I have exciting news – I’m now one of the translators for the phenomenal Facebook page Humans of Seoul! I’m sure you know about Humans of New York, or HONY, as people fondly refer to it. Humans of Seoul is inspired by the original, a page filled with photographs of people frozen in thoughtful moments as they talk about their lives, their dreams, their failures. Humanity is compressed into a picture and some text on millions of people’s newsfeeds, yet it is so, so much more than that.
HONY has been breaking stereotypes and exposing people to new ideas, new perspectives, and new faces for several years now; Humans of Seoul has been following suit since late 2013 and is now approaching 100,000 followers. It’s not just about what the subjects of the pictures say, though; it’s also about what the audience has to say. Comment sections are often filled with encouragement, sympathy, advice, and the whole range of human emotions. It’s a glimpse into the extraordinary that lies within ordinary people…
Okay, I’ll stop for now.
I find Humans of Seoul particularly poignant for two reasons. Firstly, the posts are published in both Korean and English, allowing far more people to access the words of these humans who live or work in Seoul. Secondly, I often notice something in the background that I have personally seen – a place I visited or frequented. I remember distinctly recognizing the curve of a path and a row of bushes with a little guardhouse on a hill in the background of an interview with a college student. It was the exact same hill I climbed every day for four months when I studied abroad at Yonsei University in 2014.
We’re now into week two of my role as a translator, and I’m getting to know some of my fellow translators as we interact over KakaoTalk and Google Docs in order to work on interviews that need translation. They’re quite awesome, so you should check out their blogs. Also, their Korean and general translation abilities are worlds better than mine, so it’s an honor and a great opportunity for me to work with them.
Translating on a regular basis for a large and active site will be a lot of fun and I’m sure challenging at times – but I look forward to it. Please be sure to follow Humans of Seoul and keep an eye out for new posts. One of my team members or I might be the person who translated it!