Korean Star Wars question

This is a question with a factual answer, so I’m putting it in GQ, not CS.

So, I’m learning Korean, and have learned that they have a Subject-Object-Verb syntax, as opposed to English’s usual Subject-Verb-Object. i.e. most Korean sentences, when translated directly, like Yoda’s speech sounds they do.

So, the question: in the Korean dub of Star Wars, do they put Yoda’s lines in S-V-O order to convey the same alien sound?

I don’t actually know the answer to your question, but I’ll say that S-O-V is fairly common among languages in general, not just Korean. It’s the default order in Latin (though Latin word order can change depending on emphasis), and I think I’ve heard that Yoda’s speech patterns were modeled after Yiddish.

Does Yoda use S-O-V or O-S-V more? He tends to put the verb at the end, but I think sometimes he puts the object first. I’m struggling to recall specific lines from the movie. Surely someone has gone through and done an accurate analysis of Yoda’s word order.

Everyone of the six possible orderings (SVO, SOV, VSO, OVS, VOS, and OSV) is used by at least one language in the world:

There are other grammatical orderings which go one way or another depending on the language, like article-noun, possessive-noun, number-noun, determiner-noun, relative clause-noun. There are languages where there is no standard order for the subject-verb-object. There are languages where subject-verb-object is not the correct way to characterize the parts of a sentence, like ergative languages. It’s a lot more difficult to characterize sentence ordering than you might think.

Yeah Yoda is really OSV which is the rarest system, mostly in South America. SOV is the most common, but SVO is a close second.

Don’t know the answer either, but in my experience with Chinese, they don’t bother trying to translate such nuances. I mean the translation usually omits a lot of words, or uses an everyday word when the original used an archaic term, and yeah won’t bother to try to translate speech mannerisms.

As a rule of thumb, translating any language to any other accurately, would mean a longer sentence. So usually accuracy is sacrificed to keep the flow.

Which makes me wonder (at the risk of hijacking), what about when people discuss someone’s speech mannerisms (e.g. In Star Trek, when they pick Data up on how he never got the hang of contractions like “don’t”)?

Hmm… good point. “To Obiwan you must listen” “My home this is” So maybe even a direct translation might sound somewhat weird to a native Korean speaker.

In my limited experience of reading/watching translations of other languages into English, it seems to vary greatly in how much effort the translator puts into such things. But I’d imagine that Star Wars is a big enough deal that they’d hire quality translators for the dub, so I thought they might go that extra step.

Previous thread on translating affected speech patterns into another language.

Japanese is S-O-V also which should be no surprise.

I think they have to do what they do when trying to translate slang or vulgarities where a direct translation doesn’t convey the proper meaning or feel of the dialogue, or there is no direct translation. Which is that they have to get creative in their interpretation and essentially rewrite that dialogue to something that preserves what the original script was trying to do. Sometimes it works and sometimes it’s awful. I’m sure this applies both to subtitles and dubs.