"Korea and India share very similar core values": In conversation with Korean translator Shiwangi Jha on 'Something in the Rain' Indian remake

Korean translator Shiwangi Jha on Something in the Rain Indian remake (Image via Netflix & Sportskeeda)
Korean translator Shiwangi Jha on Something in the Rain Indian remake (Image via Netflix & Sportskeeda)

Something in the Rain, also known as Pretty Noona Who Buys Me Food, a 2018 blockbuster Korean drama from JTBC Studios, is getting an Indian remake. Amid all the anticipation of the Indian remake, Sportskeeda had the opportunity to speak with Korean Translator Shiwangi Jha who has translated the K-drama Something In The Rain for the upcoming Indian remake.

Son Ye-jin and Jung Hae-in from Something in the Rain (Image via Netflix)
Son Ye-jin and Jung Hae-in from Something in the Rain (Image via Netflix)

Son Ye-jin and Jung Hae-in star in the show, which premiered in March 2018 and aired 16 episodes. JTBC Studios is marking its debut in the Indian entertainment sector with this project. Something In The Rain follows Yoon Jin-ah (Son Ye-jin), who is in her mid-thirties, and her friend's younger brother, Seo Joon-hee (Jung Hae-in), who is in his twenties, in a heartwarming love tale.

Numerous K-drama fans are fascinated to see what the Korean and Indian entertainment giants' collaboration will offer. Is this the start of further Korea-India collaborations? Perhaps the Hallyu wave has more to offer in India. Pocket Aces, one of India's leading digital entertainment companies, is adapting the famous K-drama, which is currently streaming on Netflix.

JTBC Drama Something in the Rain (Image via @kdramarchive/Twitter)
JTBC Drama Something in the Rain (Image via @kdramarchive/Twitter)

In the latest exclusive interview with Sportskeeda SK Pop, Shiwangi Jha spoke about her journey as a Korean translator in India, how she put her heart into this project, and what Desi fans may expect from the Indian remake of the beloved Korean drama Something In The Rain.

Speaking about the similarities between Korean and Indian culture, Shiwangi said,

"Korea and India share very similar core values when it comes to family and culture."

Korean Translator Shiwangi Jha shares about her journey in translating the hit K-drama Something In The Rain, the challenges, expectations for fans, and more

Korean translator Shiwangi Jha on Something in the Rain Indian remake (Image via Sportskeeda)
Korean translator Shiwangi Jha on Something in the Rain Indian remake (Image via Sportskeeda)

SK Pop: Hello Shiwangi, it's an honor to have you with us and learn about your journey, as well as the opportunity to translate the popular Korean drama Something In The Rain for an Indian remake.

Q) First of all, could you tell us about your experience as a Korean translator and how fulfilling it is to translate one of your favorite works?

Shiwangi: Well, taking up the Korean language as a full-time major was not a decision made on a whim. I completed my bachelor’s in the language in 2021 and will be completing my graduate degree with the same major in 2023. It was just out of the blue when I received an offer to translate the series. The opportunity to translate a Korean series for an Indian remake had me all over the place.

K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via Netflix/Instagram)
K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via Netflix/Instagram)

I have spent a long time of my life watching Korean dramas, even being closely associated with the remaking of one, was nothing less than a dream come true. Especially, Something in the rain is one of my favorite dramas. I had watched it no less than 20 times before I received this opportunity.


Q) How did you receive the opportunity to translate the popular Korean drama Something In The Rain?

Shiwangi: I received the opportunity through my LinkedIn profile.


Q) Were you part of a team or did you manage all of the translations yourself?

Shiwangi: I was single-handedly in charge of translating the entire work.


Q) What was it like to translate the K-drama? What were the challenges you faced in the process?

K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via JTBC)
K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via JTBC)

Shiwangi: It was very engaging but in a very beautiful way. I had to research all the dynamics of Korean culture that I could equate with the Indian culture. For example, the drinking culture in Korea is prevalent although in India it's still looked down upon. I had to come up with a practice that could be equated in such a way that the Indian audience could relate to the script just the same.


Q) When was the first time you watched Something In The Rain?

Shiwangi: I think the first time was sometime in 2018.


Q) What touched you about the storyline and the characters the first time you watched Something In The Rain?

Shiwangi: Korea and India share very similar core values when it comes to family and culture. This drama, too, had a very appealing storyline. It's like, it can happen to anyone, it's nothing very unreal. The reaction of the family and society was what touched me the most, reason being if the story had been shot in an Indian society setting, the reaction would have been pretty much the same.


Q) Although there are numerous similarities between Korean and Indian cultures, you must have spent a lot of time researching how to balance the two cultures while translating for this Indian remake. Could you share something about your research process?

K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via JTBC)
K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via JTBC)

Shiwangi: As I answered above, there were instances when I had to insert instances to balance out the scenarios many a time. If I were to give an example of an instance, the most frequently used one would be to balance out the drinking culture in Korea.


Q) How did you build your interest in the Korean language?

Shiwangi: I started watching Korean dramas when I was in the 8th standard. I developed a keen interest in the country and culture and used to gain most of the knowledge I had by then through reading Wikipedia pages. In the 11th standard, I participated in an essay competition organized by the Korean Cultural Centre in which I secured a rank.

The first time I thought of the Korean language as a future prospect was when I went to Delhi to receive the award and got the opportunity to interact with so many people who were working in the domain.


Q) Which Korean drama did you watch first?

Shiwangi: My first drama was Boys Over Flowers.


Q) What are some of your favorite Korean dramas that you would like to recommend?

K-drama Descendants of the Sun starring Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo (Image via KBS)
K-drama Descendants of the Sun starring Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo (Image via KBS)

Shiwangi: My favorite drama till now is Descendants of the Sun. Apart from that, Legend of the Blue Sea, The King: Eternal Monarch, Goblin, The Heirs and Business Proposal are some of the dramas I would highly recommend.


Q) What was the most exciting part of this project?

Shiwangi: This project was exciting in its entirety. If I had to pick a specific part, I’d say more than the simple translations, those where I had to look up words were the most exciting. I think this project helped me enhance my vocabulary so much more.


Q) How was your experience working with Pocket Aces, which is India’s largest digital entertainment company?

Shiwangi: I can’t thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to single-handedly take on the project. Their belief in me solely gave me the motivation to continue and be able to complete such extensive work in a comparatively small amount of time. They were very helpful and cooperative.

I was interacting with Sanket Kunde sir, who is the Associate Vice President at PocketAces and he was very accommodating. I am very grateful for the company.


Q) The K-drama features a star-studded cast in the lead roles, including Jung Hae-in and Son Ye-jin, which captivated the audience. What are your thoughts on the Indian actors who will star in the remake? Will the chemistry be as mesmerizing?

K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via @ostmemes/Twitter)
K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via @ostmemes/Twitter)

Shiwangi: The K-drama stars who played the roles did a spectacular job, no doubt. As for the stars who will be cast in the Indian remake, I myself don’t have any information. We can only wait and watch.


Q) The Indian audience has evolved over the years, and many people are now familiar with Korean entertainment. What are your views on the Hallyu wave's remarkable expansion in India?

Shiwangi: I agree. The Indian audience, be it of any age group, now has an evolved taste in their entertainment choices. One of the main reasons now is the convenient accessibility to OTT platforms. The Hallyu wave, with K-pop, K-drama and movies alike have started to gradually percolate into Indian tastes good.

Movies like Train to Busan and K-pop groups like BTS are now comparatively popular among the Indian audience. Slowly, the popularity of the Hallyu wave is seen to be rising.


Q) Could you share your thoughts on Korean culture?

South Korea (Image via Getty)
South Korea (Image via Getty)

Shiwangi: Korean culture shares a keen similarity with Indian culture. There is still a lot of conservative mindset mostly among the middle-aged and older people in both the countries. Also, the respect for elders of the family that persists in our culture is also very easily seen in Korean culture. We also share similar food habits, like the fondness for spice or rice in most regions of both countries.


Q) Which Korean celebrities are your favorites?

Shiwangi: My favorite Korean celebrities are Lee Min-ho and Song Joong-ki.


Q) What motivates you to work as a Korean translator, and what have been your accomplishments so far?

Shiwangi: Studying Korean was the first time I wanted to study. Working as a freelance Korean translator has not only helped me financially but has also helped me gain confidence. That feeling of being able to do something, and that confidence that I am able to feel with my skills, is what keeps me motivated.

South Korea (Image via Getty)
South Korea (Image via Getty)

So far, apart from the various small and big translations of legal and general documents, I have also taught the Korean language to many keen students.

The most interesting of my teaching experiences was when I taught Hindi to a native Korean student. He was around 12 years old and went to school in Delhi but was struggling with his Hindi language skills. Teaching him Hindi while the medium of instruction is mostly Korean was one of the most interesting works.


Q) What are your thoughts on the future of Korean entertainment in India, given the large number of people who enjoy Bollywood, Tollywood, and Hollywood content?

Shiwangi: I think we will soon be watching much more of the Korean entertainment industry gain an audience in India. I feel that the process has already begun.


Q) Do you think there will be more Korean drama remakes in India?

Shiwangi: I am very hopeful about that.


Q) Many Indian adaptations have been made in the past, including the popular Bollywood film Ek Villain. Despite language and cultural barriers, JTBC and Pocket Aces' collaboration will resonate with a diverse audience. Do you believe this is an important first step towards collaborative efforts between Korean and Indian production houses?

Shiwangi: I have a really good feeling about this collaboration. This step is going to be a significant one and if welcomed well by the audience, it might be a path setter for many more to come.


Q) What cast can we expect from the Indian remake of Something In The Rain?

K-drama Something in the Rain stars (Image via Getty)
K-drama Something in the Rain stars (Image via Getty)

Shiwangi: I do not have any information about that.


Q) Do you believe the drama's concept would connect to an Indian audience?

Shiwangi: As a matter of fact, I do. The storyline is such that it will equally resonate with the Indian audience.


Q) When can we expect the Indian remake of Something In The Rain to air?

Shiwangi: The show has only been confirmed in the media in late February this year. Lastly, I know it is yet to be commissioned into a network.


Q) Finally, it was wonderful having you with Sportskeeda and learning about your journey. Fans of Korean dramas are already anticipating this version. Anything you'd like to say about this upcoming project to Korean entertainment fans in India?

Shiwangi: Thank you so much. It was a great experience for me as well. On social media, I sensed a clear divide between fans. One side was very excited while the other side seemed very worried that the remake might ruin the essence of the original show.

I’d say, let’s be unbiased and look at this with an open mind and appreciate the stepping-in of the Korean entertainment industry in India. I believe this will be a tremendous one and for the rest, let's wait and watch.


Translators are the backbone of making any content global, and the amount of effort put into production is unbelievable, which is one of the reasons why the Korean wave is spreading so effectively in the world.

K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via @handlwitcarree/Twitter)
K-drama Something in the Rain (Image via @handlwitcarree/Twitter)

With fans being curious, Jung Kyung-moon, the CEO of JTBC Studios, also stated his enthusiasm for Something in the Rain's Indian remake and emphasized his hope to collaborate with Pocket Aces on further projects.

Pocket Aces is known for producing some of the most successful web shows and series, including Little Things and Adulting, which have captivated many viewers. Through channels like Dice Media and FilterCopy, they have a significant market reach. Fans may anticipate an interesting version of the renowned Korean drama Something in the Rain.

India has a history of remaking Korean content. Rocky Handsome, a 2016 Indian film starring John Abraham, was inspired by the Korean film The Man From Nowhere. Shraddha Kapoor and Sidharth Malhotra's Ek Villain, a famous 2014 action thriller, is a remake of the film I Saw The Devil.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's comeback movie Jazbaa was a remake of the South Korean film Seven Days. Salman Khan's Bharat was also an adaptation of the renowned South Korean movie Ode To My Father.

Squid Game (Image via @netflix/Twitter)
Squid Game (Image via @netflix/Twitter)

With more Korean dramas airing on Netflix, Korean content such as All of Us Are Dead, Squid Game, and Vincenzo were able to reach a massive viewership in India, primarily during the pandemic. Several fans are curious about the Indian version of such a popular Korean drama, even though hardcore K-drama fans are still speculating about the potential of a remake.

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The adaptation is also anticipated by fans as another major step forward after the success of the Descendants of the Sun Hindi dubbed version starring Song Joong-ki and Song Hye-kyo on the Indian TV channel Zindagi, which garnered many K-drama aficionados in India. This step could be viewed as a means of bridging the language and cultural disparities between India and Korea.

The Hallyu wave appears to be gaining traction in India, and Desi fans are always looking forward to more India x Korea collaborations.

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Edited by Somava