Monnara Iunnara Translation Project: 
The Americans

Distant Countries, Neighboring Countries (Monnara Iunnara in Korean) is a popular edutainment comic book in Korea.  Each book of the twelve volume series deals with the history and culture of a different nation.  I created this page to give English speakers an idea of what this series is teaching Korea's youth.











"Both among people who praise America and people who oppose America, there are fewer people who know much about America than you'd think.  Know America before you praise or oppose her!"



Monnara Iunnara or Distant Nation, Neighboring Nation, is a series of books first published by graphic design professor Rhie Won-bok in 1984.  The series originally consisted of nine volumes dealing with the Netherlands, France, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, Italy, Japan (in two volumes) and Korea.   It was based on the author's ten years' experience living in Europe.  In 2004 Rhie added three new volumes: Americans, American History, and American Presidents, after living in the U.S. for a year and a half as a visiting professor at UC Irvine.

The series is extremely popular and well-known in South Korea.  The ninth volume, about Korea, was translated into English as "Korea Unmasked" in an attempt to explain Korean history and national identity to foreigners.  

Why translate this book? 

I've decided to translate the tenth volume of the series, The Americans, into English.  The main reason is an abiding curiosity about what Korea's young are being taught about the outside world.  Being American and having a strong American History background, I felt I would find volume 10 the most interesting, and that I would best be able to assess the quality of the information in it.