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  5. "ジョンは外国人です。"


Translation:John is a foreigner.

June 18, 2017



I didn't know that '外人' is thought bad meanings. If this word is bad, I never use '外人' in front of you, I am using '外人' as short word of '外国人'. Other Japanese people around me too. If many foreigners think so, the word will be banned to use someday.


I don't know the opinion of many foreigners in Japan about this, but I would say that most people who commented here believe that Japanese people often use the abbreviation in a derogatory way (which is usually not the case), but they are not expressing that they don't like it.

Personally, I would not feel insulted if someone called me 外人. Actually I would be glad that the person feels comfortable enough with me to use the shortened version instead of the formal one. And the few foreigners who I remember using the term, used 外人 on themselves without any problem, so I imagine that for most people it's alright. What will be important will be the intention and tone of the speaker, and if someone wants to be discriminating they will find a way regardless of what term they use


@N1chope Thank you for your comment.

I hope that we can understand each other.


It's always a pleasure to give some extra insight (even if I could not give much information this time) I really hope that we can understand each other, too!


I got many information from you, thanks for your kindness!


Correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I understood it, the expression 外人 might have had a negative connotation in the past but has become just a standard short form for expressing the concept, so that it's not considered rude by most Japanese anymore.

This is rather subjective, but as someone else has stated in the comments of another sentence, the general implication of being called a "foreigner" might be considered rude by some people, including myself. Of course, there are times where the term is kinda unavoidable, but being called that all the time in many situations, feels often like you get differentiated from Japanese people which can be hurtful. But that's just my personal view and experience with 外国人/外人.


I've loved Japan for basically my whole life, have studied Japanese for years and lived in Tokyo for over a year and let me tell you a truth that was hard for me to accept. There will always be a wall between Japanese and foreigners. The reason is because they have been a homogeneous country of almost complete Japanese for thousands of years. Currently, Japan is about 98% Japanese. Foreigners will probably always be seen as exotic creatures there as I constantly was especially being an American. It's not a bad thing though. I actually think it's great that I'm not thought of as "Japanese" and never will be because those standards are pretty annoying to live by in Japanese society


Let's break out 外国人

外 (gai or soto) = outside 国 (koku or kuni) = country 人 (jin or hito) = people Means "People outside the country"


This reminds me of a movie, fast and furiois tokyo drift, in which 外人 is used with a bad connotation


I didn't know about the formal pronounciation until I was with a friend in Japan. She was born in Japan but lives in Canada now. The guy asked her, in a rude tone, why she was with a gaijin (in Japanese, but tone carries through language). She corrected him that he can learn how to be more polite as I am and that she also currently lives in the same part of my country as me. She explained the difference later


I really appreciate your good sense of humour, そらさん...


You can call people aliens but aware the day they spit acid on you.))


Well, there's a very well-known collocation - 変な外人 - (hen na gaijin) which means 'odd foreigner' and 外人 is often coloured by this. It's best avoided, I think.


People take offense for words worldwide. Take Sweden for instance where most foreigners are referred as 'blatte' or 'svartskalle'


I think most people's only experiance with 外人 is from Tokyo Drift, where it was used as an insult, so people assume it is always an insult when really it's only that specific context that makes it such. Just like many other words, in any language, if they are used with the intent of offending someone, they are offensive, but the words alone and in any other context are not bad words. The movie just doesn't explain that 外人 isn't an insult by nature.


Are 外人 and 外国人 interchangable?


Not really, 外国人 is more polite


Is there any literal difference?


My language is Japanese.

'外国' is foreign country. '人' is person. '外国人' is foreigner.

This is the same system as following.

'アメリカ' is America. '人' is person. 'アメリカ人' is American.

'中国' is China. '人' is person. '中国人' is Chinese.

'外人' is short form as '外国人'. '外人' is used in conversation. '外国人' is long a bit when talking.


外国人 - citizen of a foreign country 外人 - literally "outsider", and thus can have rude connotations


I can speak moderate Mandarin and it's similar in context, 外人 (wai ren) is more rude, albeit used when talking to same race to shortcut. However, when you start to address it to someone else, you use 外国人 (wai guo ren) which is more appropriate.


I am a native Mandarin speaker, I have never ever heard anyone say 外人 in Chinese. We always use 外国人 (wài guó rén). People may misinterpret 外国人 as a formal word (as it is used at China Customs for foreign passport holders) but Chinese does not have as many levels of formality/politeness as Japanese. 外国人 is as much casual as it is formal.


Gaijin is kinda rude.


I think that 外国人 refers to some one from another country, whist 外人 refers to some one who does not belong to a place, country, city, profession etc. I may be wrong but I think that is it.


Wrong, both actually mean the same, the second form (Gaijin) litterially means the same as the first (foreigner). Its just a case of dropping a character to make it easier to say and easier for the listener to understand. The vast majority of Japanese people do not believe it is rude nor do they mean it as a rude statement when it is said. Its no different from calling someone a foreigner in the english language. The only time it is meant to be rude is if you just happen to come across one of those Japanese people who is a complete ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ and is saying it with malicious intent... like some people in the states you may or may not know of.


Didnt know that would sensor but the hearts make it better


How is it pronounced? Raigoku or gaigoku? It's a little fast.


it's Gaikoku 外(そと、がい) and 国 (こく、くに)


Is there a rule about why it's not sotokuni or we must be familiar with the words?


you usually use the Japanese reading (in this case: soto, kuni) if it's a single kanji and the Chinese readings (in this case: gai, koku) when there's more kanji


That's not always correct, but it is a good rule of thumb


If I remember it's the 2 different readings of the kanji - the Chinese one and the Japanese one. I never remember which is which though. And yes, it's all about the context.


John is everything; a foreigner, a student, he is Japanese, can speak English.. What is the lore behind John?


Um, don't we mean ジョンさん?


"San" is a honorific, therefore optional.


All the Tanaka questions are Tanaka-san but all the foreigners have the san omitted. Hmmm....


From what I've seen, many practice sentences will add さん to Japanese names so it is easier to recognize that it is a name, rather than a common noun. For foreign names, it is usually more obvious because they are written in katakana.

It doesn't actually reflect proper usage of the honorific suffix, which can be used (or omitted) for both type of names.


[[外人 intensifies]]


外国(人) = がいこく(じん) Just in case you can't hear the pronunciation!


What's the difference between 外国人 and 外人?


Same thing, GaiJin is just shorter. GaiKokuJin maybe has the feeling of being slightly more polite, although that isn't necessarily so. And with anything like that, there's an interplay between what is intended and what is felt. Walking through a crowd hearing: "gaijin da!" "gaijin da!" "Gaijin" "Ah! Gaijin Daaa!" can feel..... tiresome..... but then getting looked after and taken care of and having people be kind and take an interest for no other reason than being a gaijin... feels... very lucky.


Why doswnt it accwpt stranger as well


Stranger is not a particularly literal translation. 外(outside)国(country)人(person).


I do not know if this is the right place but I had a doubt. When we write foreign name in Japanese, is it correct to add 'さん' or 'くん' at the end of the name, or is it just for japanese name? I would be grateful if you can help me solve it.


All suffixes are still used for foreign names, so yes, this is correct. Remember that Japanese people can still have foreign or uncommon names themselves, so it would be kind of weird if you could only add suffixes to pure-Japanese names.


Is there a reason that ~さん is not used here?


さん is only used for politeness, so it is not needed when talking about a friend or someone you may know well, which seems to be the case here.


I'm a third generation("Japanese") in Brazil, and i already hear some of my relatives(mostly the older ones) calling people 外人 in the derogatory tone. But who knows if it is or not derogatory


Why is the Kanji ”国” not stressed here? I am referring to the phenomenon occuring in words such as ”中国“ which is pronounced "chyūgoku", not "chyūkoku".


From the Intro 1 Tips and Notes

So why isn't it ちゅうこく?This is due to a phenomenon known as "rendaku" or "sequential voicing." Syllables that come later in a word are sometimes voiced and marked with a dakuten. This is often rather unpredictable, so rendaku words should be memorized individually.


Something about this makes me uncomfortable. It's like, hey man, I'm not invading, I'm just trying to learn a language.


So a lot of people discuss if that's rude or derogatory. I don't know anything about that. But why did they leave the "-san"? Isn't that kinda rude?


If he's a friend or someone close, you don't need to have さん after the name. It's always more polite, but it can be unnecessary if you're close.


がいごくぢん or がいごくじん?




As I read on the web, ji from second example is preferred in most cases.


ぢ and づ are pretty much only used when they are the result of rendaku, that is, when a word that starts with ち or つ becomes voiced in a compound, like あきづき since it's a compound of あき + つき. There's a handful of exceptions like つづく and the word ぢ meaning "hemrhoids"


How to pronounce it? Its not matching with the written word.


"Jon wa gaikokujin desu"


Hi! Anybody knows why the translation "John is foreigner" is wrong?


Because it is bad English.

It should be "John is A foriegner."


How come in this case we don't need to include the "さんわ..."? Like in the previous lessons e.g. "ジョンさんわアメリカ人です"?


The sentence does have the particle は (it's not わ): ジョンは... As for さん, it isn't really that necessary, so whether the sentences in the course have it or not is pretty much arbitrary.


I think context and how it is said makes a difference. Of course it can be used negatively but it is also just a description. My knowledge arou d honorifics is pretty low but wouldn't this statement about John being a foreigner be interpreted as more a description rather than insult if they had used 'san'? John san wa gaikokujin desu. = more polite?


No "san" for John the foreigner? BRUTAL...

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