News&Events

Setting the Translation Numbers Right
When I first created the Translation Database at the Three Percent website*, my main motivation was to get some sort of handle on how many translations were being published in the United States in a given year. For ages, people had cited the “three percent” figure, claiming — without any hard data — that only three percent of all books published in America were originally written in another language. This is a powerful number, helping craft a narrative about American isolationism and the need for increased funding for literature in translation, but it was also a statistic based on estimates...
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The Beauty of Literature Blooms from Adversity
On the outskirts of Seoul there is a village dedicated to the great writer Hwang Sun-Won, and every autumn literary events are held there. This year scholars and translators gathered to engage in intense discussion regarding the challenges faced when translating his works. Serving as the MC for this seminar I was able to ruminate on the intense linguistic awareness to which Hwang Sun-Won held fast throughout his life. He was a writer who mastered a concise and yet elegant style of prose, and created a beauty in his sentences at once poetic and precise. Like the contemporary writer Han...
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Greetings from the Publisher by Kim Seong-Kon, president of LTI Korea
Recently, Koreans were greatly encouraged and elated by the news that The Vegetarian had won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize. Thanks to the prominent novelist Han Kang and her outstanding translator Deborah Smith, Korean literature is now receiving its fair share of attention from the international community. A few months ago The Times Literary Supplement carried an article entitled, “A Glittering Korea.” In it, while comparing the two Koreas, Toby Lichtig writes, “But away from the escapee memoirs, famine histories and book-length speculations about the robustness, politically and gastrointestinally, of the youthful Dear Leader, it is the South that...