Translation:Maria is a foreigner.
"Gaijin" has been used as something of a slur, historically. "Gaikokujin" just means "foreigner" (literally "other/outside country person").
Gaijin seems like it might be a shortened form of Gaikokujin (and, of course, longer is more polite)
Yes. Gaijin is calling someone an outsider or being from outside, which can seem offensive or rude to some people ("Hey outsider!"). Gaikokujin means to be from an outside country, which is more polite ("Hey foreigner").
Is it just me, or does がいこくじん sound more like "naikokujin" than "gaikokujin"?
Yes! It does to me too, and I think this gets at something deep.
This is a great illustration of the limitations on romanization. It's tempting to see that we romanize が as "ga" and wrongly think that it makes the same sound. If you pronouce it as "ga" as in English, Japanese will usually understand you, but the two sounds don't exactly correspond, and there is also a range of pronunciation of these sounds.
I've found that most of the time, が is much softer than the English hard "g" sound. In many cases it is pronounced a little more like an "ng" sound, like at the end of "sing". We don't use this sound in English as an initial consonant in words, so it can be hard for us to hear or understand it in this way, but with time, and exposure to enough examples of this, you'll get it.
It's important too, if you want to understand native speakers, as there are people who pronounce this consonant even softer than in this recording, especially in certain contexts or words.
Appreciate the context! I was going out of my mind trying to hear the "g", all I hear is "aikokujin" XD
外国人 is a noun, though, and you used an adjective. Especially given the cultural implications of words used for people from other countries, that can matter. It could be as big a difference as "Maria is foreign" vs. "Maria is an immigrant" in the US -- given how a lot of people feel about illegal immigration, that might completely change the tone of the statement.
Ay no mames, I accentuated "María" as a good Hispanic that I am and it marked me wrong.
"Hey, you see that woman over there?"
"You mean the one with the blond hair?"
"Yeah, get this: she's a f o r e i g n e r."
Sorry, i have noticed that koku is the same as China, so what's stand it for (country, maybe?) and gai (other?)
Yes, 国 means country and is used in the Japanese names of several countries. Also, 外 means outside, or more specifically in this case, foreign.
The western concept of 'China' doesn't really exist for Chinese people. 中国 literally means "middle country" and came into japanese from Chinese.
Yes, that is correct. 中= middle 国= country, the kun'yomi are, respectively, なか and くに, and on'yomi are ちゅう and こく. 外国人 means, literally, other(外) country(国) person/people(人). I know it answers a bit more than your question but it might help someone else.
IDK, Japanese people seem to be fascinated with western culture, so I think it's just a mindset thing as to why we like other things.
Yes, 「わたしは外国人です。」would be "I am a foreigner" but do remember that は is pronounced "wa" as a particle, not "ha".
You can leave out 私は in most cases, as it would be largely implied that you're talking about yourself.
I put " Maria is a foreign person " and was marked incorrect - any reason for that?
What happened to the さん part of this sentence? It was the same with an earlier sentence about John being a foreigner - no さん. I certainly hope that following sentences with a Japanese name omit it too.