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Interview with English subtitle translator for 'Parasite' Updated: 2019-06-07 15:37:31 KST

Darcy Paquet, who has spent almost two decades working in the Korean film industry, including on Bong Joon-ho's previous films, is getting praise for his translation, of not just the language, but also the cultural context of the film 'Parasite'.

"It is a complicated film with a lot of different ideas and symbols and the structure of the story itself is quite complicated."
"I think the film does have this really surprising power to cross between cultures… I tried my best I could do to translate the meaning of the sentence and also I looked very closely at the acting. And the facial expression and voice tone of the actor. And I tried to communicate that emotion as well as the actual content in the writing."

To successfully narrow the gap between different cultures, at times, he created new words or substituted Korean concepts to something that a foreign audience can quickly understand.

"There's a scene in the film where the question is "Does Seoul National University have a major in document forgery?" And originally I translated as Seoul National University but the director suggested changing it to either Oxford or Harvard something that foreign audiences can understand very quickly. And it’s a funny line so particularly for humor, you need to understand it immediately."

Having worked on the translation of several Korean films, including Bong's previous film 'The Host', Paquet recalled his work with director Bong.

"I really enjoy working with him because he understands very well about what's needed for good English subtitles translation. And he has a very fine eye for detail. So he gives me a lot of good advice for translating and after I do my first draft we sit down together and go through line by line. And being able to talk with him about the translation really helps me a lot."

As a translator who stands in the middle of different cultures and bridges them, he holds high hopes that movies can be a strong tool to bring cultures together.

"I do really enjoy encouraging cultures to come together through films. And so in my case what I can do best is introducing international audiences to Korean cinema There are some images from the film that stay in their minds. And it may help shape their impression of that culture. So, I do really believe in the medium of cinema as a means of bringing cultures together.
"I think this is the kind of film that changes people's perception of foreign films because it's really dynamic, it's really fun to watch. And of all the Korean films that came out in the past 10 years or so, this one has the most potential to really spread wide throughout the world. And so I have high hopes for this film."

Paquet hopes that the translated subtitles of films can not only introduce new cultures but give a new perspective for both local and international audiences.
Lee Min-sun Arirang News.
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