My Question to Foreiners

My Question No. 1: 外人 Foreigner

img_1121222_23853341_0.jpg - 外人さん: Question about the Word FOREIGNER and Answers -

I have a question for native speakers about an English word FOREIGNER.

I wonder if this word is rude or discriminative to  peoples from other countries.

In fact, I have heard that the Japanese word GAIJIN implies an exclusive meaning and that using GAIKOKUJIN is better.

If FOREIGNER is not an appropriate word, then what should I call a person from another country in English?

ちなみに、僕は外国人の方を「peoples from other countries」か「a person from another country」のように呼んでいます。
For me, I always call them "peoples from other countries" or "a person from another country".

It would be very helpful for me if people from other countries would give me an answer.

- Thank you for your answers, peoples from other countries! -

1)  Hi, I would say it depends on the person. For me, I don't take it as rude. You just have some people that take it the wrong way. Majority of people don't take it as rude because they probably use it in the same way.

2) In the US, the word "foreigner" is not rude or discriminatory. It is fine to call someone a "foreigner"!!

There are other phrases for foreigners like "FOB" which means "fresh off the boat". Basically it is referring to foreigners who come to America and know nothing about the culture, etc.

3)  Foreigner is good to use in describing a group of people in some contexts like statistics, news etc. Describing one person as a foreigner or asking or calling someone a foreigner directly is a little too direct. If you were having a conversation with someone you would always say "So, you are from x country, is that right?" or "Are you from abroad/overseas?", "Where do you come from originally?". You would try to avoid saying, "Are you a foreigner?", "You are a foreigner aren't you? Where are you from?".

You would also absolutely avoid using it to describe someone when introducing them to someone else, never never say "This is X, he/she is a foreigner" you would obviously say "This is X, he/she is from France". If you don't know the country yet use "This is X, he/she has come to us (i.e. come to host country) from abroad".

I have described some of the nuance of the word here. If you accidently use foreigner too directly it can be forgiven pretty easily. The ONLY way you can get into real trouble using it is if you said it angrily, in an annoyed tone and with a negative adjective. Context, as always, sets the mood and feeling. Foreigner by itself is not a racist word.

Hope that helps! 

かわりに具体的な国名を使うか、person from another country / people from other countries / visitors from both home and abroad(国内外からの訪問者) / student from overseas などのように言う言い方があるそうです。

余談ですが、外国からの留学生はoverseas student / international studentなのはご存知だと思いますが、foreign studentでもこの場合のforeignerの表現に関しては特に問題はないということでした。以上僕が調べた結果です。



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