accuracy, stability, and economy were found to be the main factors for consideration. Due to the unique characteristics of culture-specific items, phonetic information was also confirmed to be a major factor.

The current study proposes the following translation strategies. First, when translating into English, transliteration utilizing the system for Romanizing Korean is recommended, but in order to overcome the limitations of providing phonetic information alone, transliteration should be accompanied by semantic translation to deliver both phonetic and semantic information. Second, in the case of translation into Chinese, “sound-meaning combination translation” or transliteration supplemented by semantic translation in parentheses is proposed. For this, a Korean-to-Chinese transliteration chart and standardization of such combination translation practices are called for. Finally, when translating into Japanese, the recommended strategy is to transliterate the Korean term into katakana to deliver phonetic information and present graphological translation or explanatory translation in parentheses to secure communicativeness.