Chinese Period Drama Names Lost in Korean Translation

Chinese Period Dramas Korean Names Story of Yanxi Palace Ruyi's Love_Cropped

It is no secret K-Dramas and K-Movies have heavily contributed to the Hallyu wave that has dominated the world in the last two decades.  However, Chinese dramas, specifically, period dramas, are making a wave of its own across Asia.  Most fans of theses dramas usually praise them for its detail in the aesthetics, whether it be the costumes or the set design.  As it turns out, some Chinese dramas have made a name for itself in Korea and has garnered much appreciation from the Korean people.  

With the recent popularity of “Story of Yanxi Palace,” (延禧攻略) it is now airing in Korea.  Although the series just finished airing at the end of August in China, it had already started airing on September 24 in Korea.  Before the series aired, it had already attracted the interest of many Koreans, but what became a hot topic was the vast difference between the original drama name and the Korean one.  The Koreans have translated “Story of Yanxi Palace” into “Qianlong Emperor’s Women” (乾隆皇帝的女人).

The Korean translation of the title has upset many people, including Korean Youtuber, “Dong Dong” (東東), who filmed a video complaining about the name.  In the video, Dong Dong says to her co-star, “I am also very mad.  They diminished the importance of such a self reliant female character with this name.”  Both women in the video felt a more suitable name would have been “The Women of Yanxi Palace” (延禧宮的女人).  They also felt “Qianlong Emperor’s Women” would’ve been more suitable for “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” (如懿傳), which is actually a sequel to “Empresses in the Palace” (後宮甄嬛傳).  As for the Korean translation of “Empresses in the Palace”, it is “Yongzheng Emperor’s Women” (雍正皇帝的女人), so naturally it would make sense for “Ruyi’s Royal Love in the Palace” to be translated to “Qianlong Emperor’s Women.”  Do you see the pattern here?  

Even popular “Return of the Pearl Princess” (還珠格格), was not safe.  It was translated to “The King’s Daughter”.  Perhaps, they should just stick to transliterating the titles instead.  

Credit: Official韩国东东_한국뚱뚱,

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