Korea and the Words that are Lost in Translation

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Korea and the Words that are Lost in Translation

A recent BBC article highlights how language has evolved very differently in North and South Korea. Since the second World War and the division of the Korean peninsula, North Korea has remained a closed society, whilst South Korea, in contrast, has developed relationships with international partners and foreign cultures. Apparently this has had a significant impact on the development of language in both countries.

Post WW2, South Korea gained words inspired by US English. So “juseu” (juice), for example, was adopted as a South Korean word. This term obviously wouldn’t be in use in North Korea, where it would be called ‘danmul’. In North Korea however, there are often literal translations of words too, so shampoo (meorimulbinu) would be translated as ‘hair water soap’. A unified Korean dictionary is apparently currently under development, but it will obviously be some time before it will bridge the gap between the two languages…

Here at Knockhundred Translations Limited, we offer a wide variety of Korean Language Services, translating from English into South Korean. Recently we’ve been working on a number of Korean Medical and Pharmaceutical Translation assignments and also working hard to subtitle a number of short films from English into Korean, as part of our Korean Subtitles & Captions service.

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