I'm translating a research paper about 설문대할망 and I encountered this term. I think it means "people who enjoy mythology" but it doesn't sound natural when I translate it like that. Is there a specific term for this in English?

2 Answers 2


If you are looking for a specific, regular, academic term in English that will sound natural for researchers from the English world, I think you should better ask the question in English Language & Usage Stack Exchange, by explaining the context and meaning in English.

That said, there are a couple of terms used in the Korean academia. The following options are from the English abstracts of Korean papers, whose authors most probably are not native speakers of English.

  1. Mythology enjoyment group or the enjoyment group of mythology would be the most literal, direct translation. The word 향유 is a well-established translation for the word enjoyment in the context of cultural studies. However, I am not quite convinced that enjoyment group is an established expression in the English-speaking academia.

    "결국 구전설화의 전승력은 설화향유집단의 필요성에 있는 것임을 (...)"
    "(...) the transmission is only made possible by the need of enjoyment groups of folk tales (...)"
    (Source: 설화의 정치성과 전승전략, 한미옥, 남도민속연구, 2013)

  2. The group who enjoyed mythology seems the most general option. It makes sense and probably your readers will have a sense of understanding close to that of Korean readers with the term "신화 향유집단."

    "<설문대할망> 이야기를 향유하던 집단은 세계가 운행되는 원리가 어떤 것인지에 대한 고민을 하였고, (...)"
    "The group that had been enjoying the story of “Seolmundae Halmang” deeply pondered over the principle of how the world revolves,"
    (Source: 제주도 『설문대할망』 이야기의 신화적 성격, 김현수, 경기대학교 대학원 석사논문, 2018)

    "왜냐하면 신화는 그것을 향유하는 집단의 고유한 의식과 지역적 특색을 그대로 반영하기 때문이다."
    "The reason is that myth reflect specific thinking and regional characteristics of group enjoying myths."
    (Source: 제주신화의 구조에 나타난 상징체계와 의미 분석, 부영란, 한국교원대학교 교육대학원, 2004)

  3. You may want to use the word cherish or participate in instead of enjoy in some contexts. The group which cherished the mythology or the group which participated in the mythology.

    "(...) 설화의 전승의미와 그것을 향유하는 집단의 세계관을 이해하고 (...)"
    "to understand the meaning of transmission of this kind of tales and the outlook on the world enjoyed by the group who cherishes the tales (...)"
    (Source: 새 유래담을 통한 비극적 현실인식과 변화에의 의지, 한서희, 민속연구, 2017)

    "이러한 차이는 해당 신화를 향유해 온 집단의 건국시조에 대한 관념에 기인한 것이다"
    "The difference of these myth and the figures of goddess resulted from the thought of the nations of the group who participated in the myth itself."
    (Source: 건국신화의 여신 형상과 그 문화사적 의미, 서철원, 한민족문화연구, 2010)

  4. Depending on context, you might simply reduce to the community. Or maybe the community sharing the mythology.

    "지역 주체의 향유집단에서 세련된 아마추어 구성원들이 주도해야 한다."
    "It can be possible by leadership of a group of sophisticated amateur members in the local community."
    (Source: 기줄다리기의 전승과 정월대보름제, 이창식, 한국문학과 예술, 2015)

  5. Some authors seem to prefer the word savoring group (of mythology), but I personally doubt that is a good choice.

    "즉, 최영장군 전승은 향유집단인 민들이 최영장군을 죽음에 이르게 한 지배집단을 원망하여"
    "That is, the transmission of General Choi Yeong signifies that the people, the savoring group of his transmission, blamed the ruling class for his death,"
    (Source: 최영장군 전승을 통해 본 장군과 향유집단의 동일시 현상 연구, 박다원, 한민족어문학, 2016)

In short: most generally speaking, the group who enjoyed (the) mythology would work in most cases. However, you should probably re-structure the sentence with context to make it sound more natural for your English-speaking audience.

  • Thank you so much. I translated it as “mythology enthusiast group.” Do you think it sounds good?
    – magnolia.
    Commented Aug 16, 2019 at 9:24
  • @magnolia. I think enthusiast adds some nuance, and it may be the best choice given your context or not.
    – Ignatius
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 16:42
  • I agree that enthusiast is the best term in this case. Compare railway enthusiast, quite a well-known portion of the population in Britain.
    – Michaelyus
    Commented Aug 19, 2019 at 17:27

people sharing the myth, or people who believe the myth, etc. would be proper, I think.

  • 1
    Thank you for your answer. This answer is better as a comment. If you use the site enough you will be able to gather enough reputation to make comments on posts.
    – user17915
    Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 4:03

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