Literature Translation Institute of Korea

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Literature Translation Institute of Korea
LTI Korea.png
Korean name
Hangul 한국문학번역원
Hanja 韓國文學飜譯院
Revised Romanization Hanguk Munhak Beonyeokwon
McCune–Reischauer Hanguk Munhak Pŏnyŏkwŏn

Literature Translation Institute of Korea (Korean: 한국문학번역원, LTI Korea, formerly known as Korean Literature Translation Fund) was founded in 1996 by the Government of South Korea with the aim of promoting Korean literature and culture overseas in order to contribute to the global culture.

LTI Korea sponsors translation and publication to promote high-quality translation of Korean literature, and is pushing forward with various overseas exchange programs to strengthen the export base for Korean literature and establish a network for Korean and overseas publishers. It also works to foster professional translators to enhance the capacity of translation of Korean literature.[1]


1996 Korean Literature Translation Fund founded.

2001 Renamed as Korean Literature Translation Institute, organization expanded. Dr. Park Huan-Dok appointed as the founding president.

2003 Dr. Chin Hyung Joon appointed to succeed Dr. Park as LTI Korea’s second president.

2005 Declaration of a revision in the Culture and Arts Promotion Law. Status changed to a special corporation

2006 Dr. Yoon Jikwan appointed as the third president of LTI Korea.

2009 Dr. Joo Youn Kim appointed as the fourth president of LTI Korea.

2010 Change of the law authorizing LTI Korea (Publishing Industry Promotion Act §20(2)

2012 Dr. Kim, Seong-kon appointed as the fifth president of LTI Korea.


LTI Korea supports various programs designed to promote awareness of Korean literature and culture abroad. Their programs can be divided into four categories, each focusing on a specific goal dedicated to building an understanding of Korean literature and culture overseas.

Translation grants program

Twice a year, LTI Korea specifies and announces the sponsorship-eligible books, among which translators wishing to translate works of Korean writers into another language can choose from. Translators can apply for translation grants all year around and the institute evaluates the applications and announces the recipients quarterly. The selected applicants will receive part of their grant before the translation process begins and receive the remainder after the finished manuscript is submitted and had passed evaluation by experts of publishing in the target language. Along with the support for the entire script, LTI Korea also provides grants for the translation of synopses, which it uses to lure the interest of publishers residing outside of Korea.

Publication grants program

LTI Korea provides grants for foreign publishers wishing to publish translations of Korean books. Application should be filled out and submitted online at The amount of grants will vary based on the local interest of the work, specificity of publishing plan and validity of the budget planning.

Supports for international cooperation

In an effort to build a strong network between the translators, writers, and people engaged in the publishing business both inside and outside of Korea, LTI Korea holds and participates in various cultural events. The LTI Korea Forum was held in the US, France, Spain, China, Germany and Japan in 2011 with the most recent forum being held in Berlin, Germany in June 2012. Another significant event hosted by LTI Korea is Seoul International Writers’ Festival which is held once every other year. In the festival held in 2010, 24 prominent writers from all over the world got together and had reading and talking sessions under the theme "Fantasy and Empathy". Among the writers that participated were Korean writers Bae Suah, Park Hyoung-su, Jeong Chan, Pyun Hye-young, Kim Min-jeong, Kim Haeng-sook, Choi Seoung-ho, Ra Hee-duk, Kim Nam-joong, and Kim Hye-jin.[2] Korean-American writer Min Jin Lee, who won the New York Times Editor’s Choice award for her debut novel “Free Food for Millionaires,” and Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz were also among the list of participants.[3]

Education program

LTI Korea holds translation academies in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Russian. Designed to be a translator-training program, it currently teaches nearly 100 students, with the aim of expanding the number to 200.[4] Aside from nurturing prospective translators, LTI Korea encourages new and existing translators by awarding them with Korean Literature Translation Awards. Another form of effort to promote the exchange of information is LTI Korea’s International Workshop on Translation and Publication of Korean Literature. The 11th International Workshop for Translation and Publication of Korean Literature discussed the globalization of Korean literature in times where Korean culture is receiving more attention than it ever did in the past, due to the popularity of K-pop singers.[5]

Information Service

Through the establishment and implementation of the LTI Korea medium and long-term strategy, its information services provide comprehensive information regarding Korean literature and publications and overseas publishing markets. By creating content relevant to the aforementioned in keeping with the new media environment, the information service ensures that LTI Korea's information services are integrated and up-to-date.

LTI Korea library

Opened to the public in 2007, the LTI Korea Library is the first library in Korea which contains collections of Korean books translated into various languages and published overseas. In addition to the translated editions of Korean books, it also collects periodicals on Korean literature, books on translation as well as CD's, DVDs and video tapes on Korean literature.


LTI Korea publishes periodicals on Korean literature and provides them for overseas publishers and people who want to receive information on Korean literature. Its list_Books from Korea is a quarterly magazine featuring the trend in Korean book market, writer interviews and reviews and excerpts of books.[6] In addition to the quarterly magazine, LTI Korea provides monthly newsletters such as plus list_Books from Korea and OPIA, offering information about the Korean and overseas book market to publishers.

Korean Literature in Translation[edit]

The following table shows the number of Korean books translated into other languages with help of LTI Korea's translation grants program, as of early 2014.[7]

Year Number of books translated each year Genre specifics Total
Language of
Number of
Modern literature Children's books Humanities and social science
Novel Poetry Others(essay,drama, etc.)
2001 18 69 38 19 1 0 11 69
2002 14 38 24 10 1 0 3 38
2003 17 44 26 7 2 0 9 44
2004 12 46 23 10 2 0 11 46
2005 18 55 33 7 2 0 13 55
2006 20 69 29 11 0 1 28 69
2007 17 98 58 14 0 0 26 98
2008 14 41 26 6 0 0 9 41
2009 16 80 44 10 1 16 9 80
2010 14 111 55 13 3 18 22 111
2011 14 105 57 8 0 22 18 105
2012 14 91 57 4 0 10 20 91
2013 17 82 44 14 0 6 18 82
2014 15 44 29 6 0 2 7 44
Total 30 975 543 139 12 75 206 975

※ Classics are included in the humanities and social science category as of 2009.


Yeongdong-daero 112-gil 32(Samseong-dong), Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea


  1. ^ Boudewijn Walraven, Remco E. Breuker Korea in the middle: Korean studies and area studies Page 377 2007 "Ssirümp'an: How the translator grapples with the scholar in the arena of intercultural translation," in 2002 Seoul Symposium on literature and translation, compiled by the Korea Literature Translation Institute
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External links[edit]