Classic Novel Title Translations

Many of you may have noticed that things don’t always translate exactly from English to Korean, or vice versa. As an Interpreting Major, I can tell you that interpretation and translation translates the concept, not the actual words.

This can be easily seen in even just the titles of classic novels. I have a few that I’ll use as an example.

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English: Anne of Green Gables

Korean: 빨간 머리 앤

Korean Translation: Red-head Anne

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빨간색 means ‘red’, if you drop 색 you get the adjective form of the word.

In Korean the adjective comes before the word that it modifies; in this case it is modifying 머리, meaning head, so together it’s ‘redhead/redheaded’.

앤 means Anne!

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English: Anne of Avonlea

Korean: 에이번리의 앤

Korean Translation: Avonlea’s Anne

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에이번리 is Avonlea, just written in 한글. -의 is a particle indicating possession, so that turns this into ‘Avonlea’s’.

The thing possessed follows the owner/possessor (same as in English). In this case, the thing being possessed is 앤.

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English: Daddy Long Legs

Korean: 키다리 아저씨

Korean Translation: Beanpole Man

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I looked up 키다리; literally it means ‘beanpole’, but apparently it is also a word that is used to tease tall people.

아저씨 is an honorific used for an older man. It can be used by males or females. 오빠/형 is used for a guy close to one’s own age, unlike 아저씨.

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English: Wuthering Heights

Korean: 폭풍의 언덕

Korean Translation: Storm’s Hill

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폭풍 can refer to either a very strong storm, or a strong wind of a storm. It is a similar concept to ‘wuthering’. Once again we have the possesive marker ‘의’.

언덕 is ‘hill’.

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~ Hannah

Published by Satyanghae Korean (Hannah & Shelbi)

We are just 3 students who wish to share the love and joy of learning Korean through lesson posts and translations! We are doing this for fun, based on our experience and questions we ask native speakers. We are not fluent! Just passionate  ~ Hannah, Shelbi, and Jordan

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