Friday, January 30, 2009

Foreigners and Foreignness in Korean Eyes

Essential Foreigner
But a 'Multicultural' Friend?
(Image from The Free Dictionary)

Brian Deutsch, over at his blog Brian in Jeollanam-do, asks an interesting question about the Korean word for "foreigner": 외국인 (wei-guk-in).
Can wei-guk-in ever refer to a Korean?
The question arises because we non-Koreans expats here in Korea receive the impression that wei-guk-in refers only to non-Koreans. Brian cites a passage from an article by David Kosofsky, "Exploring Korean Culture Through Korean English," which appeared in Korea Journal nearly 20 years ago (Volume 30, Number 11, November-December, 1990, pages 69-83). Brian directs our attention to page 75 for Kosofsky's experience with the Korean concept of "foreigner" (transliteration and translation added):
[I]n a Korean restaurant in San Francisco, . . . I was eating dinner with a young Korean man doing graduate studies at Berkeley. Pointing to a group of non-Asian diners at a nearby table, he remarked, "A lot of foreigners come to this restaurant." It was all I could do to continue chewing my 냉면 (naeng-myun, i.e., "cold noodles") without blurting out, "You're absolutely right, Mr. Kim, and you're one of them!" Apparently there is a dissonance between the English word, foreigner, and the Korean conceptual model.
Kosofsky then adds:
In English, the word refers to an abstract relationship, not an intrinstic attribute. Nobody is inherently a foreigner; anyone can become on simply by crossing a national border. Foreignness is a question of context, not essence.
The implication here is that Koreans consider foreignness an essential quality of non-Koreans. This sounded plausible, but I wondered if it were true, so I asked the first two native speakers of Korean that I could find and posted the results in a comment at Brian's blog:
I asked my wife and daughter about this, and they insist, as native speakers of Korean, that 외국인 (wei-guk-in) can refer to Koreans, too.

Some Koreans might have intellectual difficulties with this concept of Koreans as 외국인 (wei-guk-in), but I admit to calling various Europeans 'foreigners' while I was in Europe -- usually, but not always, as a joke.

I think that this is more an issue of provincialism than of semantics, for if my wife and daughter are correct, then 외국인 (wei-guk-in) can refer to a Korean outside of Korea.

Perhaps we need to ask more Koreans about this.
I therefore left Brian's blog and emailed a couple of Korean friends. First, I asked Dr. Suh Ji-moon, noted translator and a professor of English at Korea University about this, and she replied (parenthetical details added):
As for your query, I myself would never refer to an overseas Korean as a 'foreigner' (외국인, wei-guk-in), except as a figure of speech, so to say -- for example, 'why, he's almost a foreigner' (i.e., "almost a wei-guk-in"). But of course . . . young people may have a different concept of the word.
I therefore also asked a somewhat younger professor at Korea University, Dr. Moon Hi-Kyung, also of the English Department, and she wrote (transliterations and other parenthetical remarks added):
About your query -- an intriguing point. I would say that 외국인 (wei-guk-in) is a term which is used ambigously and could have two different meanings: it is used mostly to indicate a racial difference, so even if you (i.e., meaning not ethnic Koreans) are Korean nationality, you would still be a 외국인 (wei-guk-in). But of course in a stricter sense and when one is talking about nationality, then we talk about 외국인 (wei-guk-in, i.e., outside-country-person) and 내국인 (nae-guk-in, i.e., inside-country-person). But the former (i.e., racial) category is more usual in everyday conversation, I think.
Meanwhile, back over at Brian's blog, the discussion had continued. The learned Gomushin Girl wrote (referring to me in her comment as "HJH"):
Etymologically, it breaks down thusly:

外/외/wei/outside (same as in 외출: outing and 외도: go astray/wrong course)



The question is whether the 國 component should be seen as possessive, as "my country" in reference to the speaker. In that case, then yes, calling all non-Koreans "foreigner" would be the correct way to use this word. However, I'm inclined to agree with HJH in that this use is unthinking and provincial, and not intrinsic. There are Koreans who are linguistically cautious and avoid using the word indiscriminately, and then there are Koreans for whom it works for any non-Korean, anywhere, anytime.
I note in passing the connection between being "foreign" and "going astray" -- but this is a point peculiar to the original Chinese term (and observe the irony that 외국인 (wei-guk-in) is a foreign term, borrowed from the Chinese language). Gomushin Girl's main point is that the term 외국인 (wei-guk-in) does not intrinsically refer to a non-Korean.

The equally learned Sonagi, however, differs a bit on this point (transliterations and translations added):
Your wife and daughter are correct that the dictionary definition allows for this usage, but I have only ever heard or read Koreans using the words 외국인 (wei-guk-in) and 외국사람 (wei-guk sa-ram, i.e., "foreign person") to refer to non-Koreans. Even ethnic Korean residents and citizens of foreign countries are usually distinguished as 한인 (han-in, i.e., Korean person), 한국계 (han-guk-gye, i.e., "ethnic Korean"), 교포 (gyo-po, i.e., "overseas Korean"), and 동포 (dong-po, i.e., "overseas Korean").

Unlike English speakers, Koreans will refer to a non-Korean as a "foreigner" even when the nationality is known. While retelling experiences abroad, Koreans have called Australians, Canadians, and Americans "foreigners." The Koreans knew these people were locals. An English speaker would refer to a German, a Japanese, or a Mexican as such and never use the word "foreigner" to refer to specific person of a specific nationality. Koreans will, too, but they will also call specific persons of a specific known nationality "foreigners."

The general Korean worldview can be thought of as a Venn diagram. In one circle are ethnic Koreans with Korean citizenship. In the other, are non-ethnic Koreans with foreign citizenship. In the middle are ethnic Koreans with foreign citizenship and Korean citizens with partial or non-Korean ancestry. Because your wife and children are part of a multicultural family, their worldview is probably not representative or typical of Koreans.
Sonagi may be correct about my wife and daughter, but I have also asked my class of about 25 students at Ewha Womans University, and these young native speakers agreed that 외국인 (wei-guk-in) can refer to Koreans as well as to non-Koreans, so the younger generation might hold more flexible views. (Or they might have been telling me what they thought that I wanted to hear.)

Language use reflects how people think, I suppose, and while many (perhaps most) Koreans may still speak as if "foreignness" were an essential quality of non-Koreans, the term 외국인 (wei-guk-in) can be used more flexibly (as the Chinese linguistic roots demonstrate) and is perhaps coming to be used to refer to Koreans in some contexts . . . but more investigation is needed on this intriguing point.

I lack the Korean linguistic skills for this sort of research endeavor, but I think that a good, concrete question to ask individual Koreans would be the following (composed with the help of my daughter, Sa-Rah):
Could you, as a Korean visiting a non-Korean country, say, "이 나라에서 나는 외국인이다" (e nara-esuh na-nun wei-guk-in e-da, i.e., "I am a foreigner in this country")?
With appreciation to my daughter Sa-Rah for the Korean sentence, apology to Korean experts for my poor transliteration, and appeal to everyone interested for their additional insights on this vexed cultural-linguistic issue.

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At 10:36 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

There was a scene from the movie "welcome to dongmakkol" (can't type in Korean at the moment) where one of the villagers referred to the Korean soldiers that came into the village as foreigners. It wasn't really a joke, or at least not a funny one because no one laughed, so I asked my girlfriend this very question and she said yes, Koreans can be "waygookin" in a tone of voice like it was the most obvious thing in the world. I never really thought about it much since then until this interesting blog post of yours. Thanks!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Steve, that's an interesting movie moment. Was the point that the village was so isolated that even Koreans from outside of the village could be 'foreign'?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:46 PM, Blogger Brian said...

Thanks for this entry.

At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't have time for a longer comment at this point, but I will say this: if you ask most educated Koreans if 외국인 can refer to a Korean, they will say yes, but this is (I believe) because they are consciously considering the issue. However, many (although I can't say all) Koreans will simply refer to non-Koreans as 외국인, no matter where they are, if they don't take the time to think about it.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Brian, you're welcome. Thanks for raising the issue in the first place.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 1:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Charles, I think that you're right, and even my wife and daughter have reconsidered a bit upon reflection and further discussion.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 2:35 PM, Blogger Gomushin Girl said...

if you ever really want to throw Koreans for a loop, start referring to them collectively as 원주민 and let the confusion begin ^^V

At 2:57 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I fear that the confusion would turn to a melee that I would not survive...

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:34 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

When I was growing up in Canada, I though it meant white people until I started learning Hanja.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger John B said...

I think you can gloss the word in three similar ways:

1. A person from a foreign country.

2. A person native to a country other than the speaker's.

3. A non-Korean.

Until after the Korean War, or at least from the late Choson period to the post colonial period, all three definitions would apply to virtually all situations where the word was used, simply because few Koreans traveled outside of Korea, few people entered Korea, and few ethnically non-Koreans learned to speak Korean. Presently, however, there are often cases where only one of these three definitions would apply.

I think this is more an example of shifts in meaning than definitive evidence of Korean culture being provincial and small-minded, which is the feeling I got from the original article that touched off the discussion.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Kimchikraut (intriguing 'multiethnic' name), thanks for the comment. Canada is multiethnic these days (and for some time, actually), so what term applied to the non-white, non-Koreans in Canada?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:34 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

John B, the term "provincial" can be neutral -- as I intended -- for I can imagine very 'provincial' Americans thinking that "foreigner" refers only to non-Americans.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 6:50 PM, Blogger John B said...

Neutral or not, the article implies that it is an intrinsic characteristic of Korean culture rather than certain individual Koreans, which is reading way more into a quirk of language than is appropriate.

At 7:29 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

John, it might very well be an "intrinsic character" of Korean culture, for that matter, so long as one not maintain that what is intrinsic can never change. The 'intrinsic' may itself be temporally dependent, as is culture.

At least, I think so, but I might be proven wrong on this . . . possibly by a dictionary.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:01 AM, Blogger JIW said...

Does anyone know if the Japanese have a similar linguistic saying for "foreigners" or non-Japanese?

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I don't know, and neither does my wife (whom I've just asked), but perhaps someone will respond. Have you inquired at Brian's blog?

Jeffery Hodges

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At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Does anyone know if the Japanese have a similar linguistic saying for "foreigners" or non-Japanese?"

The Japanese distinguish Westerners from other foreigners, mostly Koreans, Chinese, and other foreign nationals from developing countries, calling the former "gaijin" and the latter "gaigokujin." The second term is considered somewhat offensive to some of those "gaigokujin," who feel it has a negative connotation.

The Chinese, like the Koreans, attach a racial connotation to their words for foreigner, "waiguoren" and "laowai." These terms are almost always used to describe non-Northeast Asians. Koreans and Japanese are called "hanguoren" and "ribenren" while everyone else is lumped together as "waiguoren." In a way this makes sense since Koreans and Japanese are easily distinguished while people of other nationalities are not. Likewise, Koreans tend to refer to Japanese and Chinese by their nationalities, rather than as foreigners.

A Korean friend in China related to me of her experience in a hospital waiting room. The Chinese around her were muttering "hanguoren," making her feel conspicuous.

"Welcome to my world," I smiled wryly.

At 12:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a question for your children, Jeffery:

Did you consider yourselves foreigners and/or 외국인 and/or 외국사람 while visiting Arkansas last year? I use both terms because you presumably think in both languages and may conjure up different images of each.

At 1:59 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sonagi, thanks for the explanation answering Foreigner Joy's question.

Now, to answer yours.

I asked my children, and each separately but instantly answered, "I thought of myself as American."

I had expected this answer because they both felt so comfortable with my family and friends and because their level of English was quite high (thanks to my long-term efforts).

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:30 PM, Blogger X said...

When I was going through the "Foreigner" line in Fukuoka immigration last year, I noticed that under the English sign was written (한국인). Perhaps there had been some confusion on the part of Korean tourists. Had they not identified themselves as "foreigners", even though they were in Japan?

At 8:02 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Hwarangi, very interesting question. I would guess that the Japanese were letting the Koreans know clearly that, yes, they were "foreigners" in Japan.

Imagine the confusion if the Korean translation had read 외국인! Koreans would likely have assumed that the line indicated by the sign did not include them.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your children's response makes sense. A foreign-born ethnic Korean visiting Korea for the first time would consider himself or herself a Korean, not a foreigner.


Hilariously revealing anecdote.

At 10:10 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sonagi, I wonder how a half-Korean first coming to Korea would consider himself or herself.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something else I thought of, too, Jeffery, on the subject of "foreigner" as an identity. Most missionary children born or raised in Korea from an early age never take Korean citizenship or make Korea their permanent home. The Strawn's daughters, unlike most of their peers, attended Korean schools and thus spoke flawless Korean and fit in socially. Both girls graduated from US universities and married Americans. One had a desire to come back and work in Korea, but I lost touch with the Strawns and don't know if that ever happened. The newly emerging ethnic group of Korean-born children with one foreign parent are thought of as Korean, but there aren't enough Korean-born or raised children of foreign ethnicities to establish themselves as a minority group of sorts. John Linton referred to himself and was referred to as an American although he was a second or third-generation Korean-born with US citizenship attained through parentage. I was thinking that each of us has a unique indentity yet our collection of identity labels like "woman," "American," or "Buddhist" denote membership in a group.

At 3:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sonagi, I wonder how a half-Korean first coming to Korea would consider himself or herself.

I don't know. I guess it would depend on how strong that person's ethnic Korean identity was back home and how that person was received in Korea. Ancestrally I am half-Irish and I look Irish with my short stature and pale, ruddy complexion. Culturally I have no connection to my Irish roots now that I am no longer Catholic. I didn't feel any kinship with my Irish friends and colleagues in Asia. I were to visit Ireland, I would very much feel like a foreigner.

At 4:55 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I suspect that a half-Korean who happens to be fluent in Korean would want to feel "Korean" upon his or her first visit but would encounter resistance from Koreans, who would notice ways in which the individual were not fully Korean.

Americans have long divorced ethnicity from American identity -- and the mixed Native-American character of my own family (and other locals in the Ozarks) probably would have made the mixedness of my kids completely unremarkable for everyone anyway. At any rate, my children encountered full acceptance.

As for the emerging generation of mixed children, I agree that they don't constitute a single group in Korea, but they will force Koreans to deal more flexibly with the question of Korean identity, for 'international' marriages -- if I recall -- were over 10 percent of all new marriages last year.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for the emerging generation of mixed children, I agree that they don't constitute a single group in Korea,

It seems the meaning of this statement of mine wasn't clear:

The newly emerging ethnic group of Korean-born children with one foreign parent are thought of as Korean, but there aren't enough Korean-born or raised children of foreign ethnicities to establish themselves as a minority group of sorts.

As you noted, international marriages now constitute over 10% of all unions. However, I believe these families are concentrated in the countryside, so one would except fuller acceptance there than elsewhere although sometimes a more visible presence increases prejudice. Even with 10%, the number is small enough that children of these marriages will be lumped together regardless of the nationality of the non-Korean parent, just as the traditional racial categories are lumped together in the US. There is, or soon will be, a critical mass of Koreans with partial foreign ancestry to establish themselves as a subgroup of Koreans.

What there isn't a critical mass of is naturalized Koreans of full foreign ancestry; hence, a foreigner who takes Korean citizenship is still a foreigner in the eyes of Koreans and a foreign child raised in Korea, even one who attends Korean schools, is still a foreigner. This is, as you also noted, in strong contrast to our always multiracial United States.

Almost four hundred years after the first ship brought African slaves to Jamestown, America is still grappling with its identity. Multiculturalism is very new to the Koreans, who seem to be trying to expand their concept of peoplehood to include these new members.

At 10:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"one would except" = "one would expect"

BTW, that survey of Korean children's attitudes towards mixed-ethnicity Koreans published in the media this week suggest that full acceptance is a long way off. As I recall, children who'd had contact with mixed-ethnicity Koreans were less comfortable with them than children who hadn't.

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Dr. Richard Scott Nokes said...

I can't think of a single instance of hearing this word (I can't get this thing to type in hangul) when it was not used ethnically.

Two examples: Ethnic non-Koreans who have taken on Korean citizenship I've always heard called "foreigners who are Korean citizens," -- and I've also heard this phrase used when the speaker is translating to English.

On the other hand, the Korean students here sometimes refer to non-Korean students as "waygookin" (though more often they'll use "migookin" or "hookin," depending on the race)...

... which leads to another way in which these terms are used. "Migookin" (American) is so generally used to refer to any white non-Korean that I've had many moments of confusion and exasperation. Once, a friend referred to a group of men as "migookin." "No," I replied, "they're Russian, not American." He looked confused, and said, that's what he said, "Roo-shi-a migookin." "No," I insisted, "they're not Americans at all. They're just Russians." He looked at me like I was ludicrously straining at a gnat, laughed, and said, "It's the all the same thing."

At 5:07 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sonagi, thanks for the additional thoughts.

Acceptance of mixed children is still distant in Korea, as you note, but let me add some notes.

Surprisingly, a lot of the mixed marriages are not in the countryside, for not only farmers but also factory workers are marrying foreign women, mostly of Asian origin.

As for the report on unmixed Korean children's acceptance of mixed children, the statistics are . . . well, mixed. A large percentage of unmixed children claim to have no problem accepting mixed children. However, anecdotally, I can say that my daughter often complains about having few friends.

I find interesting the fact that "pureblood" is so important for Koreans that they use the euphemism "multicultural" to refer to "multiethnic." I have to work hard with my students to get them to see the distinction (which, admittedly, is sometimes itself not so clear).

Jeffery Hodges

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At 5:14 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Scott, that 'Amerussian' anecdote is priceless.

Actually, I felt that the Koreans were making some progress when Korean kids started saying "wei-guk-in" (foreigner) rather than "mi-guk-in" (American) whenever they pointed at me and laughed.

As least, they had cottoned on to the fact that not every 'white' person was an American.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, anecdotally, I can say that my daughter often complains about having few friends.

I recall that the recent survey mentioned in a previous comment cited one reason why some Korean children would be reluctant to make friends with a mixed-race Korean child: ostracism by other children. If your daughter doesn't have many friends, it may be that some girls who like her do not befriend her because of potential peer rejection. Doesn't ease the pain, but we adults know that your children will outgrow the caged world of childhood and teenage cliques, spread their wings and soar.

At 8:57 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Yeah, peer pressure is even worse in Korea than in the States.

I just hope that my kids will soar without feeling too sore.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have thought this over once more, and have come to the conclusion that..:

Dictionary-wise, wei-gook-in does mean foreigner. However, the actual meanings ('cultural meanings') are different.

No matter how much it is scientifically disproven, Koreans still believe they originate from the same ancestor and share a 5000-year history. Though this concept may be dying out with the younger generation, there is a big feeling of "us"ness when it comes to other Koreans.

I'll borrow sonagi's idea of using chinese symbols to explain a bit more.

外國人 (wei gook in), broken down, means 'outside / country / person'.
The opposite of wei(外) is nae(內), and the opposite of wei-gook-in is nae-gook-in, however the word nae-gook-in isn't used very much. Han-gook-in is usually the word of choice. Basically, what it all boils down to is that the opposite word of wei-gook-in is han-gook-in. It's a "you're either with us or against us" situation.

In short, wei-gook-in does not mean foreigner, it basically means non-Korean.

At 11:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for your question, Could you, as a Korean visiting a non-Korean country, say, "이 나라에서 나는 외국인이다" (e nara-esuh na-nun wei-guk-in e-da, i.e., "I am a foreigner in this country")?

I think of myself as a foreigner when I visit a country outside the peninsula, but I don't really consider myself a wei-gook-in.

At 4:51 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Thanks, Jaeeun, for your thoughts on "foreigner" (外國人, 외국인, wei-guk-in).

Since you, as a teenager, are obviously of the young generation and have even lived abroad, then your understanding of the meaning of the Korean term "외국인" (foreigner) gives evidence that also among younger Koreans, the word is generally used to mean "non-Korean."

Jeffery Hodges

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At 7:36 PM, Blogger Sperwer said...

Interesting thread with many intriguing linguistic speculations; but they are so focused on the linguistic trees that they miss the socio-historical forest. Notwithstanding its current hyperbolic (and often self-falsified) claims to multiculturalism, modern Korea has been and remains very predominantly a state the identity of which is grounded more or less exclusively in ethno-nationalism, with the emphasis falling very heavily on the supposed ethnic homogeneity of the purported nation that underpins the state and its putative legitimacy.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

True, Sperwer, but what I found interesting was the hesitation of many Koreans to acknowledge that 외국인 is used as though it means "non-Korean."

I'm curious why I've found this reluctance.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 11:01 PM, Blogger Sperwer said...

I think it's because Koreans, at least the more "modernized" ones, i.e., those exposed to relatively cosmopolitan influences, know or at least sense that their form of ethno-nationalism doesn't really play for the "Western" "liberal-democratic" audience from whom they want validation of Korea's accession to the ranks of "modern" nations.

At 3:45 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

I think that you're right about that with respect to the older generation of Koreans, but what I've noticed about college-age Koreans is an openness to foreigners and a criticism of Korean ethnocentrism and xenophobia.

Perhaps some of this is my Ewha students saying what they think that I want to hear, but I sense a real change . . . and at the same time, a certain naiveté about foreigners, as though the problems with a multiethnic society in Korea would be due solely to Korean prejudices and have nothing to do with foreigners' own cultural baggage.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:10 AM, Blogger Sperwer said...

I agree that some degree of change is in process. The questions are how much and what it really signifies. It's too early to draw any conclusions (particularly hopeful, positive ones), especially on the basis of the attitudes of Korean college students who, in my experience are, generally speaking, astonishingly naive and still lacking the final molding process of army service/workplace indoctrination - institutions with far more determinative influence in Korea than education. Some of the most open-minded people that I've met in Korea are older, otherwise hopelessly provincial and relatively uneducated. The most intolerant and xenophobic (although often superficially charming) ones that I've met are without exception highly or very highly educated.

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Perhaps that last insight of yours explains some of my career difficulties in this country.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 8:41 PM, Blogger m.f. said...

I've encountered a couple of Korean textbooks that are published in three languages: Japanese, Chinese and Foreigner (meaning English). I asked a Korean co-worker about this and she said "yeah but when we say foreigner/외국인 we're usually thinking about white people". This struck me as odd but it makes sense given Sonagi's point about North-East Asians referring to one another by their nationalities rather than under the blanket 'foreigner' category.

It's also slightly amusing to see a book called "Korean for Japanese" with the title on the front cover written in English - what if potential Japanese customers don't speak English? I feel like that is a bad way to sell a book.

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

M.F., I suspect that Koreans feel that putting English in the title provides a certain cachet.

Thanks for the additional information on this issue.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 9:52 AM, Blogger kimchikraut said...

"Kimchikraut..., so what term applied to the non-white, non-Koreans in Canada?"

Chinese, Japanese and Indians were referred to as such and the white people we called 외국 사람. I grew up in Toronto in the 70's.

Just got back from Korea (1st time in 15 years) and was was surprised to be treated nicely as a 교포. I remember going as child and hearing people mutter things when they found out we lived abroad.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Kimchikraut, thanks for the reply, even if belated.

I take it that "외국 사람" was used by Canadian Koreans to mean "white people." Interesting.

Anyway, welcome to Korea. I'm glad that you feel more welcome this time.

Jeffery Hodges

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At 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

감사합니다 위국인 :-D 나두 외국인이다요 :3

At 6:14 AM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

"감사합니다 위국인 :-D 나두 외국인이다요 :3"

Let's see, that says, "Thanks, foreigner :-D I'm a foreigner, too :3"

Maybe so, but you speak colloquial Korean! Thanks for visiting!

Jeffery Hodges

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