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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 Merck Social Translating Project is testing a new social practice for literary translation.
Ten 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.
The project is the first time that an e-book platform with social functions has been used. It 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. Thomas Melle’s novel Die Welt im Rücken (The World at Your Back) was selected for the first social translating discourse. The novel is being translated into Bengali, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Mongolian, Sinhalese, Thai, and Vietnamese. In 2018, the translations and the results of the project will be presented at international book fairs in Asia and at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Merck Social Translating Project was developed by the Goethe-Institut Korea in partnership with Merck Korea.

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Thomas Melle: “The World at Your Back”

The Translators

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Social Translating: The Blog

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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.


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