Anton Hur

Writer, translator

  • Annus Mirabilis

    The following is the translation of a speech I gave this December, representing the graduating LTI Korea Academy Ateliers of 2017. It was originally delivered in Korean. First, I would like to thank the tireless people at the LTI Korea Academy who do so much work on our behalf, from coordinating the demands of all… Continue reading

  • Language Imperialism

    The translator of a certain bestselling science-fiction novel once said that he did not aim to normalize his work into English, that he wanted his translation to read a little weird, that he felt he was contributing to the English language by introducing Chinese translationese. This translator,  an award-winning writer in his own right, is Chinese-American.… Continue reading

  • SFF Sonnet

    A vastness of mind is set to heart Of narratives placed in distant stars The space of space, a door ajar A noun a portal into art.  Giants teased from micro parts Dinosaurs bloom from drops of tar A species in a single scar A universe’s end writ in its start. The alpha and omega… Continue reading

  • The Perfect Bilingual Problem

    *This problem isn’t exclusive to perfect bilinguals, but I’ve found that perfect bilinguals are the most susceptible to it. The Perfect Bilingual Problem is when a translator is so thoroughly aware of each nuance of the source text, and is so adept in the target language that they end up carrying over every semantic unit… Continue reading

  • The Face of Love

    “He’s unfathomable.” “Of course he is.” He made as if to light a cigarette, remembered the new anti-smoking law, and tossed his lighter back on the café table. “He’s another human being, of course he’s unfathomable.” “Is this what being in a relationship is like?” “What is it like, then?” “It’s like we’re both planets… Continue reading

  • The Native Speaker Problem

    I’m not a native speaker of English, so as a translator I was obliged to describe my English as “native level” on my résumé and get paid less for it accordingly. I was hired because I could pass for an American, and paid as if I couldn’t. We do not talk of “native writers,” we… Continue reading

  • On Translating Poetry

    I like to say, guardedly, that I could define poetry this way: it is that which gets lost out of both prose and verse in translation. —Robert Frost in Conversations on the Craft of Poetry   The above is often misquoted as “Poetry is what gets lost in translation,” but the substance of Robert Frost’s idea… Continue reading

  • Notes for Young Writers

    *I once briefly tutored a thirteen year-old in creative writing. This is what I learned. 1. Learning how to finish a draft is an important skill in itself. 1.2 This skill mostly involves finding and developing a story by “writing out” of the first scenes or impressions you have of your narrative. 1.2.1 This takes… Continue reading

  • On Cambodia.

    I was once in Cambodia on a business trip. I had never been to Cambodia before. I had lived in Bangkok for two years as a kid, and we were coming in from Singapore on that trip; Singapore seemed like the future, Bangkok the present, and Phnom Penh the past. The city, unlike its actual past, seemed quiet and… Continue reading

About Me

I am a writer and translator working in Seoul. I was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and raised in British Hong Kong, Ethiopia, and Thailand, but mostly in Korea, where I’ve lived for thirty years. I was awarded the title of Person of Distinguished Service to the Nation after serving in the Korean Army. Repped by Jon Wood at RCW.