그들이 이 땅을

moondeer

Member
English--American
I'm having trouble grasping the meaning of the following sentence, especially what 그들이 refers to. I guess it refers to the noble and rich? And 이땅=the barbarian lands? Hoping someone can confirm for me. (This text is a Korean scholar's translation of an excerpt from an ancient Chinese book.)

맥적이란 이민족의 음식물인데도 태시 이래로 중국 사람이 이것을 즐겨, 귀인이나 부잣잡의 잔치에 반드시 내놓고 있으니 이것은 그들이 이 땅을 침범할 징조라.

Here's my translation:

Although maekjeok [bulgogi] is the food of barbarians, the fact that Chinese people have enjoyed it for so long, and that the feasts of every noble or rich house must have it, are signs that they might have to invade!
 
  • pcy0308

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hello moondeer,
    Your translation accurately conveys what the original sentence is saying. From the information given, it is apparent the book is written by a Chinese writer (hence narrated in a Chinese perspective). That being said, "그들" here would refer to "이민족" (who in turn refers to Korean people, I'd assume, since "불고기" is a Korean dish), while "이 땅" could simply be understood as Chinese territory/land. Hope this helps.
     

    moondeer

    Member
    English--American
    Hello moondeer,
    Your translation accurately conveys what the original sentence is saying. From the information given, it is apparent the book is written by a Chinese writer (hence narrated in a Chinese perspective). That being said, "그들" here would refer to "이민족" (who in turn refers to Korean people, I'd assume, since "불고기" is a Korean dish), while "이 땅" could simply be understood as Chinese territory/land. Hope this helps.
    Thank you very much! =)
     

    moondeer

    Member
    English--American
    Hello moondeer,
    Your translation accurately conveys what the original sentence is saying. From the information given, it is apparent the book is written by a Chinese writer (hence narrated in a Chinese perspective). That being said, "그들" here would refer to "이민족" (who in turn refers to Korean people, I'd assume, since "불고기" is a Korean dish), while "이 땅" could simply be understood as Chinese territory/land. Hope this helps.
    Sorry, one follow-up question: What is your sense of the last part, about invading? I'm confused because it sounds like the Chinese people are saying the "barbarians" will have to invade, but why? I take it as a joke based on exaggeration, but what is the nuance as to why? Is it because the Chinese have adopted one of the "barbarians'" food customs? I thought maybe the Chinese were joking that they would have to invade the foreign land to get more of their yummy food. What do you think?
     

    pcy0308

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Hello moondeer,
    The statement seems to convey a feeling of concern, a kind of preoccupation, regarding how deeply and widely Korean culture (here, represented by maekjeok, a Korean dish) has seeped into or "invaded" China. Referring to such widespread penetration of Korean culture throughout China, the speaker is saying this might well be an omen that Koreans may eventually invade his/her country, China (just as Korean culture has). Hope this helps.
     
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