Extra! Korea

June 23, 2009

Two caught helping others cheat on TOEIC via wireless devices

Filed under: crime, education, idiots, languages — extrakorea @ 12:23 pm

According to the Korea Herald and Korea Times, two people have been caught helping others to cheat on the TOEIC test.
One of the two had lived in America for 27 years. He took the test, and transmitted his answers to his partner as he did so. They then sold the answers to people for two-to-three million won per person. Said people went, score-wise, from 500 to 900 points, arousing suspicion.
Now get this: One of the guys had been arrested, and sent to jail, for this kind of cheating before. The two met while in prison.
What I don’t understand is how one guy could send out the answers on a wireless set throughout the entire test without anyone seeing? When my students take one of my tests, they’re allowed pens, pencils, erasers, and correction tape/fluid (and they get away with nothing under my hawk vision*). Isn’t it the same with these tests?

* Thanks to my contact lenses.

Edit/Update:

The Joongang Daily has more information.

June 18, 2009

Word of the Day: Calumny

Filed under: languages, North Korea — extrakorea @ 1:53 am

Thanks to ROK Drop, we now know why North Korea sentenced two American journalists, Euna Lee and Laura Ling, to twelve years in prison.

Laura Ling and Euna Lee were arrested in March for “having illegally trespassed into the border of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) and committed hostile acts against it for which they were tried.” They were sentenced after a closed-door trial. The reporters for California-based Current TV — a media venture of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore — were arrested while reporting on the border shared by North Korea and China.

Korean Central News Agency said Tuesday that the two women “admitted that what they did were criminal acts committed, prompted by the political motive to isolate and stifle the socialist system of the DPRK by faking up moving images aimed at falsifying its human rights performance and hurling slanders and calumnies at it.”

You have to admit, North Koreans sometimes write much better English than their southern counterparts. A similar dispatch coming out of the south might have read something like:

Two of American journalists were been arrested inside of the South Korea. They are liars about our country, so even though they are pretty girls, we give them big punishment. (^.^) Do you know South Korea? We are make the Samsung and Hyundai. Oh yea ~ ~ ~.

June 5, 2009

Korea ranked 2nd-from-bottom in British English test

Filed under: education, languages — extrakorea @ 3:20 am

According to the British Council, Korea ranked second-from-the-bottom, or 39th out of 40 countries, in the General Training Module (GTM) of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Korea was ahead of only the United Arab Emirates, and behind Vietnam, China, and Japan.
In the Academic Module (AM) of the same test, Korea did better, ranking 28th, still behind Japan (27th) but ahead of China (35th).

May 31, 2009

Two items of Korean language news

Filed under: languages — extrakorea @ 4:53 am

The Chosun Ilbo has two news items on the Korean language. The first one describes how, after nearly sixty years of separation, the languages of North and South Korea have diverged to the point that dictionaries are sometimes necessary. (You can watch an interesting video on this topic here, in case you’ve ever wondered how to say “nice legs” in North Korea (“darimae.”).) Of course, there isn’t just one North Korean dialect, which touches on the topic of the second item. Seoul has been declared to be the South’s official dialect, but you already knew that.
If the Korean peninsula is ever reunited, Seoul dialect is sure to become official all over the country, and I wonder how the North Koreans will feel about that, seeing as they’d have to re-learn about their own mother tongue.

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