K-Pop translator Sandra Jung and former translator Jin Ho Bae sat down for a chat about their experiences on the job. They also shed light on what happens behind the scenes, including finding out which groups were friendly in real life.
Because a translator’s job is to make communication between the group and other people as smooth as possible, artists who are comfortable to work with make that process easier. So Jin Ho Bae shared his ultimate tip for figuring out “if the artist is kind.”
From a glance, Jin Ho Bae can tell if a group is kind and explained how. He’s noticed that “if the artists are scary,” their translator has a specific demeanor that gives it away.
Jin Ho Bae imitated how uncomfortable the translators typically look when working with a scary artist. Rather than smiling, they’ll be super reserved and avoid eye contact in a way that looks unnatural.
On the flip side, it was just as easy to determine the opposite from a translator’s body language. Confirming what a former staff member claimed about working with B.A.P, Jin Ho Bae pointed out how the group was kind enough to speak with Sandra Jung and make her laugh.
But you? You’re holding your bag and [laughing]. So, I can see in your body language you’re comfortable with them.
— Jin Ho Bae
They both also mentioned Jessi as one of the kindest artists to translate for. They praised her for being “soft-hearted,” full of aegyo, and “easy to work with.”
Translators have so much experience with idols and actors that they can figure out their true personalities with just a glance.