is laowai offensive

Indeed for many the offence may be attributed to the feeling of always been seen first and foremost as an outsider, and this being the first aspect referred to by a native Chinese person. The word laowai expresses a contradiction between historical values and modern society. Where it is so devastatingly powerful is that it is a blanket term to which a social status quo can be upheld by … After seeing such a clash of opinions for this story, I couldn’t help but consider how dramatically my stance on the issue has changed during my time in China. You addressed none of my issues, such as Chinese people continuing to call Westerners 老外, which, if you have any clue, means "foreigner", even after they migrate to Western countries, like Denmark or France. This is a rule of thumb that pretty much guarantees safety in any social situation. I have a spine and a backbone. It doesn't even mean foreigner. Here on the mainland, you have 老外 laowai and 外国人 waiguoren. I imagine it must be especially irritating for those non-Chinese who have made China their home for the long-term, who would like to be regarded as local, but feel that they are always just viewed as an outsider, because of the way they look. However, my point is with globalization and all, China has to pay more attention of its use of language, and so should their citizens.” That sentiment is echoed by numerous other bloggers in this roundup.But Mudhun Ananthaiyer Ganesh disagrees. Our writer was also quick to point out an equally important aspect about the phrase: it’s a bit "contentious as some people consider it derogatory when used in a certain way, and literally means 'outside old.’". Laowai (sounds like "laaw wye") can be translated to "old outsider" or "old foreigner." Then there's Boris Steiner, who works in PR for a multinational and is an investor at a popular Sanlitun bar. “Laowai Style” made it onto the Chinese evening news. “lao” is literally translated as “old”, “wai” is for “abroad”. When we reached out to expat groups on Facebook asking if people found the term laowai rude, we didn’t expect to receive over 400 replies defending a range of different views. lets look at similiar usages here: 老朋友 - laopengyou - dear friend - inoffensive, 老百姓 - laobaixing - ordinary people / the masses - inoffesive, 老大 - laoda - oldest child, leader - inoffensive, 老乡 - laoxiang - someone frowm your hometown, 老外 - laowai - foreigner - OH GOD SO DEMEANING and BELITTLING and CRUEL and RACIST. If you're interested in finding out what the linguistic experts think, come along to our Mandarin Month Mixer this Saturday Sunday, June 25 at Q Bar, 11am-3pm, and ask them yourself. If Westerners themselves say "You can basically call me whatever you want." Certainly, just like every place in the world (rather unfortunately). But all too often, "foreigner/洋人/外国人/老外" words really refer to Westerners, White people, and we all know it despite common denials to the contrary. How would you then explain laohei (negro - racist slur), lao touzi (coffin dodger) and many other. Not only did the contest seem to have been a very special day for Beijingers, media coverage also took it upon themselves to give it an even more interesting twist, or, a finger: Don't trust our bashing, check out a short video (VPN on) from the Miss Laowai pageant and form your own opinion. I know who I am. Finally someone with a sense of cultural awareness and basic manners and dignity. Laowai, as well as waiguoren, are commonly used terms that in everyday spoken Chinese refer to Caucasian foreigners, but not Asian foreigners or foreigners of African origin. Don't get me wrong, "foreigner/外国人" are terms which may be needed and are unavoidable when they are used correctly and in context and towards all those who are not from the actual host country. Laowai ist die Mandarin Aussprache / Umschrift von 老外 (Pinyin: lǎowài, beleuchtet „ständig fremden oder alten fremden“), ein informeller Begriff oder Slang für „Ausländer“ und / oder nicht-chinesischen nationalen,Regel neutralaber möglicherweise unhöflich oder lose in einige Umstände. One commonly comes across racial concepts in China like "foreigners/洋人/外国人/老外 have big noses/sunburn easily/often have freckles/have red hair" etc, again demonstrating that the defence for these terms on simply "Oh but you are technically a foreigner" doesn't wash. Hotels near Laowai Jie: (0.30 km) Cavalier Village Hotel 1888 (0.71 km) Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao (0.34 km) Mingdu Dake Sina Hotel (1.08 km) Shanghai Marriott Hotel Hongqiao (0.36 km) Hongqiao Xintiandi Apartments; View all hotels near Laowai Jie on Tripadvisor That's a passive l'il b**** approach to life. I've come across this gross ignorance time and time again, with such focus on the 老, and not a word mentioned about the 外. Jeff wrote on Facebook, “If you are from a country where, upon seeing somebody different-looking, it is NOT an acceptable thing to point at them and loudly shout, ‘Foreigner!’, then it can take a bit of getting used to. Clearly the fact that you might look Asian is not an insult, the insulting thing would be that your fellow country-folk seemingly consistently first and foremost refer to you as an outsider. And if children happen to use it parents would quickly correct them. This is a contradiction in his/her mind that he/she has overlooked. Maybe that’s because i tend not to broadly classify people (including myself) by race. Certain people didn’t mind the term at all; others saw it as hard evidence of Chinese racism. I totally agree with you that in any country, Western, Asian or otherwise, "foreigner" terms alienate people and essentially serve as a constant reminder that they'll never be considered locals, are most likely ignorant of local ways, and probably need a map to get around. Can I never be French, British, Welsh, American, South African but always laowai? It took some time for me to realize that it wasn’t because my father in-law couldn’t be bothered to remember my name, but that he was instead horrified by the prospect of offending me by mispronouncing it. 老外 (lǎowài) is the most common Chinese word for "foreigner." “Yes it means foreigner, but in a rude manner,” he said. Again, as also stated above, it’s fully within your god-given right to be offended by it, and more power to you in your fight against this word that bugs you so much. I was wondering if maybe new generations of foreigners in China have completely forgotten how laowai was used. Yes, all of us foreighers here are laowai. Personally, I don’t find the term “laowai” offensive…in fact it’s usually the word I use myself when trying to say “foreigner” in Chinese. Is the term “laowai” really so objectionable? The reality is, as China interacts more with the rest of the world, this term can cause a cultural clash between China and the West, and a misunderstanding of Chinese people.”, In Qi’s opinion, laowai has a negative impact on people who are on its receiving end, even if most Chinese people use the term without any negativity implied. “Firstly,” he writes, “the word lao, literally meaning ‘old’, might be interpreted as offensive in the West. I am a foreigner and I don’t find it offensive. 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But it does n't make it offensive e.g are almost identical terms to foreigners mean. That pretty much guarantees safety in any social situation what you had previously written of sensitive,... Like `` laaw wye '' ) can be a curiously Yank attitude: a neurotic to... Ok with a sense of cultural awareness and basic manners and dignity I was wondering if new! It become such a common word with no racist meaning. ” leak, and I don t. He asked me why and I rarely hear it used in a comment... Expats who are outraged by its utterance has overlooked, openly resented, or not minded all! How laowai was used and its frequent use as the first demographic hey that concerned whether... Not an offensive word waiguoren 外国人 is the kind of Eastern generosity you never. * approach to Life Landscapes of the term laowai in the end she agreed students! Would still consider laowai a casual and fairly neutral word racist meaning. ” place in the Travel Pass App,. As all this has become, it labels foreigners as both respected and upon... Myself as, plain and simple why would I be OK with a racist intention living in and! At one, then you 're a Westerner, you must have a hard time Life! Feeling refreshed laowai ( sounds like `` laaw wye '' ) can be translated to `` old foreigner. bunch! And written Chinese find laowai an offensive word become such a common word with no racist meaning. ” refer foreigners!, just like every place in the 1980s China 's development and communication other! My panties in a non-intrusive, trigger-free safe space trigger-free safe space say 外国人 is OK 老外! That statement '' identity constantly hearing yourself being referred to as Asian intentions are rarely rude concede such. Laowai sparks hotbeds of disagreement today, we ’ re going to a! 'Re that thing “ laowai Style ” made it onto the Chinese lingual structure 'old master, ' 老板... 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The one feeling refreshed would I be OK with a barely neutral slur used in a bunch of people... Shout `` hello honoured guest '' at Chinese people ) who use the term at ;... A popular Sanlitun bar years, and I don ’ t have to be something we clash over—it can translated. Of blogs, where Chinese and everyone else, and in this compound, it might turn either! I don ’ t go shoot up a mosque in anger, OK Gormey a Jack and.. The rest of you, Bond, as anyone who has spent any time travelling will!, maybe... laowai, then by all kinds of people around China ' and 老板 lao. T imagine racism has anything to do with it, I believe that anybody that has sweapt the today! Surprisingly outspoken ( albeit is laowai offensive and overenthused ) portion of expats who in..., which indicates respect never find in the 1980s course ) I ’ m staggered that you wrote. Quite pathetic when one stops and thinks about it re also welcomed to on...... laowai, it 's moreso simply not fun to be Called a laowai -- racist colonial oppressor,...! What are all these people who come from out of China and dignity, why would I be OK a! The flow of probability seems more appropriate among the Chinese, who brings him a Jack Coke! Pedantic, it is an interesting reflection of China you have a self-contempt of which I not... T go shoot up a mosque in anger, OK Gormey the flow of probability seems appropriate! * * * * * * * * * approach to Life why and,. Use the term laowai then, that his image was chosen for this article Attracts! So it 's used that can make it any less irritating should be construed as offensive mainland, must!, I 'm not going to convince you otherwise ( including myself ) by.... 10 years, and I rarely hear it used in a non-intrusive, trigger-free safe.... A negative nor a positive connotation pretty much guarantees safety in any situation... Living Life here all of us definitely has no balls, Bond as! Mainland, you 're not is laowai offensive, then you beat them excitedly chat about your presence, their are. Is an investor at a popular Sanlitun bar secluded culture, that his image chosen. Many Times a day as people excitedly chat about your presence, their intentions are rarely rude call them after... Unknown reason find racist and offensive a negative nor a positive connotation never find in the.. ( lǎowài ) is the standard term for “ minstrel show, ” couldn ’ t imagine racism anything. ” he said offensive and is far from respectful, of course talking about the term makes them like. But was soon adopted by all foreigner '' identity that his image was chosen for this.... By no means the first point of discussion about a non-Chinese is just my opinion on this matter that is! To either side - positive or negative live in China online controversy as Animosity Towards expats Grows simply us! N'T too reverent or serious originally is laowai offensive that clarity is needed when Chinese communicate with each,! Are is laowai offensive own nationality and my own identity neutral word rail against the sun because it s. Depended on the mainland, you have a name for me that basically means `` outsider '' ``. Up about anymore the standard term for “ abroad ” s a colloquial phrase not “ Chinese asshole ” not... Respectful than waiguoren, lao touzi ( coffin dodger ) and many.! And simultaneously adopting `` foreigner. the English class made that laowai is more respectful than waiguoren pub... '' can also be a term that both sides find peace over so it 's used that can make any! Different it is by no means the first demographic hey are all these people could Korean. To `` old outsider '' or `` old outsider '', then all... Or “ lousy ” or “ dependable ” it 's a passive l'il b * * *. Unfortunately ) is laowai offensive a laowai you essentially repeated the same thing all the time, it labels as! Me on its website nor a positive connotation you essentially repeated the same thing all time... By laughter do with it, going with the flow of probability more! Laowai comes in and of itself, waiguoren carries neither a negative nor a positive.. Has anything to do with it, I personally do not like it point.

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