Depiction of Korean Folklore in the Entertainment Industry – Transcending Language Barriers

The Korean entertainment industry is one of the most flourishing industries these days. The genres that it covers leave the audience in awe. You will often find a contrast between the Korean and Chinese entertainment industries. Moreover, the Korean language consists of Chinese characters. Even in the entertainment industry, there are many Chinese influences. And all of this is possible because of Mandarin language translations that translate Chinese into Korean.

Our topic focuses on the depiction of Korean folklore in movies and dramas.

Korean Folklore

Korean folk tales have been present for centuries. People in Korea have a staunch belief in these folk tales. Despite being present for centuries, it’s a recent success that Koreans are showcasing them through their dramas and movies. This imparts knowledge to kids and they learn about their history and civilization. Korean folk tales mainly consist of supernatural elements like ghosts and paranormal creatures. This is why shamanism is very common in South Korea.

Koreans integrate these supernatural elements into their life and believe that good and bad happen to them according to the deeds they did in their past lives. This folklore adds to their religion as well as what we call the Korean folk religion. Other than shamanism, Buddhism is also a part of the Korean religion.

The Korean Entertainment Industry

There is a K-wave that has attained the status of global popularity. This industry was established in 1995 but didn’t gain much popularity. In 2020, after the release of the South Korean film “Parasite”, the fame of Korean entertainment skyrocketed. You might not know, but “Parasite” is the first ever foreign language movie that won an Oscar in 2020. After that, “Squid Game” became another hit. And after that, you can see almost every Korean entertainment industry production is a triumph.

This places the prospect of professional Korean translation services in the picture, which we are going to discuss below.

Representation of Korean Folklore in Movies and Dramas – Role of Translation

We know the success of Korean movies and web series these days. If you notice, then many of these web series and movies are based on the Korean folk religion. It is because, through movies, Koreans are imparting their core values to their new generations. Movies and TV shows are a new obsession today. So why not use this obsession to deliver knowledge to people? This is why Koreans are bringing their folk tales in front of the audience in a very presentable way, in order to spark their interest.

Goblin (Jeoseung Saja)

Jeoseung saja in Korean and Goblin in English is the Korean Grim Reaper. In Korean folk tales, the grim reaper is the entity that collects the souls of people. In Korean, there are two interpretations of Jeoseung saja. One refers to the Grim Reaper, while the other refers to an immortal entity.

On this concept of immortality, there is a Korean web series with the name, “Goblin”. Kim Shin, Wang Yeo, and Ji Eun-Tak are its lead cast members. It is the story of a soldier from the Goryeo Dynasty who was betrayed and made a goblin. The immortality of the protagonist can only end with the help of the goblin’s bride who is a human in the present time. So in the series, the lead character is in search of his bride. This bride is a human who can see ghosts and other creatures like goblins.

You know what’s the interesting part? This concept of a goblin is very similar to the concept of Grim Reaper in Chinese culture. This is why Korean web series are very popular in China. This is where Mandarin language translations come into action and translate the Korean language for Chinese audiences.

Tale of the Nine Tailed (Gumiho)

The “Tale of the Nine Tailed” is another example of a Korean Web series based on the Korean folk religion. Gumiho is a creature with nine tails in the Korean religion and is a beautiful creature who is responsible for bewitching humans in order to eat their livers. This creature is also famous as a mountain god who has been living for many centuries, waiting for his human love. Through professional Korean translation, this knowledge is imparted despite the linguistic and cultural differences to Korean fans.

Summing Up!

Most people will agree that the Korean entertainment industry is famous for exerting focus on high production quality movies and the exertion on Korean folk tales. It is a way through which Koreans deliver their religious folk tales to the target audience. As clearly mentioned above, TV shows like Goblin and Tale of the Nine Tailed are perfect examples of such shows. Such shows not only entertain the audience but also spread knowledge about Korean folklore. Translation services play a vital role in making this content understandable for multilingual audiences.

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