2

눈빛은 roughly translates to "the look of the eye"; partially, 눈빛 means look/glance (noun)

It's used when saying "sharp eye glances", e.g.

그댈 보는 나의 눈빛은

Literally, it means "you looking my nunbich-eun"

It loosely translates to "the way I look at you" but when we translate it that way we lose the 눈빛은 (nunbich-eun).

Another example is from Naver

그의 눈빛은 적개심으로 가득 차 있었다
His eyes were full of hostility.

The 눈빛은 somehow got translated to "eyes" but the scientific and proper word to refer to the human organ eyes is just without the 빛은.

How to translate 눈빛은 elegantly?

Is it an untranslatable word?

2
  • First, 눈빛 means "the look of the eye". The -은 in 눈빛은 is just a topic marker, so it does not make much sense to talk about 눈빛은 as if it's a dictionary word.

  • Second, different languages have different ways to express the same concept.

    For example, English speakers would say "I'm glad that the rain stopped.", but Korean speakers would more commonly say "비가 그쳐서 다행이다.", where "다행" is not "glad", but more like "a stroke of luck" or "a fortunate situation". So you might equally ask if "glad" is an untranslatable word here.

    Of course, there's "기쁘다" which is more or less equal to "glad", but if you say "비가 그쳐서 기쁘다.", it's actually more intense: the feeling is more like "I'm so happy that the rain stopped." So you can see how a word that literally corresponds to another word can actually lead to a poorer translation of the whole phrase.

    Similar thing is happening here. English has various ways to convey meanings that correspond to 눈빛, and different expressions feel natural in different situations. For example, I guess you can translate "그댈 보는 나의 눈빛" as "the look of my eyes looking at you", but as you can see, it sounds rather awkward and less natural than "they way I look at you".

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.