Tuesday 9 December 2008

Latest Attempt To Steal Dokdo Results in Mind-Expanding Experience

When it was reported that Japan was translating its Dokdo claim literature into ten different languages on their Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, the Dokdo Riders, as well as Korea's own foreign ministry, did not take it lying down, of course.  Korea's Ambassador to Japan, Noh, Phok-yu, said emphatically, "We will get people on the job immediately, in order to translate our own Dokdo Literature into at least ELEVEN languages."

However, the new raising of the bar has led to some challenges for the central government and Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

"It seems there are more languages than just Korean, English, Japanese and Chinese.  Holy shit.  Did you know there are more than...five languages just in Europe?  It's true."

And was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs having trouble finding Koreans who spoke all those languages?

"We've been to every hogwan in Seoul, and all we can find are English speakers and some folks who can draw a lot of Chinese characters -- in the old style, not the new, simplified style," Hong Seung-joon, the head of public relations, reported, "In fact, I've been researching on the internet, in order to formulate an appropriate response to Japan's latest act of aggression, and found out -- did you know there are more than 150 countries in the world?  I mean, just worrying about Japan, China, North Korea and The United States was hard enough -- this makes our ministry's job so much bigger!  What if we need to start paying attention to the cultures, languages, and needs, of all these different countries!"

So how has Mr. Hong been translating Korea's Dokdo Material?

"Well, Naver didn't have anything on any countries except USA, North and South Korea, Japan, China, and a bit about Brazil and England -- soccer, you know, but GOOGLE told me the eleven most widely spoken languages, and it looks like I'll be starting out with google translate, until we can find speakers of each of those languages who are willing to look over them.  We could just translate the pamphlet into English and Japanese five more times, or get another full-page spread in the New York Times, but I think we really should go for a multi-pronged attack this time, and try for at least seven languages.  The eleven most influential are supposedly Mandarin, English, Spanish, Urdu, Arabic, Bengali, Portugese, Russian, Japanese, German, Punjabi, Javanese, and French, so that's where we'll start, and go from there, depending on what the Japanese running dogs do."

The ministry has also seen fit to purchase new, more advanced translation equipment, and are still training staff how to use it.
And what has it been like, attempting these translations?

"Very eye-opening.  I had no idea there were so many countries in the world, so many ways people communicate -- even, so many different ways people think!  In fact, (and don't print this, because it might be more than my job's worth) I've been starting to think that we in Korea might even be able to LEARN stuff from some of these countries, if we paid more attention to them... but that's still just an idea I'm tossing around, so don't take that too seriously, OK?  When I say that?  I'm probably just kidding.  But wow!  I finally see why Ban Ki-Moon is so busy."

Mr. Hong expects his translations to be finished within the month, language-dictionaries or none, and if he can't find speakers of each of those languages, he might hire some English translators to look at his pamphlets and just guess about whether they're linguistically accurate or not; after the pamphlets are published on Korea's Foreign Affairs Website, he expects people from countries speaking the new languages to find them, "Probably within the week," and from there, for a groundswell of international support for Korea's Dokdo Claim to sweep the world away in a frenzy of justice and Japan-hate.

Any final thoughts on Korea's sudden discovery of 195 countries existing in the world?

"I wonder how many of them know kimchi."


Mark Eaton said...

I must get a hold of that trendy translation equipment!

Visiting Korean Stadiums said...

My post for December 9th

"...I must admit that I like sarcastic humour. Because of that Dokdo Is Ours has been one of my favourite blogs from the very first post I read."

Brian said...

So that's what this job ad was all about:


Dokdo Is Ours said...

Mark: I've heard it's much faster than the old system, of phoning the Oxford English Dictionary headquarters with a query for each word. More scientific, too.

Thanks, Otto.

Brian: Yep. I bet it was...I didn't realize turkeys had so much influence in geopolitics, though.