[KS] Korean War (other terms)

Jim Hoare jim at jhoare10.fsnet.co.uk
Sat Nov 19 08:02:35 EST 2005

While I agree that we often think of Germany in the "Fatherland" context, I suspect that the DPRK is echoing the Soviet Union's "Great Fatherland War" (1941-45) rather than Nazi Germany.

That said, I think my German colleagues in Pyongyang were somewhat disconcerted to find that their Korean interpreters usually referred, in German, to Kim Jong-il as "Der Fuehrer". That, and the torchlight processions for Army Day and some other occasions, really did evoke memories of Nazi Germany.

Jim Hoare
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Charles Armstrong 
  To: Korean Studies Discussion List 
  Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2005 4:20 PM
  Subject: Re: [KS] Korean War (other terms)

  As far as I know DPRK official translation is "Fatherland." I suppose a more literal translation might be "Grandfatherland" or "Ancestral Country," which wouldn't work too well in Western languages. But Fatherland does have unfortunate Nazi connotations, of which the North Koreans seem unaware.

  Charles Armstrong
  jrpking wrote: 
This is a minor point, but interesting nonetheless for those pursuing metaphors of nation and such: 
  North Koreans generally use Liberation War for Motherland(Joguk haebang jeonjaeng) and War for Protection of Motherland(Joguk bowui jeonjaeng). 
Don't the North Koreans actually translate cokwuk as "fatherland" in English and not _mother_-land?

Ross King
Associate Professor of Korean, University of British Columbia
Dean, Korean Language Village, Concordia Language Villages

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