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  • Lindsayn

    Laowai isn't 'foreigner', it's 'Asian'.

    I don't think we can translate Laowai as foreigner.

    Chinese people use it even when outside of China and Western children born and raised in China are still called laowai, even by those who know they are not.

    Very few Koreans and Japanese are called it. It also can carry far less xenophobic bite than the English word "Foreigner"; Chinese can call their friends laowai but very few Americans would call their friend "foreigner"


    I think it is more of a racial-descriptor, like Asian.


    It can be neutral,   e.g. "My boyfriend is Asian", but can be 'other'ising,  "Asian students always sit together at lunch".


    Like laowai, it also lumps diverse billions of people under one umbrella term.  Asian covers everyone from North Japan to Sri Lanka.


    Do you agree?

    8 months agoin Culture-Chengdu
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