Media Imports and the One-Inch Barrier: Translation Debates in the Pose-Parasite Era

Abstract: This chapter aims to explore popular discourses surrounding Parasite and other media imports in the U.S. vis-à-vis translation practices like dubbing and subtitling. I use Parasite as an entry point to critically examine how the public, be it in the form of online articles or tweets, makes sense of translation practices through the privileged lens of U.S. culture in which dubbing and subtitling can be easily avoided. For example, the day after Parasite won its many Oscars, Twitter threads debated the relative merits of dubbing and subtitling in ways that revealed a troublingly and often racist perception of why people might prefer one or the other. Paradoxically, these texts also offered a critique of ethnocentric U.S. exceptionalism as a country that expects to be catered to.