Girls' Generation releases Japanese Music Video

A lot of times, there are cases where Japanese or Korean artists try to make it in the other country, and make the dire mistake of simply taking a song in its original language and simply translating or writing new lyrics in the other language. Usually this doesn’t work… at all.  Girl’s Generation is the latest to take their music to Japan and have released their song Genie in Japanese.  SNSD, well actually I guess if we are going by their Japanese name, it’s SJJD, wants to take Japan by storm.   But I don’t really see it.  I could be wrong, after all DBSK (also known as TVXQ and THSK) were extremely successful in Japan.  The difference is that most of Tohoshinki’s music was not mere reproductions of their Korean library.  They were original songs.

Wait, SNSD, SJJD, DBSK, TVXQ, THSK?

Yes yes, let me explain.

Dong Bang Shin Ki (동방신기 Rising Gods of the East?) is abbreviated as DBSK.  They are also popular in China, where they are called 東方神起 (Tong Vfang Xien Qi), and in Japan, where they are called  東方神起 (Tohoshinki).  Hence, DBSK is the abbreviation of their Korean name.  TVXQ of their Chinese name.  THSK is something I made up 30 seconds ago, because in Japanese it’s never common to abbreviate anything with acronymns.  Usually they would take the first and third characters and but them together, so 東神 (TOSHIN) would be how that works.  I don’t live in Japan, so I am not sure if they even bother to abbreviate it.

Girls’ Generation is known as 소녀시대 (Seonyeo Shidae) in Korean.  English speakers have abbreviated this to SNSD, which the group itself was surprised to learn when they went international.  In Japanese, the name would be 少女時代 (Shoujo Jidai).

(Edit: I think I just made the funniest typo ever!  I had originally written the group’s name as 処女時代 (Shojo Jidai)! Good thing I caught it.  Japanese can sometimes be difficult to distinguish long and short vowels.  This typo is hilarious!  If you don’t know why it’s hilarious, I recommend that you study Chinese characters. )

Back to the music!

Right.  Well SNSD’s Genie isn’t quite as good in Japanese as it is in Korean.  It jumps in places and sounds unnatural.  Take a listen.  The original is way better.  I’ll post some examples of other cases where I think the song in the original language is better.

http://www.youtube.com/v/y0bzHDCbT_U?fs=1&hl=en_US
http://www.youtube.com/v/6SwiSpudKWI?fs=1&hl=en_US

This next group, S.E.S. actually had some quality music in their foray into Japan, but they failed miserably. When they were finished they released their whole Japanese album in Korean. In this case the original songs were written in Japanese, and so the Korean version suffers.

http://www.youtube.com/v/LfdMT1qvscc?fs=1&hl=en_US
http://www.youtube.com/v/MFfJTAxIspM?fs=1&hl=en_US

The Wonder Girls released an awesome song in “Nobody”, but the English version of the same song is… just… not as good. JYP Entertainment got so lazy that they didn’t even really make a new music video for it. They just filled in the same video with the English dubbing. Terrible

In fact other people, who released covers of the song in English before JYP, did a better job in their home made English versions. At any rate the original Korean version is the best by far

http://www.youtube.com/v/YnVycboTpI0?fs=1&hl=en_US
http://www.youtube.com/v/BA7fdSkp8ds?fs=1&hl=en_US

http://www.youtube.com/v/XNfRnUDjaCI?fs=1&hl=en_US

There are many many other examples. But I think there’s only one case where a song originally written in Japanese is actually BETTER in Korean.

Ozaki Yutaka’s I love you is already a great song in Japanese, but in my opinion, Position’s Korean cover of the song is so much better! Be careful when you watch the Korean version, there’s a kind of long convoluted story to it, so the song takes a while to get started. The heavy metal part isn’t part of the song.

http://www.youtube.com/v/a1HOlEi6DiM?fs=1&hl=en_US

http://www.youtube.com/v/QWJuXT0lt_M?fs=1&hl=en_US

Before I stop, I just want to say that this is all my own opinion, and the hordes of haters out there need to stop leaving me so much hate comments whenever I write anything about my opinions on K-pop.  I can easily filter your comments, so I’m sorry if I insulted that idol that you have deluded yourself into thinking that he cares about you when he doesn’t even know who you are even though you worship a shrine dedicated to him every day.

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7 Responses to “Girls' Generation releases Japanese Music Video”

  1. Oh, I want correct 서녀시대 to 소녀시대!

  2. Omg They look so much skinnier and taller in the Japanese version lol

    • Lol they do,,,but probably is the clothes and the Hair in the Korean version some of them have short hair while in the Japanese version they all have long hair so it creates a dif effect.

  3. traducción del español al inglés
    I actually discuss this issue recently with some friends and come to the conclusion that given idol group has its fans and those same fans admire other idols, most of all the “rivalry” they use as advertising

  4. It is very intersting that you compare songs korean version and japanese version. as you say, korean verison of song is more natural in these cases. but i wonder if it is because they are not good at japanese.

    • The Seoul Searcher Says:

      No, I don’t think it’s that. I know they all probably don’t speak Japanese, but when you are singing in a studio you can get past all that.

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