Foreigner is not a good word in English

by Kevin Burns
(Machida, Japan)


Foreigner is not a good word in English


The word foreigner is often used in Japan, as the direct translation from the words gaikokujin or more casually or perhaps rudely (depending on your opinion) gaijin.

You cannot say the word “gaijin” on NHK, Japan`s national broadcaster.  Why not? It is because the word gaijin is regarded as being rude, or at least cold.

Yet if you live in Japan, you will hear the word gaijin everywhere.  Unless the Japanese is talking with a non-Japanese, then they will switch to gaikokujin or gaijinsan.  But if Japanese are talking with friends on the train for example, and they dont know you (an immigrant) at all, you will hear gaijin on the train, as they talk about non-Japanese.  They don’t care that you hear. And perhaps think that you won`t understand anyway. Or they simply feel it is OK to talk about non-Japanese as gaijin while a “gaijin,” is within hearing range.

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super-gaijin

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Dec 28, 2016
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by: Anonymous

Nice article, thank you!

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