Korean; Chinese; subtitles of TV show programs; communication via subtitles; subtitles of linguistic supplementary nature; subtitles of situational explanations
중국어문학논집, v. , no. 111, page. 119-146
This study aims at comparing the subtitles of TV show programs in Korea and China. TV show subtitles are more than a supplementary channel of information: they are a “communication via subtitles,” referring to a radically new mode of mass communication, Th study finds that while the TV show subtitles of Korea and China share general features, they also display many cultural-linguistic differences. Differences are more pronounced in the subtitles of linguistic supplementary nature than in the subtitles for situational explanations, where only details vary. In the Chinese cases, the linguistic supplementary subtitles copy what is spoken more fully whereas in the Korean cases, the phonetic sounds of the words and sentences spoken are often used often to create comic effects. Also on the Korean TV shows, vernacular aspects of the spoken language are stressed with the use of pause, hesitancy and the volume levels of the uttered sounds. These vernacular features are not prominent in China where only onomatopoeic words are subtitled. In matters of describing and explaining situations of characters, the Korean TV shows exhibit a greater variety of linguistic expression. Furthermore, the Korean use of the TV subtitles is more interpretive and evaluative of the characters’s situations and utterances, which reflect the intentions of the creators of these shows.