BTS-Trans/Bangtan Subs, teens and 20-somethings, worldwide
Group: BTS (Beyond the Scene/Bangtan Sonyeondan)
BTS-Trans consists of a mix of 40 high school and college students, as well as a couple of professionals working full and part-time jobs. It is one of the relatively larger active translator organizations online (they translate all content related to BTS). Most of the translators are Koreans living in Korea or overseas, and a few who picked up the language out of an interest in K-Pop. Their translations are Korean-English, Japanese-English, and Mandarin-English.

How was BTS Trans established? What was the process of gathering a team like?
BTS-Trans began with a couple of BTS enthusiasts back on May 5th, 2013, before BTS’ official debut. Most of the staff members wanted to help fans who don’t have knowledge of the Korean language understand what BTS says. It is also an excellent opportunity for us to hone our skills and gain more experience, as our work gets viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, and that’s an experience that’s hard to get elsewhere as non-professional translators and subtitlers.

What are the challenges and rewards that come with translating?
We are a completely non-profit organization, and do not earn any material rewards or monetary gain from this. When the work is purely voluntary, everyone in the team has to use their own free time to work on BTS-Trans work. It is a tedious process, from translating, to timing, typesetting, QC, encoding before it is finally published on our Tumblr, YouTube and Twitter. A two-minute video clip could take more than two hours of work by several people to translate and sub. We try our best to accurately convey the original meaning intended, but as with any translation, there is no one correct way to do so. That’s why our translators constantly discuss with each other about how to best put across what was said/written.

Do you have any interesting anecdotes from the years that you’ve been translating?
One of our staff members says, “Having translated BTS’s social media updates since early debut days, I noticed how their way of communicating and choice of words has become a lot more thoughtful and tactful. Yet it’s not in a manner that seems calculated and not genuine. They still share their candid thoughts and daily snippets with us!” ♦