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   >> Quackenbush's

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jcdenton
2500+ posts
06/29/08 01:21 PM
Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word

So I was at Macy's today in the shoe section, and my Mom comes up and says in Chinese (Mandarin) "So are you going to buy that pair of shoes you were looking at earlier"? Well it just so happens that the word in Mandarin which is the equivalent of the word "that" (when referring to a specific item) is pronounced "nigga". And it just so happens that there were three black people in the immediate vicininty (two employees and one customer). And it just so happens (or not) that everyone in the vicinity got really quiet all of a sudden after my Mom said it.

Well that's basically the end of the story, but I expressed to my Mom afterwards that she should try to avoid saying "nigga" in such situations, and she agreed that she would try.

So I guess I was wondering if anyone else had ever noticed this, or heard of it being an issue? I would imagine that anyone who is aware of the fact that a person is speaking Chinese when that person says "nigga" would not associate it with the English word, but that may or may not necessarily be the case. And if they aren't really listening and don't even know the language being spoken is Chinese and just hear the word "nigga", obviously that would suck.

BTW--as if this weren't enough of an unfortunate coincidence, the Chinese words for "give that" (for example, to give a particular type of item as a gift to someone) is even worse: "gay nigga".




UT Highlight Videos:
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YChangSponsor
5000+ posts
06/29/08 04:54 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

But..umm...you know...umm...

Russell Peters agrees with you.

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Xminus6
2500+ posts
06/29/08 05:17 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

haha. yeah, my mom says that all the time. i asked her one time what it meant (sad i know) and she didn't understand what word i was asking about. it does sound very similar to the N word, just without the "r" sound at the end.




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sanf81
250+ posts
06/29/08 07:06 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

My wife's mother is from China. When I first heard her speaking Chinese, that's what I thought she was saying. For them, it's a Chinese word. To us it sounds like something else. If people get offended, they need to get over it.

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Ramathorn
5000+ posts
06/29/08 09:58 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

nigga means yours, right?




"P.S. I'm single with no kids. All the diapers are from my grandmother who lives with me"craigslist ad

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falloutboy
500+ posts
06/29/08 11:17 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

"na," also pronounced "nay" means "that." "ge" is a measure word for just about any common item in casual conversation. Therefore "nay ge" is uttered about 4.5 trillion times a day in China. RACE WAR! Seriously though, it would suck if someone got hurt over a misunderstanding like this. I hope Americans will try to learn a little bit about Chinese before they get super offended.




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El_Oso
500+ posts
06/29/08 11:34 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

Be glad you don't know any Ethiopian Kings.

Spelling bee.

Turn your volume up, the audio is low. The judges had to know this was going to be awkward. I like how she kept asking him to say the word.




UPDATE! Jive Turkey's Sig, sad state.

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Horn-N-LA
500+ posts
06/30/08 12:11 AM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

Well if no one ever got offended by words, we wouldn't have to worry about stupid things like this.




Greg Davis, sobering up Longhorn fans for 10 years.

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ScoProSponsor
5000+ posts
06/30/08 07:09 AM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

Sounds like your mom should be niggardly in her use of that word around kneegrows.




Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes.


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jcdenton
2500+ posts
06/30/08 04:25 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: YChang]

In reply to:

Russell Peters agrees with you.


Yeah, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Although I don't think it's really so much a placeholder or whatever, as it is that when someone wants to refer to a specific item, but they're trying to think of the word for that item, then they'll repeat it over and over. Kind of like saying "I almost tripped over that... that.. that... futon".

The worst time was at a furniture store when my Mom came up to me and the first words out of her mouth were "Nigga nigga nigga..." (thus providing no context or any indication that she was speaking Chinese) before she completed the rest of her sentence in Chinese. And unfortunately enough, there just happened to be a black woman right there.

It actually just occurred to me that this phenomenon is probably even more common with native Mandarin speakers who know some English, when the word they're trying to think of is an English word (because it's obviously less likely that they'll have trouble thinking of the next word when it's a Chinese word). And of course, once they do say the next word and it's in English, that's even less of indication that they're speaking in Chinese, and thus further increasing the chances of a misunderstanding.




UT Highlight Videos:
jcdenton40.com

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buckhorn
2500+ posts
06/30/08 04:32 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

Too great.

'What the [censored] did you just say?'

Once upon a time someone on a high school faculty or something got fired for saying 'niggardly' in a meeting. Too great and very sad all at the same time.

It's a dangerous, multi-cultural world.


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HornDig_It
25+ posts
07/02/08 01:48 AM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

that's pretty funny because some students at UT from Houston have made money selling tshirts making fun of that. It has Na Ge "that one" spelled in Chinese and the last part of the phrase to look like it's spelled in chinese but it says plz. So the Tshirt says "Na Ge Plz"

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Brak
500+ posts
07/02/08 09:41 AM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

I've heard my coworker say that when on the phone speaking Chinese. Now I'm glad to know that she's not a racist.

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kgpSponsor
1000+ posts
07/02/08 09:58 AM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

FILI MI BONI DIC

An easy-to-misunderstand Latin expression.





pax,
kp

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Perham1
2500+ posts
07/07/08 12:54 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: kgp]

What does "african-american" mean in Mandarin?




I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. Oscar Wilde

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Dude
1000+ posts
07/07/08 01:26 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

Weird, I didn't know my uncle spoke Chinese.




___________________

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Napoleon
2500+ posts
07/07/08 05:20 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

I like Puddle/Cruiser and the Dude.

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BA93
5000+ posts
07/07/08 06:44 PM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: Napoleon]

This is America, speak American!

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HoosierHorn
10,000+ posts
07/08/08 05:43 AM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

"ne ga nigga"

you can't tell me Yao doesn't say that.

i would. and it would be funny.






"Foghorn Leghorn... I wanted to kill that sumbitch." - SpiderAg

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FugleBunny
25+ posts
07/08/08 09:20 AM
Re: Chinese (Mandarin) and the N-Word [re: jcdenton]

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