Dr Sungyup Lee
In residence at
Dr Cécile Boulaire
Sungyup Lee is a lecturer and researcher at Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, South Korea. Her research focuses on the crossover picture books and the translation of picture books. Since 2000, she has carried out especially French crossover picture books published in the 1970s and 1980s with a five-year fellowship from the National Research Foundation of Korea. In addition to her research, she translates picture books between French and Korean and has been working for KBBY, the Korean branch of IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People).
A Study on the Translation Strategies of Korean Picture Books published in France
This study aims to compare the trend of Korean picture books translated and published in France until 2022 with general Korean literature translated in French, observing translation strategies, and inferring the reasons for their choice. In general, the translation of children’s literature, including picture books, is thought to emphasize the norms of the target language culture. We want to see if this is the case in the French translation of Korean picture books, and at what points it shows an emphasis on the host culture. This study therefore aims to identify major trends in the French translation strategies of Korean picture books by examining the ways in which French publishers cross linguistic and cultural boundaries when adapting Korean picture books. In the French reception of Korean literature, children’s books, including picture books, occupy an important position after novels. However, to date, research on the reception of Korean picture books in France has focused mainly on external factors, such as quantitative changes and trends in picture books, publishing trends, and reception routes, rather than on translation or text per se. Studies of children’s literature translation in France focus on the main picture book exchange country (Anglophone), while in Korea, the issue of the reception of French picture books in Korea is the main focus. Given this situation, this study complements the existing research by examining the evolution of Korean picture book translation strategies in France. While there are many different approaches to studying translation strategies, this study is based on a descriptive approach, rather than a prescriptive one that applies norms to evaluate them. By observing and describing “how they have been translated,” we hope to identify key translation trends. The reason for this descriptive approach is to avoid evaluating translations by pointing out mistranslations and suggesting alternatives. To observe translation strategies, the research is based on Bastin’s concept of adaptation: punctual adaptation and global adaptation. While the former is applied to a part of the text, the latter is a strategy that affects the entire text.