Film-maker Bong Joon-ho's interpreter gets award for improving South Korea's national image

Academy-award winning director Bong Joon-ho’s interpreter is getting her own share of accolades, Korea Herald reported.

Bong’s trusted interpreter, Choi Sung-jae, received an annual diplomacy award in Seoul on Wednesday (July 1) for her role in enhancing South Korea’s national image, Foreign Ministry officials said.

Choi won this year’s YoungSan Diplomat Award, given by the non-profit Seoul Forum for International Affairs to a civilian each year for their contribution to improving the country’s image and diplomatic interests.

One of Bong’s best known-quotes, “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films,” was a particularly good translation by Choi.

In an interview with Jimmy Fallon on his Tonight Show, she translated Bong’s answer with an apt metaphor. When Fallon asked Bong to describe the film, Choi’s translation of Bong’s answer was “I’d like to say as little as possible here, because the film is best when you go into it cold.”

The 25-year-old Korean-American is also a film-maker with no professional experience in interpretation.

The YoungSan Diplomat Award was also given to Kang Hyung-sik, head of the Foreign Ministry’s international safety management bureau. He played an important role in helping South Korean citizens from severely virus-hit countries return home safely.

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