K-pop translation on smartphone app
Responding to the demand for more information on K-pop, Pop!gasa, a website with translations of K-pop song lyrics, has released a mobile application.
It is one of the fastest sources for English translations of K-pop lyrics, having already posted a version of IU’s new album “Last Fantasy.”
The site is operated by two young college graduates who love K-pop — Sung-eun Grace Lee, 23, and Jenny Kim, 23. Lee went to Syracuse University in the United States and met second-generation Korean-American Kim there.
“Kim was interested in Korean culture, especially K-pop. She suggested establishing a site translating lyrics of K-pop songs to English, as the demand for K-pop was rising, and I thought it was a good idea. There are a few blogs providing the Romanization of K-pop songs, but there was a shortage of English lyrics translation,” Lee said in an interview with The Korea Times.
After having opened on June 17, the website already has an archive of more than 1,000 K-pop lyrics translated to English.
Lee majored in biophysics and Kim now works at an IT company, so they are not even close to the Korean entertainment industry. However, they are just glad to share what they could with K-pop fans all over the world.
“We both have full time jobs and translate the lyrics in spare moments. As most new songs are released at midnight in Korea, we try to translate them as soon as possible,” Lee said. “Kim and I are bilingual and understand both cultures, making our translations more accurate and credible.”
She added: “But I would give the most credit to K-pop’s catchy phrases and choreography. There are signature moves and repeated phrases for each popular Korean song and I believe these two key characteristics differentiate K-pop from any other country’s pop music.”
As soon as the website was up and running, the pair embarked on their next project — the mobile app.
“Everything is going mobile these days — people want the fastest information wherever they are with the easiest accessibility. And since people listen to music with their smartphones these days, we thought it would be really beneficial to K-pop fans to have an app like ours that would help them understand the lyrics instantly,” Lee said.
Pop!gasa is at www.popgasa.com and the app is available to download through Apple’s App Store. It is priced at $0.99 and available for free for a limited time as a promotion.
The app is user-friendly, sorting translated lyrics by artist, title and by show. Lee and Kim want to provide a nest for K-pop fans all over the world and have included a comment function to their app, so fans can share their thoughts and ideas through Pop!gasa.
“We want the app to reach as many users as possible but it has legal issues and we have to pay for copyrights to the Korea Music Copyright Association,” Lee said. “When this app makes a profit, the first thing we will do is develop it for Android.”