Ceremony held for 42nd Literature Translation Award winners
By Noh Hyun-gi
The Korea Times awarded prizes to winners of its 42nd Modern Korean Literature Translation Awards at a ceremony held at Seoul Plaza Hotel, Wednesday.
Attending the awards ceremony were, among others, President-Publisher Park Moo-jong of the Korea Times, Park Je-yeong, chief operating officer of the Korea Exchange Bank, which sponsors the annual translation contest, and judges including Brother Anthony.
Grand Prize winner Jung Ye-won, who translated Jung Young-moon’s “A Way of Remembrance,” and Charse Yun and Koh Hyo-jin, winners of the commendation awards for their respective translations of Kim Hoon’s “Rivers and Mountains Without End” attended the ceremony. Patricia Park who also won the commendation award for translating Yoon Sung-hee’s “Hole” however was absent as she is currently in the United States.
All were winners in the fiction category; there was no winner from the poetry category.
“Always there is intense competition in literature but not so much in poetry. Every winner here today has strived so hard to contribute to the field of Korean-English translation. I am happy to note that every notable figure in this field was once a recipient of this award. I truly hope this great legacy continues.” Professor Jung Ha-yun, a judge for this award, said.
Jung, the Grand Prize winner, said that she had submitted her work for the award many times. “Then I met Jung’s writing, and when I read ‘A Way of Remembrance’ I became addicted to the unique piece. I immensely enjoyed the process of translating this work, which led me to submit my work for this competition once again.”
Yun told an unexpected story of his accomplishment. “Actually, I didn’t really enjoy translating these stories in the beginning; the stories were too depressing for me. My partner whom I started this project with two years ago dropped out halfway through; I let go of the project shortly after. But eventually I decided, as a new year’s resolution, to finish this project. When I started again, I found great joy in the process.”
Translating Kim’s collection was the first literature translation project for Koh. “I am so grateful to receive this award for my very first project. I submitted my piece after working very hard on it but I definitely did not expect to win. My professor encouraged me a lot in pursuing this project.”
The Korea Times Modern Literature Translation Awards was launched in 1970 and has since played a vital role in presenting local literary works to the world and recognizing new translators.