We all love our Kdramas, but let’s face it: Some of those titles are weird!
Whether it’s because the exact translation has no English equivalent, or because the translators wanted to preserve the purity of the interpretation, the result is often the same. Completely confusing!
That’s why I wanted to try something fun, and have a go at renaming some of these titles so they make more sense to the American viewers.
Now, granted, I know that the translators who officially Americanize these titles are just doing their jobs–they’ve been asked to take Korean words and find the closest equivalent in English. But just for the heck of it, I think I can find some alternatives that you know…actually mean something when we read them.
1.) Boys Over Flowers
Okay, okay. Here’s what happened with this one. This was originally a Japanese manga, and the author of said manga made a title that is a pun in Japanese. They have a common expression that, translated, says, “dumplings before flowers.” Apparently, it refers to a flower festival they have, where people flock to the food first, and totally ignore the flowers, which were the reason they were supposed to be there in the first place. She changed the character for “dumpling” to be “boys,” which I’m sure is quite clever.
In English, it don’t make a lick o’ sense.
So, in keeping with the original meaning of the title, which really tells us to put what we love above all else, I give to you…
If I’m being honest, I wanted to do something five hundred times more corny, but my husband wouldn’t stop laughing, so I went with his suggestion. It’s short, it makes sense, and hey, it’s what the author meant to say!
2.) Something About 1%
Even after watching this drama, I do not fully understand what they were trying to say here. There was a whole monologue at the end about how 1% of people are…really awesome? Or there’s a 1% chance you’ll find love? Or something? I brought my husband into the living room and made him watch the speech, and even he wasn’t exactly sure what they were going for. I am absolutely (100% haha) certain that in Korean it’s profound. In English translation it’s an odd title.
So after finishing the drama, and getting the general gist of what they were going for, I vote that we rename it:
You Are My 1%
It’s a slight change, really, but I think it makes all the difference. Not only are we playing off the idea that he is the 1% financially (i.e. rich as Croesus), but we are going with the theme of the show, which is that she is the 1% in terms of rarely found selflessness, love, and true compatibility.
3.) My Love From Another Star/My Love From the Stars/My Love From the Star
We seriously could not agree on a title for this drama, could we? I’ve seen several variations, and all of them were really just trying to preserve the original translation. I give them points for exactness, but it’s a mouthful to say. My suggestion?
The story is all about their love, and it just happens to be twinkled with a touch of starry space background. I think this title evokes romance, without focusing too hard on the fact that he’s an alien. Exactly like the drama.
4.) City Hunter
If you just said “sh***y hunter” in your head, then congratulations–you know why we really can’t call this drama City Hunter with a straight face. I know, I know, I KNOW. In the drama that’s what they call him. They even say it over and over again. “SH***Y HUNTER!” (For those of you who haven’t seen this one, the Koreans pronounce “City Hunter” like “sh***y hunter,” and it is impossible to ignore.) But even if THEY are saying “city hunter,” that doesn’t mean we have to. Especially because it’s an awesome drama, and it deserves a title that doesn’t cause me to giggle every time I say it.
Seoul sounds like “soul,” which makes it sound more bad-a. Add to that the fact that the main character is actually hunting down the men whose dirty souls managed to kill innocent people, and it’s just too perfect.
Seriously SBS. Call me. Anytime. I’m here for you.
5.) Moonlight Drawn by Clouds/Love in the Moonlight
This is another title that was wildly different from translation to translation, and I’m sure they did their best. But even the better title “Love in the Moonlight” doesn’t make a lot of sense. It just didn’t sit well with me. And since I happened to really enjoy this one, I’m going to rename it. Because I can.
As best as I could figure, the symbolism for this drama had the prince compared to moonlight. So the original title–I think–was meant to be something like the fluffy white clouds (our main girl) chasing the moonlight (our prince). Alternatively, it could refer to the prince chasing moonlight, as in a brighter future for his people. Either way, I feel like this grabs the feeling of the adorable drama more succinctly.
So there you have it!
Not that the original titles are bad, per say, but I like to play with words. What do you think? Any that you like? Are you cursing me out for messing with the classics?
Or, do you have some Kdrama titles you’d like to see rewritten? Let me know!