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Posts Tagged ‘english’

(Letter from Joel) How should foreigners feel about being called “鬼子,” “鬼佬,” “老外,” etc.?

April 15th, 2009 231 comments

I’m on an extended visit back to my hometown, Vancouver, a Canadian city full of Chinese. Chinese is the second-most commonly used language after English. My wife and I were running around a Chinese mall for fun to practice Mandarin and buy some Chinese DVDs when we overheard Chinese people talking about us in Mandarin saying, “Those foreigners are speaking Chinese!” I thought it was funny that even in Canada, Chinese people would call white people “foreigner” (in this case: “外国人”).
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Zhang Ziyi – What's in a name?

July 22nd, 2008 86 comments

Zhang Ziyi was recently interviewed on a Chinese TV network:

She said (in translation):

The first time I was the lead in an English-language film, I received some high praise. And especially as a Chinese person, I thought that was something to be proud of.

At the Cannes Film Festival, in front of all that media, then they call your name… And as a Chinese person, they then call you by your Chinese name… I was pretty emotional. I’ve never thought about changing my name, changing it to an English name. I’ve never thought about adopting an English name just to accommodate them.

My father and mother gave me my name. It’s mine, and if you want to remember me, you have to put some thought into how to pronounce it. It’s mine.

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