Volume 61, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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Broadly historical in its approach, this article explores how the Xiaoxue (Lesser or Elementary Learning), or Sohak in Korean, a primary textbook for Confucianism in China, was translated into Korean at two different times with a span of seventy years between the versions in the sixteenth century. It argues that the two different versions of translation of the same book, Beonyeok Sohak and Sohak Eonhae, reflected not only significant differences in the principles and strategies of translation: free translation or literal translation and native words or foreign words, among other things; but they also revealed significant difference in the translators’ – or, for that matter, their commissioners’ – ideologies and worldviews. The two Korean versions of the Xiaoxue was thus a contested battleground for the scholars and the politicians. In sum, it claims that the debate on the methodology of translation is not just an issue specific to Western translation theory but also non-Western translation theory.


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