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Thread: Assumptions that gaijin cannot speak Japanese (at all)

  1. #76
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studyonline
    Have you noticed that there are kinds of arts in Japan? Even for drinking tea.
    Both Chinese and Japanese people like things to be arts. We like to appriciate what we do.
    Are you implying that Western cultures do not have similar arts ? Maybe that is because you live in the US where everything is so straightforward and factual. Just look at the rules for drinking tea in the UK. They are probably as strict as the Japanese tea ceremony (and stricter than the Chinese one). Young generations tend to lose this, but there are many 'artistic' rules just to hold one's fork and knife, how to place the cover on the table, how to hold a glass of wine properly, look at it properly, smel it properly and drink it properly... It's usually not call "art" but "sciences" although it is almost exactly the same. Ikebana has an equivalent in several European countries (e.g. Austrians call it "Gebinde"). In fact, I know quite a few Japanese who are learning European-style flower arrangement (or floristry). As for ‘“¹ (shodou), there is also "calligraphy" in Europe.

    What's more, most of the so-called "Japanese arts" are actually Chinese at the origin, from ‘“¹ to •Žm“¹. Even garden landscaping in Japan was typically copied directly on China. So I find it strange that I've heard so many Japanese pride themselves (like you just did) on their "Japanese arts", when most of it is a variant on the original Chinese art. Even origami, fireworks, rice paper, or arched bridges are all of Chinese origin. This may shock the Japanese pride, but even ‰ÔŒ© (hanami, "blossom viewing") is originally from China. Ume (plum), sakura (cherry) and momo (peach), which are often described by the Japanese are typically Japanese trees (sakura is even the national symbol) were all trees indigenous to China that were imported to Japan.

    Sorry, my aim was not to offend you, but just to show you that it is all too common for Japanese people to think that their country and culture is unique, when in fact the "typically Japanese things" have equivalents, or even their origins, in other countries. This tends to get on my nerves, as for many Japanese the Western world lacks the "refinement and sensibility" of Japanese culture, just because they take the US as a model and forget about true Western culture in Europe. It's quite incredible how self-aware the Japanese can be, but how ignorant they are of the rest of the world. The main difference between Europe and Japan is that the Japanese make a lot of fuss about the few things that they define as Japanese, while most Europeans cannot even tell a fraction of their country's traditional culture or arts because they don't care.

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  2. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    In my experience, when I explained the logic of "gaikokujin" being relative to the country where one is, the Japanese understand what I mean, and even agree in principle. I am not saying that the Japanese cannot understand logic, I am saying that they prefer not to be logical by choice.
    That's also what I mean when I say they choose not to be logical. They don't waste time pondering over a definition.
    All we can do is plant the seed.
    It can indeed be a blessing, but when discussing cultural differences with non-Japanese (like we are doing), it can lead to confusion.
    I agree. That's why word choice is so important.

    What I find most interesting is that so many Japanese ask this question (rarely when first meeting someone, though. Usually when the discussion leads to it, the cherry blossom and koyo seasons being the most propitious times).
    I wish one could type intonations...I usually reply “–‘R‚ ‚è‚Ü‚·‚æ in the same way I imagine a typical Japanese would respond to the same question. I rarely get asked that, though. I WAS recently asked if we do ŒŽŒ© in America. I responded in the negative.

    Yes. Again, they 'can' understand the relativity of the term. But if you ask them directly whether the word could mean another language than Japanese or not, most have never given a good thought. It's not useful for them to wonder about that in their daily life, so they don't do it (contrarily to us who discuss it eventhough it is not "useful", just interesting or mentally stimulating ).
    Once again, all we can do is plant the seed.

    That is true. Repetition of small things with little consequence can get on one's nerves seriously in the long term.
    That's why it's so important to be able to shield yourself from them.

  3. #78
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    I WAS recently asked if we do ŒŽŒ© in America. I responded in the negative.
    I think that the Neo-pagans do. In the UK, the Neo-pagans go to ancient sites like Stonehenge and make rituals worshipping the sun and the moon at the solstices and equinoxes. It's very similar to tsukimi, which by the way is also of Chinese origin.

    I found a new game. I thought it might be amusing to quiz the Japanese about their own culture and ask them whether each "item" in the list is truly Japanese or comes from China (see above post).

  4. #79
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I think that the Neo-pagans do. In the UK, the Neo-pagans go to ancient sites like Stonehenge and make rituals worshipping the sun and the moon at the solstices and equinoxes. It's very similar to tsukimi, which by the way is also of Chinese origin.

    I found a new game. I thought it might be amusing to quiz the Japanese about their own culture and ask them whether each "item" in the list is truly Japanese or comes from China (see above post).
    Sounds interesting game!
    But I'm afraid the result would show what kind of friends/people you usually talk to...

  5. #80
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pipokun
    Sounds interesting game!
    But I'm afraid the result would show what kind of friends/people you usually talk to...
    No. I could make an online quiz in Japanese for registered Japanese members.

    But it would be too easy to cheat as I've just written this thread withh the answers.

  6. #81
    Regular Member Gaijinian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    I don't mean to sound like a parent, but you're too young to drink. If your friends are underage and drinking, that, too, is bad. If they are "of age" and letting you drink, that is irresponsible. They should not be drinking with you (in front of you) in any case. (I understand you were joking, but underage drinking is a serious topic.)
    Valid point. But yes, just a joke.
    Cannot have a drop of alcohol, especially sake (from what I have heard adout the taste...).

    Of course, if you mean ŠOl in the first sense above, that's different. But that brings up the subject of what ’‡ŠÔ you're talking about. Personally, I've never heard ŠOl clearly being used in this context.
    I usually mean “GŽ‹‚·‚ׂ«l, but I guess in a sardonic way.
    --
    Here is another intresting topic: Once I went to Belize, and obviously did not cross any ocean. I said ŠOŠC‚·‚é, but corrected myself. However, my Japanese friend told me that since Japan is an Island, is is OK to use that verb, even if it is not a "real" gaikai, but just a kokusai ryokou.

    In that same sence, it seems you could say "gaijin," and mean not Japanese. Any thoughts?
    EDIT:: (just look at my sig, I guess that involves ’‡ŠÔ, which is a relative term, like you said...)

    _____

    All that talk about kokugo
    But, is the same thing true in Chinese? No, I think ‘语iš Œêj=•’Ê话i•’ʘbj, China's offical language, no matter where you say it... But I'm not sure...
    Last edited by Gaijinian; Oct 9, 2005 at 01:43.
    ‚±‚ê‚©‚ç‚àâ‘Ί撣‚é`

  7. #82
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I am someone who likes to analyse things, and reflect about what people say and how they behave. Not everyone is like me (few people are, I think), but one cannot change personality or sensitivity just like that because it would make life in Japan easier.



    Don't you find this amazing ? It may be difficult for native English speakers to imagine what foreign language to speak to a foreigner. But I have grown up in several non-English speaking countries, and never did anyone try by default to speak English with someone, even if they knew for sure they were foreigners. It's something the Japanese do, and I cannot understand why in my or your case, it takes them so long to understand that just speaking normally in their mother tongue is the easiest way to communicate. It's usually fairly evident after a few seconds of conversation between 2 people which language works best. Maybe that's again the lack of critical sense. They can't judge things like that by themselves (well, some do, but as you said they are exceptions).
    My experience has been certainly that the vast majority of Japanese will prefer their native language but for those parts I have difficulty with, instead of speaking more slowly or trying a simpler explanation they immediately revert to English. When I reply in Japanese and they get it, they will revert back. It's almost as logical as asking a station master an involved series of questions on the line I need to take with all the transfers and having them respond by typing in the platform number on their calculator. It could be a lack of critical thinking or simply a misguided understanding of how to avoid embarrassing a foreigner.

  8. #83
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    When I went on a sightseeing tour in Shanghai with a Japanese group, I couldn't help noticing that eventhough they were in China, they called the Chinese gaijin. I have heard Japanese in Europe refer to locals as 'gaijin'. So the term does not change in function of the environment. Logically, the 'outsiders' or 'foreigners' are those who do not live in the country. But it is so deeply rooted in the Japanese mind, that where ever on earth, anyone that isn't or does not look Japanese is always a 'gaijin'. I asked my wife : "Aren't we the gaijin here in China ?", but she wasn't too sure. Although it sounded logical, she understood why other Japanese referered to locals as 'gaijin'. That is one of the thing that make me believe that the Japanese are not linguistically logical people.
    If she wasn't confident one way or the other, maybe gaijin or gaikokujin is really is losing some of the old Žc‚Á‚Ä‚¢‚é‹^Š´‚ÆŒy‚ׂ nuance.

    Ú‚µ‚¢Ž–î‚Í‚í‚©‚è‚Ü‚¹‚ñ‚ªA“ú–{Œê‚¾‚Á‚½‚炱‚ñ‚ÈŠ´ ‚¶‚Å‚µ‚傤B

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Are you implying that Western cultures do not have similar arts ? Maybe that is because you live in the US where everything is so straightforward and factual.
    No. Not implying. And your guess for my choice in living in the U.S. is wrong, too. I never gave you my reason of the choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Even garden landscaping in Japan was typically copied directly on China. So I find it strange that I've heard so many Japanese pride themselves (like you just did) on their "Japanese arts", when most of it is a variant on the original Chinese art.
    If I was so prideful, I would never mention China.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Sorry, my aim was not to offend you, but just to show you that it is all too common for Japanese people to think that their country and culture is unique, when in fact the "typically Japanese things" have equivalents, or even their origins, in other countries. This tends to get on my nerves, as for many Japanese the Western world lacks the "refinement and sensibility" of Japanese culture, just because they take the US as a model and forget about true Western culture in Europe. It's quite incredible how self-aware the Japanese can be, but how ignorant they are of the rest of the world.
    It does not offend me at all, don't worry. Again, if I really thought all those arts are unique, I would never mention China and Chinese culture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    The main difference between Europe and Japan is that the Japanese make a lot of fuss about the few things that they define as Japanese, while most Europeans cannot even tell a fraction of their country's traditional culture or arts because they don't care.
    If they don't care, then how can they even understand the spirit of arts? uS‹Zˆê‘́v@or u¸_“ˆêv@are often quoted ŽlŽšnŒê for the spirit of martial arts as well as other Japanese arts. People in China and Japanese do work hard when they are serious. ˆê¶Œœ–½ spirit is not something you can take lightly. I do not think or mock other cultures, but I just simply said that that was way of life in Japanese culture (or used to be). By the way, in case you didn't know I am half Chinese (Taiwanese). Your guessing that I was neglecting of the knowledge on Chinese culture is wrong.

  10. #85
    Regular Member Gaijinian's Avatar
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    I think Maciamo meant Japanese people in general; don't take it personally, studyonline-san.

  11. #86
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    As I'll restate below, I believe that Mikawa Ossan has helped to prove my point. That said, I will now give a more detailed explanation of what I was talking about in my previous post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    Let me illustrate more specifically how I expain the concept of foreigness to Japanese, many of whom have never given the issue a single thought. I find that lack of thought to be a blessing in a way. But I digress.
    And we use words in English without giving them a second thought all the time too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    Let's take the term ‘Œê. Anyone worth his salt knows that ‘Œê and “ú–{Œê are not the same thing. ‘Œê, in its most basic meaning, is the native language of a given country. Or more accurately, [‚»‚̍‘‚É‚¨‚¢‚ÄŒö“I‚È‚à‚Ì‚Æ‚³‚ê‚Ä‚¢‚錾ŒêB@‚»‚̍‘ ‚ÌŒö—pŒêBŽ©‘‚ÌŒ¾ŒêB] (Quote from LŽ«‰‘A5th ed.) When a Japanese says ‘Œê, they are referring to Ž©‘‚ÌŒ¾Œê, or the language of one's own country. Namely, Japanese. They would most likely not ever think of using it in terms of any other language.
    I understand that, and that's why I said "one of its meanings is 'Japanese.'" In America, when someone says "for mother and country," does it ever occur to anyone what country they may be talking about? When an American isn't in America and says the same thing, does it make anyone wonder if they're talking about whatever country they're in? This does depend slightly on context, of course. If it follows a Japanese person talking about Japan and being willing to sacrifice for it, then if an American uttered said phrase, "country" would most certainly mean Japan. But an American just saying "for mother and country" without context showing otherwise would most certainly mean "for mother and America." Notice my argument here isn't that "country"="America."

    Do Japanese people always use ‘Œê to mean "Japanese?" I'm sure they don't, but I'd bet that most of the time, especially without specific and extraordinary context, they do. Apparently you think so too, since you said "they would most likely not ever think of using it in terms of any other language."

    According to the VŠ¿Œê—Ñ, under the entry ‘ is this listing, which is marked as being used in Japan only: ‚­‚ɁB‚킪‘B“ú–{Bu‘Œêvu‘•¶v(the bold typeface is not my own | the word appears that way in the dictionary). So there it's explicitly stated that the kanji can, on its own, mean Japan. A good example of this is ‘Žš. Is there ever a doubt in anyone's mind when they hear this word which country is under discussion?

    Back to ‘Œê: quoting from the –¾‹¾‘ŒêŽ«“T, I get i‚Pj‚»‚ꂼ‚ê‚̍‘‚ŁA‹¤’ÊŒê‚Ü‚½‚ÍŒö—pŒê‚Æ‚µ‚ÄŽg‚Á ‚Ä‚¢‚錾ŒêBi‚Qj“ú–{ŒêBi‚Rj“ú–{Œê‚Ì—‰ðE•\Œ» ‚È‚Ç‚ðŠwK‚·‚éAŠwZ‚Ì‹³‰ÈB‘Œê‰ÈBThe ‘厫—Ñ has this to say:

    Quote Originally Posted by ‘厫—Ñ
    ‚±‚­‚² 0 y‘Œêz

    i‚Pj‘‰Æ‚ðŒ`¬‚·‚鐬ˆõ‚ªŽ©‘Œê‚Æ‚µ‚ÄŽg—p‚µA‹¤’Ê ŒêEŒö—pŒê‚Æ‚È‚Á‚Ä‚¢‚錾ŒêB
    i‚QjiŽ©‘Œê‚Æ‚µ‚Ắj“ú–{ŒêB
    i‚RjŠ¿ŒêEŠO—ˆŒê‚ɑ΂µ‚āA“ú–{ŒÅ—L‚ÌŒêB˜aŒêB‚â ‚Ü‚Æ‚±‚Ƃ΁B
    i‚SjŠwZ‹³ˆç‚Ì‹³‰È‚̈êBu‘Œê‰Èv‚É“¯‚¶B
    u\‚ÌŽö‹Æv
    i‚Tj‘–¼i•Ê€ŽQÆjB
    Also from the –¾‹¾‘ŒêŽ«“T, I get this definition for ‘ŒêŠw, which I think proves my point further: “ú–{Œê‚ð‘ΏۂƂµA“ú–{Œê‚̉¹‰CE•¶ŽšEŒêœbE•¶–@E •¶‘Ì‚È‚Ç‚ð’ÊŽž“IE‹¤Žž“I‚ÉŒ¤‹†‚·‚éŠw–âB“ú–{ŒêŠwB Additionally, from the ‘厫—Ñ I get this:

    Quote Originally Posted by ‘厫—Ñ
    ‚±‚­‚²-‚ª‚­ 3 y‘ŒêŠwz

    Œ¾ŒêŠw‚̈ꕪ–ì‚Æ‚µ‚āA‘Œêi‚Qj‚·‚È‚í‚¿“ú–{Œê‚ðŒ¤‹†‘ΏۂƂ·‚éŠw–âB“ú–{Œê‚̉¹‰CE ŒêœbE•¶–@“™‚ÌŒ¾Œê—v‘fA‚¨‚æ‚Ñ‚»‚ê‚ç‚Ì—ðŽj‚â’nˆæ· ‚Æ‚µ‚Ä‚Ì•ûŒ¾A•¶Žš‚¨‚æ‚Ñ•¶‘̂Ȃǂɂ‚¢‚ÄŒ¤‹†‚·‚éB
    Note that in both of these the sense of ‘Œê is explicitly stated as being Japanese. Applying this to ŠO(‘)l doesn't require a leap in logic in my mind. In fact, I'll quote from the ‘厫—Ñ again:

    Quote Originally Posted by ‘厫—Ñ
    ‚ª‚¢‚±‚­-‚¶‚ñ@‚®‚í‚¢\ 4 yŠO‘lz

    i‚Pj‘¼‚̍‘‰Æ‚̐l–¯BŠOlBˆÙ‘lB
    Ì“à‘l
    i‚Qj“ú–{‚̍‘Ð‚ð‚à‚½‚È‚¢ŽÒB–@—¥ã‚Ì’nˆÊ‚ÍŒ´‘¥‚Æ ‚µ‚Ä“ú–{l‚Æ“¯ˆê‚Å‚ ‚邪AŽQ­Œ Ez‹ÆŠ—LŒ Eo“ü ‘‚ȂǁAŒö–@ãEŽ„–@ã‚ÌŒ —˜‚𐧌À‚³‚ê‚Ä‚¢‚éB

    ‚ª‚¢‚¶‚ñ@‚®‚í‚¢\ 0 yŠOlz
    i‚PjŠO‘lB
    u\‘IŽèvu\•æ’nv
    i‚Qj“à—Ö‚Å‚È‚¢lB‘¼lBŠO•”‚̐lB
    u\‚à‚È‚«Š‚É•º‹ï‚ð‚Æ‚Æ‚Ì‚Ö/•½‰Æ 1v
    Since we're on definitions, Ifd like to quote from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary:

    Quote Originally Posted by Merriam-Websterfs Online Dictionary
    Main Entry: forEeignEer
    Pronunciation: 'for-&-n&r, 'faNr-
    Function: noun
    1 : a person belonging to or owing allegiance to a foreign country
    2 chiefly dialect : one not native to a place or community : STRANGER 1c
    According to this definition, it is highly likely that an American can be in a foreign country and still consider the inhabitants "foreign," because technically they are. They belong to or owe allegiance to a foreign country. Does that mean that Americans would lack a notion of relativity or linguistic logic if they thought about it this way? I think that using "foreigner" to describe an inhabitant of a foreign country, no matter where the speaker is, is perfectly legitimate, because from the relative viewpoint of the speaker, the inhabitant is still "a person belonging to or owing allegiance to a foreign country." That is, the American identifies himself with America, and all other countries are foreign. Where the American is has no bearing on that, unless he has assimilated into the once foreign culture, which would make that culture familiar, thus not foreign. The issue of whether or not it is used that way is one of pragmatics and perspective, and not a language's speaker's ability to use logic.

    In my mind it's perfectly fine for Japanese people to think of ‘ as Japan when not marked otherwise. It's probably a narrowing of the original term, but then again when we say "deer" in English we donft mean "animal," but a specific animal. The same is true for "affection" not meaning "emotion" anymore, but a specific emotion. More recently, "gay" isn't generally used to mean "happy" anymore. The process is called specification, and is one of the processes of semantic change.

    Furthermore, it seems that the first dictionary entry shows the original sense of the word, while the latter definitions show the more current and widely used sense of the word. For example, look at "enormity," "gay," and "comprise." These are three examples where the original meaning comes first, and the newer meanings after. Youfll notice that under both the ‘Œê and ŠO(‘)l headwords the "Japanese" versions come second, third, etc.

    One may not like this process, or think that it is generated by the lack of reasoning power of the speakers of a language, but this is common in all languages, so it isn't fair to single out the Japanese in this regard, if in fact anyone is.

    I realize that I've jumped back and forth between ‘Œê and ŠO(‘)l here, but I believe that they are closely enough related that my point won't get lost in my doing so. After all, the main point is about the ‘ part of the words, so I believe I'm justified in a little jumping around between them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    But we foreigners can do so quite easily, as long as you qualify it by stating something like, uŽ„‚̍‘‚̍‘Œêv, when referring to your own language in the same sense that Japanese generally do when they speak of Japanese ‘Œê. To be more specific, the subject at school. (For my purposes here, before university, but I can make the case for University as well. It's just longer.)
    Yes, but you mark it with Ž„‚̍‘‚Ì, and that is what sets it apart.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I agree with that. I noticed that the Chinese also use ‘Œê to mean Chinese.
    Yes, but it more specifically means Taiwanese Mandarin. That's context dependent, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    When talking about my schooling in my country (in Japanese), I used the word ‘Œê to refer to my mother-tongue's classes, and they never assumed that it meant Japanese.
    I can see that, because you are obviously not Japanese, and there was most likely lexical context (alongside the visual and historical context) that showed you weren't talking about Japanese. But I get the feeling that when you say ‘Œê to refer to your •ê‘Œê, the Japanese think of it as ŠO‘Œê (or maybe your •ê‘Œê, but either way not as ‘Œê as they think of it). When you used the word I'd guess they were taken aback at first, and then figured that you weren't talking about Japanese, unless you set it up as such. If you haven't already, ask them about that. I'd be curious to know whether I'm close on this one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    Just as Japanese do not learn “ú–{Œê , but rather ‘Œê at school, people where I grew up did not learn English (in the sense that English is taught in say Japan), but rather ‘Œê. In this sense, it's American ‘Œê or American English. Since Japanese lump the Japanese grammar, vocabulary, kanji, and literature that they learned at school into the term ‘Œê, I do the same for the English grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and literature that I learned at school.
    Right. In elementary/primary/grammar school we learn "language" (or at least I did). Funny, too, that we even use "grammar" to refer to elementary educational institutes, don't you think? Perhaps we aren't so logical, because certainly we don't just learn grammar at that stage or at those types of schools.

    Anyway, my point wasn't that ‘Œê=“ú–{Œê so much as it is used to mean “ú–{Œê quite extensively, as you pointed out. The only difference between the two terms is the inclusion of literature in the former, which would account for why ‘Œê is the term for the school subject and not just the language, but still they usually mean Japanese language and literature when they say it. That was my point in bringing it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    I don't know whether I conveyed what I wanted to say clearly or not, but every single I put the concept of ‘Œê in these terms in Japanese, every single person understood what I meant the first time around.

    So you see, Japanese people can understand the relativity of the term ‘Œê; it's just a matter that they never have to in their daily lives. Still, it's one of those concepts that makes perfect sense once one has been told correctly.
    I never doubted that they could understand it, or that it could be used that way.

    I think the issue here is one of pragmatics over linguistic logic. After all, we use many words in English that don't necessarily mean what they logically should. Does that make us all idiots? If you think so, then be careful the next time you use the word "autopsy" to refer to an examination of a dead body. How logical is it for a corpse to examine itself? Similarly, using "self-study" to refer to studying on your own is illogical.

    My main point was not to say that either ‘Œê or ŠO(‘)l can't refer to languages other than Japanese or the Japanese people, respectively, but that it doesn't in general use, and that they don't violate the parts of the words in doing so. I see a huge difference there, and it doesnft involve the lack of the Japanese people's ability to use logic or think relatively.

    So finally, I stand by my statement that it's perfectly legitimate for Japanese people to refer to people who aren't Japanese as ŠO(‘)l, and that it doesn't violate the meanings of the parts of the word, and also that it doesn't indicate a lack of logical thinking ability on the part of the Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijinian
    But, is the same thing true in Chinese? No, I think ‘Œêiš Œêj=•’ʘbi•’ʘbj, China's offical language, no matter where you say it... But I'm not sure...
    No. •’ʘb is the standard language, which is based on the Beijing pronunciation scheme (although not quite the same -- it gets complicated). ‘Œê refers to the Taiwanese standard of Mandarin.
    Last edited by Glenn; Oct 9, 2005 at 19:18. Reason: had the opposite meaning of what I wanted

  12. #87
    Regular Member Gaijinian's Avatar
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    What do we have here?
    From Glenn's post,
    ŠO‘l
    ‚Qj“ú–{‚̍‘Ð‚ð‚à‚½‚È‚¢ŽÒB
    Maybe I was not so far off?
    --
    I think since non-Japanese cannot speak Japanese (as far as they are concerned; which is probably not too far...), the speaker is implied to be Japanese, and the ’‡ŠÔ refers to the speaker of The Japanese language(=The Japanese people). Same general idea for "gaikai."
    Last edited by Gaijinian; Oct 9, 2005 at 10:06.

  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijinian
    What do we have here?
    From Glenn's post,
    ŠO‘l
    ‚Qj“ú–{‚̍‘Ð‚ð‚à‚½‚È‚¢ŽÒB
    Maybe I was not so far off?
    It really does totally depend on the situation and context. If I were with a Japanese person who referred to me as "gaijin" as a reason I couldn't speak Japanese, that is the obvious usage. If I were with them in a neutral European third-country and my "gaijin" status is a reflection of my not being familar with local customs, obviously it has nothing to do with being Japanese and applies equally to the both of us as well as, from our perspectives, the nationals of that country for not being American or Japanese. At least that is the logical extrapolation from the English understanding of a 'foreigner.'@

    The most interesting question is what circumstances a Japanese person would use giajin or gaikokujin in relation to themselves.

    ŠOl‚́w‚æ‚»ŽÒx‚Æ‚¢‚¤‚悤‚ÈŠ´‚¶‚ðŽ‚Á‚Ä‚¢‚é‚Ì‚Å‹ï ‘Ì“I‚É
    ‘Ð‚ð•\‚·Œ¾—t‚ðŽg‚¤‚Ù‚¤‚ª–³“ï‚Å‚·‚ˁB

  14. #89
    Regular Member Gaijinian's Avatar
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    Elizabeth, you lived in Japan, right? Since I don't have any "real" experience, I cannot say for sure, but it seems "gaikokujin" is almost never used.

    Heh, I'm so out of the loop... Even though I have decent Japanese, it is, along with any cultural knowledge, entirely "—m»˜a" and "ŒoŒ±‚Ɋ‚¸," if you know what I mean...

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    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gaijinian
    Elizabeth, you lived in Japan, right? Since I don't have any "real" experience, I cannot say for sure, but it seems "gaikokujin" is almost never used.

    Heh, I'm so out of the loop... Even though I have decent Japanese, it is, along with any cultural knowledge, entirely "—m»˜a" and "ŒoŒ±‚Ɋ‚¸," if you know what I mean...
    Gaikokujin is probably more common, mostly used in business or legal contexts and more polite than gaijin which is why you don't see it around here.

    ˆÈ‘OA“Œ‹ž‚Ì“ú–{ŒêŠwZ‚Å‚Rƒ–ŒŽŠÔ‚Ù‚Úƒz[ƒ€ƒXƒeƒC‚µ‚Ä’Ê‚Á‚½‚¾‚¯‚Å‚·‚æB
    ‚µ‚©‚µA–ˆ“ú‚̂悤‚É“ú–{l‚Ì—F’B‚Æ’‚邵Aˆê”N‚T| ‚U‰ñ“ú–{‚֍s‚Á‚½‚è‚·‚é‚悤‚É‚µ‚Ä‚¢‚Ü‚·B

    ‚ª‚ñ‚΂Á‚ĕ׋­‚µ‚悤‚ÆŽv‚¤‹CŽ‚¿‚ª‚ ‚é‚̂ŁA‚¢‚‚© Ž©‘R‚ɘb‚¹‚é‚悤‚É‚È‚é‚ÆŽv‚¢‚Ü‚·B

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    Hello, again! I'm getting to really like Glenn!
    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    And we use words in English without giving them a second thought all the time too.
    Actually, I was referring to the fact that Japanese people in general don't seem to think about what foreigness is in the abstract sense. At this particular point in time, I was not intending to limit this idea to the concrete word ŠOl. Notice that I was not making a value judgement and I did not exclude non-Japanese specifically. This is off-topic, but I personally that most people have never thought about the abstract concept of foreigness because for the vast majority of people, it's just not pertinent.

    I agree with Glenn's statement 100%, but it actually adresses a slightly different point.

    But an American just saying "for mother and country" without context showing otherwise would most certainly mean "for mother and America." Notice my argument here isn't that "country"="America."
    Do Japanese people always use ‘Œê to mean "Japanese?" I'm sure they don't, but I'd bet that most of the time, especially without specific and extraordinary context, they do. Apparently you think so too, since you said "they would most likely not ever think of using it in terms of any other language."
    We acrtually disagree much less than you might think.

    First of all, my point is that the possibility of using the term ‘Œê to refer to anything other than Japanese inherently exists withing the meaning of the term itself. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Almost all Japanese people seem to have no consciousness of this existance, and therefore "would most likely not ever think of using it" in such a way. But this is not just confined to the utterence of the word by Japanese people, but also should they hear it uttered by a non-Japanese to refer to the native language of said non-Japanese utterer.

    I say this because in every case when I have said ‘Œê without specific context, the Japanese person I'm talking to has instantly assumed that I'm talking about Japanese ‘Œê without exception. For example, uŠw¶‚Ì‚±‚ë‚Å‚«‚邾‚¯‘Œê‚ÌŽö‹Æ‚ð”ð‚¯‚½‚ñ‚¾‚æ‚ˁv . The response I would almost inevitably receive is something like, "What are you talking about? You don't learn kokugo in America!" (What do you think is meant here? Japanese ‘Œê of course.) If I then explain in something like the following terms,

    ‚¾‚Á‚āA–{—ˆA‘Œê‚Á‚āA‚Ç‚¤‚¢‚¤‚±‚Æ‚È‚ñ‚¾‚낤H‚» ‚̍‘‚ÌŒ¾—t‚Ì‚±‚Æ‚¾‚낤‚ˁB‚½‚Ü‚½‚Ü“ú–{‚Å‚ÌŒ¾—t‚Í“ú –{Œê‚¾‚©‚çˆê”Ê“I‚É‚»‚ê‚ð‘Œê‚Æ‚¢‚¤‚ñ‚¾‚¯‚ǁA‰´‚̍‘ ‚ÌŒ¾—t‚Í“ú–{Œê‚¶‚á‚È‚­‚ĉpŒê‚¾‚©‚çAƒAƒƒŠƒJl‚Ì—§ ê‚©‚猩‚é‚ƉpŒê‚ª‘Œê‚¶‚á‚È‚¢‚©H

    they'll understand.

    However, I found that a much more natural and efficient way to speak is to say something like ƒAƒƒŠƒJ‚̍‘Œê‚ÌŽö‹Æ. Often the conversation takes a brief pause as my Japanese counterpart contemplates that statement for a moment, but then always seems convinced without explanation.

    So basically I think that the occurence of a Japanese person using ‘Œê to mean something other than Japanese, although not nonexistant, happens so infrequently that it approaches zero.

    But the posibility that it can be used in such a way exists. That is what is important.
    According to the VŠ¿Œê—Ñ, under the entry ‘ is this listing, which is marked as being used in Japan only:

    ‚­‚ɁB‚킪‘B“ú–{Bu‘Œêvu‘•¶v

    (the bold typeface is not my own | the word appears that way in the dictionary). So there it's explicitly stated that the kanji can, on its own, mean Japan.
    Note that I never once disagreed with your stating that ‘ can refer to Japan specifically. However, I would argue that that is relative, also. Once again, I quote LŽ«‰‘(5th ed.)
    Quote Originally Posted by LŽ«‰‘
    y‘Žšz‚±‚­‚¶
    ‡@‚»‚̍‘‚̍‘Œê‚ð•\‹L‚·‚邽‚ß‚Ì•¶ŽšB‚Ü‚½A‚»‚̍‘‚Å ŒöŽ®‚ɍ̗p‚³‚ê‚Ä‚¢‚镶ŽšB
    ‡A“ú–{‚Ì•¶ŽšB‚©‚ȁB
    ‡B“ú–{‚ōì‚ç‚ꂽŠ¿ŽšBuåi‚³‚©‚«jvu’ҁv‚̗ށB ˜aŽšB@ƒ„Š¿Žš
    Although given the context, usually meaning 2 and especially 3 is meant, given the same reasoning as I applied to ‘Œê, Japanese people can easily understand ‘Žš used in a context other than referring to Japanese.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    Back to ‘Œê
    I don't thing your examples using ‘Œê definitions help or harm your case in any way whatsoever.

    Your next point was interesting, however.
    Also from the –¾‹¾‘ŒêŽ«“T, I get

    this definition for ‘ŒêŠw, which I think proves my point further: “ú–{Œê‚ð‘ΏۂƂµA“ú–{Œê‚̉¹‰CE•¶ŽšEŒêœbE•¶–@E •¶‘Ì‚È‚Ç‚ð’ÊŽž“IE‹¤Žž“I‚ÉŒ¤‹†‚·‚éŠw–âB“ú–{ŒêŠwB Additionally, from the ‘厫—Ñ I get this:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ‘厫—Ñ
    ‚±‚­‚²-‚ª‚­ 3 y‘ŒêŠwz

    Œ¾ŒêŠw‚̈ꕪ–ì‚Æ‚µ‚āA‘Œêi‚Qj‚·‚È‚í‚¿“ú–{Œê‚ðŒ¤ ‹†‘ΏۂƂ·‚éŠw–âB“ú–{Œê‚̉¹‰CE ŒêœbE•¶–@“™‚ÌŒ¾Œê—v‘fA‚¨‚æ‚Ñ‚»‚ê‚ç‚Ì—ðŽj‚â’nˆæ· ‚Æ‚µ‚Ä‚Ì•ûŒ¾A•¶Žš‚¨‚æ‚Ñ•¶‘̂Ȃǂɂ‚¢‚ÄŒ¤‹†‚·‚éB
    I will not argue not with these definitions as put. Futher, my buddy LŽ«‰‘ states
    Quote Originally Posted by LŽ«‰‘
    ‚±‚­‚²‚ª‚­y‘ŒêŠwz‘Œê‡A‚ðŒ¤‹†‚̑ΏۂƂ·‚éŠw–âB “ú–{Œê‚̉¹‰CEŒêœbE•¶–@“™‚ɂ‚¢‚Ä—ðŽj“IE’n—“IA ‚Ü‚½‘ÌŒn“IEŒÂ•Ê“I‚ÉŒ¤‹†‚·‚éB
    Even further, LŽ«‰‘ has this to say about ŠO‘l:
    Quote Originally Posted by LŽ«‰‘
    ‚ª‚¢‚±‚­‚¶‚ñyŠO‘lz
    ‡@‚Ù‚©‚̍‘‰Æ‚̐l–¯BˆÙ‘‚̐lB
    ‡A“ú–{‚̍‘Ð‚ð—L‚µ‚È‚¢‚ЂƁB
    Oh no! Is this the end of Mikawa Ossan?

    I don't think so.

    Perhaps I was hard on Gaijinian. Perhaps I was stressing the relative ‡@ meaning of ŠO‘l too much at the expense of the stricter ‡A meaning.

    However, I did this because so many people, non-Japanese included, seem to use the gaijin moniker exclusively for non-Japanese people. It's as if Japanese people can NEVER be ŠOl or ŠO‘l. Or, put in the reverse, a non-Japanese is ALWAYS a ŠOl or ŠO‘l. Regardless of circumstances or point of view. I disagree with these premises. That is the heart of what I'm really trying to say.

    I used one extreme to fight another. I admit this freely.

  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    Hello, again! I'm getting to really like Glenn!
    Why thank you. You're not so bad yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    Actually, I was referring to the fact that Japanese people in general don't seem to think about what foreigness is in the abstract sense. At this particular point in time, I was not intending to limit this idea to the concrete word ŠOl. Notice that I was not making a value judgement and I did not exclude non-Japanese specifically. This is off-topic, but I personally that most people have never thought about the abstract concept of foreigness because for the vast majority of people, it's just not pertinent.
    I know you weren't making a value judgement. Remember my first post? My whole argument was that for a Japanese person to consider people who aren't Japanese to be ŠOl isn't a sign of illogic, but of a different perspective. I then attempted to show in my last post that we English speakers also have this problem of perspective, where we don't consider foreigners to be foreign just because we're in their country, when location doesn't really matter at all as far as the definition given by Merriam-Webster's is concerned. That is, ours is just a different way of looking at the picture; it doesn't mean that it's the right or the only way.

    Also the point that most people don't think about the abstract concept of foreigness because it's not pertinent is even more of a reason that the conclusion that Japanese people are linguistically illogical is incorrect, and that was my whole point from the outset.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    We acrtually disagree much less than you might think.
    I actually didn't think we disagreed all that much in the first place. I was mostly using what you said to show that it basically proved my point. I know it came off as looking like I was arguing against you, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    But this is not just confined to the utterence of the word by Japanese people, but also should they hear it uttered by a non-Japanese to refer to the native language of said non-Japanese utterer.

    I say this because in every case when I have said ‘Œê without specific context, the Japanese person I'm talking to has instantly assumed that I'm talking about Japanese ‘Œê without exception. For example, uŠw¶‚Ì‚±‚ë‚Å‚«‚邾‚¯‘Œê‚ÌŽö‹Æ‚ð”ð‚¯‚½‚ñ‚¾‚æ‚ˁv . The response I would almost inevitably receive is something like, "What are you talking about? You don't learn kokugo in America!" (What do you think is meant here? Japanese ‘Œê of course.)
    And that's the confirmation of this assumption:

    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    I can see that, because you are obviously not Japanese, and there was most likely lexical context (alongside the visual and historical context) that showed you weren't talking about Japanese. But I get the feeling that when you say ‘Œê to refer to your •ê‘Œê, the Japanese think of it as ŠO‘Œê (or maybe your •ê‘Œê, but either way not as ‘Œê as they think of it). When you used the word I'd guess they were taken aback at first, and then figured that you weren't talking about Japanese, unless you set it up as such. If you haven't already, ask them about that. I'd be curious to know whether I'm close on this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    So basically I think that the occurence of a Japanese person using ‘Œê to mean something other than Japanese, although not nonexistant, happens so infrequently that it approaches zero.
    This goes to show that it's inherent for Japanese people to think of themselves as an "in group" and everyone else as an "out group," which would mean that it does not logically follow that location changes the state of someone's "gaijinness." That is, they think of themselves as ‘l and everyone else is ŠO‘l, and that doesn't violate any logic. That was the point I was trying to make in the first place. It was a direct response to this statement:

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    I have heard Japanese in Europe refer to locals as 'gaijin'. So the term does not change in function of the environment. Logically, the 'outsiders' or 'foreigners' are those who do not live in the country. But it is so deeply rooted in the Japanese mind, that where ever on earth, anyone that isn't or does not look Japanese is always a 'gaijin'. I asked my wife : "Aren't we the gaijin here in China ?", but she wasn't too sure. Although it sounded logical, she understood why other Japanese referered to locals as 'gaijin'. That is one of the thing that make me believe that the Japanese are not linguistically logical people.
    My argument is that the Japanese being linguistically illogical people does not follow from the term ŠOl not changing function due to environment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    However, I did this because so many people, non-Japanese included, seem to use the gaijin moniker exclusively for non-Japanese people. It's as if Japanese people can NEVER be ŠOl or ŠO‘l. Or, put in the reverse, a non-Japanese is ALWAYS a ŠOl or ŠO‘l. Regardless of circumstances or point of view. I disagree with these premises. That is the heart of what I'm really trying to say.
    So we've been arguing about two different things. Your argument: ŠOl can mean someone who is an alien, and not just non-Japanese. My argument: Japanese people using ŠOl to refer to non-Japanese does not mean that they are linguistically illogical people.

    Also note that we have agreed through seeming disagreement that the term is relative, but that mostly it's used to refer to non-Japanese, just as ‘Œê is mostly used to refer to the Japanese language (and literature). I never argued otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    I used one extreme to fight another. I admit this freely.
    Haha, that made me laugh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glenn
    So we've been arguing about two different things. Your argument: ŠOl can mean someone who is an alien, and not just non-Japanese. My argument: Japanese people using ŠOl to refer to non-Japanese does not mean that they are linguistically illogical people.
    I was going to make a longer reply, but it all boils down to this.

    Could you imagine if I'd posted a longer reply? We could have argued past one another forever!

    Now back to the original thread...

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    I just had a horrible evening. It was pure hell, and I could only wish to express how happy I feel that now it's over. The worst part is that it really was a happy evening. I shall explain.

    One of my friends got married today. She is Japanese, of course. Her new husband is not, however. He is American, and honestly he seemed like a nice guy (I met him for the first time today.) I am truly very happy for them, and I wish them only the best for the future.

    But being American, of course all of the guests on his list were American. Most of the guests on my friend's list were young women interested in foreigners. Not a good mix for me personally. I'll spare you the details, but I felt intensely isolated from the fun.

    The only thing that gave me solace were the staff at the place. They spoke to me the same way they would have spoken to any (Japanese) guest, and I wanted to talk to them sooo much more!

    Even in this environment, the staff did not assume that I could not speak Japanese. They didn't assume that I COULD speak either, but as soon as I spoke in Japanese once, they never tried to talk to me in English again.

    So getting back in line with the original thread topic, I think that although you will meet up with people who make assumptions that you can not speak Japanese (at all) from time to time, the vast majority of average Japanese people would rather not speak English even to foreigners if they don't have to. They would much rather prefer to speak in their native tongue.

  20. #95
    ‰“‚¢‚©‚çs‚«‚Ü‚¹‚ñ GaijinPunch's Avatar
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    I disagree with you here. If we consider that one of the meanings for ‘ is "our country," that is, "Japan," then everyone else is a ŠO‘l no matter where a Japanese person is.
    I'd say "gaijin" now a term to refer to non-Japnaese (often caucasian) no matter where they. Most Japanese (that I know, including my wife) refer to Americans (here in Hawaii) as gaijin. Might have something to do w/ the fact that she doesn't like it here, and doesn't consider it her home. As for "kuni". I'm always asked by cab drivers, "‘‚Í‚Ç‚¿‚ç‚Å‚·‚©H". I guess at worst I've been asked "‘‚̓AƒƒŠƒJ‚Å‚·‚©H" I don't think anyone has ever assumed I'm American, although of course, they've assumed I speak English. Hence, I have to question the people that Maciamo surrounds himself with.

    Gaikokujin is probably more common, mostly used in business or legal contexts and more polite than gaijin which is why you don't see it around here.
    You'll never see "gaijin" used on a business form or notice of any sort. You'd need to be pretty acquainted with a person to be called so. I don't know of any gaijin that's bothered by the term, but then again, country in question is famous for non-confrontation.

  21. #96
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaijinPunch
    I guess at worst I've been asked "‘‚̓AƒƒŠƒJ‚Å‚·‚©H" I don't think anyone has ever assumed I'm American, although of course, they've assumed I speak English. Hence, I have to question the people that Maciamo surrounds himself with.
    Watch out that people who shout "Hello America !" or the like in the street are people that I don't know at all. Among those I know reasonably well, only 3 or 4 have asked me things like "How do you do in America ?" when they knew very well I was not American. But I also have a Korean friend who did the same. When I went to Shanghai (just 3 days) a person in the shop also assumed I was American. When travelling around S-E Asia, it happened a few times too that people would say "Hello America !" (especially in Thailand, which is weird as so many European tourists go there, probably much more than American ones). So it is not just a Japanese phenomon but an East Asian one. In 5 months in India, nobody ever assumed I was American...

  22. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaijinPunch
    You'll never see "gaijin" used on a business form or notice of any sort. You'd need to be pretty acquainted with a person to be called so. I don't know of any gaijin that's bothered by the term, but then again, country in question is famous for non-confrontation.
    I've said it before, but it bears repeating:

    I don't mind being referred to as "gaijin".
    I do object to being addressed as "gaijin" (or "gaijin-san").

  23. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo
    Watch out that people who shout "Hello America !" or the like in the street are people that I don't know at all.
    Just to refer a little to this and your post preceding it in which you gave the examples... There are areas in England where an Asian person (not east Asian) will get shouted at "Paki!" and other racist comments, even if they are not from Pakistan at all, and even if they have were born and raised in England and have never left its shores. I'm not saying it's exactly the same scenario, but there are similarities between these ignorant behaviours and the Japanese people who shout "Hello America!" and such at Western people. There are some areas where this is very prevalent, and some areas where it doesn't happen much at all - it is the luck of the draw. Unacceptable behaviour towards "foreigners" is of course something that happens in all countries - it just manifests itself differently.

    I am not referring here to your original irritation about the chopsticks/sushi etc. etc. questions, because that is a different... errr... kettle of fish (no pun was intented, honestly! )

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikawa Ossan
    I just had a horrible evening. It was pure hell, and I could only wish to express how happy I feel that now it's over. The worst part is that it really was a happy evening. I shall explain.
    You have my sympathy - it does sound like a totally un-fun night out. But thank goodness for the staff and their polite behaviour.

    Sorry to not comment more intelligently, but I somewhat lost the thread as I don't read Japanese.

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    Regular Member Gaijinian's Avatar
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    “ú–{l‚́gŠOlh‚É‚¾‚Ü‚µ‚ĉï˜b‚µ‚È‚¢‚Å“ú–{Œê‚ªo—ˆ ‚Ä‚¢‚È‚¢‚ÆŒˆ‚ß‚Ä‚¨‚­‚È‚ñ‚ČӖƒ‰ÙŽqiNew favorite word)‚¾I

  25. #100
    ‰“‚¢‚©‚çs‚«‚Ü‚¹‚ñ GaijinPunch's Avatar
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    Nov 25, 2004
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    Watch out that people who shout "Hello America !" or the like in the street are people that I don't know at all. Among those I know reasonably well, only 3 or 4 have asked me things like "How do you do in America ?" when they knew very well I was not American.
    Do you REALLY think this happens to all foreigners? Ever thought that maybe you're just unlucky? Even when I lived in Shizuoka, where people admitedly have much less experience with foreigners I was never said, "Hello America," by anyone. The worst was maybe some junior high school girls giggling when I walked by, or maybe a 5 year old pointing at me from across the street. For all I know my zipper was undone.

    I don't mind being referred to as "gaijin".
    I do object to being addressed as "gaijin" (or "gaijin-san").
    I would feel the same, but I've never been referred to as anything other than okyaku-san by someone I don't know, and either my name, or some jokingly derrogatory term by my friends. I've had this handle long before this board. Even then, my Japanese friends abbreviated it as "Punch" rather than "Gaijin".

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