Although BTS Korean ARMYs has already been helping I-ARMYs with translations related to BTS, K-ARMYs have stepped it up and have decided to start a translation project for BTS-related content.
On December 24, the South Korean BTS fan community BTKU announced its plans to starts the ‘BTS Translation Project’. The main goal for this project was to deliver BTS-related news to international fans in a timely manner. Many I-ARMYs had a hard time receiving accurate and quick information regarding BTS.
BTKU is the largest fan community for BTS in South Korea and provides BTS news as well as music records and updates on each of the members.
The fan community revealed that the start of this translation is “symbolic of the growing international impact of BTS and K-Pop.”
There have also been many seminars on the global influence of BTS and that language barriers were easily broken down by fans. There are many amazing fans on social media who spend a lot of time and effort translating for other fans. Although it may seem easy on the outside, it actually is a very hard task to translate this type of content into different language. Not only do the translators have to know the language, they also have to understand the cultural context.
Even with all these amazing translators, it can be hard for ARMYs to understand fully the lyrics of BTS because they often use cultural references.
One example is in the song, “Ma City,” J-Hope’s part reads, “I’m from Gwangju of South Jeolla Province Baby. I put in the Kia, start the engine, and bounce like crazy. Everyone press 062-518.” The “Kia” could be referenced to the car as Gwangju is known for its Kia factories. Or it could mean the Kia Tigers, a baseball team from Gwangju. This is also word-play as the word ‘Kia’ also sounds like the Korean word for the gearstick in a car. The number part could refer to ‘062’ being the area code for Gwangju and the ‘518’ to the May 18th Democracy uprising in Gwangju.
This is one of the main reasons why BTKU Korean ARMYs has decided to provide a translation service. They hope to provide translations in Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Spanish, and Hindi by this year.
This community will not only accurately translation news about BTS, but also accurately depict Korea’s cultural nuances and terms.