I want to talk about a word that I’m sure you’ve all encountered, even if you don’t know it yet. That word is “자식” (sounds like “jashik”), but you’re probably more familiar with it as “brat”.Daum
basically gives three translations:
- “a creature; a guy; a chap; a fellow; a bloke”
Since it means both “child” and “jerk” it makes sense to translate it as “brat” like we have traditionally done. Of course the problem with “brat” is that nobody ever calls an adult that. It’s also not appropriate for ever situation since 자식 isn’t always used as an insult. The “brat” problem comes up so frequently that I think it will help both translators and editors if we put together a list of suggestions of what we can turn 자식 into.
- brat – Good when used about kids or at least people who are younger than the speaker.
- punk – Vague enough to cover most of the meanings of 자식. It can range from showing that you’re a little bit annoyed to, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”
- jerk – I like to use this when people are gossiping about someone they don’t like.
- bastard – If they’re talking about a guy who killed their entire family they shouldn’t just call him a “jerk”.
- guy – Use this when it’s not meant as an insult.
Please add your own suggestions. I don’t have any experience with sageuks but I hear that “자식” comes up a lot there too. Also, since I’m not a translator I don’t know how this works in Chinese. Anyway, the rest of you may not be quite as fascinated with the topic as I am, but this was one of the first questions I had at DSS and it’s still something that comes up in each episode I edit. I hope when you’re bored you’ll add an idea or two to the list.