Discussion » Nonsense » Laowai´s

  • くり
    くり wrote:
    what is it all about this laowai stuff? Laowai means foreigners, that what every chinese would tell you, but in fact it is only used for white caucasian people, so is it actually more than just the chinese word for "foreigner", probably a little bit racist`?

    Whats ur opinion about that?
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    wow ... and just when you thought, things would not get any better ... hahaha ...
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    never be to optimistic 叔叔,or u could be disappointed ;)
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... let me get my pipe, and then I can watch the show :)
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    呢在北京嗎
  • Kent Løset
    Kent Løset wrote:
    it depends how you say it. Like this time when I went to Crab Island - A little 3 year old kid stared at my russian girl friend and started cry and scream "LAAAAOWAAAIIII!!!".

    I'm not saying the kid was racist - but his parent's probably were. Haha!
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Huh? Me? I think so ... let me check ...

    Oh yeah, the traffic outside looks like Beijing .. hahaha ...
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Peter, I guess you know the word for Caucasians is 白种人. I had also noticed that only non-east-asians are called laowai, but it doesn't just refer to white people. Maybe because the majority of foreigners here are white that's just the impression we get.

    I don't know why our eastern neighbors aren't laowai. I considered maybe they weren't "wai" because they have historically been a part of china (tehe), but I don't hear that claim about non-laowai Japanese very much. Also, parts of India belong to China, but Indians are still laowai.

    Maybe laowai are just people from countries that Chinese people didn't know about when they invented the word, which was coincidentally all countries where people don't look Chinese (and by this I mean oriental, and I will find and punch square in the nose anyone who complains about me using that word, because you know damn well what I mean).
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    maybe this can help?
    http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90001/90780/91345/6325229.html
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    is not racist for sure, but is quite annoying the way is used...
  • A豆腐
    A豆腐 wrote:
    i think that also has other use, in the wushu school and in other cases (but similar sport context ), i have could hear the kids using this word between them for call someone of them clumsy. when one of them does something very clumsy, then they also use this word.
    and when i think in chinese persons seeing all days foreigners trying to use the chopsticks, trying to play 乒乓 or 毽子, trying to write or speak in chinese... always triying. I can catch the meaning of amateur or clumsy.

    -dad, I play good 乒乓?
    -no son, u play like a 老外
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Haha Adolfo, I can definitely see that going on at a wushu school. They get enough terrible foreigners like us going there to practice that the two words should be synonyms.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    很無聊很暴力,I read the propaganda piece, but it totally missed the mark. It doesn't matter that 老 basically has a respectful meaning, it's the way the word is used that makes it a problem. Obviously there is nothing wrong with the word in itself; I'm sure all the colored people, China men, and Negros here will agree with me. Nothing wrong with those words either.

    In the words of the late great George Carlin, there is nothing wrong with the words in and of themselves, it's the ignorant nong who's using them that's the problem. (paraphrasing).
  • Carol King
    Carol King wrote:
    I guess the first group of foreigners came to China were white people,subsequently this word was born.You see they could not notice that there are various looking foreigners around the world at that time.BTW I think your idea about "racist" is really interesting and creative,but we have no intention of that at all;)
  • くり
    くり wrote:

    I agree that is the way it is used which is annoying and has nothing to do with racism, but much with xenophobia and even more with sinocentrism.

    I got several experiences by working in chinese companies and the last was as editor and translator (even if they wrote on my namecard Foreign Relation Department, i was just doing translations and answering the phone). After 5 months, a trip togheter to europe, having almost everyday lunching with my chinese colleague, even trying to play pingpong and made their life easy by talking in chinese with them ( was almost impossible to speak english to them), one day it comes the 3 years old kid of my boss.

    He walk inside and just runned inside the office, then the boss from the other side surrounded by my colleagues just said "oh we got also a laowai" ,like this should please or in some way be funny for the kid, and everyone says "yes yes, come to take a look to this laowai" and the lil kid was in fact a little bit scared, cause it sounds like "come take a look to the alien we caught"...

    anway this is just an episode, including a guy from xian, which calls me brother, mate, dude and so on and then when he answer the phone and calls his friend over he just refer to me as laowai.

    Not ALL chinese use the word laowai, and many when i recall this they just mark the whole like just some SB (shabi: stupid dick), but still....still

    By the way it is used not only in China, the funny(???)thing is that even abroad I can chinese people using it when refering to local people.



  • Carol King
    Carol King wrote:
    Well...... instead of laowai, which Chinese words do you prefer when Chinese people mention foreigners,just for curiosity =)

    BTW, this is the first time that I see what the exact meaning of SB is......especially "B"....XDDD
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    洋鬼子
  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    Laoqwai is not racist for me. It is a nickname for foreigners, making it sounds funnier.

    it is like 鬼佬 in Cantonese
  • Hans Christian Eriksson
    lao wai is not only used for white Caucasian. by saying this, u are being racist
  • Hans Christian Eriksson
    lao wai= foreigner= etranger= gan= o kenar= godo. calling someone a foreigner has nothing related or pertaining to racism.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    Blacky, It's not all foreigners, it's only for non-chinese looking foreigners. Of course, it is not just Caucasians. Africans, Central Asians, Indians, etc are all laowai.

    Carol King, I prefer 莫明, or if you don't know my name, 外国朋友 works too. It's pretty hard to offend by using a term that actually has a positive connotation.

    Missy, there is nothing ok about the word 鬼佬. It's basically like 黑鬼. We foreigners have co-opted it by using it to refer to ourselves in order to get along with Chinese who use it, but if you would take offense at being called a 中国鬼子, then I recommend you don't use 鬼佬 to refer to anyone you're not trying to offend.
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    is just for caucasian, and GUILAO is actually an ethnic slur, like it could be HEIGUI or so on.
    Anyway for LAOWAI is more sinocentrism than racism, and of course it depends how you use it.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Ming is 98% correct, the L word is used to address non Orientals, I am not sure what is the term for Koreans, but Japanese are often addressed as 小日本, and I myself is not comfortable with this term because one of my oldest friends is a Japanese ...

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahaha ... never heard that before, but I know that "gao li" means 高丽, equivalent to Korean ...
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    here´s a part of korean history which koreans use to forget and is when some koreans cooperated and supported Japanese government during the WWII period, in Manciuria...
    "BangZi"=stick. seems to come from that period when korean police used to be very
    harsh on Chinese people.
    Bangzi and laowai are used in a very similar way to me, but bangzi is way more offensive
  • Gabo
    Gabo wrote:
    I am caicasian and I am in Beijing already 1 year and half.I don't think so it is used just for "white caucasians"
  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:
    In most circumstances, hearing a Chinese person use 老外 (laowai) instead of 外国人 (waiguoren) would put me off speaking to that person.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Daniel ... if I may be so bold to ask, how do you feel seeing a lot of people say this word on this forum? By the way, how is your "expense control" coming along? Have you set up your own Excel to record your own, or using any of the online sites?
  • Carol King
    Carol King wrote:
    Well,it seems like many 外国朋友s are trying to force a new meaning on a Chinese word,isn't it ;)

    The word is innocent, the key is how you understand it and yourself.

    Let's turn to the solution part :)

    my suggestions: 1)open your mind 2)ask Chinese people call you as whatever you prefer

    Any comments?
  • Mia Cong
    Mia Cong wrote:
    aiya! it isn't even close to racism, who told you that is a racist! it's just a cute nickname for, like you said, Caucasian (which actually more than that =P ). man you should be bloody loving it, embrace it!
  • Mia Cong
    Mia Cong wrote:
    Carol! i'm with you sista!!
  • Daniel Westerberg
    if the person you speak to is a real racist he will call you more like yang gui zi, or hei gui or such things.. hei ren or bai ren or lao wai or wai guo ren is nothing bad.. not in my mind anyway. it's just that in the west, we are brainwashed by PC propaganda to never ever ever say the color of the skin out loud.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Like several others have said, I think it's less explicitly racist than implicitly sinocentric. Racism is just a particularly acute facet of ethnocentrism, anyway.

    Case and point: Chinese students who are studying abroad use this term to refer to the locals, even though they are the ones who are outsiders!

    I don't look at everything that deviates from the American norm as being "outside" or "alien". Similarly, the Middle Kingdom is NOT the center of the world.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Political correctness is a term used to derogate technical correctness.

    I am tired of people calling it brainwashing when it's just common courtesy to refer to people by the labels they prefer to be called, which tend to be more accurate than the ones applied by people who have been dead for a hundred years or more.

    For example, in the US, indigenous people are called Native Americans because calling them Indians is fucking retarded.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... agreed with Dando ...

    I still remember that a few years ago, I was given a name plate in the office, but some genius decided to pinyin my name instead of spelling it correctly, and when people asked why did I turn the plate facing in, I told them that this was someone else's plate ...

    So I say here ... dont "force" people to accept a name or label because you like it, instead, listen to the individual and then address appropriately, it is called "respect" ... someone likes the L word, someone dont ...
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    On the other hand, does anyone remember a few years ago when there was a news report floating around the Internet about black people vs "African Americans?" The reporter was trying hard to be PC and kept referring to people as African American despite the fact that the report was about black people in France, who clearly are not African Americans.

    It's strange that most people generally have no problem with the blanket term "Asian" referring to any east Asian person whether they are Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean, etc., even if they were born in the USA. Yet when we talk about black people, we never use the term "African" unless they are actually 1st generation African immigrants. The PC term for them, at least in America, has changed so many times... African American, black person, Negro, person of color. I don't even know what the PC term is now for people of dark skin and African descent who don't have any American ties, but I think it's just "black."

    I realize that a lot of this has to do with civil rights and how something as simple as a label can relegate millions of people into a subservient position and keep them there. A quick check at Wikipedia shows that the label "African" was abandoned because it might give ammo to segregationists or to people who wanted to repatriate them all back to Africa. The American situation is pretty unique though with the whole history of slavery and issues with black people having no way of tracing their heritage to a specific country and can only identify with the entire continent of Africa.

    But I'm way off topic now. Let's talk about Chinamen. How come no one refers to us as yellow people? I'm mildly offended by this!
  • wrote:
    Hey 兄貴, you speak Japanese, right? I think that the nuance between 老外 and 外国人is similar to がいじん (gaijin) and 外国人 (gaikokujin). Btw, most Japanese would not use gaijin in front of a caucasian.... what do you think?
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Gu:
    You Orientals are all the same. You have no appreciation for the essential decency of the white man's culture.

    Yellow has negative connotations in English and Chinese. Do you really want to be thought of as a cowardly pervert? I mean... yeah, you're a pervert, sure, but you seem pretty bold about it.

    African-Americans have a shared history of slavery that makes them culturally distinct from Africans. Even the Chinese immigrants who built the railroads weren't assimilated in quite the same way.

    That report is a pretty good example of why PC is just a way for people to cop out of being technically correct. It's quite un-PC to call a French African an African-American, as it betrays a certain amount of ethnocentrism on behalf of the American reporter. The USA isn't the only country with a population of culturally distinct black people. In spite of my ardently leftist political convictions, this kind of knee-jerk feel-good thoughtlessly casual liberalism gets under my skin as much as the next guy.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    We agreed on that "Laowai" is nothing about racism right? then what? here is the thing: laowai is a Chinese word, literally and actually with no offensive meaning. as it's a CHINESE word, it is Chinese that tell you what this word MEANS. How about if many Chinese do not like the word "China", then require all english-using people switch it to "Zhongguo" or "middle country", coz they think "oh, why our county's name is how you call cereal??? it's offensive!!" Will all english-speaking country accept it to show "respect"?

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:
    It's probably wistful nostalgia, harking back to my Guangdong days, but I prefer being referred to as a Gwai Lo (鬼佬) every time...

    Awesome term.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    I think it's ok that words like "Gwai Lo" are controversial. after all they have literally offensive

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:
    Laowai just strikes me as being less colourful when compared to Gwai lo.

    I was disappointed when people started referring to me as the former over the latter. I'm trying to get it to swing back
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Da Fan:
    But it's still sinocentric. China isn't in the middle of the world. And I think you're overestimating our intelligence if you think we can pronounce pinyin in a way that would not offend your ears. It took me a little while to realize the "zh" is pronounced more like an English "j".

    As mentioned earlier, English speakers are quite used to making similar concessions in their own language. Hence why we don't call you chinamen and orientals, unless we're taking the piss.

    Admittedly, English names for most countries are fucked up and stupid labels assigned by rich imperialist swine. I think we stick with them because we'd butcher the pronunciation if we tried to use the native words.

    Anyway, that's something John Gwar would have to bring up at the United Nations first.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    @Dando. I agree that it's sort of sinocentric, however, I still cannot figure out what the most proper term should be or we should use. Since China is not a immigrant country, there are always "中" and "外", and if I cannot use "老外" anymore, I should also abandon words containing the character "外"and equivalents right? eg"外国人", "洋人". Then what's your suggestion? If I meet a group of guys come from somewhere other than China, I dont know their names, which country they come from, which word I should use referring them? of coz I cannot say anything related to their skin color, then what? ahhhhh…

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Per this thread, as well as a few earlier ones, I think we can all agree that the L word will continue to exist, whether individuals like it or not ... yes?

    However, just because it will stay, it does not mean that people must like it ... c.f. things like cigarettes, secondary smoking ... so, again, why force people to like it when there are alternatives?
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Dando, no ...
  • Kodi
    Kodi wrote:
    我不是老外我是 ”老来“ 或 ”超老外“ 哈哈
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Da Fan:
    外国人 is better than 老外.

    But the best thing would be to ask those gentlemen where they're from, because the labels people apply to themselves tend to be more accurate than the ones placed on them by old dead people.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    1, seems there is no one who try to force others to like sth~ 2, all people have the right to personally dislike sth and express it without any reasons 3, if someones give out reasons why they like/dislike sth, others can question their reasoning for sure, and such an act is not "force others to like sth" Got it?

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Uncle Ding Dong deleted a really good question (which I responded to with a bad joke, and deleted when I saw his post was gone).

    Journalists do not typically use the term laowai. Why is this?
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    Dando, "外国人 is better than 老外" is just your personally feeling right? even if I think so too, but it's still my personally feeling right? It's still nothing about rational "right" or "wrong", coz I cannot tell. My point of view is: under certain circumstance, if I do not like sth, but I cannot find a rational reason, it is just "my personal feeling", hence, if others do what I dont like, it doesn't mean others do it wrong, but just "I dont like it", right?

  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    Dando, "外国人 is better than 老外" is just your personally feeling right? even if I think so too, but it's still my personally feeling right? It's still nothing about rational "right" or "wrong", coz I cannot tell. My point of view is: under certain circumstance, if I do not like sth, but I cannot find a rational reason, it is just "my personal feeling", hence, if others do what I dont like, it doesn't mean others do it wrong, but just "I dont like it", right?

  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    journalist merely use words that are listed in Urbandictionary.com, why? ;)

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Dando, I never thought I am good enough to ask any good questions ... but I am very curious about your joke ... it has to be very good :)
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    It still depends on how a majority of society uses the words Da Fan. To borrow from an old George Carlin argument... Words themselves are just letters of an alphabet arranged in a certain pattern to match a certain pronunciation, but people/society gives them their meaning.

    For example, there is nothing inherently wrong with the words 老外 or chink... even the word nigger at some point in history was not considered offensive. But if people use them in a derogatory manner and people in general recognize this pattern, they become offensive words.

    It's not really about personal preference... I really don't care if someone calls me a chink, Chinaman, or zipperhead, but I recognize that people use these terms with the full realization that they are pejoratives and their intent is to harm or shock.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    totally agree, Jon

  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    however, as you said, it depends on how a majority of society use the word. so the key point is, or a practical issue is: who gonna determine how a majority of society blablabla? authority? no, dictionary? no. then who? yourself! eg. it is very likely that A got the impression that the majority of society in China use the word "laowai" without any offensive meaning, while B got the negative impression, and C is not sure. then who's right? all of them are "right", and they cannot provide decent logical and factual and statistical evidence, it is "preference" in my dictionary~

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    @DingDong,
    Eh it was just a dumb quip about The L Word, which happens to be the name of a television show about lesbians.

    @Da Fan,
    What do feelings have to do with this? This whole time, I've been talking about being accurate and specific, which I think is worth a whole lot more than being polite. Like any good American, I don't place a high priority on politeness, and I typically refer to myself as a laowai, or, for shits and giggles, a yangguizi.

    But I do take note that one is considered more formal than the other. And that's not my judgement. Your countrymen told me waiguoren is more polite than laowai. Are you seriously disputing this? Or are you just taking the piss?

    As for my own preference: one term emphasizes that a person is an outsider. The other at least refers to the person as being an outsider in relation to the particular chunk of earth we are resting on at this moment. Screw political correctness--no one has the right to not be offended--I'm talking about accuracy here.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... yes, I do remember that show ... simply called "the L word", is that the one?
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Good point. A lot of these words are used without any negative connotation. But you know, you can usually tell a persons intentions. I never say "laowai" and no one ever calls me that for obvious reasons (except my family...) so I'm never on the receiving end of this, but from what I can tell, most of the time it implies a certain naivety and is used jokingly... "That laowai can't even figure out how to stoop over a toilet" or "laowai's are terrible singers" for example. The way I've heard it used, it doesn't really imply any particular type of racism, but like you all said above, it seems quite sinocentric and I find it usually used to put down foreigners for not being able to figure out the affairs of China.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... agreed ... totally :)
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    ahhh, first, I merely use laowai in front of guys from other countries~ second, yeah, I seriously disrupting this: I do think waiguoren is more formal, and polite maybe, however, I do not think laowai is impolite or offensive.

  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    Hey, Jon, you got it! what really matter is not which word ppl use, it is their intension: take a survey or vote among all foreigners in China, choose a best word(eg A), then letting all Chinese use it instead of "laowai", ppl will still say craps like "A are terrible singer"~

  • 芝芝
    芝芝 wrote:
    the equivalent word with 小日本 is 棒子 for Koreans.

    I don't say it, I just state a fact in this country.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    @Da Fan:
    I would say that you contradicted yourself when you said one is more polite but the other is not impolite, but I catch the gist of what you're saying. It's certainly not an ethnic slur, and as one commenter previously said, "lao" is not a disrespectful word in Chinese, either. I think laowai is only offensive to people with thin skin. And fuck those people anyway.

    And cheers to you for even bothering to discuss, in my language, the semantics of your own language.
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    # Leo
    What I think? I think you are probably right.

    Back to the topic, I agree with John Gu. It´s sinocentrism, but how far is the step to become racism?
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    "Lao" isnt completely polite either.
    And waiguoren, if you can speak chinese Dando, it is more polite.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    @Dando, the world is not consist of "0" and "1", it is consist of "0" to "1"~

  • Joakim Berg Solum
    hahahaha, unfortunately my world is mostly just 0's and 1's. There are 10 types of people in the world... those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    Jon, you got 1100100 points ;)

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    @Da Fan:
    0.7 > 0.5
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:

    @Dando, if 0.5 is "neutual", >0.7 is "polite", <0.3 is "impolite", 0.5 is less "polite" than 0.7, but it is still not "impolite"~

  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    I was being generous.

    人 = 0.5
    老外 = 0.4

    Now it's impolite. And it's always been impolite relative to waiguoren. Are we done with this, or do you want to persist in splitting hairs?

    Could it be that when someone says something is racist or ethnocentric, they are merely feigning offense in order to make another person lose face for using such an inaccurate and antiquated term?

    At the end of the day, I'm not going to lose any sleep over being called a laowai, yangguizi, gweilo, foreign devil, cracker, honky, ghost, spook, or vanillaface. And I'd doubt that any laowai is earnestly offended when they get labelled with any of these terms, because typically they enjoy enough social privileges over any person dumb enough to use them pejoratively. It reflects poorly on the speaker.

    But if you want to get grouped in with everyone else who thinks that China is the center of the world, then be my guest. No sweat off my ass.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    And some more linguistic math for 兄貴:
    Racism = prejudice + power

    Since Chinese people are generally less privileged than most foreigners, it is exceedingly difficult to classify it as racist. Perhaps it's ethnocentric, but even the most bitter of these slurs aren't going to evoke feelings the same feelings of dread felt by people with a shared history of oppression. So even "yangguizi" isn't really racist. What kind of awful memories does that bring up? The Boxer Rebellion? Opium Wars? Yeah, those were really tough times for foreigners, weren't they?
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha ... Dando ... now you are being very sarcastic ...
  • Carol King
    Carol King wrote:
    lol....

    Shocked by these points:

    1)"Your countrymen told me waiguoren is more polite than laowai."

    "Laowai", is just an informal word but nothing related to polite.And that's why it is not be used that much in journalism,but I can see it in many magzines or newspapers or whatever.

    The guy who told you "waiguoren is more polite than laowai. " were probably using the inaccurate English word. ; )


    2)"It´s sinocentrism, but how far is the step to become racism?"

    Definitely that's not Chinese logic, it is quite disrespectful and unfair by saying this to Chinese people.I admit Chinese are ethnocentrism,but who aren't? I hate the word "sinocentrism".
  • 哎呀
    哎呀 wrote:
    Dando asked “Journalists do not typically use the term lao wai. Why is this?” I think it’s because when journalists write stories in media, they tend to use written words than spoken language and “wai guo ren” is apparently more formal in Chinese language system.

    I just watched one news report from CCTV News Channel last night. They reported some foreigners volunteer for EXPO Shanghai 2010 and they use “lao wai” to stand for foreigners in the main subtitle at the bottom of screen. That story was kind of funny and easy, so they felt more suitable for the scene to call them “lao wai”.

    Media is the most sensitive place of picking words. If CCTV use “lao wai” to refer to foreigners, you can be assured this term is not a racist or impolite term at all for the time being.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    Well, I said I never use words like "laowai" to foreigners, and luckly I haven't had experience like being yelled "if you don't speak english, go home" in english speaking country untill now, so I consider myself nether the exerting end nor receiving end~ I'm serious on this topic, then just expressed my opinion, not mean to "take the piss". If you still think I mean to mess around this thread, I have nothing to say...China is the center of the world? God why you think I got such an idea...whatever
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Carol,
    Informal typically is impolite unless you're talking about friends. Would you like it if all your casual acquaintances at work started calling you by the same silly, cute nicknames your family gave you? And how on God's green earth can you admit that Chinese people are ethnocentric, and then object to the specific term for Chinese ethnocentrism?

    You're clearly not a good judge of anyone else's accuracy with English vocabulary.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Da Fan:
    I don't really think you believe that either, 'cuz we've become acquainted in this discussion, and to be honest, I think you're a clever dude. I think taking the piss is a pretty honorable thing, and here it's been pretty entertaining and informative. Luckily, I haven't been told "shuo zhongwen, huo huijia," or I'd be long gone by now.

    But other people are reading less carefully, and they might make judgements. I don't give a shit what they think because I'm an American and I don't have face. Nor should you, but I'll bet that you do care at least a little bit, or else you wouldn't have been so polite toward some silly foreigner who's telling you how to speak Chinese.
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    I also suggest you to check whats going on in counries like Indonesia, when chinese businessman becomes periodically victims of racist mobs...
  • くり
    くり wrote:

    According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnic discrimination, and I clearly ask how far is the step for ethnocentrism to become racist as you know,
    As italian Im seriously concerned about the Northen League which from Etnocentrism they become a clearly racist political party close to Le Pen in France and NPD in Germany. Besides they become popolar due to the fact that they gain support from the middle low class....
  • Yuki Inés
    Yuki Inés wrote:
    If consider a bit Chinese philosophy and thinking logic. Wai(外,outer)is not a word in terms of geography or ethnic. A typical term using Wai is Zhuang Zi's Nei Sheng Wai Wang (内圣外王, inner-saint-outer-king ). The definition for inner and outer is whether people use Tao(good way) to govern the country and people.

    So...in my humble understanding, Chinese's Wai is nothing to do with your ethinc or you from a outer country...coz...still, in ancient time...Chinese people only have concept of Tian Xia (天下,land under heaven). There is no bounder line concept for them..only different people with different rite...

    honestly, I am joking with all my friends, by calling them lao wai. But they felt quite funny about it.
  • Carol King
    Carol King wrote:
    to Dando Z 单独子:
    OK,now I understand what the exact meaning of these two words,thank you ;)

    But I think you've got my points,if not please let me know.
  • Da Fan
    Da Fan wrote:
    Dando, you know what, I think what you said is sort of true, and that's exactly the way many guys around the world think (consciously or subconsciously): gaining power, losing power, nation, country, ethnic, history, winning-back, condescendence, "sour grape", conceit cause by history or inferiority complex(eg. some eastern asia countries, including China), conceit cause by losing power(eg. europe), blind superiority complex (eg, the US)...and bullshit like these.

    It's quite common, but are these right? These are exactly what make our world terrible in the past and now. And if people keep on thinking like this, world will be more terrible in the furture.

    They are silly, I am not, or try hard not to, and I believe that you are not such a kind of guy. The reason I never use such a word is becoz I know some foreign guys just don't like it, no matter what their reasons are. And what I said before is just to express my opinion that from a Chinese's perspective, "laowai" is quite "OK", that's all. On a larger scale, I agree that there are many silly Chinese, as well as many silly guys around the world. Let's forget those semantic things, the thing in my mind is always the same: killing silliness in people's mind, and I believe you think so too~
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    兄貴:
    No need to remind me that race is merely a social construct. I know that there is no biological basis for distinguishing races, and that there are more genetic variation within each race than there are differences between other races.

    It's good that you brought it up, but my point still stands: for an ethnocentric person to be racist, they must have some sort of power or advantage, or their labels, no matter how vitriolic, become utterly ineffective.

    For example, there aren't any words in English that derogate white people with the same force as nigger, spic, kike, chink, etc. Why? 'Cuz historically, white people in general have been the oppressors, and very rarely the oppressed. There are plenty of exceptions. Irish and Italian immigrants caught a lot of shit when they came to America just for being Catholic, although they were completely assimilated into white American culture generations ago.

    Da Fan:
    Ming bai le, peng you.

    Carol:
    In retrospect, I responded rather harshly. It was a knee-jerk reaction to hearing people criticize linguistic ability. Sorry. Uncalled for. But yeah. Sino- is just a latin prefix for Chinese.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    DingDong:
    Yup. I suppose I should mark sarcastic posts as such, but I feel it would ruin the joke.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    兄貴:
    Oops. Sorry, I was responding to the post you'd deleted.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    Hahahaha .. it's a breath of fresh air ... and oh, I am laughing again ... hahaha ...
  • くり
    くり wrote:
    "It's good that you brought it up, but my point still stands: for an ethnocentric person to be racist, they must have some sort of power or advantage, or their labels, no matter how vitriolic, become utterly ineffective."


    that doesnt change my point either, for which I previously did mention:
    - the Northern League in Italy: gather their consensus due economical crises and security issues...
    - Indonesia ethnic riots in which Ethnic Chinese citizens, who control much of the country's commerce, have been targets of violence for years.
    Both are rooted in dissatisfaction for their own status that leads to find a common scapegoat defined by ethnicity. Power (or money) is an important factor indeed.

    And in China most foreigners are enjoying social privileges sometimes just for the fact to be white and native english speaker, There wasnt long ago where laowai were blamed to have brough aids in china, or some manhunt for an english teacher blogging about his virility...
    Sure also many chinese, and is understandable, see foreigners either as white trash, just able to teach their mothertongue and overpaid, or high-specialized foreigner experts and in both cases, not only the foreigner is always something "different" from "us" but also a treath..
  • Kodi
    Kodi wrote:
    Oh my, you guys brought up some really great points. I myself do not feel offended by the term 老外。However, I do notice that my friends do not tend to call me this. They tend to call me 美国朋友,外国朋友,夏威夷朋友,乐乐,Kodi,可们儿,冯明了,小冯,大熊猫,etc。。。。 I think 老外 may just be a term adopted to express the limited ability of outsiders to penetrate the inner circles of Chinese society. Chinese people are no doubt on the inside of Chinese society and foreigners from some places are relatively limited to the outer layers. I do not think it carries a racist meaning in most instances. It may just Chinese term that expresses that foreigners are from outside.
  • Daniel
    Daniel wrote:
    I don't really want to engage with the racist/ethnocentrism argument, so I'll add to my earlier post:

    I have no problem with friends using 老外. I've called my friends horrible names over the years in a joking, banter-like way. But with strangers it's different.

    I think Jon Gu hit the nail on the head when he brought up the argument that the meanings of words are constructed socially, and that if enough people use a word in a certain way then meaning gets changed: words like 'gay' or 'queer' in English would be good examples of the flexibility of language.

    I do hear people use the word 老外 in a negative context, a lot. 外国人 on the other hand almost never comes up along with 'Why are you helping this...', 'You shouldn't date a ....', 'Look at that stupid....', it's always 老外. So I have plenty of negative associations with the way that word is used by a lot of Chinese people.

    I don't think 老外 is on the same level as something like nigger or gook, but all the same hearing a Chinese person I don't know use 老外 would instinctively put me off speaking to that person.
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Dando, excellent point on racism coming from a position of power or advantage. If I were to call you a honkey white trailer-park-living sister-banging incestuous motherfucker, I'm pretty sure you would take no more offense than if I called you a laowai. It's hard to offend people who have never really felt racial prejudice against the color of their skin.

    Think of it this way... if a really ugly girl goes up to a hot chick and says "hey, your makeup is terrible and you look like a whore" I'm pretty sure that hot chick feels nothing and ugly girl is just bitter that she doesn't look more like a whore... people pay to nail whores but no one pays for ugly girls.

    Flip it around and have the hot girl say the same words to an ugly girl... then we have several different levels of insult going on here and someone is going to get offended.

    Sorry if this post is racist towards ugly girls.
  • Minger
    Minger wrote:
    rofl oh Jon just you wait till I'm single....
  • Joakim Berg Solum
    Seriously dude, maybe I'm just misreading (can't really pick up on your tone from just 3 typed words) but my sarcasm detector is pinging pretty hard. No offense was intended towards the fairer gender. I'll go dig a ditch and plant a tree now or something.
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Brian:
    The Italy and Indonesia examples definitely involve racism because there is a power dynamic. No argument there. But I still think it's exceedingly difficult to characterize the Chinese as racist toward laowai because of the privileged status laowai appreciate.

    The Chinabounder and AIDS scare examples are much closer to demonstrating a power relationship. However, both have more to do with gender issues within China than relationships between Chinese and laowai. For every Chinese person who thinks laowai are inferior and sexually immoral, there are two more who feel insecure because there aren't enough women in China, and are worried that they cannot compete with the rich, privileged foreigners in finding unspoiled virgin wives. The real victims here are the women caught in the middle of the argument, who are being patronized and treated like sexual commodities.

    Yeah, they could use violence against Chinabounder and forcibly deport foreigners suspected of having diseases, but I just don't feel like laowai are victims of racism in either case. Sure, it's unfair to be discriminated against, but I feel that it's more like a tragic consequence of the Chinese inferiority complex. Chinese people have been historically fucked as badly as the Jews, except they didn't get support from the US like the Israelis did.

    Black laowai in particular are victims of racism in employment, however. Those guys do have something to complain about.

    Jon:
    True dat. I did spend a couple of years living in a trailer, but unfortunately I never had any attractive female relatives for hot redneck wincest.

    And anyway, I never bought into that "reverse racism" bullshit that white guys back home are always complaining about. White trash has always been fucked far harder by privileged whites than by minorities.
  • Simen Stensvoll
    i don't know if im racist
    some well-mannered delicate laowai are really attractive to me,but they are always hidden somewhere
    most laowai we can meet in public(in china) look so rude and uneducated and arrogant
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    tl;dr

    Shorter Dando:

    Chinese people treat other Chinese people far worse than they treat foreigners. Sure, there's no shortage of ethnocentrism, jingoism, and nationalism among uneducated Chinese people. But it's acutely self-defeating. Even if I occasionally complain, I'd never call it racism.
  • Simen Stensvoll
    there shouldn't be any ethnocentrism since we said "one world one dream"
    who you are has nothing to do with where u come from
    chinese people usually treat u foreigers well,because we always treat our guest well,but if u act like that ur a bad guest,then we suggest u'd better go back to UR own Spot.
    i think people,no matter locals/provincials or foreigners,should devote some good to the city u live in
    otherwise u r just a scum and stop complaining!
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Minimy:
    I agree on the point that complainers should fuck off back to whence they came. Chinese people don't even demand that foreigners assimilate or learn their language. My patience for ungrateful foreigners wears thinner every day.

    On the other hand, I don't think hosting the Olympics could magically erase decades of isolation and propaganda.
  • Simen Stensvoll
    whe i said "one world one dream",it didn't refer to Olympics..i just want to say that we are all now live in the same globalize world and things have changed.
    yes,chinese people don't demand foreigners to learn our language,because we can handle language.its so true.some of my laowai friends are very frustrated by this situation,chinese people don't give him chance to practise chinese.
    nobody will demand u to learn anything,u just do it when u need to.
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)
    ...

    "chinese people don't demand foreigners to learn our language,because we can handle language"...

    Hahahaha ... I refer to the famous Aussie Rules commercial ... "I'd love to see that" ...
  • 随便叫兽
    随便叫兽 wrote:
    Could be much worse. That's tame. Many people where I grew up shorten "illegal aliens" to just "illegals".

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