Saturday, July 3, 2010

(IV) JOONGANG ILBO - JI-SU, translator

Ji-su's writing, Steve's editing:

Well many things happened during this project. We had promised money which never came in and we had Sherrin's bad back, but nothing enraged me more than this.

Our kayaker and extremely-devoted-blogger Steve notified me we were finally in the Joongang Ilbo, one of the main Korean national newspapers. As soon as I got home, I threw everything on the floor, ran with the sweat streaming down my body and turned on my laptop. I impatiently waited in front of my laptop for it to turn on, got on the web, went to the Joongang Ilbo Web site and madly searched for the article. First, I put Sherrin's name in the search bar, then her last name "Hibbard," then tried that in Korean and started reading the most recent articles because I wasn't sure on which day we were in the newspaper. Finally, I typed in "Jeju Swim," scrolled down a bit, and found a lovely picture of Sherrin and Steve. I clicked, and before even reading carefully, I notified fellow team members of the article.

For the non-Korean-speaking members of the team, I started translating.

Then the problem began.

The title of the article, roughly translated, says "Swimming and kayaking around Jeju ... We will spread the beauty of Jeju to the world." OK, promoting beauty ... that's OK ...?

Then I moved on. Read, translated, read, translated and translated. Usually the word 'environment' comes up pretty early in most of the articles. Except this one. It just didn't show up. Never did. Our project aim "Spreading environmental awareness" somehow got changed into "Spreading the beauty of Jeju." What the f***?

Seriously, I don't think we need a girl with a bad back to swim around Jeju for THAT. Do we?

Before I move on, I first need to identify myself. I am Korean and I do believe I have rights to say great things about my country as well as shitty things about it. I will write something lovely about my country next time so let me get straight to the shitty things. We do not mention nor face the problems here. If you do, you are considered rude and unfitting for the society.

And we are trying to do something because we believe there is an environmental problem and desperately need environmental awareness here in Jeju.

Do people know that fixing the environmental problem will actually make Jeju a far better destination to come and get international attention rather than fabricating and ignoring the voices?

I was mad. But now I feel relieved because we have more reasons to do this project. Probably many other countries have much more serious environmental problems than Korea. But right now, Korea has some serious attitude problems as well.

-Ji-su's writing, Steve (editing only)

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