The translation of children's literature from English to Korean, with particular reference to marked theme, conceptual metaphor and metonymy in Anna Fienberg's Tashi Series
thesisposted on 29.03.2022, 02:03 by Hyung-Joo Park
The conceptual image of a protagonist developed by readers of children’s literature differs according to cultures. The image is therefore a problematic domain in translation. A key question about children’s literature read in translation is whether young readers of the target language (here Korean) enjoy the same aesthetic experience as readers of the source text (here English). Since the language of the surface structure of each piece of writing itself employs multi-dimensional components such as cultural, personal, and linguistic variations, there is always an equivalence issue in the field of translation study due to language differences. Accepting the cognitive linguistics argument that language is a product of the mind informed by psychological mechanisms and processes, this study explores how various linguistic structures and semiotic codes perform in readers’ minds as a result of translation. The concept of the schema is initially considered to be a central domain in which to identify emerging differences, in that text comprehension is mediated by schemata. A reader activates particular action schemata (or ‘scripts’) for such components as how participants are expected to interact, how effect flows from cause, and what outcome is expected. Schemata are cognitive structures that enable readers to understand the essential features in the text in the process of reading, to interpret the story, and even to perceive significance beyond the actual information given. As a culturally and ideologically integrated element of memory, schemata also supply extra or missing information as they are cognitively modified and integrated in the mind. The study is divided into two parts. The first part is based in linguistics and the second is more literary in approach. In the first part I analyze the translation of a fiction series for young readers, with particular attention to the language of literature. I begin with the concepts of “Themes” and “Marked Themes” proposed by M.A.K. Halliday: linguistically positioned in the beginning of a clause, theme is characterized as “what the message is concerned with: the point of departure for what the speaker is going to say”. Halliday and Hassan argued that, “The choice of ‘Theme’ is significant because the interplay between the Theme and Rheme or Given and New is directly related specially to building up cohesion in texts, which determines that the story events fit together meaningfully and the sense of the text is delivered clearly and pleasurably to readers”. My study will focus in particular on marked temporal and spatial themes and the impact these have on the development of the image of a hero in the process of reading in two differently structured languages or as result of reading. Given “the key to understanding issues of literary value and status and meaning lies in being able to have a clear view of text and context, circumstances and uses, knowledge and belief” (Stockwell 2002:4), linguistic tools offer us a means of achieving this understanding. The second part is mainly about the differences and a few minor similarities identified as a result of linguistic analysis of marked spatial and temporal themes. In order to explain those differences, I will explore three domains as they are elucidated by the analysis of the marked spatial and temporal themes – 1) “conceptual metaphor and metonymy” mainly introduced by cognitive linguists Lakoff and Johnson, 2) schema theory, and 3) M.M. Bakhtin’s theory of chronotopes. The chosen source text (ST) is Anna Fienberg's Tashi series (books 1-10) and their translated Korean version as the target text (TT). The original Australian series is very widely read, but was not attractive to many young readers in Korea. Although the popularity of a children’s book or any other literary work depends on various factors, it is likely that the difference between linguistic structures in combination with socio-historical elements are one of the most fundamental motives for that difference in popularity. Through the thesis I consider that first, as a heuristic tool, linguistic analysis in combination with a cognitive approach to translation could be an important, innovative way to deal with how conceptual images form in readers’ minds. As the heroic image of a protagonist results not only from sociocultural values and beliefs but also from linguistic choices in the text, the study suggests that an idiosyncratic way of using semiotic codes is one of the key factors in stimulating reader imagination through schemata, and should be more investigated in the field of children’s literary translation.