Korean is mistaken for a racial slur in the latest trend K-POP songs

Is it a racist term or just another language?

This question has been asked frequently in the context of several Asian languages ​​over the years. And now that Korean pop music dominates the West, common Korean lyrics are mistaken for anti-black slurs by English speakers.

Treasure’s “Darari”, the latest song accused of perpetuating anti-black species discrimination by including non-English words that sound like racial slur, has been popular on Tik Tok for the past month. increase. The speeded-up segment of songs that are widespread on social media platforms begins with the Korean word “nikka” (“니까”) and conjunctions, and is roughly paraphrased as “niga” (“니가”) in English. Informal use of the word “you”. TikTok users have lip-synced to video clips, as seen in countless trends using popular songs, but have been accused of saying something that sounds like an N-word.

Video using sound It’s full of comments asking both what the lyrics really are and what the uploader intended by singing along with them. Most misunderstandings seem to have been mitigated by other commenters explaining the translation of the word.

Many have shown recognition of the fact that it is a disappointing coincidence that words sound similar by disregarding the situation. Repeated jokes in the comments section of these videos suggest that the song is a favorite of older racist white men.

However, Japanese TikToker @ jun1515 apologized for participating in the lip-sync trend two days ago. video rear Commenter blamed her To say N words.

“Sorry, I danced to imitate the choreography. There is no deep meaning,” she wrote in a pinned comment on the video. “Also, I live in Japan. My Korean and English are not very good. The letters are difficult to understand. I apologize.”

The viewer, who understood TikToker’s lack of malice, immediately came to her defense.

In 2018, similar Korean lyrics for the song “Fake Love” by the international K-pop sensation BTS were censored on an American radio station. The word “niga” and “naega”, which means “I” in Korean, were edited from the song by the record label.

Oklahoma City radio host JJ Ryan explained that if a listener complains, the label may have decided to do so because the radio station faced a loss of license.

The group also replaced the original lyrics while playing a song at the Billboard Music Awards that year.

BTS rapper RM later explained their reasoning Press conference: “Many people hear this song for the first time, and listening to such parts in English can be misleading. To prevent that, I edited the lyrics so that the sound of the sound was not spoiled. “

Censorship sparked Controversy Some BTS fandom ARMY understand why they want to avoid misunderstandings, while others are disappointed that they are in a position to feel the need to do so.

In 2020, similar misunderstandings about Mandarin phrases had even more serious consequences for Greg Patton. Professor Majored in Communication Studies at the University of Southern California. He was stopped for causing a breach by explaining to the class that the Mandarin word “nèige”, which means “it”, is used as a placeholder word in China.

Featured image via @yg_treasure_tiktok (left), @noahglenncarter (correct)

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