[ 한국어 ]
It has been a long time coming, but an updated Korean version of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Book of Order will soon be available to Korean-speaking congregations and mid councils, as well as Korean churches outside of the PC(USA) and Korea. Translators from the PC(USA)’s Global Language Resources team have been working with the Office of the General Assembly for several months, thoroughly reviewing every page, every chapter to ensure the content is accurately presented.
“For a long time, Korean constituents have been looking for an updated Korean translation of the Book of Order. If I’m correct, the current Korean translation of the Book of Order is 5-8 years old. Since September 2022, Sangik Lee, Korean Associate Translator, and I have translated each part of the Book of Order such as Foundation, Government, Worship, and Church Discipline,” said John Kim, senior Korean translator with the PC(USA)’s Global Language Resources group. “It took about a month for each part for translation and correcting. After it was translated into Korean, each part was distributed to Korean Book of Order reviewers.”
The Book of Order Korean Translation Review Conference was held in Atlanta in March. The Rev. Jihyun Oh, director of the Office of the General Assembly’s Mid Council Ministries; the Rev. Josh Park, manager of Korean Speaking Council Support; and the Rev. Dr. So Jung Kim, associate for Theology in the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Theology & Worship joined eight reviewers and three presbytery leaders.
“The last Korean translation of the Book of Order is often a transliteration with the intention of faithfully conveying the content of the English Book of Order,” said Kim. “Especially in cases where the original texts are difficult to interpret or understand the meanings, most of them were transliterated. Of course, the transliterated sentences can neither convey the original meaning nor be understood in Korean. In these cases, after some research and linguistic or legal advice, the original meaning was determined appropriately and translated into Korean accordingly.”
Kim says that during the translation process, he and Lee had a tough time finding the proper terminology to convey critical and important meanings.
“In most sections, the last translation of Korean Book of Order contains obsolete words, which can neither deliver the original meaning nor be understood by Korean people. GLR Korean team had struggled to find proper words for each critical sentence and reflect the current Korean grammar and usage to our translation,” he said. “Sometimes, it took a week to translate just one paragraph because we had to research proper terminology and its usages.”
The team is now finalizing the current translation and reflecting reviewers’ feedback, wrapping up a six-month process.
“I’m pretty sure this Korean translation has historic meaning for Korean churches as well as constituents,” Kim said. “In the last translation, some important parts had been mistranslated. For example, ‘Principles of Order and Government’ (F-3) was not properly translated, but this section contains the essential understanding of Presbyterian principles and government. Through this new Korean translation, Korean church members can have better understanding of our Presbyterian principles and theology.”
This translation will be published in book format as well as digitally.