Who translates Korean authors?

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Disclaimer: This article is not made to compare the different institutions of other countries about the translations of authors. 

Translators’ visibility is quite absent, especially when we thrive on East Asian literature, particularly Korean. 

Korean authors are known for their writing style and the contents on which their novels are based. Fortunately, Korean authors have become more visible and frequently more translated. The reason why East Asian authors are generally not translated often lies in the complexity of their languages. Korean can say too much in just a few words, as it is a language of high context. 

The institution responsible for providing translation services to Korean authors is the Korean Literature Translation Institute. The LTI’s mission is to enrich Korean shared global culture through the dissemination of Korean literary and cultural works abroad. LTI is a government-affiliated organization that aims to spread Korean culture and literature around the world through government efforts to shape Korean literature in the world culture. 

The Korean Literature Translation Institute (LTI) is preceded by the Korean Literature Translation Fund, established in 1996. Months later, the Overseas Korean Literature Promotion Program (precursor to Translation & Publication Grants Program) was launched. In 2001 the Korean Literature Translation Fund took the official name of Korean Literature Translation Institute (LTI). Since 2001, the LTI has launched different awards, to encourage translators of Korean authors, including several training programs and academies. 

Nowadays, the Literature Translation Institute of Korea has a Translation Academy, international exchanges, a Translator-in-Residence program, and of course, their highly acclaimed translation awards. LTI has its online magazine (KLN Magazine Korean Literature Now) and a Digital Library (Digital Library of Korean Literature). 

Properly said, the Literature Translation Institute comes up with the créme d’la créme to keep up with the best for Korean literature and culture in a wide range of languages. I believe that the LTI stands up as a wonderful and integral engine to export knowledge to the world. South Korea holds one of their greatest assets for their authors and for the future translators of Korean authors. 


For more information, visit the following links: 


Written by: Esly Monjaraz

Reviewed by: Angie Salavarria


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