Monday, April 7, 2014

So Cheeeeeeeena

My wife loves to watch Korean dramas. Many run into twenty or more episodes – in four or five discs. Somehow you can get the latest in Jakarta and my son-in-law will pick them up for a song when he is in town. Unfortunately, my wife does not know Korean and has to depend on English subtitles to understand. If the cover says it has both Chinese and English translations, you can bet with your bottom dollar that the English used is Google English. A chap with a family name “Kim” () is likely to be identified – variously – as “Gold”, or “Kim” or “Jing” or the likes in the same series. Han (), which is a pretty common Korean family name, will become “Korea”. Going to USA (美国) becomes going to "beautiful country or nation". A given name like 金河 (Jin-Her) will be translated as Gold River. All very hilarious and indeed pathetic to the core! If you opt for the Chinese version, be ready to hear “plastic” stuff – where voices sound so similar – no matter which character is speaking!

But if you buy the real Korean stuff; the English is perfect in every sense.
I couldn’t help relating this experience of mine in watching CCTVNews: The anchors are usually fine; but each time the camera rolls to scenes outside the studio, the English you hear can really hurt your eardrums! You don’t seem to get this with the Korean and the Japanese channels. I wrote to CCTV to suggest that they learn a lesson or two from them or Aljazeera. Guess what? I couldn’t even send through my message via the mailbox address provided in their link!

A friend once said this to me: We are still so cheeeeeena!

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