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S. Korea to Translate Annals of Joseon Dynasty Into English

2012/01/09 | 1123 views | Permalink | Source

Anchor: The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty will be translated into English. The National Institute of Korean History launched the project this year with a 500-million won budget and anticipates the task will take more than 20 years to complete. Our Kim In-kyung tells us more.

Report: South Korea's National Institute of Korean History plans to commission scholars to translate the Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, known as Joseon Wangjo Sillok. The institute will commission the project to translators who have experience rendering Chinese classical work into English as well as scholars of Korean studies.

Once the translation is completed in 2033, the institute plans to release it for public view on the Internet. It also plans to publish a summarized version that is easier to understand.

The history institute, which began researching preliminary data last fall, plans to test-translate contents of the beginning, middle and latter years of the Joseon Dynasty for three years through 2014. It will begin a full-scale translation after reviewing any problems. The institute also plans to standardize the translation of terms that appear in the annals such as gwageo, or state-administered civil service examination, and the names of foreign people and places that translators can refer to.

The institute expects the English translation of the annals will be of valuable use to Korean history scholars abroad and fans of the Korean wave who are interested in Korean culture. An official with the history institute said the annals represent Korea's documentary heritage, and a standard English version will be invaluable. The official added that the translation will also help people who translate Korean historical dramas into English as the Korean wave spreads beyond Asia to the rest of the world.

The one-thousand-893-volume annals are chronological records of Joseon's history for 472 years spanning 25 kings from King Taejo to King Cheoljong. The South Korean government designated it as a national treasure in 1973 and UNESCO enlisted the annals in its Memory of the World Registry in 1997.

Kim In-kyung, KBS World Radio News.

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