Learn English with BBC Podcasts

Life in North Korea
Published: 3.20.2017
Level 5   |   Time: 3:23
Accent: British

A book written by a North Korean author about ordinary life in North Korea.


You can download the file [ HERE ].


triangle Directions 목표 Direcciones Instruções


    It is important to read the vocabulary before you watch the video. This will improve your ability to understand the video. It will also help you understand how the new vocabulary is used naturally.

  2. WATCH the VIDEO

    The first time you watch the video, just try to understand the overall situation.


    First try to answer all the questions from memory. Then rewatch the video and try to answer the questions that you missed.

  4. WATCH and READ the SCRIPT

    Watch the video again while you read the script. Reading and listening at the same time will help you hear each individual word and improve your listening accuracy.


    There are several different activities that focus on test preparation, vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure.


    Es importante leer el vocabulario antes de ver el video. Esto mejorará su capacidad para comprender el video. También le ayudará a comprender cómo se usa el nuevo vocabulario de forma natural.

  2. VER el VIDEO

    La primera vez que vea el video, intente comprender la situación general.


    Primero intente responder todas las preguntas de memoria. Luego, vuelva a ver el video e intente responder las preguntas que se perdió.


    Mire el video nuevamente mientras lee el guión. Leer y escuchar al mismo tiempo lo ayudará a escuchar cada palabra individual y mejorará su precisión auditiva.


    Hay una serie de actividades diferentes que se centran en la preparación de la examen, el vocabulario, la gramática y la estructura de las oraciones.

  1. 어휘 읽기

    비디오를 보기 전에 어휘와 배경을 읽는 것이 중요합니다. 이렇게 하면 비디오를 이해하는 능력이 향상됩니다. 또한 새로운 어휘가 어떻게 자연스럽게 사용되는지 이해하는데 도움이됩니다.

  2. 비디오 보기

    비디오를 처음 볼 때 전체 상황을 이해하려고 노력하세요.

  3. 문제에 답하기

    먼저 모든 질문에 답을 해보세요. 그런 다음 비디오를 다시보고 놓친 질문에 답해보세요.

  4. 비디오 보면서 대본 읽기

    대본을 읽는 동안 비디오를 다시 보세요. 읽기와 듣기를 동시에 하면 각각의 단어를 듣고, 듣기 정확도를 향상시킬 수 있습니다.

  5. 액티비티 하기

    듣기 정확도, 발음, 어휘, 문법 및 문장 구조에 초점을 맞춘 다양한 액티비티가 있습니다.


    É importante ler o vocabulário antes de assistir ao vídeo. Isso melhorará sua capacidade de entender o vídeo. Também ajudará você a entender como o novo vocabulário é usado naturalmente.


    Na primeira vez que assistir ao vídeo, tente entender a situação geral.


    Primeiro, tente responder a todas as perguntas de memória. Em seguida, assista novamente ao vídeo e tente responder às perguntas que você errou.


    Assista ao vídeo novamente enquanto lê o roteiro. Ler e ouvir ao mesmo tempo ajudará você a ouvir cada palavra individualmente e a melhorar sua precisão auditiva.


    Existem várias atividades diferentes que se concentram na preparação para o teste, vocabulário, gramática e estrutura de frases.

triangle Vocabulary 어휘 Vocabulário Vocabulario

  • ☐ ☐ ☐ insight [n] - understanding
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ an accusation [n] - blame
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ forbidden [adj] - prohibited / not allowed
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ anonymous [adj] - nameless
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ severe [adj] - strong
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a pen name [n] - a fake name used by the author of a book
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a firefly [n] - an insect that glows
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ falling foul [exp] - get in trouble with
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a regime [n] - a government
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ Karl Marx [n] - the writer of the Communist Manifesto
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ Booker Prize [n] - a famous prize for English literature
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ nuanced [adj] - accurate in subtle/specific ways
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ credible [adj] - believable
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ smuggle [v] - sneak (something) out of or into a country
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a defector [n] - someone who escapes a country
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ an activist [n] - someone who fights for a belief
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ an abductee [n] - someone kidnapped, stolen from their family
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a heavy heart [n] - sadness
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ a yoke [n] - oppression
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ drenched [adj] - very wet
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ shabby [adj] - messy, not neat
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ an invalid [n] - someone who can't take care of themself
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ primitive [adj] - not modern
  • ☐ ☐ ☐ append [v] - add something to the end of a book

[n] - noun,  [v] - verb,  [phv] - phrasal verb,  [adj] - adjective,  [exp] - expression

triangle Questions 문제 Questões Preguntas [ ? ]


These are guided listening questions. These questions are NOT designed to test or trick you. They are designed to guide you through the video.

TIP: If you don’t understand something in the video, click "Show Answers". You should be able to understand all of the important points of the video by reading the questions and the correct answers.


Estas son preguntas de escucha guiada. Estas preguntas NO están diseñadas para ponerte a prueba o engañarte. Están diseñados para guiarlo a través del video.

CONSEJO: Si no entiende algo en el video, haga clic en "Show Answers". Debería poder comprender todos los puntos importantes del video leyendo las preguntas y las respuestas correctas.


이것은 안내식 듣기 질문입니다. 이 질문들은 당신을 시험하거나 속이기 위한 것이 아닙니다. 동영상을 통해 안내하도록 설계되었습니다.

팁 : 동영상에서 이해가 되지 않는 부분이 있으면 "Show Answers"를 클릭하세요. 질문과 정답을 읽으면서 영상의 중요한 요점을 모두 이해할 수 있어야 합니다.


Estas são perguntas de escuta guiadas. Essas perguntas NÃO foram elaboradas para testar ou enganar você. Eles são projetados para guiá-lo através do vídeo.

DICA: Se você não entender algo no vídeo, clique em "Mostrar respostas". Você deve entender todos os pontos importantes do vídeo lendo as perguntas e as respostas corretas.

  1. What is the book about?
    the government of North Korea
    the North Korean language
    ordinary life in North Korea

  2. How did the book get out of North Korea?
    It was sold to a South Korean company.
    It was smuggled out of North Korea.
    It was written by someone in China.

  3. Who wrote the book?
    an anonymous North Korean author
    a North Korean government official
    an English writer

  4. What has the book been turned into in South Korea?
    a famous movie
    a popular TV show
    an award winning radio drama

  5. What is the pen name of the author?
    Deborah Smith

  6. What does his pen name mean?
    short stories
    falling foul

  7. In one of the stories, why does a baby start crying?
    It is hungry.
    Someone bumps into it.
    It sees a picture of Karl Marx.

  8. Who is Dohee Yoon?
    someone who knows Bandi
    a character in the book
    the publisher of the book

  9. What do we know about Bandi?
    his real name
    his sex
    his age
    his job
    his general location
    his exact location

  10. Why is Bandi's life in danger?
    The book is internationally known.
    He wants to free people.
    He is in the military.

  11. Who wants the book to be known internationally?
    Dohee Yoon
    the North Korean government

  12. Which words are missing from the poem?

    50 years in this northern land
    living as a 1)_____ that speaks
    living as a human under a yoke
    written not with pen and ink
    but with 2)_____ drenched with blood and tears
    is this writing of mine.
    Though they be dry as 3)_____
    and rough as a grassland,
    shabby as an invalid
    and 4) _____ as stone tools
    Reader, I beg you to read my words.

    1) machine 2) bones 3) desert 4) primitive

triangle Discussion 논의 Questões de discussão Discusión

  1. What do you know about North Korea?
  2. Why did Bandi want his book published despite the danger to his life?
  3. A baby starts crying at a picture of Karl Marx. Why would this cause problems for a North Korean family?
  4. What unique hardships and troubles do you think North Korean citizens face?
  5. What hardships and troubles do North Korean citizens face that are similar to those in your country?
  6. Why has South Korea been more successful than North Korea? In your opinion, what are the two most important factors?
  7. If North and South Korea reunited, what would be the advantages and disadvantages for South Koreans? Try to think of at least two of each?
  8. If North and South Korea reunited, what would be the advantages and disadvantages for North Koreans? Try to think of at least two of each?
  9. Why do you think the majority of North Koreans do not challenge or try to overthrow the government?
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triangle Script 대본 Roteiro Texto

So, what is life actually like in North Korea? Insight comes from a new book called The Accusation: Forbidden Stories from inside North Koreai. The text had to be sumggled out of the country. The author remains anonymous as he could face severe punishment or even death if his identity was revealed. This report from South Korea correspondent Steve Evans.

It's been a prize-winning radio drama in South Korea. This is an extraordinary tale of ordinary people in North Korea. Written by a mysterious North Korean author, and now coming in English to a bookstore near you.

The author of The Accusation goes by the pen name Bandy - Firefly. It's a series of short stories about little incidents of corruption and falling foul of the regime. A baby starts crying at a picture of Karl Marx, and so brings trouble to the family. An official targets a worker.

The English version has been translated by Deborah Smith, who won a Booker Prize for her translation of a South Korean novel. What emerges is a highly readable, nuanced, credible picture of a country where ordinary people go about their lives, treading around the regime, and sometimes bumping into it.

The publishers say it was smuggled to the South Korea by a defector. In South Korea, it's been championed by an activist - Dohee Yoon of the Citizens Coalition for the Human Rights of Abductees and North Korean Refugees. He says he knows who Bandi really is.

He was born in 1950. He's a male. And he has contact with [a] Chinese tourist. And he lives inland.

By publishing his work, you put his life in extreme danger.

Yes. The book being internationally known, it gives me a sense of heavy heart. The safety will be threatened. However, this is Bandi's wishes. He wishes people who live in North Korea like slaves to be freed.

At the end of the Accusation, Bandi, whoever and wherever he may be, appends a poem to the reader - a reader now in Britain and North America.

50 years in this northern land
living as a machine that speaks
living as a human under a yoke.
Eritten not with pen and ink,
but with bones, drenched with blood and tears
is this writing of mine.
Though they be dry as a desert
and rough as a grassland,
shabby as an invalid
and primitive as stone tools,
reader, I beg you to read my words.

That report from Steve Evans in Seoul.