Translation of Ko Un's poetry from Korean into Slovene
Pišem v zrak is a collection of poems by the Korean poet Ko Un, that was translated into Slovenian in August of 2016. The collection features a selection of poems written in the last 15 years. Ko Un's poetry appears simple, however, there are often deeper messages hidden within the verses. His subjects are diverse and embrace such themes as nature, Buddhism, as well as allusions to the political situation of the modern Korean society, and criticism of the modern man. From the structure of his poems, it seems that Ko Un does not want to use any formalism in his work. He uses free verse and sometimes even breaks the verse into two lines, just to defy the set norms of poetry. Complex metaphors, intertwining of the traditional and modern language, and wordplay take precedence over the form. To list all the problems that occurred in the process of translating would be an impossible undertaking, since it would have to include an in-depth analysis of each separate poem. Therefore, this article addresses only the major and most obvious problems we have encountered when translating poetry from Korean into Slovenian. The majority of problems arose due to the difference in the structure of both languages and many due to the vocabulary and cultural differences. The essential dilemma was how much freedom we have as translators, and to what extent we are allowed to alter a poem without ignoring the gist the author intends to convey to readers.
Bleiker, R., & Hundt, D. (2010). Ko Un and the Poetics of Postcolonial Identity. Global Society, 24(3), 331-349.
Brother Anthony of Taizé (2000). Cross-Cultural Communication: Translating Ko Un. Pusan National University. Dostopano na:
Génetiot, A. (2012). Ko Un, une vie en poésie. Po&sie, Corée 2012. No 139-140, 36-41.
Hundt, D. (2008). Poetry in motion: Ko Un and Korean democratization. V Profiles in courage: political actors & ideas in contemporary Asia (str. 43-54). North Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
Kiaer, J. (2017). The Routledge course in Korean Translation. New York: Routledge.
Ko, Un (2002a). Dugo on si: Ko Un sijib 두고 온 시: 고은 시집. Seul: Chang-jag-gwa bi-pyeong-sa 창작과 비평사.
Ko, Un (2002b). Neuj-eun nolae: Ko Un sijib 늦은 노래: 고은 시집. Seul: Min-eumsa 민음사.
Ko, Un (2004). Sous un poirier sauvage. Circé, Belval, France.
Ko, Un (2008a). Heogong: Ko Un sijib 허공: 고은 시집. Paju: Chang-bi 창비.
Ko, Un (2008b). Songs for Tomorrow. Los Angeles: Green Integer Books.
Ko, Un (2011). Nae byeonbang-eun eodi gass-na 내 변방은 어디 갔나. Paju: Chang-bi 창비.
Ko, Un (2012). First Person Sorrowful. Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books.
Ko, Un (2016). Fleurs de l'instant. Éditions Circé, Belval, France.
Ko, Un (2016). Pišem v zrak. Ljubljana: Beletrina.
Ko Un Poems, Poem Hunter. (2017). Dostopano na: https://www.poemhunter.com/ko-un/poems/.
Lee, P. H. (2003). A History of Korean Literature. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Park, B. (2015). What? Translating the Meditative Poems of Ko Un: Pointed and Witty Short-line Lyrical Poetry. Translation Review, 93(1), 81-87.
Sohn, H. (1999). The Korean language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Copyright (c) 2017 Eva Vučkovič, Byoung Yoong Kang
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published online in journal Acta Linguistica Asiatica by Ljubljana University Press, Faculty of Arts (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.