[image from the U Chicago Press website]
Even though I have translated academic papers on Korean philosophy, street interviews, and non-academic journal articles, I have been most active in literary translation from Korean to English. While I think literary translation is a creative literary art genre that plays with the delicate difference between languages, I believe that the finest translation can be attained only when a translator truthfully translates the original work. And by “truthfully,” I mean neither literal nor liberal translation that is out of context. Rather, I aim to reenact what Korean readers experience when they read Korean literary works for English readers.
Reaching this conclusion was a long journey. In December 2014, I began to translate and share Korean poems in English for fun on AhnTranslation. Since then, I have translated for Humans of Seoul (Dec. 2015 – present), ILDA South Korean Feminist Journal (Jan. 2017 – Jan. 2018), and Time to Read Poems, the Documentary (Oct. 2016). My translations of Korean poems have also appeared in different venues, such as a middle school IB textbook and the official use of the Bucheon City of Literature.
In addition, in December 2016, I embarked on a Korean literary magazine project and have been a founder and Editor-in-Chief of Nabillera: Contemporary Korean Literature since then. Through Nabillera, I hope to introduce novel attempts taking place in the Korean literary circle to English readers. Currently, I am translating Kim Hyun’s Glory Hole [김현 글로리홀], under contract with Seagull Books. You can preorder the book here.