BTS RM’s Kpop interview, as assessed by “Deadpool” translator Hwang Seok Hee

On March 12th, BTS had an interview with Spanish media “El Pais”, where he talked about Kpop and South Korean culture. 

bts rm

The interview has since gained massive attention among the Korean public, and translator Hwang Seok Hee, who worked on “Deadpool”, posted an assessment of it on March 14th. 

In particular, Hwang Seok Hee started by saying, “I saw BTS RM’s Kpop interview gaining attention, so I looked at the original text. It’s a persuasive insight that Korean people push themselves so much. Koreans are a nation with a strong desire for improvement and competition. Of course, it’s a fact that we have been driven by competition to improve.”

He then expressed sympathy with RM’s interview by adding, “Nevertheless, us Koreans seem to possess a ‘keep going’ DNA that makes us continue to move forward, even through tough times.”


Hwang Seok Hee also commented on a point in the interview, where RM mentioned the translation of “ancestor”. According to the translator, the term doesn’t necessarily mean “ancestor“, but can also be interpreted as “pioneer” or “forerunner“, and emphasized that it is important not to mistake it for a nationalistic expression. 

“Since the term, ‘Kpop ancestor’ is sometimes used, it could be a correct expression in certain contexts,” he added. 

Below is RM’s interview, as translated by Hwang Seok Hee: 

Question: Is youthfulness, worship of perfection, and excessive effort a cultural trait of Korea’s Kpop?

BTS RM: Westerners don’t understand. Korea is a country that has been invaded, devastated, and divided into two. Just 70 years ago, it was a country with nothing. It was a country that received help from the IMF and the UN. But now, it is a country that the whole world is paying attention to. How was this possible? How did this happen? It was because people worked insanely hard to develop. People from countries like France and England, who had colonized other countries for centuries, come and say, “You guys are too hard on yourselves. Life in Korea is too stressful!”

bts rm

But in order to achieve that, those things are necessary. They are also factors that make K-pop attractive. There are certainly gray areas in judgment, but there are always side effects in things that happen too quickly and intensely.

It may be annoying that Spotify calls us all “Kpop,” but the effect is certain. It’s a premium label. It guarantees the quality that the people who went before us (translated as “ancestors” by in other texts) fought for.

Source: Instagram

Back to top button