ICYMI: This Korean Drama Features Lines From a Filipino Language

Filipinos have found themselves on foreign shores for a multitude of things: whether it's directing a film in an icy landscape, acting in a huge movie project, or starring in a play. Talents may be getting recognition abroad, but the Filipino language is also getting attention as well. While watching the ninth episode of Korean drama Arthdal Chronicles, Filipino fans noticed that some of the words used during one scene sounded very familiar. The lines were: "Kaunahan tara isa kuma-on. Iban binug-tubig" and were spoken by a nameless character from the Wabi Tribe. Teodae (Yang Kyungwon) from the Wahan Tribe translated it and said that the Wabi character needed to eat, or "at least, drink some water."


As it turns out, these words are from the regional language Tausug, which hails from the province of Sulu, Philippines, and is also spoken in some parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. This was confirmed by Nash Ang, a Filipino actor and filmmaker based in South Korea, who is also part of the drama. 

Through a Facebook post, Ang said, "So some Arthdal Chronicles viewers just noticed that one of [the] indigenous languages from the Philippines is featured in this Korean drama. 'Tausug' is one of the languages spoken by Wahan tribe.

In an interview with Inquirer, Ang shared that his family is from Mindanao and speaks Tausug (a regional language in Sulu) and Yakan (a language in Basilan). Writers and producers of the show decided that native languages from Southeast Asia seemed fitting for the tribes' dialects—Ang was even able to help the Arthdal Chronicles team out with translations! "The production team asked me to translate some dialogues to indigenous languages from the southern part of the Philippines. Some conversations featured Yakan. I had my mother and relatives translate the lines because the conversations are deep. They were memorized by the Korean actors." 

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While Yakan has yet to be featured in the drama, we're looking forward to hearing it in the next episodes!

PHOTO BY Netflix

Arthdal Chronicles stars Song Joong Ki as an innocent-looking fighter named Eun Som. Eun Som's story progresses alongside the birth of civilization in the ancient city of Arthdal. It's a fantasy drama and it features mythical heroes and their struggles.


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