"外国人ですか?"

Translation:Are you a foreigner?

June 17, 2017

33 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/bluesmcgroove

So what is the difference here between がいじん and がいごくじん?

June 17, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RobbPorter

がいじん means foreign looking and can be mildly offensive, がいごくじん means a genuine foreign person and is safer to use by the Japanese natives. If you are a foreigner you can use either to describe yourself.

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/RobbPorter

Sorry, i put unnecessary " on the こ.

August 1, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/mik.santoro

Is it pronunced gaikokujin or gaigokujin?

July 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

The former one - がいこくじん

July 5, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/VEa645886

The kanji 国 meaning country has a pronunciation こく(koku), but in some cases the initial consonant can be softened to ご depending what comes before it. It's still the same word and you'd even say it's still the same reading of the kanji (most of them have several entirely different readings, also based on context), it's more of a quirk of pronunciation as the words flow more naturally one way or the other.

August 13, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/testmoogle

"Nobody in Japan would say 外国人 , except a school teacher. Foreigners are simply 外人. Though technically 外人 could mean anyone from far away, and not necessarily from a foreign country."

Long story short: Japanese kid said 外国人 rather than 外人 when speaking to herself about me, even though she didn't think I'd know what she was saying anyway. ^^

—Long version—
When I went travelling in Japan for a month, the only time I heard either was when I was walking down a random street. It was a main road not all that far from tourist areas, but far enough that tourists would almost certainly catch a bus rather than be walking there, and there weren't many pedestrians about.

There was a Japanese elementary school kid walking on her own the opposite way to me on the same side of the street. I had barely even noticed she was there and was just plodding along minding my own business. As we got near she suddenly noticed me, slowed down slightly and started staring at me, and then said「がいこくじん」in a soft but very clear voice.

She said it from only about 8 feet away, at regular speaking volume, and with her head still turned completely towards me when she said it. Her expression was as though she had just encountered something very unexpected and rare. It seemed she was simply speaking to herself out loud, to express her amazement to herself. It was clear she hadn't even considered that there could be any possibility I might know the word she was saying (or, more likely, even of any chance I'd know any Japanese whatsoever).

I think she was expecting I'd continue on walking straight past her—that I'd completely ignore having heard anything since she was speaking in Japanese. However, I responded by turning my face towards her and giving a gentle smile whilst carrying on walking.

She then went a little red with embarrassment, maybe at having spoken to herself loud enough that it got a response, or maybe for having said such an odd thing towards someone whom she assumed had then smiled politely back not understanding that she'd said such a thing. She then quickly scurried on after that. Was pretty amusing. ^^

———
I originally posted this a year ago. But the person I replied to has now deleted their comment, resulting in my comment vanishing along with it. As my tale apparently received a lot of likes, I'm un-vanishing it by copy-pasting it from the hidden realm of deleted post data back into this new comment. ^^

August 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/NataliaSko

That's really sweet :)

January 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/JaeHolt

Similar to "haole" in Hawaii. It is used to describe a white person (although it's true meaning is any foreigner): "We met the haole store owner (not the Japanese one)." But it can be explicitly derogatory: "That haole tourist (who jumped in the water right in front of you while catching an awesome shore break on your bodyboard)." It's all in the context.

September 14, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/OphirNt

What about ihoujin?

November 8, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Aki-kun

異邦人(いほうじん)sounds rather old-fashioned and has the image of being opposite to 邦人(ほうじん), referring to a Japanese person. It also seems to be used in Christianity and Judaism to refer to someone, who is not a believer in said religion but a "wrong/bad religion".

November 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/ASleepingRock

In Christianity/Judaism, it would translate into more of the word "gentile". But thats the bible in Japanese.

July 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/2mhnkzrc

Apparently, it can't be "Am I a foreigner?"
All of the sarcasm that I've heard in anime has been nothing but lies.

June 6, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ShenziNaGig

I put "Are you from overseas?" and it was rejected. Where I come from saying foreigner can sound a little bit offensive. Would this be accepted?

June 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Jobbers

Depending on the situation, could 外国人 refer to a Japanese person (like if a Japanese guy is in a different country) or is there a different word that should be used? アメリカに私が外国人です

November 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/JohaoMikae

外。look like a guy with a back pack... Like a foreigner

December 20, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/ERN1919

Is this rude?

Using the noun "foreigner" in English usually involves xenophobic sentiments. Is that the same for gaigokujin?

June 21, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

外国人 is not at all.rude. But if you want a more polite version, 外国の方(かた)

June 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Dan449095

gaijin is the rude one

June 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AyumiUK

It's a case of values dissonances. The word itself isn't a slur, but then again, everything considered...

June 25, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Zigerions

I think it's gaiKokujin

October 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/NickMarsto1

Because that's never an awkward question to answer.

January 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Rio658302

はい,外国人です~

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/PALewis88

Does Japanese have a word to describe non-ethnic Japanese citizens.

February 27, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

○○系日本人

e.g. アメリカ系日本人、中国系日本人

February 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Edber20

May 5, 2019: In the choices, using "外国人" instead of "外国" and "人" yields a wrong answer, please fix this bug DUOLINGO. Thanks in advance.

May 5, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/KeithWong9

If anybody encounters this problem, please send a screenshot (preferably with your screen zoomed out a little bit to show those pesky answers that get hidden by the box at the bottom) and send it in a bug report

May 6, 2019
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