When a lodge on South Korea’s east coast was requested at brief discover to host practically 280 North Korean guests, the issue wasn’t discovering sufficient rooms.
It was to find out how to not offend them.
Inside days of the request, the roughly 150 employees of the four-star Inje Speedium Resort & Resort had been attending periods on North Korean phrases and manners, one among which was taught by a professor who used to show defectors from the North.
Their company, who checked in on Wednesday, are North Korean cheerleaders who’ve come to carry out on the Winter Video games in Pyeongchang, about 80 km (50 miles) from the border, one of many world’s most closely militarised frontiers.
Because the Korean Conflict resulted in a truce in 1953, the 2 sides have grown culturally and linguistically aside, deepening the political gulf that had initially separated the poor, one-party state within the north from the wealthy, democratic south.
Guidelines in presence of company
First rule: Don’t check with their chief, Kim Jong-un, by title.
Second rule: Don’t point out his nuclear and missile programmes.
Third rule: Don’t even level at badges depicting the North’s former leaders that are pinned to each North Korean customer’s chest. In reality, name them “portraits”, not badges.
That’s a few of the recommendation Kim Younger-soo, a professor at Sogang College in Seoul, gave employees on the lodge.
He informed the media that, “The two Koreas may have the same ethnic background but have gone totally separate ways for such a long time without barely any interaction, so there can be misunderstandings over trivial things,”.
A separate one-page cheat sheet offered by Inje Speedium to its employees factors out that North Koreans don’t use English phrases like shampoo and conditioner, that are used within the South.
The North additionally has phrases for meals and on a regular basis requirements that sound utterly totally different to these used within the South.
The sheet included phrase comparisons for generally used items and companies, a lodge official mentioned. For instance, the vegetable is known as “chaeso” within the South and “namsae” within the North.
The official mentioned – talking on situation of anonymity as a result of sensitivity of the problem – “Our training, which included the lecture as well as our one-page guidelines, was aimed at preventing any potential conflicts that could arise from cultural differences”.
Misplaced in translation
An official on the Pyeongchang organizing committee informed Reuters that forward of the Video games, which formally opened on Friday, South Korea’s authorities distributed pointers to organisers, itemizing do’s and don‘t’s after they meet North Koreans.
North and South Korea converse the identical language primarily based on the Hangeul alphabet, however variations have emerged because the 1950-53 battle which left the 2 sides at a technical state of struggle.
The joint-Koreas ice hockey group Canadian head coach Sarah Murray informed in a information convention on Sunday that the variations are notably difficult for girls ice hockey gamers from the 2 Koreas who had been requested just some weeks in the past to compete as one nation.
There are “three” languages in a single group, she added, referring to English, South Korean and North Korean. South Koreans steadily used English phrases not understood by the northerners.
“For our team meetings, it is going through to English to South Korean to North Korean. So the meetings take three times as long,” Murray mentioned.
She mentioned the group has compiled its personal “dictionary” of various ice hockey phrases to raised talk with one another.
A Gangneung village health membership supervisor on the Olympics athletes mentioned he had not skilled any issues speaking with North Korean athletes, regardless of them talking in a markedly totally different accent.
“Is it really that different from speaking to someone from another region in South Korea? I don’t think so,” mentioned Choi, a volunteer who usually works as a hearth station official.
Choi and different volunteer helpers on the Video games had been urged to keep away from the subject that one other Olympics visitor, US Vice President Mike Pence, has been keen to deal with in his public remarks forward of the opening ceremony: North Korea’s arms programme.
“We’ve been told not to talk about nukes or missiles before we came here,” Choi mentioned.
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