Object 3: A video clip of a BTS live stream

June 2, 2021


This is clip from a BTS livestream on Vlive from 2019. A comment left by a fan that was translated from another language to Korean was read out, it was supposed to say, ‘are you excited to go back to Korea?’ but ‘excited’ got translated into ‘horny’.

This clip enriches the exhibition because subtitles in other languages are not added to the video until after the stream is over. The Vlive wants the livestreams to be family friendly, so it censored ‘horny’ and replaced it with the word ‘thrilled’. Anyone who doesn’t speak Korean would be relying fully on the subtitles provided for accurate translations, so they would be certain that the word spoken in Korean by the members was ‘thrilled’ even though it wasn’t. The only way they could find out the truth is by asking someone who speaks Korean, but since they don’t suspect that their certainty is misplaced, they wouldn’t even seek out a clarification in the first place, remaining disillusioned. This shows how even information straight from the source still leaves room for uncertainty.

This clip is also relevant to the exhibition because the person who originally wrote the comment was certain it said ‘excited’ after all, they had just put it through a translator. If it had not been pointed out by Korean speakers, the commenter would’ve been oblivious. Because of its grammar the BTS members realised that the comment had been translated and deduced that it was probably a mistranslation, but there was still a reliance on technology to give accurate results which shows that we cannot always be certain that technology will give us correct results.

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