The Gibberish Korean Of The Interview

The Gibberish Korean Of The Interview

In what should surprise no one, The Interview features Korean that really doesn’t make that much sense.

Yes, yes, the movie is satire. And, yes, yes, it’s aimed at the English-speaking world, but with linguistic errors peppered throughout the flick, one has to wonder: Couldn’t Sony Pictures hire a proper Korean language translator to, you know, check the film’s lingo?

The Interview, pulled from theatres, incited a massive cyber attack against Sony Pictures. The film did hit select cinemas and was released online.

Hollywood, of course, is no stranger to butchering foreign languages in its films. But with The Interview, the mistakes are getting mainstream coverage in South Korea on sites like YTN and YTN Plus, with native speakers scratching their heads at the movie’s gibberish Korean. Sounds like this is more sloppy than satire.

For example, the side of this North Korean helicopter should read 주의 or “Warning”, but it actually reads 주위 or “Surroundings” or “Circumstances”. Doh.

Here, the stop sign reads 받아막다, which, as Michael Han at Quora explains, means “confront (or ram on) to block”. Instead, it should say 정지 or “Stop”. Like a stop sign should!

The movie even features Korean characters which… aren’t even real Korean characters. Here, you can see the characters “모든|”. However, that isn’t actually Korean (모든, though, is).

Over on Quora, Han also points out that many of the actors playing North Korean characters sound stilted, awkward or simply off. One North Korean character even mispronounces her own name!

I haven’t had a chance to see The Interview. Perhaps the filmmakers focused more on the funny and less on the finer points of the Korean language?


  • Another thing that annoys me in the movie and in RL is that people don’t actually know his name. I was listening to the radio and them discussing and laughing at the fact that his family all have the first name “Kim”. The fools didn’t realize Koreans put their surname first, so Kim is his surname not his first name.

  • This movie is baaaaad. Seth Rogen has done his dash and James Franco is better than this crap.

  • I think the movie itself was great – obviously rushed due to the seriousness of the subject but it really does make you wonder what exactly does go down in the hermit kingdom, why they choose to seclude themselves – and just what type of character the man is in rl.

    Would he take this to heart – we’re still to find out but what is true is that NK’s people do in fact see him as their ‘god’ or at least ‘godlike” which is something this movies seems to strive to say – well no he’s a normal person like me and you just brought up under different circumstances.

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