Ooh! He Said a Bad Word in Chinese!

Someday Soon, You Will All Be Speaking Chinese”—True or False? — Shanghai  Sojourns

The signs mean “I speak Chinese,” but fire the teacher just in case.

Being woke does not mean you have to know what you’re talking about.

A professor at the Looniversity of Southern California business school has been suspended for using a Chinese “filler word” that supposedly sounds like “a racial slur” in English (https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=15580).

I took Chinese in college, so I know what I’m talking about. Which disqualifies me from being woke.

The word in question is “nay-ga,” which in Chinese means “that” or “that one” and is often used in conversation as the Chinese equivalent of “um” or “y’know,” etc. It does not mean what the idiots at USC think it means.

Remember the Canadian town that was going to erase the number 4 from all its street addresses, because “four” in Chinese sounds, to the untrained English ear, like the Chinese word for “dead”? Chinese people have been using those words, without getting confused, for several millenia. But a few doofuses in Canada thought they ought to protect Chinese-Canadians from their own language.

But virtue-signaling requires no knowledge of any subject. So you suspend a professor for using a Chinese word because… well, because you’re ignorant but you still want to demonstrate your wonderful wokeness.

And they call it “higher education.”

7 comments on “Ooh! He Said a Bad Word in Chinese!

    1. The whole thing is ridiculous, because you can’t judge a word spoken in one language by how it sounds in another language.

      Sometimes I think that Babel is coming back to haunt us.

    2. I concur. My point is, that technology and global commerce are forcing all of these language groups back into contact with one another. Dealing with language issues is a daily experience for me, at this point. Calling technical support lines for various high tech products can expose you to English so heavily accented that it’s all but impossible to understand. I don’t blame the are hard working people, just trying to make a living, but the language barrier can be an issue, even when both sides are speaking English.

      It goes beyond language, however. Cultural meaning is a huge factor. What might be considered polite, even gracious, in one culture, can have a very different effect in another culture. US English, British English, Canadian English, South African English and Australian English assign different meanings to certain words. What might seem like basic gratitude in one culture could come across as patronizing in another.

      At Babel, the peoples of the earth dispersed. In many cases, they were completely out of communication with one another. People in South America may have had no idea of what Europe was like and they may not have even known that it existed. For most of history, the majority of people never got more than 10 or 20 miles away from their birthplace. That has changed drastically in our day, so Babel’s effect is coming back into play in a way that I wouldn’t have imagined.

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