Talk about getting lost in translation. Any scribe who has interviewed a Korean star will know the pitfalls that come with the task. It’s like playing a game of Broken Telephone depending on the kind of translator you get. Sometimes, a Korean celeb will have lots to say but his words turned into a snappy reply. Other times, the translator would unwittingly spice up the answers, which we really shouldn't complain about. But it was never enough to stir up a controversy. Until, Kang Gary’s recent visit to Singapore, that is.
The Korean rapper was in town last Saturday (February 11) to grace the grand opening of dal.komm Coffee (yes, the java joint where Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo broke up in Descendants of the Sun). At a press con, the 39-year-old star was asked by a reporter to name three things that make him happy. He replied: “Making music, watching TV at home and making love.” Or, at least, according to the translator — a nervy-looking young Korean lady.
A moment of silence descended upon the room immediately. You could practically hear thought bubbles going "Did he really say that?" before everyone erupted in laughter... and applause. It didn't help that Gary was giving everyone the thumbs-up and beaming from ear to ear like a clueless teenager while the host praised him for being “so candid” in his reply. Us delighted scribes, of course, quickly took notes and discussed the headline-making quip excitedly.
Here comes the (anti-climactic) plot twist. Turns out, what Gary had said was a lot more family-friendly. The rapper’s actual words were “sharing love”. This was clarified, first through our Korean-speaking friend, and later, via an emergency email blasted out by the PR agency highlighting the “translation error”. On the epic gaffe, they wrote: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and would deeply appreciate if you could make the necessary amendments in articles that include this quote that was inaccurately translated.”
Let’s just say that Kang Gary won’t be forgetting his visit to our island anytime soon.
PHOTO CREDITS: KELVIN CHIA/DAL.KOMM COFFEE