HK Dramas & The Struggle of a Language Barrier

Technically this shouldn’t even belong in the K-drama category, but it still is part of dramas. Many people I’ve talked to criticize HK (Hong Kong) dramas because they’re always about police and crime solving dramas. But, I really don’t have anything against police dramas. It’s really entertaining and I find that these dramas are actually a lot better than the other dramas out there. I feel like there’s an actual story and plot when it comes to police dramas. I remember watching a lot of dramas that were more of family or daily life, and it’s pretty pointless, but I just continue to watch because I want to know how it ends.

I’ve spent my days, a few weeks ago, watching E.U (2009) and Lives of Omission (2011) and I really couldn’t stop. I think I was watching about 10 episodes each day and was fitting an episode or two during my breaks between classes. This is why I never watch dramas when the full series is out. I always have to know what happens and I can’t let it go until I find out. But I’ve figured that if I really need to stop, I have to stop in the middle of the episode, where it’s a little boring because the end of an episode usually ends with a cliffhanger. The worst part is that both of these dramas are 30 episodes (which is double of K-dramas!), which means I spend double the time watching these series. At first, I really thought it was quick because each episodes are actually about 40 minutes long, compared to the hour for K-dramas, but I do find that there is more humor and its lighter than most K-dramas.

But reality is, I feel like I understand HK dramas more because it’s my own language and can understand without subs. I’ve noticed that there’s actually so many phrases and jokes that are just lost in translation. The subs don’t really do it any justice either. The subs do get the gist of it, but there are certain phrases that makes what a person says a lot funnier than it’s supposed to be. I wonder if that’s  the case for K-dramas too. Too bad I’ll never know because I’ll never be a native Korean speaker. But it does feel absolutely great to be able to understand without subs. Is this how native Korean speakers feel?


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