Tour North Korea And Hear The British Voice Of Kim Il Sung-shishangqiyi

When walking around Kim Il Sungs mausoleum at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace, visitors are given special headsets to listen to a recorded guide of the facility. In a sometimes emotionally charged recording, the narrator talks the visitor through the multi-room Palace and describes what the visitors are seeing as they walk. To the surprise of many, the voice featured on the English language version of the recording is British. With the DPRK usually employing local English speaking Koreans for its TV and Film productions, it is somewhat interesting that a native English speaker was chosen for the Kumsusan Memorial Palace recording Paul White. We caught up with Paul to find out more about how he got involved in the project 1. How did you first be.e interested in North Korea? I did what you guys call a minor in the Korean language when I was studying Chinese at London University in the 1960s. But I didnt get to the Far East until 1973, when I worked for five years on the Korea Herald in Seoul. In those days the ROK was a tear-gas-filled jackbooted dictatorship of shivering beggars, described in the Western press as an economic miracle and fledgling democracy. North Korea was supposed to be worse, but nobody knew because nobody ever went there (There was no official tourism in the DPRK until the late 1980s). Knowing that the Koreans prided themselves on their homogeneity and shared language and culture, I was curious to see for myself. 2. When did you first travel there, and for what reason? I applied for a visit at the DPRK embassy in Beijing in 1982 (I was working as a journalist in Hong Kong at that time). Two years later I got a midnight phone call in Hong Kong telling me to .e to Guangzhou immediately. From there I was escorted to Beijing, got a visa stamped on paper and put on a train to Pyongyang alone to enjoy the 24-hour trip, no minders by the way, why do NK bashers always use this cockney slang word meaning a criminals bodyguard? Anyway, I had an 11-day propaganda-filled stay for free in NK 3. How and why did you get involved with DPRK authorities through your visits? Was this how you started work with them? Ive never been involved with the DPRK authorities. On my first trip I suspect my guide was a middle-aged spook (There was no tourism at that time), but on subsequent trips Ive found that the guides are all young and professionally trained. Theres no contact with the authorities at all. In 1995 The Foreign Languages Publishing House in Pyongyang came to Beijing looking for foreigners to polish their publications in different languages. Apparently there were no foreign polishers left in Pyongyang at that time. They paid in RMB, and I did, and still do from time to time, some of their English stuff. 4. How were you approached to record the voice-over for the KIS English language memorial program? The Publishing House people came to Beijing to get foreigners to record the voice-over in different languages. 5. Where and when was it recorded? It was recorded in the Korean studio at China Radio International. I had to re-translate the rubbish they gave me, and they seemed happy with that. They then said Adopt a mournful tone. Make people feel sad! When I finished, they said, That was excellent. I said I didnt know that I had a talent for making people feel sad. They said, Oh, yes, you do! 6. How was it done? Did you go on the tour of the mausoleum first before making the recording? I didnt get to tour the mausoleum until last year. All my previous requests were turned down. In fact, one guide even told me that all the foreign-language lamentations had been translated and recorded by Koreans! 7. Did you ever meet Kim Il Sung? No, never, or any other big shot for that matter. 8. Have you done any work/ cooperation with North Korea as a result of this audio work? No. I do polishing for the Publishing House people occasionally, but they dont seem to be aware of the recording, so Ive stopped mentioning it. 9. What type of work do you still do for the Foreign Languages publishing house? They .e to Beijing normally once a year with translations of publications to be polished. The grammar, spelling and punctuation are normally very good, almost perfect, in English at any rate. But they have a big problem with idiom, which, if you dont know Korean, can be baffling. They take much more care over the work than the Chinese, Japanese or South Koreans do. Incidentally, theres a humorous anecdote connected with this. One year, they gave all their English stuff to an American woman called Marsha Marks. She had retired after many years working at the Foreign Languages Press here in Beijing. The following year I received a phone call: Hallo Paul, this is Kim speaking. 10. Did you ever know any of the other foreign language revisers, like Michael Harrold (author of this must-read book)? I saw him yesterday, as a matter of fact. He now works for China Central Television. Ive also known several others who have gone to work there for a year or so. 相关的主题文章: