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  Social Translating © Goethe-Institut Korea / Gute Form
Video interview with Jisung Kim Photo: Goethe-Institut Tokyo

Video interview with Jisung Kim
“Translators are the stagehands in the background”

Jisung Kim was still quite new to the field of literary translation when he agreed to participate in the Social Translating Project. In the interview, he talks about the challenges during his experience of translating Thomas Melle’s “The World at your Back,” and what he has learned through the interaction with the nine other translators. 

About the Social Translating Project

The Social Translating Project is testing a new social practice for literary translation.
Translators from Asia are translating a German-language novel into their respective native languages. During the process, they meet in a closed digital forum and work on their translations by interacting with one another and engaging in a close discourse with the author. An e-book platform with social functions has been used which allows the users to make marginal notes in the text of an e-book as well for the translators and the author to follow up on each other’s comments.

Additional translators outside Asia are being invited to participate in the Social Translating discourse through partnerships with German publishers who provide books for the Social Translating Projects.

The Merck Social Translating Project 2018 was developed by the Goethe-Institut Korea in partnership with Merck Korea.

Translated Books in 2018, 2019 and 2021

Saša Stanišić: “Origin” Photo: Katja Sämann, Random House Verlag

About the author and the book
Saša Stanišić: “Origin”

More about the author and his book “Herkunft” (Origin), which is currently translated into four languages as part of Social Translating Project 2019.

Thomas Melle: “The World at Your Back” Photo: Dagmar Morath; Rowohlt-Verlag

About the author and the book
Thomas Melle: “The World at Your Back”

More about the author and his book “Die Welt im Rücken” (The World at Your Back), which was translated into ten languages as part of the project in 2018.


Social Translating: The Blog

The Social Translating Blog

Every day the translators meet in the digital forum on the Internet platform to go over their questions about specific parts of the text, share their impressions, and discuss cultural differences. The blog captures the voices of those involved and sheds light on what the digital forum is all about. The blog posts are available in German, English and Korean.

With support from

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