Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

View topic - 外人 vs. 外国人

外人 vs. 外国人

Japanese, general discussion on the language

外人 vs. 外国人

Postby Deo » Sat 06.24.2006 6:14 am

So I made up some flashcards awhile back to try and enhance my vocabulary and for the word foreigner I had written : がいじん . Well now I'm starting to learn some kanji through a learning video game and the word that they keep using for foreigner is: がいこくじん .

So any preference here? I know there are other circumstances where one word is preferred because of politeness and context. Can I safely interchange these two pronunciations/Kanji without getting the evil eye or is there special circumstances for both?
Image
Deo
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 05.16.2006 3:48 pm

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby Ongakuka » Sat 06.24.2006 7:06 am

外国人 is more polite.

外人 is more casual.

That's pretty much all there is to it. You should note that "gaijin" without the "koku" could be used as an insult, however this could only really be from a Japanese person to a non-Japanese person (since it's in Japanese) so you I doubt you'd offend anyone by using it.
なぜなら、おまえは・・・・・・人形だ
User avatar
Ongakuka
 
Posts: 991
Joined: Mon 09.26.2005 1:07 pm

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby paul_b » Sat 06.24.2006 7:56 am

Ongakuka wrote:
外国人 is more polite.

外人 is more casual.

That's pretty much all there is to it.

Except that gaijin tends to be used for people that are obviously visibly foreign. (To be blunt, black or white).

See link for reference.
User avatar
paul_b
 
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby keatonatron » Sat 06.24.2006 10:03 am

There's a bit more to it than that.

Hurray for the search button!

If you see my response (4th) you'll get a bit of an understanding of why "外人" is considered quite offensive by many people.

And if that thread isn't enough reading for you, there's also this one.
Last edited by keatonatron on Sat 06.24.2006 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby Deo » Sat 06.24.2006 11:36 am

Ah a plentiful amount of info on the subject... thnx....

Lastly, is Gaijin-san the equivalent of Gaikokujin or is it still a "lower status" term? Or is Gaijin-san never ever encountered anyways? (Got it from Paul_B's link and found it to be a strange way of referring to a foreigner)
Image
Deo
 
Posts: 34
Joined: Tue 05.16.2006 3:48 pm

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby keatonatron » Sat 06.24.2006 10:53 pm

What do you think about "Mr. Foreigner"?

Gaijin-san is heard every once in a while, but it's in no way polite like gaikokujin.

Apart from showing respect, the -san ending is often used to just personify some item or concept.

For example, "pan" means bread. Add "ya" (store) to that, and you get "panya" (lit. "bread store", or bakery). Then Add "san" (Mr., person) to that, and you get "Panyasan" -- Literally "Mr. Bread Store", but in reality: "Baker".

I can't really explain what this means for gaijinsan in English... Since gaijin already refers to a person, it seems pointless to have the san. I'm guessing it could be used to differentiate from other gaijin "stuff" (services for foreigners, stores of foreigner goods, etc.), and specifically mean a gaijin person :D
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby becks23 » Sun 06.25.2006 12:18 am

I've experienced "Gaijin" in so many ways, some were rather bizarre. I spent the bulk of my time in Japan in Tokyo, ALL my friends not only knew the word Gaijin but knew where to find them easily in Tokyo(Roppongi Hills). My friends at first were scared to use that term in front of me because they thought I found it offensive. It wasn't until I explained that I was fine with it because "Technically it's true";) that they felt ok to use it in front of me. To further make them comfortable, I started a game (Count the Gaijin, person with the least drinks) and counted myself as the first Gaijin I spotted(OK unfair but still)
Another example, when I was with my friend, an American(I know this because he had a US flag pin on his shirt...he also told us) walks up to us and makes the comment "Are you a lost foreigner too??" I had a bit of a laugh then explained that I wasn't lost and that I knew Tokyo rather well. After we gave him the info he wanted he replied "どうもありがとう" and left. My friend then asked me "Why do gaijin feel it's customary to say どうも?" I explained that in most tourist books about Japan(I know this because I was given one by my mom because she felt I would be so lost in Japan without it) どうもありがとう is listed as just thank you and in saying that they are just being polite" She laughed and said "he is a very polite gaijin"
"Beckham has done it again at Old Trafford!!"
User avatar
becks23
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Tue 06.06.2006 4:54 pm

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby two_heads_talking » Mon 06.26.2006 12:57 pm

i never considered the word gaijin as offensive. as i never considered being called American offensive either.. of course, any word can be offensive depending on how it is said.. for that matter certain people i know when they say American say it with such hatred it is obvious they don't like Americans.

I put it this way. If someone is so offended by my being somewhere as to call me names, i won't even bother a retort as for one i may have misunderstood (so getting offended is just plain rude) i may have gone somewhere i should not have (and getting offended would be just plain stupid) or they meant it and getting offended would be what they wanted.. in none of those cases would i get offended.

for example i found myself in a redlight district in aizuwakamatsu and in kooriyama a few times.. and most cases, as i was just walking or riding through, i would get no attention except scowls, or some smiles.. but on a few occassions i was solicited with gaijinsama and (you are not welcome or yoru kind is not needed here ) etc. to which i would usually wave and say doumoarigato and just keep going.. i am sure i could have confronted the person who was talking but that is actually the wrong thing to do..
User avatar
two_heads_talking
 
Posts: 4137
Joined: Thu 04.06.2006 11:03 am
Native language: English

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby AJBryant » Mon 06.26.2006 2:24 pm

I can't really explain what this means for gaijinsan in English... Since gaijin already refers to a person, it seems pointless to have the san.


Which sounds more polite -- even in English:

"Hey, Foreigner!" or "Hey, Mister Foreigner!"

Hint: it's the one with the honorific.


Tony
User avatar
AJBryant
Site Admin
 
Posts: 5313
Joined: Sun 10.09.2005 11:29 am
Location: Indiana
Native language: English
Gender: Male

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby paul_b » Mon 06.26.2006 2:28 pm

AJBryant wrote:
Which sounds more polite -- even in English:

"Hey, Foreigner!" or "Hey, Mister Foreigner!"

Hint: it's the one with the honorific.

Put it like that and it's the difference between a poke in the eye with a stick and a poke in the eye with a blunt stick.

Joking aside
Since gaijin already refers to a person, it seems pointless to have the san.

As pointed out earlier in this thread (or the other one), possibly by Tony himself, "identifier+san" is a common way of addressing people in Japanese. 運転さん おまわりさん etc. gaijinsan is just an extension of that way of thinking. (Whether 'gaijin' is good or bad is an entirely different matter).
Last edited by paul_b on Mon 06.26.2006 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
paul_b
 
Posts: 3210
Joined: Thu 06.01.2006 9:35 am

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 06.26.2006 7:43 pm

I really need to stick up for Tony and the whole gaijin-san thing.

A lot of my foreign friends that I met when I first came to Japan were completely insulted by gaijin-san. One of the more beligerent fellows got into a fight with a 10 year old for being called gaijin-san.

I was talking about this to some Japanese friends, and they were surprised by my friend's reaction. What else would you use to call out to a foreigner who's name you didn't know?

You have to realize, that this is a normal way of addressing strangers in Japan. The woman on the train can be called okusan, the old lady obaasan, the person at the store tenin-san. It sounds insulting in English, because we don't have that custom, but it is completely polite in Japan.
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby texugo » Mon 06.26.2006 7:57 pm

Harisenbon wrote:
I really need to stick up for Tony and the whole gaijin-san thing.

A lot of my foreign friends that I met when I first came to Japan were completely insulted by gaijin-san. One of the more beligerent fellows got into a fight with a 10 year old for being called gaijin-san.

I was talking about this to some Japanese friends, and they were surprised by my friend's reaction. What else would you use to call out to a foreigner who's name you didn't know?


What would you call someone you didn't know who isn't a foreigner? Why should it be necessary to point out the obvious fact that someone is a foreigner unless to you it has some kind of either stigma or some kind of aura of weirdness?
texugo
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu 06.30.2005 1:54 pm

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby Schattenjedi » Mon 06.26.2006 8:11 pm

texugo wrote:
What would you call someone you didn't know who isn't a foreigner? Why should it be necessary to point out the obvious fact that someone is a foreigner unless to you it has some kind of either stigma or some kind of aura of weirdness?


Compare: pointing out the obvious fact that someone is a foreigner, an old lady, and old man.
Schattenjedi
 

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby Harisenbon » Tue 06.27.2006 1:15 am

What would you call someone you didn't know who isn't a foreigner? Why should it be necessary to point out the obvious fact that someone is a foreigner unless to you it has some kind of either stigma or some kind of aura of weirdness?


This is that whole, "It's a different culture" thing that I was talking about.
You're not pointing out the fact that they are a foreigner, you're referring to them in a way that they are sure to know that who you are talking about.

You go into a store, and you are referred to as kyakusama (customer). It's no different.
User avatar
Harisenbon
 
Posts: 2964
Joined: Tue 06.14.2005 3:24 am
Location: Gifu, Japan
Native language: (poor) English

RE: 外人 vs. 外国人

Postby keatonatron » Tue 06.27.2006 3:22 am

Harisenbon wrote:
What else would you use to call out to a foreigner who's name you didn't know?


外国の方 :D
User avatar
keatonatron
 
Posts: 4838
Joined: Sat 02.04.2006 3:31 am
Location: Tokyo (Via Seattle)
Native language: English
Gender: Male

Next

Return to Japanese General Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests