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外人?

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外人?

Postby arlam110 » Sat 03.25.2006 7:38 am

Does the term "外人" imply any negative meaning?
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RE: 外人?

Postby Sukebe Uchuujin » Sat 03.25.2006 8:52 am

がいじん is a contraction of がいこくじん as i understand it......
There are those that will argue that its just the word for foreigner.....
And those that will say that it conveys a subtle negative connotation, of the kind, NOT japanese and therefore an outsider.......
My feeling would be that it depends on the situation, the tone of voice used and the person saying it...........
Though im quite sure there are more knowledgeable people here who can provide better evidence and background than me.......
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RE: 外人?

Postby TrilinguisT » Sat 03.25.2006 6:16 pm

hmm.... i think alien san is right. though nobody should really take offence to it, it does mean foreigner. i for one, am a foreigner to the land of the rising sun, so i dont mind really, but if i was to be looked upon becuase of that ... we're prolly gonna have some fists rollin'. :D J/k!!
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RE: 外人?

Postby Harisenbon » Sat 03.25.2006 8:19 pm

. though nobody should really take offence to it


Yeah, resident aliens in my home country don't get pissed off when I yell out "hey! foreigner!" either. :|

It all depends on context, but in standard conversation 外人 is generally not considered rude by most people. However, if a public official said 外人, I think a lot of people might get upset. If you're trying to be polite, don't use the contraction, and be sure to say 外国人
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RE: 外人?

Postby keatonatron » Sun 03.26.2006 12:01 am

TrilinguisT wrote:
though nobody should really take offence to it


There are people who take offence to it... kind of. Way back when I was first studying, I was in Japan with a friend of mine, and as we were talking to some restaraunt employee in Japanese we were refered to as "gaijin". Afterwards my friend commented on it, "Oh man, I can't believe he said gaijin and not gaikokujin... that's so insulting!"

I think the biggest thing, is the relation to そと (外) and うち (内). For those of you who don't know, those are the words often used in Japanese to describe one's social circle--social groups in Japan are VERY important, and those that are in your group are considered うち, and those that are not are そと (外). Groups include your family, your work, your school (class), and even clubs you may be apart of. There is much loyalty amongst Japanese for their circles, and it is very common for people to seem to not care about anyone who is outside of that circle. (An example I heard was a young man sitting on a crowded train--when an old woman gets on and has to stand, the man pretends to not notice her, but when a high-up from his company gets on, he jumps to his feet and offers the seat to his superior. More than just "sucking up," this shows respect and allegiance to one's own social group)

外国人 (がいこくじん) is the most "politically correct" word, (meaning person of another country), and is what I use most of the time. The problem with 外人, is that is simply means "outside person," which doesn't specify that their "outsideness" only relates to their country of origin. Instead, it sounds like they are a person outside of one's social circle, like the old woman on the train. To be called 外人 by everyone, even one's friends, can make one feel like they don't belong anywhere, and no matter how long they live in Japan, how well they speak Japanese, how much accustomed to Japanese life they become, they will never be apart of any Japanese social circle.
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RE: 外人?

Postby nihongozuki » Tue 04.11.2006 4:41 am

I believe 外人 means simply a Caucasian 外国人. Or alternatively, a non-Asian 外国人.
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RE: 外人?

Postby Mukade » Tue 04.11.2006 6:37 am

nihongozuki wrote:
I believe 外人 means simply a Caucasian 外国人. Or alternatively, a non-Asian 外国人.


No, this refers to all people of non-Japanese descent, incuding second- and third-generation Japanese born and raised abroad.

There have been a couple of crimes recently where children were murdered, and the press was quick to point out that they were both committed by 外人. In one case, it was a Chinese woman who was married to a Japanese man, and in the other case it was a man of Japanese descent born and raised in Peru, I believe.

The Japanese love to pin crimes and crime waves on foreigners...
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RE: 外人?

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 04.11.2006 9:49 pm

I believe 外人 means simply a Caucasian 外国人. Or alternatively, a non-Asian 外国人.


Just for reference, a white person is 白人, and a black person is 黒人 Asians are grouped together in アジア人.

A Japanese person who was born in Japan, lived abroad and came back to Japan is a 帰国子女 (きこくしじょ)
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RE: 外人?

Postby PandanoTake » Tue 04.11.2006 10:22 pm

When foreigners go to Japan, Japanese people think "This person doesn't act Japanese or practice Japanese customs, etc." So they call them a gaijin. However, from my experience, this is not very common and a lot of Japanese don't even know the word. However, after a little while, the gaijin thing will wear off. America does this as well, computer people will know this as n00bs, school people will know this as "foreign exchange student", etc.
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RE: 外人?

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 04.11.2006 11:30 pm

So they call them a gaijin. However, from my experience, this is not very common and a lot of Japanese don't even know the word.


You lead a very sheltered life. ;)
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RE: 外人?

Postby PandanoTake » Wed 04.12.2006 12:08 am

Harisenbon wrote:
So they call them a gaijin. However, from my experience, this is not very common and a lot of Japanese don't even know the word.


You lead a very sheltered life. ;)

hmm...let's see...how about iie? Yeah I think that works.
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RE: 外人?

Postby Mukade » Wed 04.12.2006 12:27 am

PandanoTake wrote:
However, from my experience...a lot of Japanese don't even know the word.


Every Japanese person knows this word. There is no question about this.


PandanoTake wrote:However, after a little while, the gaijin thing will wear off.


When you becomes friends with people, they typically will not call you gaijin to your face (like, 'so, gaijin, what do you want to do today?') - that would be the penultimate insult.

But there are still plenty of instances when people who know you quite well will refer to you as gaijin. I have a co-worker, in fact, whom I've worked with for almost three years now, who referred to me as gaijin just the other day ('so, does the gaijin teacher know he's proctering an exam today?').

In any other instance she would refer to her other co-workers respectfully as '____sensei,' but I became 'the gaijin.' It is this sort of usage that is the most insulting, in my instance. She uses everyone elses name, but not mine. Why not? It's very simple, really.

Racism.
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RE: 外人?

Postby Harisenbon » Wed 04.12.2006 12:43 am

hmm...let's see...how about iie? Yeah I think that works.


That doesn't even make sense. :/

Anyhow, as Mukade pointed out, I don't think that there is a Japanese person over the age of 10 (and I'm being generous with that estimate) who doesn't know the word 外人. If you had Japanese friends tell you that people don't know that word, I think they are just trying to shelter you from it. ;)

I was called a gaijin by my mother in law the other week, because she honestly didn't know that it had a negative connotation. People know it, people use it. しょうがない.
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RE: 外人?

Postby PandanoTake » Wed 04.12.2006 1:50 am

I was in Tokyo and a lot of adults knew it, but most teenagers didn't. Then I went to Sapporo and Otaru and barely anyone had even heard of the word, they did say Gaigokujin, but not for the purpose people use Gaijin.
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RE: 外人?

Postby TrilinguisT » Wed 04.12.2006 2:20 am

Harisenbon wrote:
I believe 外人 means simply a Caucasian 外国人. Or alternatively, a non-Asian 外国人.


Just for reference, a white person is 白人, and a black person is 黒人 Asians are grouped together in アジア人.

A Japanese person who was born in Japan, lived abroad and came back to Japan is a 帰国子女 (きこくしじょ)


why arent asians 黄人? アジア人 sounds ridiculous.
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