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What if Your NickName was Derogartory?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    I will say with a healthy envy that my world travels don't approach those of the estimable Mr. Moore, but I did get to go on some extended business trips to Asia a million years ago. On a two-month trip to Japan one of my co-workers was a Korean-American (100% Korean, emigrated to U.S. when he was 11). I can't tell how many times Japanese people started talking to him in Japanese before he could interrupt with a "Wakarimasen." I don't know if it's because they couldn't tell he was Korean or if they thought he was Korean-Japanese.

    I did get to the point where I could tell, say, a full-blooded Korean from a Japanese, but there were certainly many cases on the margin, where a particular individual deviated from the most common ethnic features, where I got it wrong.

    Family names make it a heck of a lot easier. I just assume anybody I meet who is named Kim, Lee/Rhee, Park/Pak, Ahn, etc. is Korean until otherwise corrected (and I don't pry unless such a topic comes up in friendly conversation).

    Likewise for Japanese names such as Sato, Suzuki, Takahashi, Tanaka and Watanabe. Vietnamese names are also usually fairly easy for this gringo to spot: Nguyen, Diem, Lam. Of course many Thai surnames are very easy to spot. :) (though I'm told that there's a good chance that Thais with the stereoptypically long names stand a good chance of having Chinese blood - something about having to come up with a unique name in the old days - I'll have to ask my mother-in-law).

  2. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    What makes it even more difficult is that almost every East Asian and South Asian nation has a hefty dose of ethnic Chinese living amongst the population. A lot of Thai are ethnic Chinese, as are a lot of Vietnamese. The only places you're assured of some relative purity are Japan and, oddly enough, China itself. Apparently few other Asians want to live in the Middle Kingdom, with the exception of North Korean escapees. :)

    One great way to spot a Thai is if they have "porn" in their name...which is perhaps one reason why Bob Harris favors the region so much. :haha:

  3. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Well, I don't blame her for it, certainly. But now both sides are digging in their heels, and that's pretty much all she wrote.

    You should invite Ms. Park here, if you're still in contact with her. We won't flame her. Too much.

  4. SixofNine

    SixofNine Jedi Sage Staff Member

    Yeah, my wife's "Thai" grandfather emigrated to Thailand from China. Turns out he had a wife and kids in China to go along with the family he started and raised in Thailand and later in the U.S. Quite a family soap opera that turned out to be. :)

  5. ditch

    ditch Downunder Member

    Damn. I ask a serious question and what do I get, the truth. :)

    Besides the obvious differences of physical appearance of the Maori and the Australian aboriginies, the accent is the only way to tell a Kiwi from an Aussie.

    I cannot tell a white Zimbabwean from an English South African or an Afrikaaner. The Afrikaaner's accent which is usually more gutural than the English SA is usually a give away though.

    Xhosa from Zulu is a tough one. The Xhosa clicks his or her tongue against the roof of their mouth frequently in pronouncing a lot of the words in their language.
  6. mikeferro

    mikeferro Registered User


    This picture makes sense...... puts things in perspective.
  7. Copzilla

    Copzilla dangerous animal Staff Member

    We ought to start locking these old threads.
  8. cdw

    cdw Ahhhh...the good life.

    Oh poop! I thought there was an update or something...like they sued him and won or he won or changed the name or...something.
  9. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Nope...just trolling.

    Thread locked by yours truly...if anyone has anything more sensible to post on this already tired and bedraggled topic, feel free to start another thread.


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