Volume 66, Issue 4-5
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Journalistic translation is governed by a target-oriented norm that allows varying degrees of intervention by journalists. Given the public’s expectations for the fidelity of translated news, this norm entails ethical issues. This paper examines the ethical dimensions of journalistic translation through a case study of political news translation in the South Korean context. It investigates how newspapers translated a US president’s references to two South Korean presidents in accordance with the newspapers’ ideologies and then came to apply the translations as negative labels as the political situation evolved over time. The study demonstrates how even word-level translation can require an intricate understanding of the sociopolitical context and cumulative meanings of a word. It then draws its implications for machine translation by comparing the human translations with machine translations of the references in question. It concludes by discussing why machine translation cannot yet replace human translation, at least between Korean and English, and what translation studies should do regarding the ethics of journalistic translation.


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