Colorful Language Prevalent in Korean Movies for Teens

      October 07, 2011 09:45

      Dialogue containing swearwords and slang is rampant in Korean films this year, with movies geared towards young teens no exception.

      The use of words that parents would not be best pleased to hear escape their children's lips has long been a staple in gangster movies such as Kwak Kyung-taek's classic "Friend" (2001) and Yoon Je-kyun's "My Boss, My Hero" (same year). But now they are being peppered liberally across most genres including sports movies and romantic comedies.

      Experts analyzed that the plethora of successful gangster flicks at the box office have desensitized teenagers -- and possibly parents -- to the use of swearing.

      The amount of bad language in domestic movies rated for teenagers has more than doubled in the last decade and its frequency of use has risen on average within each one.

      Media professors Yoon Young-min and Kim Jung-sun of Korea University analyzed 60 movies released from 1990 to 2010 in a paper that they are planning to publish at the end of this month.

      The result showed that swearwords and slang were used on average 18.9 times per movie from 1995 to 1999. The same rate jumped to 33.1 times from 2000 to 2004 and further to 45.6 times from 2005 to 2010. This represented an increase of 240 percent in 10 years.

      As the analysis was based on script readings, the actual rate could be significantly higher assuming that, in many situations, actors would have ad-libbed scenes.

      "Teenagers who haven’t yet fully established their identities are likely to copy the kind of verbal abuse used by movie characters of a similar age," said Yoon. "When rating movies for teens, language needs to be screened more tightly."

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