Wednesday, March 03, 2004

religious propaganda I serve unto thee

I can't do the Marmot's Chosun job because a small pamphlet like this takes me about eight hours to translate, and there's no guarantee I'm doing it right. Yeah, yeah-- call me a dumb shit. I already said my reading skills were poor. Anyway, I now present to you this pamphlet, which comes to us courtesy of the Jehovah's Witnesses (you don't find out who these people are until the fourth page out of six-- but you get suspicious around page 2 or 3). I've tried to translate it as best I can. As far as I can tell, I've inadvertently done a reverse translation of an English-language original, because this sounds exactly like the literature the JWs pass out in America.

Jehovah, it turns out, is "Yeo-ho-wah" in Korean. You learn something new every day. What follows is translated entirely from the Korean text you see on your monitor. The pamphlet was folded in thirds, and thus is composed of six small pages. I start at the title page and work forward to the fill-me-out address form.

praise Jesus or he'll eat your head!

Do you want to know MORE about the BIBLE?

praise Jesus or he'll eat your head!


The Bible is different from other books. It contains teaching about God's love. (1 Thessalonians 2:13) If you apply the Bible's teachings (to your life), you'll benefit. If you attain God's love, "All good and perfect gifts" will come to you. (James 1:17) You can approach God through prayer. When you find yourself in a time of difficulty, you can experience God's help. If you live up to the principles found in the Bible, God will grant you eternal life. (Romans 6:23)

The Bible contains illuminating truth. In coming to know the Bible, many people find direction in their lives, and are released from incorrect thoughts. For example, when we find out the truth about what happens after we die, we are released from harmful fear on behalf of our dead relatives and friends, however they may have suffered. In the Bible's teaching about resurrection, these loved ones, and the ones they leave behind, will be uplifted. (John 11:25)

[NB: In the last sentence, the phrase in question is "wi-ro ga dwaemnida." "Wi-ro" seems to mean something like "consolation, comfort, solace." I've chosen the deliberately vague "uplifted," because this is in connection with resurrection (cf. the Son of Man will be "lifted up," OT reference as well as crucifixion/resurrection image), along with the emotional "uplifting" implied by solace, comfort, etc. Bad translation, I know... write in with a better way to handle this, especially if I've misunderstood the entire paragraph, which I suspect I have.]

praise Jesus or he'll eat your head!

When you learn the truth about demons (ak-han ch'eon-sa = wicked angels), you become aware of the danger and you come to understand why there is such trouble here below.

[NB: I've chosen "here below" because it's a hymnic reference to our terrestrial existence. The Korean word "ddang" literally means "ground" or "soil" or "land."]

The fundamental rules God gave us in the Bible are a formula for healthy living. For example, "moderate habits" are conducive to good health. (1 Timothy 3:2) We avoid harming our bodies when "flesh and spirit are made clean." (2 Corinthians 7:1) What's more, if you follow God's counsel, as found in the Bible, your married life becomes happier, and your self-love is greater. (1 Corinthians 6:18)

When you live according to God's word, you become a happier person. Knowing the Bible brings inner peace and contentment; it gives us hope. This knowledge helps us cultivate a heart full of compassion, love, happiness, peace, kindness, and faith. (Galatians 5:22,23; Ephesians 4:24,32) These special qualities make us better husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, sons and daughters.

praise Jesus or he'll eat your head!

Have you ever worried about the future? The biblical prophets, speaking (to us) from deep within the stream of history, tell us of profoundly meaningful times. These prophets weren't talking only about today's world, but about the paradise into which the world will be transformed. (Revelation 21:3,4)


Maybe you've tried reading the Bible and found it difficult to understand. Maybe, even though you have questions, you don't quite know where in the Bible to look for answers. You should know that you're not the only one who's felt this way. We all need help to understand God's word. Jehovah's Witnesses in 235 countries and territories offer free Bible education, and these people will gladly assist you.

Generally, it's most desirable to start from basic teachings and move gradually into Bible study. (Hebrews 6:1) Continuous study provides "solid nourishment," i.e., you will come to internalize deeper truths. (Hebrews 5:14) The Bible is our guide, but using the (JW) "What does God ask of us?" pamphlets and other Bible-based publications will also be helpful to you in finding and understanding Bible passages about various topics.

praise Jesus or he'll eat your head!


[NB: the verb "study" doesn't appear in the title, but it seems silly to translate the above as "setting aside time to understand the Bible," because that's not how anglophones usually phrase that.]

You can arrange to study the Bible (with us) at a time and place that are usually convenient for you. Many people do this comfortably at home. There are also people who do their Bible study over the phone. Study courses can be arranged to occur not in a class environment, but in a private setting where lessons are paced according to a person's knowledge and educational level. There won't be any tests or confusing work to do. Your questions about the Bible will be answered, and you'll learn the way to get closer to God.

You don't need to pay anything for this kind of study. (Matthew 10:8) This arrangement is a free offer for all religious people, as well as for people who don't have a religion but sincerely desire to improve their knowledge of God's word.

Who can participate in these discussions? Your whole family can. If you'd like to invite friends along, they can participate, too. And if you prefer, you can also start your progress alone.

Many people willingly devote one hour a week to Bible study. Whether you can devote more than this amount of time, or less, Jehovah's Witnesses can set up a program to fit your situation.

praise Jesus or he'll eat your head!


We would like you to meet with the Jehovah's Witnesses. One way to do this is to fill out the form below and send it to one of the listed addresses. When you do this, one of us will make arrangements for free home Bible study with you.

[NB: The word I translated "one of us" is "nu-gun-ga," which I suppose should be rendered as "someone" or "some people." But the phrase "someone/some people will make arrangements for Bible study with you" sounds either sloppy or sinister. "One of us" also sounds sinister in a drone-like way, but maybe that's unavoidable, given how the JWs operate from the hive-mind of Jesus.]

So that's it. I'm not translating the address form. This has already taken way the hell too long. Korean-literate people are encouraged to write in with corrections, suggestions, and invective about my puny translating skills. The above rendering sucks ass-- this was nothing like translating French, which is a hell of a lot easier for a former French teacher. I can render printed French into spoken English at almost normal talking speed, plus some strategic "uh"s and "er"s.


No comments: