Document (#27654)

Author
Kwasnik, B.H.
Chun, Y.-L.
Title
Translation of classifications : issues and solutions as exemplified in the Korean Decimal Classification
Source
Knowledge organization and the global information society: Proceedings of the 8th International ISKO Conference 13-16 July 2004, London, UK. Ed.: I.C. McIlwaine
Imprint
Würzburg : Ergon Verlag
Year
2004
Pages
S.193-198
Series
Advances in knowledge organization; vol.9
Abstract
The aim of this study was to describe how the Korean Decimal Classification (KDC), which is based on the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), accommodated translation and adaptation issues in making the scheme culturally hospitable. We made a concept-by-concept comparison of terms in selected sections of the KDC with the analogous terms or sections in the DDC, noting the differences and similarities of terms and structure. Our analysis suggests that, overall, the KDC succeeded in this endeavor, and that the process of adaptation made good use of several adaptive strategies identified in previous work: adjustments to term specificity and term location in the classificatory structure, as well as the addition of uniquely Korean terms.
Content
1. Introduction We recognize that many difficulties arise in the process of translation of a classification system from the source to another language and culture. Clare Beghtol (2002) argues that making classifications culturally hospitable by including provisions for specific aspects of a culture will enhance its utility. In this paper we analyse orte instance of a classification translation, namely the Korean Decimal Classification (KDC) and compare it to the classification from which it emerged, the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). For a classification designed from orte perspective and for orte culture to be hospitable to a different culture and language it must take into account other possible relationships, and other possible way of identifying and labeling concepts. Among these are finding corresponding terminology and being able to reflect the relationship between terms in the target language correctly. The aim of this study was to describe how the KDC coped with such translation and adaptation issues. In a previous study (Kwasnik & Rubin, in press) we interviewed native speakers in fourteen languages and described the way in which common kinship terms, such as mother, grandparents, and children, differ from the English, not only lexically, but also in the way in which the terms are construed and related to each other. We compared the terms gathered from these Interviews with their position and use in the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress classifications. We proceeded from concepts collected from individuals to the concepts already in place in an existing classification scheme. This provided us with a set of classification-translation issues that served as a framework for analysis in the present study. Using the framework, we explored the Situation where an existing scheme has already been adapted into another language and culture. By comparing sections of the KDC with the DDC, from which it was adapted, we could describe how and whether the potential problems identified in the earlier study are accommodated in this translated classification scheme.
Object
DDC
Location
Korea

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