Controversy arose as “Kimchi” was reportedly labeled as “Pao Chai” in Chinese subtitles on a web entertainment show starring BTS (BTS)
On the 15th, BTS released episode 142 of the web entertainment show ‘Run BTS’ on ‘V App’, a global star internet live broadcasting platform serviced by Naver. In the episode, BTS’s members learned how to make kimchi from Theborn Korea CEO Baek Jong Won, who is active in the broadcasting industry as a cooking researcher.
On this day’s broadcast, the members were divided into two teams and competed in a cooking competition to make cabbage kimchi and green onion kimchi. During this process, the members and CEO Baek said the word ‘kimchi’ several times, such as “Let’s make the kimchi that can be made quickly with cabbage.” However, in the Chinese subtitles serviced for Chinese fans, it was revealed that the content was translated as ‘Pao Chai’.
Pao Chai refers to a Chinese salted vegetable dish eaten in the vicinity of Sichuan province. China has made several attempts to incorporate kimchi into their own culture, insisting that Pao Chai is the origin of kimchi. Earlier, the rice balls sold at GS25 were also found to have labeled kimchi as Paochai in Chinese characters, which led to criticism from netizens.
Naver explained that the translation was based on the instructions of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism. In fact, the ‘Guidelines for Foreign Language Translation and Writing of Public Terms’ (No. 427) enacted in July last year by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, stipulates that “the idiomatic labelling of food names already widely used in China“, and suggests that there is no problem translating kimchi into paochai.
In December of last year, the civic group VANK discovered the contents of the order and demanded correction. At that time, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said, “We will revise the order after consultation with related ministries and experts in consideration of public sentiment in the future“, but the contents of the order have not been revised yet.