[KS] Is the word "외국인" an instance of "和製漢語"?

McCann, David dmccann at fas.harvard.edu
Sun Mar 2 09:27:53 EST 2014

I was walking from the poet Sô Chôngju's house down through the alleys and over to get the bus when a young boy and girl walked toward and past me in the other direction.  They both looked at me, and she said to him, "Miguk saram?"  He announced "Aniya, yôngguk."

I've wondered what might have been that led him to that erroneous conclusion.  Maybe I'd been spending too much time talking with Midang about poetry?

David McCann

On Mar 1, 2014, at 11:24 PM, Werner Sasse <werner_sasse at hotmail.com<mailto:werner_sasse at hotmail.com>> wrote:

Hi Bob, great answer to a great thread....

Just two minor remarks:

> And it's certainly racial. Koreans, e.g., never use the word when talking about Japanese or Chinese--nor, at least when I was in Korea way > back when, did they use it for Africans or African-Americans. Unquestionably, 외국인or외국사람 meant 'a white person'. Come to think of > it, the most common word I remember from back then was 미국사람. And that word was a blanket term for 'white people' that covered > > you, Werner and Frank, or anyone else from Europe! Remember?

Well, generally this was the case, I agree, but some, after all, had a wider connotation in mind. One day, when the Rotary Club in Yeosu in the late 60ies had invited Robert Baskerville (peace corps 1 friends, remember this wonderful fellow?) and my wife and me for dinner, and I remarked that the three of us were the only foreigners in the area, one man corrected me by pointing out that there were also about 30.000 Chinese there...

And as for the equation of 외국사람 and 미국사람, even today there is this tendency. Being German, in some kind of conversations I am tempted to point out that I am not American but German, which sometimes results in a (positive prejudice) reaction: 독일미국사람 이시네...

Now, on your correct discussion of the term 國語: Many ancient Chinese texts favour “방언” as terminus for non-Chinese languages (like in 게림유사 고려방언), but in Buddhist discourse “국어” is often the equivalent word for local non-Chinese languages instead. I always think that this Buddhist usage must also be kept in mind, when one reads King Sejong's 훈민정음, where the concept is used in the conspicuous position as the first one in the introduction, which starts with “國之語音…”

Best to you

> From: ramsey at umd.edu<mailto:ramsey at umd.edu>
> To: hoffmann at koreanstudies.com<mailto:hoffmann at koreanstudies.com>; koreanstudies at koreanstudies.com<mailto:koreanstudies at koreanstudies.com>
> Date: Sat, 1 Mar 2014 21:51:53 +0000
> Subject: Re: [KS] Is the word "외국인" an instance of "和製漢語"?
> This is a great thread to start the morning (on the US east coast). I've always found these words fascinating because they've comprised so much of the vocabulary of modern life in East Asia since the 19th century.
> But what Scott's asking about in particular is 外國人. What a great question. I had never thought of that particular example, so I immediately went to my main references, Morohashi's 大漢和辭典 and the 日本國語大辭典. These really fall short of giving a completely satisfying answer, but they do have some small hints. Morohashi gives a citation from the classical Han history, the 漢書, so at least in some form the word was around, I guess. The Nihon kokugo daijiten gives as its first citation 財政経済史料, vol. 3, which, I believe (at least the title Google Japan turns up), is a 1925 collection of Edo materials. Now, of course that Japanese dictionary by no means works anything like the OED with its citations, but I THINK the editors are trying to suggest that that's an early example of the usage as found in Japan. Kind of frustrating maybe, but I suspect you all are right that the usage itself (if not strictly speaking the word) is pretty modern.
> And it's certainly racial. Koreans, e.g., never use the word when talking about Japanese or Chinese--nor, at least when I was in Korea way back when, did they use it for Africans or African-Americans. Unquestionably, 외국인or외국사람 meant 'a white person'. Come to think of it, the most common word I remember from back then was 미국사람. And that word was a blanket term for 'white people' that covered you, Werner and Frank, or anyone else from Europe! Remember?
> _____________
> But more seriously, about Scott's very interesting topic: In general, I've long assumed that any word associated with a new concept (at least new to East Asia in the 19th century) was coined by Meiji Japanese. I say "coined" because, as Frank points out, that was true, for example, of the word misul 美術in spite of the obvious fact that East Asia certainly had art in traditional times. The thing is, as pointed out by Takashina and Rimer back in 1987 (and probably many others before that as well), the Meiji term only referred to Western art back then. But for most such words it's not always easy to find a definitive citation proving when and how it was coined. The problem is that Meiji intellectuals, particularly such prolific writers and translators as Fukugawa Yukichi, tried, whenever possible, to make up a word that--the form of the word at least--could also be found in some classical Chinese source. Of course in that source it had necessarily had been used with a different meaning in a completely different cultural context. Why, then, did they work so hard to find a literary Chinese allusion? Because these highly educated men were so thoroughly versed in the Classical Chinese canon, they tended to see all learning and intellectual respectability through that lens. Moreover, as it happened, Chinese had had a great resurgence in popularity in Japan just around that time or a little before, in the early 19th century.
> Maybe the best-known example of how a term was created this way is國語. Now, even today most people who've studies the Chinese classics are usually familiar with the 5th century B.C. book by that name, which is usually translated into English as ‘Discourses of the States’. That ancient classic was a collection of stories passed down about various warring states of ancient China and was most certainly not about language or languages. But the word was later used in other ways as well. Certainly by the 8th century, the Chinese started using those two characters to designate the language spoken by a nation—just not their own nation, NOT Han Chinese. Rather, the Tang Chinese used the word when talking about local speech in some non-Han state. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the term was somewhat dismissive, meaning something like “the local vernacular”, the speech used by incompletely civilized people some place out there beyond the pale. That's what 國語 meant in Japan, too. In Japan, at least through the Edo period, the standard language (or at least the standard written language, which was the only form of language anyone recognized then) was Classical Chinese, and within that world view Japanese was “a local people’s vernacular” even from the point of view of the Japanese. It was only when those state-builders of the Meiji got around to creating a national language (really, largely on the basis of a Prussian model), they decided that the new word, 'National Language' should consist of those two characters. And so, the Classical Chinese structure of the word was the only thing Chinese about it. The Japanese had deliberately created the word as a calque of “national language”, a concept that was then, to all East Asians, exotic and completely European.
> After the Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese suddenly began paying attention to a heretofore largely ignored neighbor. In 1902 Wu Rulun, one of the most famous Chinese scholars of the day, had just been appointed the Superintendent of Education and the new head of the reorganized Peking Imperial University, and in this capacity he went on an inspection tour of Japan. Deeply impressed with the progress of modernization there, he came back advocating the development of a unified national language along similar lines. Wu is said to have popularized the phrase "Unification of the National Language" in China, and thus the importation of the new, Japanese-coined word to China can be attributed to him. The word Wu was so impressed with was of course Kokugo (國語). Its Classical Chinese form felt so familiar and natural to him, he found it easy to accept as native Chinese in spite of the new and unfamiliar meaning it now carried. Wu, of course, instinctively gave the characters their Mandarin Chinese readings (guoyu), and in that simple way the word instantly became fully Chinese. Thus was created a classic example of what Victor Mair has aptly called a "round-trip" word—a word Japanese first modeled on classical Chinese sources, gave a new meaning by tailoring it to fit some (usually) Western imported concept, and then sent in its new meaning back to China. In this way, Kokugo and words like it transcended national and ethnic boundaries in East Asia—wherever the common written medium was Chinese characters and Classical Chinese.
> Most of the Meiji coinages are not so easy to track, of course, precisely because they are so interwoven into the classical Chinese fabric. I've put a small sample of words whose sources are known into the attached article (the discussion of Meiji coinages starts on p. 88). But it's really hard in most cases to find a smoking gun! Still, as I began this posting by saying, I assume most of this vocabulary comes from the creativity (and intellectual snobbery) of Meiji intellectuals. The one example I know of that was supposedly really made in China (as least, as I recall, according to the great linguist Y.R. Chao) is 幾何學 'geometry' (since, after all, 幾何 read in Mandarin is jĭhé, which sounds at least a LITTLE like geo-).
> I've gone on a bit too long maybe, but that's because the thread Scott started was so very interesting. Thanks to all for the entertaining discussion.
> Bob Ramsey
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Koreanstudies [mailto:koreanstudies-bounces at koreanstudies.com<mailto:bounces at koreanstudies.com>] On Behalf Of Frank Hoffmann
> Sent: Saturday, March 01, 2014 2:31 AM
> To: Korean Studies Discussion List
> Subject: Re: [KS] Is the word "외국인" an instance of "和製漢語"?
> Adding a note to Adam Bohnet's comments:
> (1) It may not be "easy" to do so, exactly because of the lack of extensive etymological dictionaries, but Scott, if I read your question for once as an essay draft, then the problematic point is the historiographic accuracy. Of course, what is first, hen or egg? You will get to different and more precise questions then better and more accurate etymological information you already have and reverse. As an
> example: It seems very essential to draw a distinction between (a) the popularity (or lack thereof) of a Sino-Korean term and (b) the new introduction of such a term, (c) the invention of a new term (this last one not being your topic). Several terms in your list of examples seem not to have been introduced by the Japanese to Korea, e.g. sijang 市場,
> but they were certainly popularized during the colonial period. Other terms such as misul 美術, where invented during the Meiji period and then introduced to both Korea and China in the 1880s. China, in fact, adapted quite a number of those late 19th century term inventions from Japan, but that seems not exactly a very popular topic in China. These are typically the terms that relate to Western technology, science, to new political systems and ideologies, bureaucracy, Western-style law, but also new "concepts" that restructured and reevaluated already existing culture, terms hat often provided different new contextualizations. As a result, since with the modernization and Westernization process Japan was mostly ahead, many such newly invented terms traveled from Japan to Korea and China. Others did not, were developed in parallel:
> airplane ->
> in Japan/Korea: 飛行機 (ひこうき / 비행기)
> in China: 飛機 (fēijī)
> It is therefore very important to always clarify which "group" a term belongs to ... was it a neologism, was it a term that existed already but was popularized by the Japanese during the colonial period -- *or* earlier? If it was popularized by the Japanese, then why did that happen? Was it simply a replacement for a purely Korean term or was it offering a NEW concept of something already existing, thus shifting the meaning of material or ideal culture? I would therefore argue that Scott's question would certainly be as much in the territory of the cultural and intellectual historian as the linguist's, and that the discussion would have to be very "precise" and very "historical,"
> taking into consideration the exact historical circumstances (as Adam Bohnet already demonstrated). In other words, the "summary" you give there, Scott, listing all these terms and *translating" them all as terms meaning "foreigners" is probably more in the way of getting to meaningful answers (and questions) than being helpful.
> (2) Scott wrote:
> >> According to Japanese linguists, the word "外國人" was promoted and
> >> popularized during the Meiji period in contrast to the word "内国人"
> >> (lit., "inside country person" or "내국인" in Korean), which was used to
> >> refer to people of the Japanese Empire, including those in Korea and
> >> Taiwan.
> The Meiji period lasted until 1912. Taiwan became a colony in 1995, Korea became one in 1910. I would find it unlikely that the "counter mould" of the term 外國人, which is 内国人, would have included "to refer to people of the Japanese Empire" to include Taiwanese and Koreans, as 外國人 was used in Japan before the territorial expansion of Japan. I think you really talk about the post-Meiji period here.
> Best,
> Frank
> On Sat, 01 Mar 2014 01:00:48 -0500, Adam Bohnet wrote:
> > Hi Scott:
> >
> > That sounds like a very interesting topic.
> >
> > My ignorant thoughts on the subject:
> >
> > I don't know if you have done a Sillok search. Obviously, one has to
> > be careful about drawing too many conclusions on that basis, but it
> > is really notable that 외국인 appears throughout the Sillok, some 60% of
> > all cases appear during and after the reign of Kojong. k
> >
> http://sillok.history.go.kr/inspection/inspection.jsp?mState=2&mTree=0&clsName=&searchType=a&keyword=%E5%A4%96%E5%9C%8B%E4%BA%BA
> >
> > A fairly simple 역사정보통합시스템 search turned up extensive use of the term
> > in the Choson Ch'ongdokpu kwanbo even in 1910-1911. If nothing else,
> > this suggests an institutionalization of the term during the Japanese
> > colonial period. It doesn't give you a smoking gun of whether it is
> > from China or from Japan, I suppose, but if you are looking for the
> > evolution of 외국인 as a standard, that might be a useful place to look.
> >
> > In a sense, since the word was well used, but not universally used,
> > before, I wonder a bit whether it will be possible to trace its
> > origins to either China or Japan. But who knows, perhaps there will be
> > an article in an early newspaper discussing the value of 외국인 over 번방.
> > O
> >
> >
> > Finally, if I may engage in a bit of quibbling about your list, I
> > notice that in the terms you provide for "foreigner" in various East
> > Asian languages, a substantial number are actually terms generally
> > used for Westerners in particular and not foreigners in general, so:
> >
> > 南蛮人, 코쟁이, 洋人" and "洋鬼子.
> >
> >
> > I encourage you to broaden your list. If 洋人 is an equivalent to 외국 인,
> > then so is 胡人.
> >
> > Alternately, perhaps you are interested in the process by which the
> > typical 외국인 in popular consciousness became a Westerner (perhaps
> > slapping his father's back and saying, "hey man"). That is also an
> > interesting topic, but from your brief e-mail it isn't clear if you
> > are discussing the changes in methods for referring to foreigners or
> > to Westerners. I am sure that according to the Chosen Governor
> > General, a Chinese person would have been a 외국인, but probably would
> > not have been a 코쟁이 to the Koreans who encountered him or her (unless
> > the Chinese person was blessed with an enormous nose).
> > Finally, I am not a Koryo/Yuan expert, but my understanding of 색목 인
> > 色目人 ("people of the various categories") has a very strong legalistic
> > meaning indeed. Indeed, it is a legal and administrative category of
> > the Yuan empire, and really probably isn't to be understood as in
> > anyway equivalent to 외국인, as 색목인 were not, of course, outsiders to the
> > Yuan empire, but one category of subjects (as were Mongols, northern
> > Chinese and southern Chinese).
> >
> > Those are my brief thoughts on the subject.
> >
> > Yours,
> >
> > Adam
> >
> >
> > On 2014-02-28 11:45 PM, J.Scott Burgeson wrote:
> >> I have a question for the linguists on this List, specifically those
> >> who work not only with the Korean language but also Chinese and
> >> Japanese.
> >>
> >> It is well-known that hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of
> >> Chinese-character based words in common use in Japan, China and Korea
> >> were coined by the Japanese during the Meiji period, such as "
> >> 百貨店" ("백화점"), "時間" ("시간"), "国際" ("국제"), "民族" ("민족 "), "市場" ("시장"),
> >> "社会" or "社會" ("사회"), "出版" ("출판") and many, many more.
> >>
> >> My question has to do with the route of transmission of the word "外
> >> 國人" or "외국인" into Korea, which one would assume is not pure or native
> >> Korean as it is based on Chinese characters.
> >>
> >> I have consulted a dozen or more different Korean-Korean
> >> dictionaries, both contemporary and of words in use during the Choson
> >> Period, and in general etymologies are not given for this word.
> >>
> >> According to Japanese linguists, the word "外國人" was promoted and
> >> popularized during the Meiji period in contrast to the word "内国人"
> >> (lit., "inside country person" or "내국인" in Korean), which was used to
> >> refer to people of the Japanese Empire, including those in Korea and
> >> Taiwan. Thus, those outside of the Empire were referred to as "外國人"
> >> or "외국인" in Korean. Here, for instance, is a 1931 article from the
> >> 동아일보 that uses the word in the title and text:
> >>
> >>
> http://www.culturecontent.com/content/contentView.do?search_div=CP_THE&search_div_id=CP_THE014&cp_code=cp0902&index_id=cp09020198&content_id=cp090201980001&search_left_menu=3
> >>
> >> However, the studies I have seen do not make it clear whether or not
> >> the word "外國人" was actually created by the Japanese during the Meiji
> >> period, or merely popularized by the Meiji authorities. In other
> >> words, it is not clear whether or not it is 和製漢語. What is clear,
> >> though, is that it was at this time that the word "外國人"
> >> became the standard term for "foreigners" in the Japanese language,
> >> as prior to this there was a variety of different terms used to
> >> describe non-Japanese, such as "南蛮人," "異人," "異国人," and "異邦
> >> 人." What seems to be the case is that the difference with "外國人"
> >> is that it has more of a legalistic meaning or connotation, in
> >> contrast to these other words, indicating a lack of local citizenship
> >> or nationality, and this is certainly how the term is used today, at
> >> least officially, in present-day South Korea.
> >>
> >> In China, meanwhile, there was also a great variety of different
> >> terms for non-Han or non-Chinese people in the pre-modern period,
> >> including "洋人" and "洋鬼子," while the concept of a "foreign country"
> >> was sometimes expressed as "异国," and even "外國" can be found as early
> >> as the Han Dynasty in "Records of the Historian":
> >>
> >>
> http://baike.baidu.com/link?url=BiqccBtuj3NQQ_pxqBetUzzcg0ixiK4ohSAq5yvdOGPIKz1yVXyyAE1_2iy4K_E0
> >>
> >> "外國人" is also the title of a story by the Early Qing writer Pu
> >> Songling that appears in "Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio,"
> >> which is about shipwrecked Filipinos who float to Macau and are then
> >> sent back home by the Chinese. However, as in the case of Japan, it
> >> does not seem that the word "外國人" was in standard usage in pre-modern
> >> China, and was just one of many others. This would seem to be
> >> logical, since the modern nation-state system only comes to East Asia
> >> in the latter part of the 19th century, and "外國人" as it is used in
> >> China, Japan and Korea today has a very clear legalistic meaning
> >> referring to citizenship and nationality in the full modern sense of
> >> these terms.
> >>
> >> So the question is how to determine if the word "외국인" came to
> >> Korea: Via China or via Japan? As I have mentioned, in dictionaries I
> >> have consulted, such as 동광출판사's massive "조선말 사전" or the 국립국어연구원's
> >> "표준국어대사전," no etymology or word origin is given, and in 한국정신문화 연구원's
> >> "17세기 국어사전," only the term
> >> "外國" is listed, not "外國人" or "외국 사람." As in China and Japan, it seems
> >> that in pre-modern Korea, there was no standard term for "foreigner"
> >> but rather a variety that did not have an legalistic connotations,
> >> such as "색목인," which dates to at least 1365, or "코 쟁이," a common term
> >> for Westerners.
> >>
> >> The reason I am interested in this question is because if it can be
> >> determined that the term "외국인" became the standard term for so-called
> >> "foreigners" in the colonial context of Japan's occupation of Korea,
> >> the word would have a rather problematic history attached to it, to
> >> say the least. And even if "외국인" is not an actual instance of "和製漢語,"
> >> it would still be worth knowing how much influence Imperial Japan had
> >> in promoting and standardizing the term within Korea.
> >>
> >> What is curious is how uninterested Korean-Korean dictionaries are in
> >> listing word etymologies in them, which is standard in almost any
> >> English-English dictionary. At a visit to Kyobo's Daegu store last
> >> night, I could not find one 국어 dictionary that gave etymologies, and
> >> the clerk had to take me to a different section on another floor to
> >> find a few books devoted solely to etymologies of Korean words; the
> >> largest, however, only contained 1,000 words, which is certainly a
> >> rather meager selection. I asked her why most 국어 or Korean
> >> dictionaries did not give etymologies and she speculated that most
> >> Koreans simply assume that the vast majority of Korean words are
> >> Chinese-based and leave it at that. My own feeling is that there may
> >> be nationalistic motivations at play here, but of course there could
> >> be many other factors.
> >>
> >> In short, my question here is simple: Can anyone recommend the best
> >> Korean-Korean dictionary or book to trace etymologies in the Korean
> >> language? And if anyone has thoughts on the term "외국인" itself and its
> >> history in Korea, those would be much appreciated as well!
> >>
> >> Cheers,
> >> Scott Bug
> >>
> >
> >
> --------------------------------------
> Frank Hoffmann
> http://koreanstudies.com

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