Local literature soon available in even more languages

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Local literature soon available in even more languages

The Literature Translation Institute of Korea recently announced that it has selected 17 Korean literary works to be translated into 10 languages.

This is part of the institute’s quarterly project where it selects Korean literary works to be translated into foreign languages, funds the translation, and eventually has them published overseas.

“The Vegetarian” by Korean novelist Han Kang will be translated into the Azerbaijani language.

Besides Han’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel, the 17 Korean literary works also include “Sky, Wind, Star and Poem” by Yun Dong-ju (1917-45) to be translated into Indonesian; “Song of Strings” by Kim Hoon, to be translated into Chinese; and “To the Western Woods” by Pyun Hye-young, to be translated into French.

The institute said, “Reflecting growing interest in Korean literature overseas, 96 literary works in 18 languages were submitted.” It said that the languages included were notable, like Uzbek, Azerbaijani and Indonesian, adding that countries speaking those languages may find Korean culture distant and yet it’s a sign that those countries are taking an interest in Korean literature.

The state-run institute - tasked with helping Korean literature gain traction overseas - has been funding the translation and publication of Korean literary pieces in foreign languages since 2001. More than 800 Korean literary works have been translated and published in languages other than Korean through the project.

BY KIM HYUNG-EUN [hkim@joongang.co.kr]

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