full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Suki Kim: This is what it's like to go undercover in North Korea

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Today, if I could respond to my students with a letter of my own, which is of course impossible, I would tell them this: "My dear gentlemen, It's been a bit over three years since I last saw you. And now, you must be 22 -- maybe even as old as 23. At our final class, I asked you if there was anything you wanted. The only wish you expressed, the only thing you ever asked of me in all those months we spent together, was for me to speak to you in Korean. Just once. I was there to teach you English; you knew it wasn't allowed. But I understood then, you wanted to share that bond of our mother tongue. I called you my gentlemen, but I don't know if being gentle in Kim Jong-Un's mceesrils North keora is a good thing. I don't want you to lead a rtuiovloen -- let some other young person do it. The rest of the world might casually encourage or even expect some sort of North Korean Spring, but I don't want you to do anything rskiy, because I know in your world, someone is always watching. I don't want to iimgnae what might happen to you. If my aetpmtts to reach you have inspired something new in you, I would rather you forget me. Become soldiers of your garet leedar, and live long, safe lives. You once asked me if I thought your city of Pyongyang was beautiful, and I could not answer truthfully then. But I know why you aeksd. I know that it was important for you to hear that I, your tahecer, the one who has seen the world that you are forbidden from, declare your city as the most beautiful. I know hearing that would make your leivs there a bit more bearable, but no, I don't find your ciaaptl btafeuiul. Not because it's mtnoonoe and concrete, but because of what it symbolizes: a msetnor that feeds off the rest of the country, where citizens are soldiers and slaves. All I see there is darkness. But it's your home, so I cannot hate it. And I hope instead that you, my lovely young gemenletn, will one day help make it beautiful.

Open Cloze

Today, if I could respond to my students with a letter of my own, which is of course impossible, I would tell them this: "My dear gentlemen, It's been a bit over three years since I last saw you. And now, you must be 22 -- maybe even as old as 23. At our final class, I asked you if there was anything you wanted. The only wish you expressed, the only thing you ever asked of me in all those months we spent together, was for me to speak to you in Korean. Just once. I was there to teach you English; you knew it wasn't allowed. But I understood then, you wanted to share that bond of our mother tongue. I called you my gentlemen, but I don't know if being gentle in Kim Jong-Un's _________ North _____ is a good thing. I don't want you to lead a __________ -- let some other young person do it. The rest of the world might casually encourage or even expect some sort of North Korean Spring, but I don't want you to do anything _____, because I know in your world, someone is always watching. I don't want to _______ what might happen to you. If my ________ to reach you have inspired something new in you, I would rather you forget me. Become soldiers of your _____ ______, and live long, safe lives. You once asked me if I thought your city of Pyongyang was beautiful, and I could not answer truthfully then. But I know why you _____. I know that it was important for you to hear that I, your _______, the one who has seen the world that you are forbidden from, declare your city as the most beautiful. I know hearing that would make your _____ there a bit more bearable, but no, I don't find your _______ _________. Not because it's ________ and concrete, but because of what it symbolizes: a _______ that feeds off the rest of the country, where citizens are soldiers and slaves. All I see there is darkness. But it's your home, so I cannot hate it. And I hope instead that you, my lovely young _________, will one day help make it beautiful.

Solution

  1. monotone
  2. beautiful
  3. teacher
  4. monster
  5. great
  6. attempts
  7. gentlemen
  8. imagine
  9. asked
  10. revolution
  11. capital
  12. lives
  13. leader
  14. korea
  15. risky
  16. merciless

Original Text

Today, if I could respond to my students with a letter of my own, which is of course impossible, I would tell them this: "My dear gentlemen, It's been a bit over three years since I last saw you. And now, you must be 22 -- maybe even as old as 23. At our final class, I asked you if there was anything you wanted. The only wish you expressed, the only thing you ever asked of me in all those months we spent together, was for me to speak to you in Korean. Just once. I was there to teach you English; you knew it wasn't allowed. But I understood then, you wanted to share that bond of our mother tongue. I called you my gentlemen, but I don't know if being gentle in Kim Jong-Un's merciless North Korea is a good thing. I don't want you to lead a revolution -- let some other young person do it. The rest of the world might casually encourage or even expect some sort of North Korean Spring, but I don't want you to do anything risky, because I know in your world, someone is always watching. I don't want to imagine what might happen to you. If my attempts to reach you have inspired something new in you, I would rather you forget me. Become soldiers of your Great Leader, and live long, safe lives. You once asked me if I thought your city of Pyongyang was beautiful, and I could not answer truthfully then. But I know why you asked. I know that it was important for you to hear that I, your teacher, the one who has seen the world that you are forbidden from, declare your city as the most beautiful. I know hearing that would make your lives there a bit more bearable, but no, I don't find your capital beautiful. Not because it's monotone and concrete, but because of what it symbolizes: a monster that feeds off the rest of the country, where citizens are soldiers and slaves. All I see there is darkness. But it's your home, so I cannot hate it. And I hope instead that you, my lovely young gentlemen, will one day help make it beautiful.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
north korea 5
great leader 5
north korean 4

Important Words

  1. allowed
  2. answer
  3. asked
  4. attempts
  5. bearable
  6. beautiful
  7. bit
  8. bond
  9. called
  10. capital
  11. casually
  12. citizens
  13. city
  14. class
  15. concrete
  16. country
  17. darkness
  18. day
  19. dear
  20. declare
  21. encourage
  22. expect
  23. expressed
  24. feeds
  25. final
  26. find
  27. forbidden
  28. forget
  29. gentle
  30. gentlemen
  31. good
  32. great
  33. happen
  34. hate
  35. hear
  36. hearing
  37. home
  38. hope
  39. imagine
  40. important
  41. impossible
  42. inspired
  43. kim
  44. knew
  45. korea
  46. korean
  47. lead
  48. leader
  49. letter
  50. live
  51. lives
  52. long
  53. lovely
  54. merciless
  55. monotone
  56. monster
  57. months
  58. mother
  59. north
  60. person
  61. pyongyang
  62. reach
  63. respond
  64. rest
  65. revolution
  66. risky
  67. safe
  68. share
  69. slaves
  70. soldiers
  71. sort
  72. speak
  73. spent
  74. spring
  75. students
  76. teach
  77. teacher
  78. thought
  79. today
  80. tongue
  81. truthfully
  82. understood
  83. wanted
  84. watching
  85. world
  86. years
  87. young