Struggling to translate formal titles


I watched a drama elsewhere and in every single episode the Korean terms were explained. It was really annoying because it was a 40 plus drama.

One time the subs explained that ‘noona is a term a guy uses for an older girl’, but in the scene there were two women talking and the younger one clearly said ‘unnie’ and not noona!


I once watched a drama on another website where they used to replace all Korean titles such as these with the persons name. It used to feel pretty annoying when someone would call a person and the subtitle would say the name and what you hear doesn’t match what you read. I don’t know why exactly I felt that it was kind of disrespectful.
Specifically, when I was watching W there, and the bodyguard (I don’t remember his name) was calling Kang Chul “CEO” and the subtitle said “Chul” :face_with_raised_eyebrow::face_with_raised_eyebrow:
I mean I seriously do not understand who living on this earth of ours would call their boss by their first name like that.


I think Americans do… sometimes xD So when that happens when I watch a US film/show it feels already weird, but it’s also weird if the subs for a Cdrama (was not here) have an assistant of the boss/CEO and the boss use full name plus “du” (personal you) … The whole drama I was always bothered by every “du” I saw because that’s not common here especially not for high positions in a big company (it may be first name plus “Sie” but not full name and “du”…)

That are the cases when I think I’d prefer watching films with synced version because the synced version usually aren’t that weird.


:laughing: My best friend calls her boss by his first name since he insisted. I still get thrown off when she does that. I’m always wondering “who is that guy?”, then she tells me he is her boss. I’ve lost track how many times she has had to remind me of that. Personally, I would never do that. It’s like calling my teachers and professors by their first name instead of Mr. / Mrs. / Ms. ___, or Professor ___. I can’t imagine calling my environmental biology professor (who has a doctorate) “Barbara.”


I had to laugh when reading the last part, because it reminded me of how the professors insisted on calling them by their first names (not all, but at least 95%). Honestly, when I remember their names, I usually have no problem with their first name, but with their last… :smile:

But in the Netherlands it’s common to call your boss / (uni) teacher by their first name, or at least in the cities I worked / studied in.

I only do it if they have insisted on it more than twice.