Of dotards and DOLtards

« previous post | next post »

[A guest post by Jichang Lulu.]

After all the brouhaha over Kim Jong Un's 'dotard' philippic, I was reminded of some other Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) invective: those sexist insults against Park Geun-hye, the racist insults against Obama, and specifically those aimed at Michael Kirby, the Australian judge who led a UN inquiry on North Korean human rights. The NK leadership didn't appreciate the scrutiny, and responded by calling Kirby, who is openly gay, a DOL (Disgusting Old Lecher). I was wondering what the Korean for that would be, so I looked for the original piece.

Here's the English (from the KCNA site, via the Wayback Machine), and here's the Korean (from KCNA, as archived on KCNA Watch).

정치협잡군,정신병자들의 너절한 모략행위를 단단히 결산할것이다 — 조선중앙통신사 론평
KCNA Commentary Slams Artifice by Political Swindlers

The whole piece is delicious and worth reading in both versions, but here's the DOLhood-relevant part:

이른바 《보고서》제작의 두령노릇을 한 마이클 커비는 40여년간 동성련애로 추문을 남기고 70살이 넘은 지금까지도 동성의 대방에게 시집을 가지 못해 안달아하는 너절한 늙다리호색광이다.

건전한 사상과 아름다운 륜리도덕이 존재하는 우리 나라에는 있을수 없고 서방나라들에서도 사회적물의의 대상으로 되고있는 동성련애자가 다름아닌 그 누구의 인권문제를 주관한다고 나섰으니 그야말로 입이 쓰거울뿐이다.

As for Kirby who took the lead in cooking the "report", he is a disgusting old lecher with a 40-odd-year-long career of homosexuality. He is now over seventy, but he is still anxious to get married to his homosexual partner.

This practice can never be found in the DPRK boasting of the sound mentality and good morals, and homosexuality has become a target of public criticism even in Western countries, too. In fact, it is ridiculous for such gay to sponsor dealing with others' human rights issue.

I'm sure your various colleagues and students with more Korean expertise could have interesting things to say about this. One thing is that in the second paragraph of the excerpt above, 'homosexuality' and 'such gay' as separate words are an artifact of the translation; if I understand the original construction correctly, the overall syntax is 'For him, who is but a homosexual (동성련애자 同性戀愛者), [the likes of] which cannot exist in our country… and are the object of criticism also/even in Western countries, to go and oversee anyone's human rights…'

Also notice how the verb 'get married' in the first paragraph is the one used for women (시(媤)집을 가다), rather than the neutral 결혼(結婚)하다. And of course the 'purity' the regime claims for itself is reminiscent of all manner of religious and authoritarian ideas known the world over.

You might better appreciate the virtues the DPRK 'boasts of' in the second paragraph if spelt with hanja: "健全한 思想과 아름다운 倫理道德"…

But what I really wanted to show you is the actual DOL accusation:

너절한 늙다리호색광
najeolhan neukdari-hosaekgwang
"disgusting old lecher"

Again maybe your more expert students or colleagues can improve the translation, but it doesn't seem to be bad. The 'disgusting' part seems OK; 'lecher' 호색광 好色狂 perhaps could be 'pervert', but I understand the Korean word is uncommon, possibly literary. As for 늙다리 neuktari… yes, this is the 'dotard' in your earlier post, that has been applied to Trump and others.

Dotards and DOLs are thus grandly and Peacefully Reunified and fused into a Shared Community of DOLtardhood 호색공동체 好色共同體. Yay!


  1. A-gu said,

    October 4, 2017 @ 8:47 pm

    I always appreciating seeing the Hanja along with the Hangul, really makes the post details more accessible to me. Thank you!

  2. A-gu said,

    October 4, 2017 @ 8:50 pm

    Also as a complete novice at the Korean script, I found 늙 to look almost like a fake word or a typo the first time I saw it here a few week sago. Turns out I was wrong.

  3. Mara K said,

    October 4, 2017 @ 10:35 pm

    Such gay. Much marry. How anger. Wow.

  4. Jichang Lulu said,

    October 5, 2017 @ 5:13 pm

    Thanks for the comments.

    As is often the case, KCNA articles come in two versions, the shorter of which is the one that gets translated. For this particular article, the longer, Korean-only version is here (again via KCNA Watch).

    As far as DOLship is concerned, one extra paragraph is relevant, sandwiched between the ones quoted in the main post. It mocks Kirby's use of the title of "judge" and madness in advocating the legalisation of gay marriage (동성결혼의 법화 同性結婚의 法化), even though that is 'criticised in his own country' (Australia). As it happens, Australia is now holding a postal referendum on the matter.

    이른바 《법관》의 감투를 쓰고 한짓이 있다면 자기 나라 사람들의 비난을 받으면서까지 동성결혼의 법화를 위해서 미쳐돌아간것뿐이다.

    Another paragraph absent from the abridged version and the translations refers to the other members of the committee with the generic insult 연놈 yeonnom, or rather its North Korean version nyeonnom 년놈 (I'd be curious if anyone can suggest a translation).

    KCNA's official site also has the (shorter version of the) story in Chinese, Spanish and Japanese.

    To my great disappointment, a Russian version is not available for this item.

    Here are the relevant paragraphs, with the bits corresponding to "Disgusting Old Lecher/늙다리호색광", "(married to his) homosexual partner/동성의 대방" and "(such) gay/동성련애자" in boldface, for extra pleasure.



    Kirby, inventor principal del susodicho "informe", es un viejo lujurioso que dejó sonados casos de homosexualidad durante más de 40 años pasados y ahora, aunque tiene más de 70 años de edad, está impaciente por casarse con otro maricón.

    El que se atreve a atender el problema de DDHH de un país es ese "pájaro" que no puede existir en la RPDC, donde reinan la idea sana y la ética noble, y causa escándalo social hasta en los países occidentales.



    Coincidentally, the blogger Justrecently recently did a comparison of anti-Japanese invective as found in different language versions of a recent KCNA article. In that case, the original Korean and the Chinese and Japanese versions |used some form of racist insult, idiomatic or otherwise (일본섬나라족속들, 日本鬼子,日本の島国夷); the English had "islanders"; the Spanish avoided ethnic (or insular) slurs and went for 'reactionaries'; the Russian omitted the entire phrase.

RSS feed for comments on this post