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ReadingTOEFL: Asah Reading dengan Baca Novel (Part 2)

Setelah membaca novel Welcome to Korea, saatnya membahasnya lebih menyeluruh dalam artikel berikut ini. Seperti instruksi yang ada dalam artikel sebelumnya, yang perlu kamu lakukan adalah memperhatikan kata-kata yang dicetak dengan huruf tebal. Mari kita mulai membahasnya satu persatu:

Welcome to Korea

As the decades had passed since the ceasefire of the Korean War, the disparity between North and South Korea had grown greatly. The economic disparity had become undeniable in the 1960s and 1970s, when South Korea began to truly recover from the war, and its economy began to grow impressively. The disparity had only expanded after that time, becoming very big indeed in modern times.

Paragraf pertama menjelaskan tentang perjalanan hubungan antara Korea Selatan dan Korea Utara yang terus membaik usai Perang Korea puluhan tahun lalu. Perkembangan ekonomi juga jadi hal yang disoroti dalam paragraf pembuka ini.

  • Decades: menunjukkan rentang waktu sejak Perang Korea, beberapa dekade silam
  • Ceasefire: gencatan senjata, sebuah tindakan mengakhiri perang
  • Disparity: perbedaan atau kesenjangan antara Kore Utara dan Korea Selatan
  • Economic disparity: memperjelas kalimat sebelumnya, hanya saja kesenjangan dalam bidang ekonomi
  • Economy: menyoroti bidang ekonomi
  • Impressively: sebuah perkembangan yang mengesankan atau impresif
  • Expanded: perkembangan yang terjadi di masa lampau

Today, South Korea enjoyed great economic prosperity. In stark contrast, North Korea’s present financial situation was painfully unpleasant. Many citizens were starving, although a lucky few received a small emolument from their government, a fixed payment given to citizens with b connections to the ruling class. Some especially privileged citizens were paid their stipend in cash, but many less important members of this class of North Koreans were given an allowance of food instead of money. As this disparity in standards of living had grown bigger between the North and South, there had been political consequences.

Penjelasan dari kata kunci dalam paragraf di atas:

  • Economic prosperity: kesejahteraan ekonomi yang dicapai Korea Selatan
  • Stark: berlawanan, jika kamu tidak familiar dengan kata ini, kata “contrast” membantu untuk memahami konteks secara keseluruhan
  • Emolument: pembayaran, dalam konteks ini adalah dana sosial dari pemerintah
  • Ruling class: pihak yang memegang kuasa
  • Privileged: masyarakat yang diistimewakan
  • Stipend: dana atau yang yang diterima
  • Allowance: pendapatan yang bisa dalam berbagai bentuk
  • Consequences: dikaitkan dengan konsekuensi politik yang dialami kedua negara

In response to the nations’ fiscal inequality, the North had shown increasing animosity toward South Korea. This animosity turned into full hostility every few years, with North Korea occasionally sinking South Korean ships or firing missiles at South Korean villages near the North-South border. In both these short instances of war and the longer periods of peace, The North’s animosity and hostility extended to America and its citizens.

Penjelasan dari kata kunci dalam paragraf berikutnya:

  • Response: respon dikaitkan dengan kesenjangan ekonomi yang ada dalam paragraf sebelumnya:
  • Fiscal: berkaitan dengan pajak atau pendapatan negara
  • Animosity: konflik social yang terjadi antara kedua negara
  • Hostility: kekejaman atau konflik yang meruncing
  • Villages: pedesaan di perbatasan dua Korea
  • Instances: bentuk nyata perang yang terjadi
  • Citizens: rakyat yang tinggal di suatu negara

Measuring the now-fundamental disparity of living standards between Northerners and Southerners on the Korean Peninsula had always been a very noetic practice for Prestwich. He had enjoyed studying the nature of the Korean region and the security risks there. But now he was really in North Korea—an American, leading a team of Americans in a hostile territory. As he looked around at the abandoned—but still dangerous—village, he struggled to stop thinking so deeply and academically about North Korea. He had to abandon his noetic “professor-think” and start to think more instinctively.

Penjelasan dari kata kunci dalam paragraf ini:

  • Fundamental disparity: kesenjangan mendasar dalam standar hidup
  • Noetic: bidang ilmu yang mempelajari intuisi
  • Nature: secara alamiah yang mengacu pada Prestwich
  • Abandoned: tidak terurus, kondisi sebuah desa
  • Instinctively: mengikuti insting, berlawanan dengan noetic

This would be a military and political quagmire, one that neither the North, the South, or America truly wanted. Really, no one in the world wanted to go through the agony of a second Korean War. Although, Prestwich reflected, a second Korean War was a misnomer. The first Korean War had technically never ended. There was a ceasefire but no treaty. The war then, even with relatively few recent hostilities, was a continuing institution that greatly influenced the politics of the Pacific Rim as a whole.

Penjelasan dari kata kunci dalam paragraf ini:

  • Quagmire: rawa, mengacu pada kondisi sulit di bidang militer dan politik
  • Agony: kekerasan dalam peperangan
  • Misnomer: sebuah istilah yang salah
  • Technically: secara teknis
  • Institution: institusi yang mengacu pada pengaruh politik

Prestwich gave the command, and the men all walked into one of the small huts in a neat line. Corporal Hennessy, who had been at the front of the line, smiled and lifted a thick wooden floorboard on the floor of the hut. Underneath the board was a trapdoor with a computerized combination lock. In a move that greatly bothered Prestwich, Hennessy entered the secret combination to the trapdoor without being clearly ordered to do so.

Hennessy and his four fellow soldiers enthusiastically jumped down into the hatch. Prestwich quickly ran down after them. In the room beneath the hatch, one could immediately see a strange pair of items.

Paragraf di atas tidak memiliki kata yang kurang familiar, menjelaskan bagaimana komando penjebakan yang dilakukan lewat kunci kombinasi. Paragraf selanjutnya:

There was a seismograph that had been placed there by the North Koreans due to rumors that the South had an earthquake-making weapon and planned to use it. Near the earthquake-measuring device was an old fashioned phonograph. This second item still had a very old vinyl record of classical music lying on it, ready to play.

Paragraf ini juga menjelaskan alat berupa seismograph, vinyl, phonograph yang berada di sebuah ruangan.

To Prestwich’s horror, Hennessy turned on the phonograph, and loud classical music began to play. The rest of the soldiers spread themselves around the underground room, disporting themselves by playing with the various objects left in the bunker, which looked as if it had been occupied very recently.

Kata kunci dalam paragraf terakhir:

  • Disporting: hal berkaitan dengan memainkan alat olahraga
  • Bunker: tempat persembunyian
  • Occupied: kerap digunakan

Terlihat dari penjelasan kata kunci di atas, bahwa jika ada kata yang tidak familiar bisa kamu pahami dengan cara melihat konteks. Kalimat yang ada sebelum dan sesudahnya juga bisa menjadi petunjuk. Selamat berlatih!

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