Heartfelt Film Reveals Hidden Struggles of Child Translators in Immigrant Families


NextShark is proud to present the short film, “What Did They Say?” by Kevin Kim, released for AAPI Heritage Month.

Kim, who immigrated to Canada at age seven, quickly became his family’s translator. His film explores the complexities and challenges of this role, often thrust upon young children in immigrant families.

“I immigrated to Canada at 7 years old, and as the story usually goes, I learned English much faster than my parents and ended up as the family translator. It’s a common experience which can be exciting at first, playing the ‘adult.’ Yet, it can also lead to situations that surpass the maturity of a child. For AAPI Heritage Month, I wanted to create a little film that reflects the complexity of being a child translator. I hope that it acts as a conversation starter for what may seem so innocent at first, but in hindsight can create some uncomfortable memories,” Kim said.

Executive Producer Benny Luo shared his experience of translating for his family and praised Kim's storytelling. “Kevin has an incredible talent for storytelling. His ability to evoke a wide range of emotions in a short timeframe is remarkable,” Luo said. “His films are reflections of our shared experiences.”

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If you like the film, please consider supporting Kevin’s upcoming project, “My Dad, the Rockstar,” which is currently raising funding on Indiegogo.

Watch “What Did They Say?” below:

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