By writing this post — by examining the Korean words below more closely — I’ve gained a greater understanding of my difficulty reading English subtitles in Korean TV dramas. English subtitles seem to be so long, while actors seem to be saying so little. They appear to use far fewer syllables to express themselves. Another reason for the shorter discourse may be that much of what they say is based on context, so they don’t need to say certain words like English speakers have to. This shortens the Korean sentence and makes the English translation seem quite lengthy.
Of course this theory is based on my limited experience of Korean, but when I watched Secret Garden yesterday on mysoju.com, I had to keep pressing pause to stay with the dialogue. The actors seemed to say one sentence, but the subtitles were written in three! It’s it very hard to keep up with a lengthy written dialogue when scenes switch over following the actors’ speedy verbal pace.
Below are words I had fun playing with today. It’s especially the last four words that brought about the above written reflection. Please feel free to correct, or question me if you notice anything wrong or confusing. This is very much an experiment in my language learning.
가다 (To go); 오다 (To come)
Notice how the ending of each colored word (verb) end with either of these two verbs.
– to go back or to die. this form of dying is much more polite than the one you might hear students talk about, 죽다; to come back
– to take; to bring
– to take the bus to go; to take the bus to come
– to put on the jacket to go; to put on the jacket to come
– to put on the tuque to go; to put on the tuque to come
– to put on the sneakers to go; to put on the sneakers to come
- The Korea Times : Korean Language (aspiringpolyglotblog.wordpress.com)