2014년 4월 29일 화요일

Finding Korean public domain works

On Wednesday Apr. 23rd, 2014 I attended the second class of the year for the KLTI (Korean Literature Translation Institute) Translation Atelier. This will be my fifth year as a KLTI-affiliated translator but I'm especially excited about this year's class because it's being led by Sora Kim-Russell, who has translated Shin Kyung-sook's I'll Be Right There (어디선가 나를 찾는 전화벨이 울리고) and Gong Ji-young's Our Happy Time (우리들의 행복한 시간) among other works.

During class, the topic of crowd-sourced and team translation came up and we discussed the idea of finding a non-copyrighted work to translate together as a class. Thanks to the Internet, there are a variety of sources for non-copyrighted works in Korean. Most of these works have been written by Korean authors who passed away long ago.

The first source is Wikibooks Korea. There are over 14,000 Korean public-domain documents available, including works written in Classical Chinese from the Joseon Dynasty era.

The second source is the Korea Copyright Commission, which maintains a list of works by Korean artists and writers from the late-19th century onward that are out of copyright (I noticed that most of these works are written in pure Hangul rather than in Classical Chinese).

The class hasn't yet started to discuss the logistics of team translation, but I think using some kind of CAT software would be a good idea. I use OmegaT in my day-to-day translation work, but have yet to use the team translation feature that supports git and SVN repos for storing translation memories and glossaries. I think Google Translator Toolkit (GTT) might also be a possibility (although lately I've heard it's been really slow and unresponsive) but its concordance searching and TM matching ability is far poorer than that of stand-alone locally-installed CAT applications. Regardless of what tool we end up using, any sort of team translation needs to have a mechanism for ensuring that translators don't step on each other's toes -- i.e. using multiple spellings for the same object or character and other inconsistencies in language use.