Christopher Hitchens

“A local phrase book, entitled Speak in Korean, has the following handy expressions. In the section 'On the Way to the Hotel': 'Let's Mutilate US Imperialism!' In the section 'Word Order': 'Yankees are wolves in human shape—Yankees / in human shape / wolves / are.' In the section 'Farewell Talk': 'The US Imperialists are the sworn enemy of the Korean people.' Not that the book is all like this—the section 'At the Hospital' has the term solsaga ('I have loose bowels'), and the section 'Our Foreign Friends Say' contains the Korean for 'President Kim Il Sung is the sun of mankind.'

I wanted a spare copy of this phrase book to give to a friend, but found it was hard to come by. Perhaps this was a sign of a new rapprochement with the United States, or perhaps it was because, on page 46, in the section on the seasons, appear the words: haemada pungnyoni dumnida ('We have a bumper harvest every year').”


Christopher Hitchens, Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays
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Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays Love, Poverty, and War: Journeys and Essays by Christopher Hitchens
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