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

Tommy Che Vorst tommychevorst at gmail.com
Sun Mar 2 16:36:37 EST 2014

koreanstudies-request at koreanstudies.com schreef op 2014-03-03 오전 12:41:
> Is the word "외국인" an instance of "和製漢語"?
I've had a few encounters of note in this vein.

Not too many years ago, I was giving a workshop to librarians in 
Gwangju.  One of them asked during the subsequent meet-and-greet where I 
was from.   I told him I was Dutch.  He beamed: "Deutsch! How 
wonderful!  Do you like Hitler?  I love Hitler!"  A Jew and the son of a 
holocaust survivor, I was unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) too 
dumbstruck to reply.

Like many on the thread, I used to hear "미국사람" a lot more than I do 
now.  I'd like to hear the group's opinions on how I deal with the 
inevitable(?) "외국인!"

As a curiosity, I used to correct kids by smiling and telling them "아니 
야.  나 북한사람야."  I know nothing of what schoolchildren are taught 
here, but I was always struck by the fact that until about the age of 15 
or 16, I didn't get a categorical rejection of that idea. Indeed, many a 
10-year-old has simply nodded and accepted.

Now that my Korean's a bit better, I tell them I'm not a foreigner, 
because there are no foreigners: "그것 옛날 생각 이에요."  I go on to 
explain that we're all just people.  (I used to add a line about there 
being no 한국인 to reinforce the cognitive leap, but it was too much.)  
Nevertheless, I now calmly point out that where a person is from is not 
who they are.  I've had more than one parent thank me for that 
explanation.  Living in what might be the country's most multicultural 
neighbourhood might make this easier since kids here are growing up with 
peers from over a dozen countries.  I am curious to hear your thoughts 
on the value of such a response.

Assistant Professor,
Yeungnam University Foreign Language Institute

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