Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Howdy Mr Trump! Funny Korean banner supports US action against NK

I found this amusing banner over on Reddit this morning:

Korean conservative banner supporting Pres. Trump  

It reads:

양아치는 정치인 개잡놈들! 한넘도 믿을넘없다
북핵 공포로부터 보호 받을 수 있는 길은 미국뿐이다.
Hi Mr. Trump! 머하노?
Just bomb North Korea. We Korean believe you.
- 구국 동지회 / 부산 애국 연합

Just for fun, let's go through it piece by piece.

양아치는 정치인 개잡놈들!

양아치 is a great word. It's usually used to refer to bullies, gangsters, thugs, punks, etc, but it means something more like "trash" or "beggar" or "piece of shit." A 잡놈 is a mixed blood person, which of course is itself offensive (no comment...) and adding 개 or dog intensifies it. So basically, the sign is addressing these piece of shit mangy mutt politicians in office today. And you thought Trump's "bad hombres" comment was harsh.

As a sidenote: "mutt" doesn't seem to pack the same punch in English. So maybe something like "halfbreed" would suit it better? With two centuries of multiculturalism, I feel like these insults don't strike Americans as strongly as they do here. We're not talking N-word status, but this is pretty darn insulting.

한넘도 믿을넘없다

A straightforward "not a single one of you can be trusted!" Many of these hardline supporters feel that the current liberal government has too close ties to the North, and are essentially secret communists.

북핵 공포로부터 보호 받을 수 있는 길은 미국뿐이다

There is only one single way to be protected from the terror of 북핵, presumably 북한 핵폭탄, North Korean nuclear bombs. That one single way? 'MERICA!

Hi Mr. Trump! 머하노?

The message suddenly get friendly now that they're addressing a perceived ally instead of political enemies. This was one of those weird dialect terms I didn't know. I had to ask around and apparently it's a Gyeongsangdo version of 뭐해요? And of course Gyeongsangdo is the heart of the conservative party in Korea (and not coincidentally, where this sign was displayed). So what would a heavily accented deep Red Stater say for a friendly "How are you?" or "what's up?" I'm going to go with "howdy!"

I'm also going to assume that they are using 믿다 in the English in the same was as the Korean, so more like "believe in" or "depend on" or "trust" rather than just "believe".

- 구국 동지회 / 부산 애국 연합

The sponsors of the banner are the 구국 동지회, literally the "Save the Country Party," a.k.a. Korean Tea Party, a.k.a. Make Korea Great Again, and the 부산 애국 연합, the Busan Patriotic Association.

So putting it all together, we can translate the whole thing like this:

Hey Mr Trump! Howdy!
Just bomb North Korea. We Koreans trust you!
 - Busan Patriots Parties

Now I'm not a political expert, but if you ask me, I think a lot of these guys are still especially upset with how the whole impeachment of former President Park Geun-Hye went down. Still, one thing's for sure: you won't ever find people as staunchly devoted to America's superpower status as elderly Korean conservatives. And to be fair, there's a deep seated reason for that gratitude and trust. Whether that attitude is still applicable to modern Korea, or to modern America, could be another story.

But can all agree this poster is funny.

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