Sunday, June 28, 2009

阿兜仔 - What does ADOAH really mean? Big Nose Person or "foreigner"? You decide......

阿兜仔 - MAny Westerners in Taiwan do not like to be called ''ADOAH'' in public or on TV news shows. Is there a better word in spoken Taiwanese to describe Westerners, like ''WAH GOAH''?

special to the Liberty Times forum page:
forum@libertytimes.com.tw

by "Biko Lang" (pen name of an American writer living in Taiwan)

translated by Shirley Tu

大多數的台灣人認為 : 阿兜仔 這個稱謂外國人的暱稱是熱情且友善的.

但許多住在台灣工作的西方人卻認為那是一個侮辱和不尊敬的詞句.

部分西方人認為阿兜仔這個名詞根本不應該再出現在公眾場合.

此一詞語的意思是指”大鼻子的人”部
分西方人甚至認為電視節目和廣告應該要禁止使用這個詞語



你同意嗎? 無論您對這個豐富多彩的幽默俚語詞: “大鼻子的人”有什麼感覺,請你用你的幽默感來閱讀此篇文章



儘管”阿兜仔”一詞現在的意思是指外國人,但你
道他原本的意思是指高鼻子的西方人.但日本人,馬來西亞人,

印尼人,印度人,非洲人 越南人 或 菲律賓人都沒有使用類似的名詞來稱呼西方人



雖然許多台灣人被批評郭冠英,前行政院新聞局派駐多倫多台北經濟文化代表處新聞組長,

在他以匿名所寫的文章中提到 “台巴子”及”倭寇”兩詞.

多數台灣人仍然認為使用”阿兜仔”這個詞語來形容西方人並無不妥.

但部份西方人及台灣人卻認為現在的年代不在適合使用”阿兜仔”一詞來形容西方人.

特別是在公眾場合及電視媒體上. 吳宗憲先生 請問您看到這篇文章了嗎?





大多數的台灣人相信”阿兜仔”一詞並無侮辱的意思,反之則有稱讚的意味在.且是以幽默的方式呈現.



輔仁大學歷史系教授陳君楷在一封電子郵件中寫到: 大多數的台灣人相信”阿兜仔”是幽默的詞語.

但是如果大部分在台灣的西方人討厭這樣的形容,那麼台灣人就不應該在繼續使用這個詞語來形容西方人



陳教授繼續說到: 聖賢孔子說: 不要對別人做出你不想他人對你做的事.

如果台灣人不喜歡被大陸人叫台巴子.那麼我們更應該要先停止稱呼西方人”阿兜仔”.

如果這些人不喜歡聽0這樣的詞語,那麼就沒有必要在繼續使用它



「我們臺灣現在仍然受到語言和種族詆譭長久歷史的影響。

我們需要為我們的自由戰鬥和設立有正義的一個新的國家。如果我們可以達到此,

我相信我們可以經由人們更加了解其他國家(地區)」,陳教授表明道。




另一位教授, 東華大學本土文化系教授紀駿傑教授,透過電子郵件說:

「我必須承認我未曾認為”阿兜仔”是一個壞的或有負面字義的用語,

而且我肯定台灣人使用它僅僅作為一個幽默字而非含有任何負面的意思」。



「然而,且很重要的是,此一用詞不意味著”阿兜仔” 是一個好的術語,即使沒有用於一個負面或誣蔑的角度」,

紀教授說。




「關於語言的最重要的事,當它被用於是指不同國家或種族或種族集團時是人的主觀感覺解決」, 紀教授說。




「根據字面”阿兜仔”,它被用於告訴或標註在臺灣的西方人…但鼻子的形狀遠不及與他們的個人特色來的重要,

這兩者是不能相提並論的」,紀教授說。




劉玉霞,這位自1992年以來居住在美國,且美國紐澤西臺灣論壇報擔任編輯並以台灣人的角度,

在信函告訴我: 「它是許多歲月我以許久不曾聽到或使用”阿兜仔”這個詞語。 當我小的時候,我使用了它。

我同意您。從美國人的觀點來看”阿兜仔”是有少許欺辱和不敏銳的用語。 它就好像稱呼某人『胖子』一樣的意思。

然而,當臺灣人叫西方人”阿兜仔”時,並沒有欺辱任何人的意思」。


「但重點是,如果有人不喜歡被冠上或被稱呼這樣的詞語,那麼就不應該使用它」,劉玉霞補充說。



「臺灣人不像西方人對有些術語與形容人體相關的字語那樣敏感,例如重量或高度或者眼睛。

某些臺灣人,當他
們說『胖』或『矮』或『小的眼睛時』也同樣感覺到難受,

但是一般來說,臺灣人不是那麼敏感的」,她說。



「下次當有人指著你叫你”阿兜仔”的時候,認真且嚴肅的告訴他或她,您不喜歡被用這樣的方式稱呼。

我相信這個人以後就不會在用這樣的字眼」,劉玉霞說。


那麼這是我給讀者的問題: ”阿兜仔”是否是臺灣人應該繼續使用的字或是應該捨棄不用呢?


無論您是否同意我的看法,我非常感興趣在你讀完這篇報導不久的將來收到您對此用語的看法與回應。

台灣人 (台灣話) 是否有更恰當的字眼來形容西方人,但不是以他們鼻子或眼睛的特徵來8
1表示呢?

142 comments:

dan said...

A Taiwanese friend tells me today via email:

"Yes, I've used this word -- ADOAH -- before.
Actually I think it's OK
Because when Taiwanese, including me of course, use this word,
We don't mean anything *mean* or insulting.
Just a ordinary Taiwanese word to say ''foreigners''.
But if you guys don't like this word, feeling that it is a kind of insulting word,
Then I think that for respecting,
We shouldn't keep use this word. In sum, we don't mean anything mean when we use this word, because it is just a normal word for us.
But for respecting reasons, to respect your feelings, then I think we shouldn't use this word anymore, if you guys don't like it."

Anonymous said...

A reporter at the APPLE DAILY, age 40, and another reporter at the APPLE DAILY, aged 35, told me they had no idea that ADOAH means TALL NOSE PEOPLE.....they told me they thought it just means "foreigner"..... and THAT IS WHAT IT MEANS TODAY, but it has an earlier word meaning, not an insult, a bit comical and funny and humorous to Taiwanese way of thinking, but when said they mean it as a compliment for WHITE PEOPLE....WITH TALL NOSES...... so it is not a bad word at all....

dan said...

A high school boy tells me tonight by email after reading this article in Chinese:

"Ha, I see.....
Actually I don't know ADOAH's real meaning before you told me....
Just some cultural differences...
to have different feeling..."

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

I'm not sure I'm up for trying to read all that Chinese at the moment. ;-)

Have you ever seen those news reports in Taiwain TV about foreigners "taking advantage" of Taiwan's "innocent" girls in pubs? Those reports frequently use the word "adogah."

There was one recently on SET News about two drunken foreigners "streaking." Guess what word they used in that report.

Here's that one plus some other recent examples of stuff I've recorded from the idiot box:

* 2009.06.01a SETN - KNN's Roh vs. Chen, stupid foreigners go streaking [Quote: "I hope I'm famous!"] - Jun 1, 2009 7_10 PM.eyetv

* 2009.05.24b SETN - Foreigners' Mandarin-Taiwanese [contest], SET calls them Adogah, contestant refers to 'Taimei' - May 24, 2009 7_16 PM.eyetv

* 2008.09.11a SETN - During 'human interest' story about Bad English, anchor refers to Westerners as 'adogah' - Sep 11, 2008 .eyetv

* 2008.11.15a SETN - reporter Kuo Hsing-ying calls Eric Chang an 'adogah' - Nov 15, 2008 6_22 PM Clip.eyetv

Eric Chang, BTW, is a *Taiwanese-American.*

Anonymous said...

Try this Google search for "连阿兜仔" (*even* big-noses...:
http://tinyurl.com/kkfyj3

Whether the people who use the word *intend* it as an insult, I'd prefer it NOT be used as a general term of address.

Example: (at T.G.I.Fridays) the waiter says: "I've got a group of 'adogah' coming ..."

dan said...

A Taiwanese reader, age 25, told me today

"As most Taiwanese think, I never realize this word has any negative meaning.
Moreover, I think a lot of young people in Taiwan even don't understand what this word true meaning.(I mean "big nose". Since a lot of students seldom speak local language)
But if this word really make someone feel uncomfortable or be offended, we should stop use it unless we are sure about who won't angry or feel bad by called in this way.

By the way, Most people who use this word most are elder people. Younger people (including me) seldom use this word.(or say "rarely")
If one day u were called by this word and feel like be insulted, let that man know how you feel, I believe he/she will apologize for the unwitting mistake."

阿牛 said...

I think the term is racist, but sort of in the way that my great grandmother says the N word when referring to black people, even if the person she is talking about is there, even when talking about how nice someone is. She just never used any other word growing up in West Texas in those formative times starting 80+ years ago. She not only doesn't mean anything by it, she's sort of perplexed to find someone would be offended.

I personally still don't find it offensive, but that's me. I somehow prefer it to the coded Laowai or Waiguoren, which for all intents and purposes take a blanket term and use it to refer to only white foreigners. Asian, Black and presumably darker Middle Eastern foreigners have their own labels. Not sure how people deal with South Americans.

dan said...

A very well educated Taiwanese woman living in the USA for a long time and married to a white man told me today: "I always thought ADOAH is an intimate way to call Westerners in a positive way."

"It's definitely not the same as PRC people calling Taiwanese people as TAI-BA-ZE. (Taiwanese rednecks, yokels..."

dan said...

A Taiwanese woman, 35, training to be a lawyer in Taiwan, tells me today:

" I read the article about ADOAH , especially the Chinese langauge part, it says, most Western foreigners in Taiwan think that “ADOAH” is an insulting word and not respect to the foreigners.

Do you think so? It seems only 45% of Taiwanese people use this term, and most of those 45% people don’t know what it means. So I don’t think this is bothering you, right?



Also, it says, “ADOAH” means “big nose”.

It is wrong. “ADOAH” means “tall nose” or “straight nose”.



I think people doing nose job were all prefer to have a tall and straight nose, especially the Asian people. So “ADOAH” might be a term reflecting Taiwanese people’s jealousy or envy toward western people………[I am kidding. ]



Anyway, what I am trying to say to you is that this article, in Chinese, already tells us that “ADOAH” is a bad word and we should stop saying and using it.



I don’t’ agree with it...... but I don’t want to comment on it since language is magical. People create new terms and other people use it because they have the same feeling to it. And the meaning of language changes through different time. I think people in Taiwan are creative. “ADOAH” is very interesting and it gives you a vivid picture of most western people look like.



Also, do you know how recently Taiwanese people call Chinese? They call them “A-LA-AH”. The middle “LA” means mainland CHINA, it seems nothing bad but actually it’s not. And what is the different between these two terms since their first and end pronunciation are the same? Well, that is the magical of language, it not depends how it really means but depends how you use it. "

dan said...

A student at a major national university tells me today:

"I think the word ADOAH is a humorous word.
My friends and me often use the word without ridicule.
The word usually used on the people outside the asia or white people , so I think this word is not so bad."

dan said...

A psychiatrist in the USA, white man, says:

"No, I never heard of Adoah here in Chicago, though I’ve had a longstanding interest in the psychological implications of names, whether personal, cultural, or organizational. "

dan said...

A medical doctor in Taipie, around 50, tells me:

"It seems that you really care about the Taiwanese term "Adoah". If this term really annoys the foreign people, then we definitely should not use it anymore. The problem is: what is the Taiwanese substitute of it?

I have tried to figure out the substitute, but have not succeeded yet. 'Gim-moah' has also been used by some Taiwanese to call the foreigners with brown or golden hair, but not all foreigners have brown or golden hair. Besides, the term 'Gim-moah' may also not be accepted by foreigners in the same manner as 'Adoah' because it also refers to the appearance of a person.

It seems that the term 'Wah-Goah (foreigner)' is the best one because it is a neutral term meaning simply 'foreigner'. The problem is: 'Wah-Goah' is a little difficult to pronounce than 'Adoah' in terms of Taiwanese. That's the reason why 'Adoah' is more often used by Taiwanese than any other terms."

Anonymous said...

A section called "the schnoz," for example, shows a collection of 19th
century walking sticks whose handles are formed by exaggerated noses.


"I am often asked whether or not white people have an "adoah nose," reads an
exhibition quote. "After 54 years of experience, I
can only answer that every white person I have ever met has a nose, every Asian person, too."

Anonymous said...

我比交喜歡台灣人叫我:"阿兜仔".聽起來比交有台灣味也很可愛阿!
I hate it to be called American, English teacher all the time. Particular in Taipei. Hate it ! HAte it!

Anonymous said...

A professor at NTU, hometown Chiayi City, told me today:

"About Adoah, it is deeply rooted in Taiwanese custom that we tend to give nickname to someone based on their look. For example, I have a student everyone call him "little fatty". And that is how he calls himself. My child's TA also ask me to call him 'little fatty'. My colleague always refers to her husband as 'fatty'. One of my friend is 'long leg' and another is 'big long leg'. But I agree that such custom may not be good when applying to foreigner. Taiwanese (and Chinese) does not handle the personal relationship as delicate as the Westerner and Japanese."

dan said...

A Taiwanese college student at CCU warns me about not comparing the use of the vile word TAIBAZI with ADOAH, since they are very different words with very different histories and meanings, and yes, he is correct, and that is NOT my intention. He wrote:

dan said...

That CCU student told me:


"No, I don't think the Taiwanese readers will be angry about what you wrote about adoah, if you publish that article in Apple Daily or the Liberty Times or UDN or the China Times in Chinese.....
There are always some misunderstandings between two different cultures, and if we never clearify these things, there might be more people who agitate others and never understand why people seems angry about that........
Thus I think it will be good if you publish it on the newspaper........

But I think you still need to notice the way you wrote, make sure the readers won't misunderstand what you want to say.
Especially the following paragraph,

雖然許多台灣人被批評郭冠英,前行政院新聞局派駐多倫多台北經濟文化代表處新聞組長,

在他以匿名所寫的文章中提到 “台巴子”及”倭寇”兩詞.

多數台灣人仍然認為使用”阿兜仔”這個詞語來形容西方人並無不妥.

in this part, 倭寇 means pirates and 巴子 means foreigners who come from rural area and wear or talk "improperly"(like a country bumpkin or yokel, like a redneck),
both of these words are used with really bad attempt to humiliate people. If you are trying to make an analogy between 倭寇,台巴子 and ADOAH, be careful...because..Some people might not agree with this. Especially you are mentioning thing about politics, it is a sensitive issue for Taiwanese people.

Hope these suggestions are helpful."

DB replies: YES THEY ARE! THANKS!

Anonymous said...

A Taiwanese professor in LA writes: "A LA AH is a nickname for mainlanders. There is no negative meaning, from my point of view. It's like Amigo for Mexicans in the States.

I sometimes call China, ''SINA'' and some mainlanders said that's offensive. Well, I am calling them Communist China now. I think it's more of a fact."

dan said...

A Taiwanese woman married to a Westerner and living in Australia tells me:

"Hallo Dan,

Well, I must say, ,'Adoah' is just an expression of Taiwanese to
foreigner (western) people...... they usually have "high" nose or
"beautiful" nose than eastern people. ..... There's nothing to do with
insult of TAIBAZI than the chinese who live in taiwan and despised Taiwanese,
which is unacceptable."

[Dan replies, YES these are two very different words with different histories and I didn't mean to COMPARE them, they are very different yes: TAIBAZI is a deep insult, while ADOAH is just a cute humorous descriptive way of describing the TALL NOSE people who came to Taiwan long ago to work as missionaries or soldiers or businessmen or today, as English teachers and journalists. TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT words, and intention was NOT to compare them. Good point, dear friend in Sydney.]

FANNY KIEFER

dan said...

A Taiwanese women living in Greece, with her children and Taiwanese husband, told me in an email today:


"I like to call the westerners the traditional Taiwanese way "A-do-ah" .....because it is not only humorous ......but also the way Taiwanese people admire what they don't have - a beautiful sharp nose.....

.... and since for long the Taiwanese people have been using this description without any bad intentions, why should we change this "terminology" which forms part of the traditional Taiwanese language culture?

But to be fair, I am asking around some foreigners that I know living in TW, and one man, an American married to a Tawianese women there with two sweet chldren, replied publicly and privately that he does not mind at all. I am waiting for the others to tell me how they feel."

Anonymous said...

A Taiwanese woman says re the word A-LA-AH for DALU mainland peopel from communist CHINA, she says:

"It’s not a good word, A-LA- AH, and I believe it is commonly used by southern Taiwanese people who speaks Taiwanese. As I told you from my previous mail, “LA” means mainland China, from Mandrain word LU, as in DA LU.

Since people looks no difference between Chinese and Taiwanese. Taiwanese people tend to use AH sound at end of word to show their despise to people. I can give you one more example, Tawianese people used to call aborigine “Haun-Ah”, or WA NA....''Haun'' means barbarian or uncivilized.

There is some hatred between Chinese and Taiwanese and I believe you know this very well. So we call them A-LA-AH, and they call us 台巴子 tai-ba-zi. Chinese use exactly the meaning of the word to express their disdain, and Taiwnaese people use AH sound to emphasize and express their bad feeling toward Chinese.

Another example for you, Chinese used to call Western white people as “洋鬼子 young-gui-zi”. “gui-zi ” means “devil”. "

Sincerely,

Ruby

Anonymous said...

http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=cf36934980&view=att&th=1223aaf31849130c&attid=0.1&disp=inline&zw

NSFW, or maybe it's OK.....GI JOE in Taiwan enjoying a hot spring bath with two Taiwanese hot spring maidens, circa 1967, Vietnam War era.

A Taiwanese reader of this blog tells me:

"You point out a very important issue here. That is 99% of Western people, including you, in Taiwan dislike and hate the term. And most of Taiwanese people don’t even sense that problem including me.

People use it because they think it’s harmless and even a cute way of expression.

But they will stop using it if they know you don’t feel comfortable with that.

I think most of the people will disagree about “ADOAH” is a mean or bad word, but they will agree that they should stop using the word if it makes you feel offended.



I am sorry that this is bothering you but this term is rarely used by people nowadays and mostly used by elders who speak Taiwanese.



But what’s the impression on Taiwanese people about foreigners at early time? And why they have a special term for them, I think maybe people started to use it at the time right after Japanese colony and during the period when US army came to Taiwan. In fact, I don’t know exactly and not familiar with that part of history of Taiwan, I am just curious and try to find some clues via internet.



I found a thesis about” U.S. Army under the Rest and Recuperation Program” -- R and R -- with a picture as attached: The picture was published by Time magazine on Dec. 22, 1967 and taken from a hot springs hotel in Taipei county. The soldier’s name is Alley Bailey, 21 years old from Cincinnati. It introduced that there are 75 spring hotels in Taipei County. I am pretty shocked by this photo which shows part of the history of Taiwan. Probably American soldiers made such impression on Taiwanese people at that time, and that’s why people called them “ADOAH”.



So, here is my observation,..... Taiwanese tend to use “A-XXX-AH” to call people who are from other country. This expression is mixed with a feeling of *teasing, *banter and even *hostile, anyway, not in a friendly manner.



As you know, we privately call Chinese people “A-LA-AH” recently as well. Also, I have ever heard people call Japanese people “A-BUN-AH”.

* A LA AH : LA means “mainland China”

* A DO AH : DO means “tall, stiff nose”

* A BUN AH : BUN means “Japan”



There is nothing wrong with the middle words, but the AH sound is the distinction of this way of expression. Do you see now?

I think, to a certain degree, those foreigners are the invaders to Taiwanese people whether it was a truly invasion or the invasion of cultural or economic.



As you also know Taiwanese people used to call Dutch people “Un-Mo” (red hair). So let’s make a list for these terms in the order of the eras below.

1.Dutch colony :
Un-Mo – no longer used in Taiwan

2. Japanese colonial period :
A-BUN-AH – rarely used now

3. US army stationed :
A-DO-AH – seldom used now

4. Chinese tourist group :
A-LA-AH – a new term used recently in 2009



Now I think you are right......“A-DO-AH .....was not a friendly word to foreigners in the very beginning, and as time goes by, people don’t know why the term came from or for what reason. You can’t really tell from the meaning of the word itself sometimes. I believe each special term has its unique background and story.



This is just an idea from my own thought, maybe it is not correct, but it is good to help me thinking things deeply and know more history about my country."

Michelle said...

Yeah...I think Taiwanese "ADOAH" have no insulting...
Maybe Taiwanese "WAH-GO-LANG" will be a better word. This word means just foreigners, and it can means every people from all over the world.
*^___^*

dan said...

Dear Michelle,

are you memory river Michelle> Just back from Hong Kong?

when you wrote above:

"Yeah...I think Taiwanese "ADOAH" have no insulting...

....[but] Maybe Taiwanese "WAH-GO-LANG" will be a better word.

This word means just foreigners, and it can means every people from all over the world."

DAN SAYS: THAT IS GOOD POINT....WAH GO LANG would mean all foreigens living in Taiwan, from all over the world, not just white people from USA and Europe, it could mean all non-Taiwanese living and working and visiting Taiwan. GOOD IDEA!

-- dan

dan said...

Dear ADOAH Dan,

ADOAH means nose is not only big but also sharp..

We mean no no any negative at all.

ha ha ha

If some Westerners have the negative feeling, I think it's the problem of ADOAH who dislike themselves.


Sincerely,
John, a Taiwanese in Taipei

Anonymous said...

Sir,

Looks like you stirred the pot for sure;

a lot of responses and with such detail.

My wife said she did not feel a racial slur with adoah, but definitely the one on the Chinese
-- ''A-LA-AH'' -- was; but it was done in a type of ''code'' so that the Chinese visiting here would not know, at least at the beginning that they were being talked about and criticized.

Anonymous said...

Sir

about the article, i seldom use the word. i just call my foreign friend's name.
but "Adoah" doesn't mean we are laughing at foreigners, it just a way for us to call
these foreigners who lives here. actually, we think it's a humor way to have a connect with
them , but some of foreigners doesn't think so.
no matter what, taiwanese are always friendly and easy to get along with, but if foreigners
don't like to be called"Adoah", then we shouldn't say it.

Amy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Amy

you know,,,,i think that when Taiwanese people say the word ADOAH, it
is kind and friendly....but WHEN some FOREIGNERS HEAR THE WORD, they don't
like it because they know the original meaning of BIG NOSE..........so
it is a cultural difference between the local people who use the word
with HUMOR....and the foreigners who DO NOT UNDERStAND THE
HUMOR.....haha.....a real puzzle

but it;s good to talk about it, right?

Anonymous said...

Sir

You’re right. A LA AH is a little humorous, not completely bad. And yes, as you said, it is kind of like “those fucking XXXXXX……..”in this case those FUCKING MAINLANDERS.....it is a code word..

As for ''A DO AH'', as I explained to you per my previous mail, I believe it follows the same rule. This is my assumption. .......I think US soldiers made some negative impression on Taiwanese people while US army stationed in Taiwan. As you can imagine, what would be those soldiers’ activities at their leisure time. Drinking at the bar and having fun as the photo I sent to you and that you printed on the blog. NSFW!

It was around 1960 and people are extremely conservative in Taiwan. So it must be some culture shock to Taiwanese people. Therefore, under such circumstance, I believe “A DO AH” is a way that Taiwanese people express their feeling of hostility or maybe fear at that time because Americans are so different and so strange.

“AH” is a stress at end to emphasize the tone of a word. It’s not formal and I guess it is just like a suffix but I am not so sure about it.

signed

''Taiwanese woman''

Anonymous said...

From a Taiwanese friend in Greece:

外哈上台灣,問我為何叫他阿兜仔?

My [American] friend [in Taiwan] is asking me why he is called ''A-DO-AH'' by Taiwanese...

我跟布倫兄說:為什不 (Why not)?

[He] sent me 2 e-mails wanting me to comment on his article about the Taiwanese word “A-do-ah”[that appeared in the Taipei Times in English on May 19]. At the end of his article, he said that the real judges would be the Taiwanese themselves.

Since the real judge will be the Taiwanese, I have written in the language that most Taiwanese will understand.

I am surprised to find that my friend ... hates to be called “A-do-ah” [he didn't tell me but I have found some of his other blog comments to that effect]. Sure, if [he] doesn’t like it, I will defend his rights,..... but I will continue to call others who don’t mind this word because I believe that the invention behind this Taiwanese word not only has no bad intentions, but also carries the spirit of admiring of what we Taiwanese wish to have but don’t have in their facial feature, a nice-looking higher pointing nose. I have been trying to hold my glasses in its place, but it keeps slipping down, I wish I were a “a-do-ah”, but I am a Taiwanese.

My first response [was this]:

Hi...:

Nice to communicate again. I like to call the [W]esterners the traditional Taiwanese way "A-do-ah" because it is not only humorous but also the way Taiwanese people admire what they don't have - a beautiful sharp nose, and since for long the Taiwanese people have been using this description without any bad intentions, why should we change this "terminology" which forms part of the traditional Taiwanese language culture.

But to be fair, I am asking around some foreigners that I know living in TW, and [M] had replied publicly and privately that he does not mind at all. I am waiting for the others to tell me how they feel.

Άλισον

p.s. I didn't have time to read your Chinese version of the article, I will when I have time much later.

My response to Taiwanese readers and [my friend]

我離台時没有“哈上”這個用語,但是叫西方人“阿兜仔”可說是已經代代相傳的說法,我想可能因為台灣人羨慕西方人又高挺又英俊或美麗的鼻樑,嚮往西方人有、而自己没有的鼻子,才會發明出這種詞語。

這跟一般笑人胖廋、或中國人看輕台灣人、而稱我們“台巴子”、可不能拿來相提並論。

台灣人心地善良、用“阿兜仔”來形容西方人、不但幽默也有 稱讚的意思。

布倫兄的文章一出來、我只好檢討一下,我怕被我們的希臘台灣人部落格翻譯成“看透台灣的阿兜仔”的特登先生、會不會也不喜歡被叫做“阿兜仔”、所以 趕緊向他請叫一下他的看法,他說他一點也不介意,大概他的鼻子很好看吧?

我想如果他不介意的話、我會繼續用代代相傳的說法稱讚他,因為“阿兜仔”已經是難改口的台語文化的一部份。

但是如果我看到一個西方人、鼻子像這樣 ( link, I have seen the movie Roxanne, it’s a funny and entertaining movie)、我話說出口前、會三思而後行。

我先生笑我說、打死我叫我改口不講“阿兜仔”可能比較困難、現在醫學發達、不喜歡的話、他可以去找整形外科比較容易。

布倫兄、你的二封電子郵件我收到了,你要我作個評論、我在此回答了、希望你會看懂我的文章,否則 阿牛 (link) 弟可能可以幫你翻一下。

It’s my friend ...again....[he] wrote me:

''Thanks, Άλισον, all this feedback is good........I am glad [M] doesn't mind being called a BIG NOSE........me, too, I don't mind at all (Alison’s note: I am glad Dan has gradually changed his mind after my first reply).....I just want to do some research on the meaning of the word....DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA when it first started being used in Taiwan.....maybe in 1920? Maybe in 1860,,,,,maybe in 1945 after war....? is there any way to find out?

Thanks!

She adds: "Cultural research is not my best field, maybe when I am bored of the political research one day. Taiwanese readers, do you want to solve my friend's curiosity?"

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir

I am glad you like my post on my blog about the adoah issue, hopefully it clears-up some of your doubts.
There is no bad intentions to that word ''A-do-ah'', and I am surprised that some westerners think it is annoying, like the Daily Bubble Tea, why annoyed?

As a matter of fact we use the A-xxx-ah all the time, like your name, will likely Taiwanese-nized as A-Jah-ah, that's all.

And I have heard of the expression of wax apple nose too, but I don't really know which shape falls into that category.

But this is a different topic though because it is talking about the nose shape, not the people (western people).

Signed

A Taiwanese blogger in Europe

Anonymous said...

阿兜仔在台灣是指高鼻子的外國人,所以一般是指高鼻子的西方白人,沒有輕視或其他尊貴的意思.

不過如果你們不喜歡這稱呼,要改當然也是可以.現在這樣說阿兜仔的人,其實也不多了.以後應該會慢慢沒人這樣叫.

Anonymous said...

「阿兜仔」是從小時候就學來的詞彙,是無惡意,但也有種輕蔑、不正經的意謂,所以有教養的台灣家庭也會告誡小孩要注意使用的場合。人與人之間互相往來,自然就會有愛恨交織的情感,從而有各種尊稱與蔑稱的詞彙用來形容同一個對象,至於使用哪一個,就是說話者自己的選擇。就像每種語言裡面都有髒話,講不講卻是每個人自己的抉擇。

近年來部份大眾媒體上引用這一詞彙來指稱外國人,使得這個蔑稱「正式化」,令人以為這個詞彙是台灣人一般用來稱呼外國人的詞彙,其實這是一個誤解。部份台灣新聞媒體的素質低劣,這是眾所周知的事實,坦白講,我們很感覺無奈,希望您能諒解。如果有一天有媒體把髒話當流行,我也不會訝異,事實上,像是部份影歌星,開口閉口就說「很屌」,就是一個把髒話當流行的例子。我們聽了也很不舒服,但也莫可奈何。

無論如何,我一定會更加教養自己的小孩,不得再使用這一詞彙,就算沒有惡意也不能用。

Anonymous said...

阿凸仔在台語中絕沒有負面的意義,因為1.在一堆扁鼻子的台灣人眼中,有個高聳的鼻子五官更立體,是有點值得羨慕的。所以外國人中只有歐美系的白人可以被如此稱呼,其他外國人,如其他亞洲黃種人,印度人,非洲黑人等等一般不會被稱為阿凸仔。2.這個稱呼一般來說,台灣人腦海中的原始印象,往往是教會中分給你文具、麵粉等等物資,笑咪咪的阿凸仔牧師,這是一份親切又溫暖的記憶,所以決不會是負面的。
假如有白人外國朋友認為阿凸仔不好,不想被如此稱呼,只要提醒週邊台灣人,相信這願望一定會被尊重,只是你肯定要這樣嗎?這似乎是個不智的選擇!

Anonymous said...

I personally don't think that word as an insult when I used it. But, if the people who are described on are offended, I will respect that feeling and try to avoid it from now on.

Taiwanlang said...

DAN 想太多了.
我有一個nice, 大家叫他adoah, 是因為他有挺直的鼻子.他長得像維吾爾人.

Anonymous said...

阿兜仔,就是說外國人鼻子高挺,
有種親切感阿,這是台灣人喜歡
外國人的表現,為了拉進彼此的距離,
別想太多了...

Anonymous said...

「阿啄仔」才是正確的漢字書面語。
由於台語長期被歧視,讓人無法理解其真正的意思,再經由隨便寫出的漢字,讓人從不正確的漢字產生不良的印象。

啄,有鳥吃東西的意思;也有鳥嘴的意思。
「阿啄仔」,像鳥嘴尖尖的樣子的意思。至於「仔」,是台語語詞的助尾詞,如一個人的名字叫
阿順仔、天助仔,或小孩子叫叔叔,講:
阿叔仔,音A33tsik5a51,並無貶抑的意思。若有歧視的意思,是由語氣來決定。也是有親暱、親近的意思,也是由語氣來決定。
所以,「阿啄仔」的正確意思就是,鼻子像鳥嘴尖尖的人,是一種描述,可能現在有人認為誇張了一點,卻是沒有歧視的意思。
至於,書面語「阿凸仔」、「阿兜仔」是不知其義,又無其音可套的亂寫漢字。因為,啄是入聲(short tone),音tok,華語無入聲,只好亂寫,混亂只學華語書面語的人(包含台灣人)。其實,「阿啄仔」是最中性不過了,比華語講「老外」還不見外;比講「洋鬼子」更有自然性;台語是古漢語,更是中古漢語,來台新聞從業人員理應學習台語,了解台語有疑惑的問題,才不會被華語離間與台語人的距離。
最後,感謝讓我們台灣人能有機會解釋,希望能解決你的困惑。
歡迎到我的blog指教。
http://blog.xuite.net/pekdong/blogi
Simon Lee

Maxwell said...

Well, in U.S, what is the first impression between people? Black or White. And, what is the first looking between women? Blonde or Brunette.
No offense, but somebody just do it in no meaning, unless making personal remarks.
In China, Chinese call foreigner as "洋鬼子", in your feelings, is sure much than "阿兜仔".
In Taiwan, Taiwanese do as American do, just do every human do.
Obviously, foreigner got Big Nose and many Taiwanese(In fact, not only this country)decide to have nose augmentation. Why? Besides, in culture, "Big Nose" is "Big Lucky". Do you?
You do. When you are in China, then you will know. It will hurt your feelings again and again.
Taiwanese works in U.S must feel that like you, it is same situation between us.
More understanding, then more thinking. You get thinkings, then you will get feelings.
Feel better?
No!? Try to go to China.
I am sure you will say, "I will be back ", to Taiwan, not to China.

Anonymous said...

"阿凸仔"的稱呼讓你覺得有所不快真是很抱歉的事

不過以一個台灣人的語言感受來說 "阿凸仔"並沒有任何侵犯性的語意 因為台灣人本屬南島民族 生性樂觀和善 較無文明中的心機 用這樣的稱呼還有拉近距離的親和感 在台灣街頭巷尾常有這樣的彼此親暱稱呼用語 有時政治人物還刻意這樣自稱 像是"長仔" "扁仔"之類

您提到"台巴子"和"倭寇"來類比 並不很恰當 因為中國人的語言本來就有濃厚的宮廷政治褒貶意涵 "巴子"本身有取笑土氣 缺教育 不文明的意思 "寇"更是有犯罪和仇人的指涉 都有濃厚的種族歧視內涵

反觀高鼻子 因為西方文明久矣 在東方已被視為美的特徵 稱呼人鼻子高挺變成一種稱讚 還有人花高價隆鼻 基於"阿凸仔"的稱呼由來已久 現在還有一種特殊的心理連結 勾引出成台灣人共通的台外親善共鳴感 我其實希望這個暱稱可以繼續下去

不知這樣的解說能否讓您釋懷 享受一種融入台灣本土的舒適感

Fia

(Fiawake@gmail.com)

鐘乙軒 said...

對許多第一語言為台語的人來說,其實我們對台語的字是沒有什麼概念的,我也很莫名其妙為什麼眼淚要念成"目屎"...噁心...而[阿凸仔]是指大鼻子的人是因為"凸"這個字嗎??,我已經23歲了,我只知道[阿凸仔]就是指西方白人的意思,That it!黑人的話,我們就會說黑人,因為有些年紀較大只會說台語的人,如果看見白人,因為從外表無法分辨是哪國人,所以我們就會統一都稱[阿凸仔],有人說這是幽默的意思????哪裡幽默了??
怎麼會變成貶抑的意思????,just a name,just like [cheese] that yellow thing...就像我們說[起司]就是指黃黃的三角型的乳酪一樣,只是一個稱呼而已

不過確實,要取決於一個人說話的態度,如果你覺得他不友善,他用隨便的語氣用台語稱呼你"嘿-阿凸仔"而且常常看見你都這樣叫你,那就真的非常失禮了,變成是強加在你身上的nickname

其實我也不知道為什麼外國人要稱做[阿凸仔]
但我真的不覺得這是一個負面的意思,而且[阿凸仔]本身的念法,其實還滿親切的
它只是一個很簡單的我們稱西方人的方式
真要問別人,那個名稱是指什麼意思
我相信絕大多數的台灣人也是..
"ㄨˋ ㄕㄚˋ ㄕㄚˋ"

不過我們稱客家人為[客人仔]就真的,fu bad(個人感受..),念起來就不太有禮貌的感覺,不太親切而且有點隨便("阿凸仔"不會這樣覺得,但"客人仔"會,很奇怪...),所以如果我用台語說的話都比喜歡稱[客家人]


god~
i miss michael~


JONG Yii-Shuian

2009,0708,3,1206

鐘乙軒 said...

比 -> 比較

Anonymous said...

阿兜仔 意 有高挺鼻子的人,我媽常說 我像阿兜仔我還真高興 那麼多人想要隆鼻 你就知道好或不好

鐘乙軒 said...

我比交喜歡台灣人叫我:"阿兜仔".聽起來比交有台灣味也很可愛阿!
I hate it to be called American, English teacher all the time. Particular in Taipei. Hate it ! HAte it!

July 1, 2009 8:05 PM
----------------------------------------------------------------

Exactly !!

That's what I want to say ^_^

dan said...

THANK YOU, everyone, for comments here. Please keep commenting. This is an open discussion for everyone to say how they FEEL and THINK. I am open to all opinions and ideas. PLEASE DO COMMENT in Chinese or English or Taiwanese or Hakka. Japanese, too.

-- Biko Lang, my pen name

鐘乙軒 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JONG Yii-Shuian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marienus said...

Why do the Taiwanese need a word for us? In my country, I only use one word for everyone: "people".

Anonymous said...

Taiwanese will eventually be punished for been so callous to those different from them and being so heartless to those among them who are defenseless against the tyranny of the state and being so faithless for ignoring their past and forgetting who sacrificed themselves or get sacrificed anyway for the sake of Taiwan's future, especially those victims of 228 and White Terror, for the sake of short-term profits. They shall be punished for selling out their own souls and now their own nations.

Bigots, all of them.

Anonymous said...

Is calling a Mexican "Amigo" politically incorrect? I don't think so. It seems, the white people here in Taiwan want to dig deep into the word "Adoah" and also need to make sure that they are not being insulted. I am a 55-year-old female who never thought an old-fashioned Taiwanese father-in-law calling his tall-nosed pale-skinned son-in-law "Adoah" was an insult. The father-in-law passed away long ago at the age of 85. They were a loving family. From now on, I will think hard for a new nickname to replace Adoah, but I am going to miss this cute descriptive name. Oh, history in transient...

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous Woman who wrote:

"I am a 55-year-old female who never thought an old-fashioned Taiwanese father-in-law calling his tall-nosed pale-skinned son-in-law "Adoah" was an insult. "

Nobody has said anywhere that calling a son in law an adoah was an insult. Nobody has said that anywhere on any blog or in that letter in the Liberty Times today.

But did you ask your husband how he felt to be called adoah all the time, instead of "son" or "my dear son in law" or even by his real name? Ask him and report back.

Adoah is a cute and warm and intimate word, nobody has said otherwise. But as you know, if you are 55, life does change, words do change, language does change. And while adoah sounds good to your ears, as nostalgia, and we whites understand that, you might also think that for some whites in Taiwan they word does not sound so good, even though they know it is not an insult or a slur. See?

This is NOT about us verus them, my friend. It is not whites versus yellows here. This is about US, all of us, as human beings, learning from each other, and showing respect to each other, and what was cool in 1970 might not be cool anymore in 2009.

But yes, adoah is a cute word. Nobody is turning this into a fight, and we hope you won't do this either. You seem angry in your comment. Why are you angry?

Relax. This is just a family discussion and everyone here agrees on one thing: Taiwan is a free and soverign nation in the world, and this adoah thing is a minor minor issue. You are not living abroad by any chance, are you?

SMILE.

Marienus said...

Dear 55-year-old anonymous female: Whether calling a Mexican "Amigo" is politically correct or not is so beside the point. It would be helpful to leave the term "politically correct" out of this discussion, because this is more basic than that. It's just about whether or not one feels hurt by another's actions. In Taiwan, the word "adoua" has a statistically high prevalence of being used in derogatory contexts. So just like the word "nigger", it should be abolished, period. But what I feel most hurtful is that people are using a name at all. Have you ever *really* thought about your motivations behind using a nickname? Face it: to use a nickname, whether it's something generic like "foreigner" or nationalistic like "American" or colloquial like "Adoah", is to generalize someone as being a member of a group, and has the effect of packaging an individual as part of that group, constituent with all generalizations people have of that group, usually at the expense of what could be gained by meaningfully, not shallowly, relating to that person. Every day many Taiwanese turn me into a clown because I look different from the norm. However cute you think that is, no offense to your father-in-law, it hurts, politically correct or not.

Sambo said...

I don't think our little yellow friends mean any harm by calling us Adola. What gets me, is how come there are only two kinds of people in the world: Taiwanese and Adola. OK, there are also Aliozai, but I don't classify the whole planet into English, Jocks and foreigners.

Best Wishes, Sambo.

Anonymous said...

名稱不是重點
重要的是講話的態度與衍申意涵吧

以台灣人的直腸子而言
如果有人因為我鼻子高而取之為外號
我不會生氣 因為較高鼻樑 較具正向的意義
但絕不會特別高興(因為我有名字 跟您一樣不喜歡多個代號)

如果老是有人稱我納鼻子(矮鼻子)
我可能會變得自卑易怒敏感多愁
這下場比較嚴重

一般"阿兜仔" 普遍運用在話家常
比較俚俗 有那麼一絲鄉下的親切
我是聽得懂啦 可是沒這麼稱過白種人
我們家大概都是直接稱"某"國人
因為籠統稱呼太不精確了

如果媒體上使用台語特別稱呼語
通常是有某種意義
要知道
不同場合使用台語 是有不同意義
講的人的背景心態 也或該考慮
會造成聽者不快
我相信是發音時的語調 眼神 或肢體語言
足以讓心靈敏銳的人感受到特別待遇
但是 請相信我
一般人講這詞 是不會有鄙視心態
這跟您其他類比詞 完全搭不上關係

Peter Huang said...

when people said to me that my baby looks like A-DO-AH, I am pleased. It means she looks beautiful. I indeed think A-DO-AH is a positive word, not negative at all to Taiwanese.

BR-Peter

Marienus said...

Peter, "it's not negative at all to Taiwanese"... this is the whole point: What if you *knew* this term was offensive to white foreigners? Would you defy those foreigners and continue to use the term... or would you take a look inside your heart and ask yourself whether your attitude might not be a little one-sided?

untek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
untek said...

A-Dot-Ah 明明就沒有貶意 說你們鼻子挺不好嗎??知不知道什麼叫入境隨俗? 當這個詞完全沒貶意,只是俚語的時候,為啥要我們台灣人改變我們的習慣詞??你們叫我們bananas、nese;叫黑人nigers,還要過份一百萬倍吧?為啥不去轉型正義一下??

Anonymous said...

呵呵 是這樣的
一些文化 鼻子有特殊意涵 難怪你們會不喜歡 但是台灣人完全不知道你們為何鬱卒
這是不同文化的摩擦 在本地而言 完全無惡意 甚至有些愛憐感 雖不正式 算是無傷大雅
當然 如果有台灣人跑到貴國叫"阿凸仔" 那當然絕對必須糾正 對不~
但是有種自大狂燥的民族 以一種在其表達力屬於極為低下粗鄙的言詞來形容台灣人 台灣人也是納悶之餘 才探聽到那種族優越者所說的"巴子"是何意思 您認為 這樣情況 能相提並論嗎?

Anonymous said...

You said the Taiwanese is also welcomed.Therefore,allow me to write in Taiwanese.

a-tok-á sī tsin hó ,tsin tsū-jiân ê tshing hoo.
tsit ê lâng ê phīnn tsin lîng, lán kóng i ê phīnn tok-tok.
Tok-tok ê ì-sù toh sī phīnn-á tsin ling.
Tak-ê lóng mâ ài kak-lī ê phīnn-á ling-lîng, mài pínn-pínn.
khó kiàn, a-tok-á sī tsin hó ê ì-sù.
Hi-bāng lí lâi liáu kái tsin tsìng ê tâi-uân bûn-hùa.
「阿啄也」是真好、真自然的稱呼。一個人的鼻真隆,咱講伊的鼻啄啄。啄啄的意思,就是「鼻也」真隆。
逐家攏嘛愛家己的「鼻也」隆隆,莫扁扁。
可見,「阿啄也」是真好的意思。
希望汝來了解真正的台灣文化。

dan said...

to Peter Huang who above said...


"...when people said to me that my baby looks like A-DO-AH, I am pleased. It means she looks beautiful. I indeed think A-DO-AH is a positive word, not negative at all to Taiwanese."

YES PETER, for TAIWANESE THE WORD HAS A WARM AND GOOD AND AFFECIONATE MEANING, I AGREE. But we need to also consider how the word SOUNDS and FEELS when foreigners hear it on TV and to their faces and behind their backs on the street and in shopping malls and while visitng in-laws on LUnar New Year week holidays. The word is indeed a GOOD wor for Taiwanese to use. The question is Peter, and I don't know the answer, is the word GOOD for foreigners to hear day after day, when people talk about them either face to face or behind their backs?

That is the question we need to explore, too. But YOU are right, above, and that is a good point, thanks for commenting, sir..

-- Biko Lang

Anonymous said...

TRANSLATION MACHINE from above post:

"A-Dok-Ah on has not censured Italy saying that obviously your nose is not very good?? Knew that what is called when in rome do as the romans do? When this word has not censured Italy completely, is only slang time, why wants our Taiwan people to change our custom word?? You call us bananas, nese; Is called the black nigers, but also wants excessive 1,000,000 times? Why doesn't reform just?? "

July 8, 2009 1:46 AM POST ABOVE

Anonymous said...

TRANSLATION MACHINE ABOVE POST:

"Anonymous said… Ha-ha is such some cultural nose has special meaning no wonder you to meet does not like, but the Taiwan people did not know completely although your why Yu Zuzhei was the different cultural friction in local says completely harmless even somewhat feels attached to the feeling not officially does not hurt the essentials if certainly had the Taiwan people to run up to your country to call " Arab League raised young " That 絕 to must certainly correct to not ~, but has plants the megalomania dry nationality by one kind, in its expression strength belongs to the extremely low vulgar expression to describe that the Taiwan people Taiwan people is also wonders when only then eavesdropped on that race superior said " Female genitals " Is what meaning you thought that such situation can place on a par?"

from July 8, 2009 1:50 AM POST

dan said...

Yes, sir, Taiwanese comments are very welcome here. Please post again in Taiwanese anytime. -- BIKO LANG says re: "You said the Taiwanese is also welcomed. Therefore,allow me to write in Taiwanese."

I wrote a song about learning Taiwanese for foreign people, it is called AMAH KOON BEIKI and you can hear my sing it here:

http://amahsong101.blogspot.com

On YouTube the song got over 12,ooo views.......

-- BIKO LANG

re: your post above

"Hoped that you understand the genuine Taiwan culture."

THANKS SIR. I am learning to understand the genuine Taiwanese culture and if you ever meet me you will see that I will do care about Taiwan and love your country and its people. I am just curious about the origins and history of the word ADOAH, and thanks for teaching me, sir. I am all ears.

-- BIKO

「阿啄也」是真好、真自然的稱呼。一個人的鼻真隆,咱講伊的鼻啄啄。啄啄的意思,就是「鼻也」真隆。
逐家攏嘛愛家己的「鼻也」隆隆,莫扁扁。
可見,「阿啄也」是真好的意思。
希望汝來了解真正的台灣文化。

EQUALS =

“the Arab League calligraphy stroke also” is really good, the really natural name. A person's nose is really prosperous, we speak Iraq's nose calligraphy stroke calligraphy stroke. Pecks calligraphy stroke's meaning, is “the nose also” really prosperous. Gathers together home by home loves family oneself “the nose also” rumble, not flat. Obviously, “the Arab League calligraphy stroke also” is the really good meaning. Hoped that you understand the genuine Taiwan culture.

dan said...

Chen Chun-kai (陳君愷), a professor of history at Fujen Catholic University, said in an e-mail: “Although most Taiwanese truly think adoah is a humorous word, if most Western foreigners in Taiwan hate that word ... then that word is no doubt a bad word and should not be used anymore by our people.”

Chen added: “Confucius said: ‘Do not do unto others what you would not want others to do unto you.’ So if we Taiwanese don’t like to hear Mainlanders calling us taibazi, then Taiwanese should stop using that word adoah in reference to Westerners. There is no need to keep using the word adoah anymore, if those who hear the word don’t like it.”

“We Taiwanese are still crippled by a long history of linguistic and ethnic slurs, even now. We need to fight for our freedom and establish a new nation with justice. If we can achieve this, I believe that we will also learn more from people in other countries,” Chen said.

dan said...

Another professor, Chi Chun-chieh (紀駿傑), who teaches in the Department of Indigenous Cultures at National Dong Hwa University, said by e-mail: “I must admit that I never thought that adoah was a bad or negative term, and I am sure that people here use it as merely a humorous word and not in any negative sense at all.”

“However, and this is important, this common usage does not mean that adoah is a good term, even though it is not used in a negative or pejorative way,” Chi said.

“The most important thing about language when it is used to refer to different national or ethnic or racial groups are the subjective feelings of people being addressed,” Chi said.

“In terms of the word adoah as it is used to speak about or address Westerners in Taiwan ... the shape of a person’s nose is not relevant compared to his or her more important personal characteristics,” he said.

dan said...

Speaking from the perspective of someone who has lived abroad since 1992, Liu Yu-hsia (劉玉霞), the Taiwanese editor of the Taiwan Tribune in New Jersey, a newspaper for Taiwanese expatriates, said: “It’s been many years that I have not heard this term adoah. I used it when I was little. I agree with you. Adoah is a little insulting and insensitive from an American’s viewpoint. It is just like calling somebody ‘fat.’ However, when Taiwanese call a Westerner adoah, it is not meant to insult the person.”

“But the point is, if the person being addressed or spoken of doesn’t like the term, then it shouldn’t be used,” Liu added.

“Taiwanese people are not as sensitive as Westerners to some terms associated with a person’s body, such as weight or height or the eyes. Some Taiwanese also feel uncomfortable when they are called ‘fat’ or ‘short’ or ‘small eyes,’ but in general, Taiwanese are not so sensitive,” she said.

“The next time someone refers to you as an adoah, tell him or her, seriously, that you don’t like to be described in that way. I believe that person will not do it anymore,” she said.

When asked if Taiwanese expats in the US ever call their neighbors adoah, Liu replied: “We usually don’t, because there are so many adoah here. Sometimes we call them laowai, but we forget that the actual foreigners are us.”

dan said...

ALL COMMENTS WELCOME, YES. IN CHINESE, TAIWANESE and ENGLISH. Please tell me your feelings and ideas on this topic. You are my teachers here. Thanks.

-- Biko Lang, student of Taiwanese culture on a day to day basis, and everything is BUSASA to me.

untek said...

Hey Anonymous,tnx for your translation to english,and you can write taiwanese!! very very very good! even me just learning it!!you do a good job!

Anonymous said...

A POLL OF TAIWANESE PEOPLE SAYS:

Editor's note: Readers may remember an article that freelance
reporter Biko Lang in Taipei Times on May 19, 2009, which has been translated
now for the Liberty Times on July 8. After the article appeared, a poll was taken by a local
marketing firm in Taipei based on the article, and the results are, if
not conclusive, nevertheless very interesting.


The online poll was conducted by a TNS Taiwan, a Taipei marketing
firm, from May 22 to May 24, with about 25,000 Taiwanese people
participating, and with several
questions being asked.

When those polled were asked "Do you use the term 'adoah' to refer to
Caucasians?" the results were as follows: 45% said
they do use the
term while 55% said they do not use the term.


When people were asked "If you learned that this term of adoah was considered
offensive by some Westerners living in Taiwan, would you
stop using it?" the results were as follows:

93% said they would no
longer use the word "adoah" while 7% said they would continue to use
it.

In the poll, the total sample
size was 25,276 respondents, distributed in terms of age and gender
proportionately to the general population, with ages ranging from 13
to 64, according to the polling firm.

dan said...

Hello untek

re:

tnx for your translation to english,and you can write taiwanese!! very very very good! even me just learning it!!you do a good job!

THANKS UNTEK...I am still learning how to use the translation machine at babelfish. It helps me get through the BUSASA fog that is my basic understand of Chinese and Tawianese = BUSASA. But every day is paradise here! I love your country and its people. ADOAH is not such a bad word, just interesting to chat about it...

BIKO

Yuchun Gruber said...

Hi,

I am a Taiwanese Australian. I currently live in Australia and have been living in Australia for 20 years.

From what I understand, "ADOAH" means "hook nose", not "big nose".

When you are called "ADOAH", you probably feel like an Asian being called "slanty eyes". However it is not a discriminative term at all. Unlike "slanty eyes" has a connotation of racial discrimination, "ADOAH" is just a way of saying you are "different" - but not in a bad way.

Personally I can't tell the difference between "ADOAH" and "Foreigner" but I do think "ADOAH" is a friendlier term than "Foreigner". "Foreigner" or "waiguoren" just sounds so....foreign. (Does this make sense?)

Anyway, I hope this helps.


Regards,
Yuchun Gruber

dan said...

Yuchun Gruber

THANKS so much for your very good comment here. You know, I had also heard that this A DOK AH word could also mean HOOK NOSE....a Kaohsiung woman told me this a month ago..... and a man just told me that the word was coined when the Dutch first came to Tainan with their high noses, it was just a descriptive word..... so i think we can all agree the word is not meant as an insult......BUT then why does TVBS TV and other TV networks in Taiwan use the word on air and in news headlines and news crawl text below the screen whenever a foreigner who is drunk and gets arrested in Taipei or Kenting and the TV news says "an adoah was arrested last night for streaking naked on the road outside the 711" and they use the word aodah in public on TV and newspapers like APPLE DAILY do the same thing.......it does not mean NIGGER or WOP or KIKE or DAGO or WETBACK, it just is slang from long ago for TALL NOSE WHITE MEN from the WEST, but now it's 2009, shouldn't a better word be coined, like WAH GOH LANG? or whatever.....the word ADOAH is harmless.....and NOT an insult...but to Western ears that know the meaning of the word, it sounds SHRILL........ like in Japan they call us GAIJIN GAIJIN all the time......

But hey, every country has strange words that are LOADED....your comments are very good and i hope some Taiwanese readers and Western readers are reading all these comments. this is a FASCINATING record of all this....how did you find this blog by the way, via Claudia Jean?

-- Cheers,

Biko Lang, a pen name of course

Anonymous said...

From the south Taiwan - Tainan.

My comemnt is

" Since childhood uses the child who “the Taiwanese” grows up. Is very small in my age, I saw on the road some foreigners, said to my mother: Has Arab League young Ye. Afterward, I ask my mother: Why can call the Arab League young? (here Arab League young equates Arab League raised young which said in you) My mother explained with me that is “the view which the old person hands down from generation to generation”. It is said that early Taiwan rules in Holland time, Saw the Dutch nose is high, therefore is called them “the Arab League young”. In the middle of traditional Taiwanese, if described that a person's high nose, will say: “nose”, is also the nose is high. Therefore, I am right “the Arab League young” these three character cognition am: Nose high person. Has used since childhood such, was similar to you in the article said that really did not think had insults the foreigner the meaning. Furthermore, because I knew that “the nose” describes the high nose, even more did not know that can let the foreigner have the insult feeling. Above, is my idea. "

Anonymous said...

A Taiwanese correspondent says:

Dear Biko Lang--

"About what you sent me: I think most of the Taiwanese people will disagree about “ADOAH” is a mean or bad word, but they will agree that they should stop using the word if it makes you feel offended.

When a person does not like it, it is rude to continue to call it that way. So, I know not to call my friends as A-do-ah anymore. I won't do it. Promise.

If Western people call me slant-eyed, I am not bothered, because depending on the context, the person may be either admiring what s(he) does not have, or making fun of me, or neutrally just describing a fact.

I don't pre-judge a person's intention. I try to live with people peacefully and I don't assume a person's intention, I observe! before I conclude anything.

About what you or others said: it is an OLD word....maybe it is time to find a more MODERN word?

I thought you wanted to study the history of this word, but didn't say about to find a word replacement for this old word because to find a word replacement means that you had a reason why you want to replace this word, a pre-judged bad word (you think) therefore must go.

Just tell people you want to be called:
''Gua-Go-Lan'' (a Taiwanese word for foreigner including Japanese, Chinese from China and Singapore, people from the Philippines, and westerners etc.)

Maybe a reason for your problem is the cultural difference, for example Taiwanese do not think so much that the description of the facial feature is bad, so you could not adjust to 入境隨俗?


a Taiwanesae grad studnet in CAlifornia told, me this, he said Taiwanese have NO GUTS to tell the truth, they always hide behind lies.....a
Taiwanese man said this. 35 years odl.....sEE?

and i think he is right



stop labeling OTHER peopke FOREIGN MAIDS and FOREIGN WIVES
and MARIA , there are many bad words for foreigners here,,,WHY?"

Signed

-- A Taiwanese woman in Seattle

dan said...

YUCHUN GRUBER

can you believe this? A local woman told me this today:

''If Western people call me slant-eyed, I am not bothered, because depending on the context, the person may be either admiring what s(he) does not have, or making fun of me, or neutrally just describing a fact. ''

Anonymous said...

15. 「阿凸仔」= 鼻子高挺的人
發言人:臺灣的臺語 2009-07-08 22:20:38

「阿凸仔」在 臺語 裡,泛指「鼻子高挺的人」!

想必此文作者 Biko Lang,應該是不會,不懂 "臺灣的臺語" ,所以才會將「阿凸仔」曲解成「大鼻子的人」吧 ???

又,把令許多臺灣人生氣憤怒的「高級外省豬-郭冠英」,
其吃裡扒外行徑,侮辱臺灣人的詞彙「台巴子」...等等,
與臺灣人稱羨,讚美西方人士多 "鼻子高挺" 的「阿凸仔」一詞,錯放一起,混為一談,
實在是不倫不類,不三不四,笑掉所有臺灣人的大牙。

希望此文作者 Biko Lang,能多用點心,作好功課,再來評論。


回應本篇

Anonymous said...

14. 回應請別叫我『阿凸仔』
發言人:i台語聞香 2009-07-08 22:04:25
回應請別叫我『阿凸仔』 ◎台語聞香
台灣本來就是一個寶島,地土好、物產多,自然吸引各地來的移民,各所在的移民自成一個部落,各自為政,各自保護家園,對外界無同款的人員,大多數以特徵稱呼之。
值日本來統治台灣晉前,台灣先住民(有可能是平埔族)稱呼唐山來的人為唐山客、唐山仔、阿山,稱呼荷蘭人為紅毛仔,稱呼原住民為『蕃』,其中蕃纔有鄙視之意,此種情形和美國開墾西部同款。
後來台灣來了真多西方傳教士,個個鼻仔陡陡,講話大家聽無,也不知對陀位來的,所以台灣人統稱伊們做『陡鼻仔』然其後簡稱做『阿陡仔』,『阿陡仔』泛指西方高鼻仔白皮膚的人,並無貶意,只是區別西方人士和其他所在人士而已。因為台灣早期民智未開,不知西方分遐邇多國家,無法度以某某國人稱呼,像以前總以為只要是『阿陡仔』攏是美國人同款。
台灣話鄙視人,通常會值稱呼前面加一字『死』字,或者是值稱呼後面加一字『蕃』字,譬如講『紅毛蕃』、『美國蕃』等等。如果值稱呼前面加一字『阿』字,顚倒是較親切的稱呼,譬如稱呼前總統叫『阿扁兮』,稱呼日本人叫『阿本仔』,『阿陡仔』也同款。如果有人講『死』阿陡仔、『死』阿本仔,除非是開玩笑,無者,就是蒞駡人啦!
稱呼西方人『阿陡仔』日本人『阿本仔』,敬與不敬,蓋在講話彼個人的態度,不敬的態度,就算用較好、較尊敬的稱呼,也是不敬。咱們譴責用不敬態度消遣外國人、做戲劇效果的主持人,但是咱們同款請『阿陡仔』朋友,不迵因為無瞭解台灣的風俗習慣,就以為『阿陡仔』是不敬的稱呼,安爾,就枉費台灣人親切友好的心意。

Anonymous said...

14. says in translation

"The response please should not be called me 'the Arab League raised young' Spokesperson: i Taiwanese smells a fragrance 2009-07-08 22:04: 25 responses please should not be called me 'the Arab League raised young' ◎ the Taiwanese to smell a fragrance Taiwan originally are a Taiwan, the farmland are good, the product are many, attracts the immigration which naturally each region comes, each is at the immigration from becomes a tribe, does things their own way, protects the homeland respectively, does not have the same funds to the outside the personnel, the majority calls it by the characteristic. Before assuming duty for the day rules Taiwan Jin originally, Taiwan the resident (has possibility is first Pingpu ethnicity) calls the artificial Tangshan guests who, the Tang Shanzi, Ashan Tangshan comes, calls the Dutch artificial red hair young, calls the indigenous people are 'the flourishing', the flourishing 纔 has despises meaning, west this situation and the US open up wasteland the same funds. Afterward Taiwan has come the really many Western missionaries, each one nose young steep, speaks everybody to listen not to have, also did not know that comes to tuo the position, therefore the Taiwan people are called Iraq to make 'the steep nose young' however after that Jan to be called as 'the Arab League steep young', 'the Arab League steep young' makes a general reference West Gao Bizi the white skin's person, and not censures Italy, is only distinguishes the Western public figure and other in the public figure. Because Taiwan early time people wisdom has not opened, did not know that a Western minute far and wide multi-country, does not have the law the people to call by someone, looked like before always thought that so long as were 'the Arab League steep young' gathers together is the American same funds. Taiwan words despise the human, usually front the meeting value name adds a character 'to die' the character, or is behind the value name adds a character 'the flourishing' the character, for example speaks 'the red hairs', 'the American flourishing' and so on. If front the value name adds a character 'Arab League' the character, 顚 but actually kind name, for example calls former president to be called 'Bian', calls the Japanese to call 'the abern young', 'the Arab League steep young' also the same funds. If some people say 'die' the Arab League steep young, 'to die' the abern young, only if is cracks a joke, not having, is present 駡 the human! Calls the westerner 'the Arab League steep young' the Japanese 'the abern young', respects with disrespects, covers is speaking other individual manner, disrespects manner, even if uses the name which is good, respects, is also disrespects. We condemned that with disrespects the director who the manner whiling away the time foreigner, makes the theatrical effect, but our same funds invite 'the Arab League steep young' the friend, not 迵, because non-understood that Taiwan's manners and customs, thought 'the Arab League steep young' is the name which disrespects, An, wastes the Taiwan ..."

dan said...

Biko Lang says

I think 15 above in translaton disagrees with me and that's good to hear his or her comments. i am trying to learn, please teach m,e more Mr 15

You said ". “Arab League raised young” = nose Gao Ting person spokesperson: Taiwan's Taiwanese 2009-07-08 22:20: 38 “the Arab League raised young” in the Taiwanese, makes a general reference “the nose Gao Ting person”! Thought that this article author Biko Lang, should, not understand " Taiwan's Taiwanese " , therefore only then “the Arab League raised young” will misinterpret “big nose's person”??? Also, makes many Taiwan people to be angry angrily “high-level other provinces pig - Guo Guanying”, outside it eats digs up the act, insults the Taiwan people the glossary “the Taiwan female genitals”…And so on, expresses admiration with the Taiwan people, praises westerner store " Nose high very " “The Arab League raised young” a word, wrong puts the same place, jumbles together, is really nondescript, dubious, smiles all Taiwan people's big tooth. Hoped that this article author Biko Lang, can the multipurpose dessert, finish the schoolwork, comments again. "

chiz2 said...

不同意.
而且個人對於這種種族議題,完全無法拿出幽默感.
你大概以為台灣現在還是英國美國或是日本的殖民地吧, 你們外國人來台灣, 想說你們覺得怎樣,所以台灣人就該照你們所覺得的照辦.什麼叫做"電視節目和廣告應該要禁止使用這三個字"?? "應該"?? 一個人要自尊自大,也該有個限度; 跑到別人家裡, 去說別人家裡客廳的沙發應該怎麼擺, 我是不曉得西方人的習俗是怎樣, 不過我想台灣人是沒有這種習慣.
其實不曉得原作者是從哪裡知道日本人、馬來西亞人、印尼人、印度人、非洲人、越南人或菲律賓人,都沒有使用類似「阿凸仔」的名詞來稱呼西方人。日本人用來形容西方人的辭彙是"外人"(http://tinyurl.com/lnjo82), 表示"你們外國人"對他們日本人來說"非我族類", 根本沒把你們西方人, 白人,黑人, 當作你們跟他們一樣是同種類,至於日本人把西方人當作是狗是豬是牛,還是什麼動物昆蟲更低下層次的生物,那只有日本人才知道.
台灣人是否應該繼續使用「阿凸仔」這個詞彙,應該留給台灣人自己來決定,而不是因為"你們外國人"聽到覺得不高興,我們就應該停止用,現在時代不同了,想要用文化殖民就請"你們外國人"拿出本事來,讓我們覺得你們的文化比較優秀,"你們外國人"所講的別的民族就該從善如流,我想要是"你們外國人"覺得現在的台灣人還是因為"你們外國人"看起來是白皮膚藍眼睛高鼻子,就該聽"你們外國人"的話,那我勸你還是回去你們的國家好好的想一想吧.

dan said...

A longtime USA expat in Taiwan, middle 30s, told me today:

"Some words I care about, but adogah doesn't bother me."

So NOT ALL FOREIGNERS of the adoah facial persuasion feel the same way about this word as I do. I might be the only person who cares about this word. There might be a few others. There might be many. I have no idea. But a man I repect and admire, you is married to a Taiwanese woman and has lived here a long time, said to me today:

''Biko LAng, some words I care about, but adogah doesn't bother me.''

Anonymous said...

Dear Biko Lang
,
Don't worry about some of the Chinese-language comments that are attacking your point of view on this word ADOAH. Those Chinese-lanauge comments are fairly gentle. Just one guy told you to goback to your home country, the others were polite and informative.

At least I don't feel uncomfortable toward any of those comments, as a Taiwanese national here.

I know you love Taiwan, and you're a cute Biko Lang.

Cheers,
Ruby

R said...

DAN與CJ你們好:

如果你們希望台灣不要"誤會"這篇文章是一種對台灣文化的不了解與打壓,並且理性的討論"國際主流修辭法"和你的個人感受。

那你們就必須先將自己站回客觀與中立的位置,並對將「阿兜仔」一詞解釋為「少許欺辱和不敏銳、輕蔑、不正經」以及對比為「台巴子」,這種貶抑的言論做出修正與道歉。

無論那些言論來自何處,當你引以為證時就成了你的言論,我必須鄭重的要求你對不當的言論道歉。


同時再次說明,「阿兜仔」一詞是俚語,是中性的。

既然是俚語,必然是直率的、貼切的、無心機的、粗獷的,當然不適合正式場合或外交詞令。

如果你們真的有把「俚語」的定義搞清楚,那你們就不會用「國際」、「主流」這樣的標準來檢討這個詞。

若你們真有國際主流的視野與胸襟,那麼你們的心靈也應當不會脆弱到為了這個中性又樸拙的詞來受傷。

Biko said...

RE 『阿凸仔』

◎ A reader of the Liberty Times tells me today:


署名Biko Lang的西方人士,在自由廣場投書呼籲台灣人:請別叫我「阿凸仔」!其理由是因為許多住在台灣工作的西方人認為,那是一個侮辱和不尊敬的詞句,不應該出現在公眾場合。


筆者同意Biko的看法。打從少年時代開始接觸西方傳教士,到了成年在美軍駐台顧問團工作,筆者接觸過的西方人為數不少,但是我始終沒有使用過「阿凸仔」來稱呼西方人。當然,我承認目前在台灣還有許多人使用「阿凸仔」來稱呼西方人。在新加坡、馬來西亞等國家使用福建方言的華人族群裡,他們雖然不講出「阿凸仔」,卻使用另類獨特的稱呼。他們把西方白種人通稱為「紅毛仔」,看場合有時也叫「紅毛猴」,而且是現在進行式。在新加坡的地理中心地帶就有個大社區叫做紅毛橋(Ang Mo Kio)。新加坡政府早查覺到此語不妥,所以帶頭把華文的正式名稱改為「宏茂橋」以期誘導新加坡人漸漸地淡忘「紅毛橋」。高明吧!


比較之下,台灣的政府對此現象似乎很遲鈍,以新聞自由為擋箭牌,任媒體公然高唱「阿凸仔」長,「阿凸仔」短的,絲毫沒有考慮到被稱為「阿凸仔」的感受。兩個華人政府,一個精明,一個遲鈍。令「有品」的台灣人無語問蒼天。



* NOTE: 作者早期曾任美軍駐台顧問團翻譯官...

dan said...

A top Taiwanese singer and performer told me today, he is international star:

''I think if people don't like us call them in certain term, we shouldn't continue to use that word.''

Yuchun Gruber said...

Hi Dan,

I was not aware of the situation where TVBS and other TV networks in Taiwan associate the term ADOAH with unpleasant news footages that involve foreigners.

As I said in my previous post the term "ADOAH" is not meant to be discriminative at all, but it seems to me that TVBS et all are trying to turn "ADOAH" into a discriminative word by associating it with negative images. In my opinion, this is completely unprofessional and is in breach of the industry code of conduct (if there is one...you know what I mean.).

I don't know what TVBS get out of this apart from satisfying their need of feeling "Chinese are superior". (inferiority complex?)

Now I understand why you feel uncomfortable being called "ADOAH". I guess I would too, if I were you.

Well, most Taiwanese TV networks are "owned" by Chinese and you know what Chinese are like. They all have inferiority complex and they will seize any opportunity to put others down to make them feel good.

I don't know how I can help...all I can do is to agree with you that "ADOAH" should not be used in public.

BTW, not sure if your friend really doesn't understand Western culture or she was just too eager to defend her fellow Taiwanese for using the word "ADOAH". If she wants a second opinion, I am happy to give her my 2 cents - yes, I can confirm that "slanty eyes" is a discriminative term in the Western world!!

Regards,
Yuchun Gruber

Carlos said...

I’m half Spanish, half Taiwanese, and grew up in the US.

Americans generally don’t like to be called by any physical feature, but it’s very common in Spain and Latin America (don’t forget, Westerners are very different from each other). So maybe as a general rule, you should probably ask your American friends in Taiwan how they feel about the name. As you’ve seen in this thread, many Americans are fine with it. Spanish people are even more likely to accept it.

If someone says they prefer a different name, then use that. I’m happy to see that so many responses say the word is well-meant, but they’ll accept the other person’s feelings. That’s genuine considerateness.

But you can call me Adogah.

Anonymous said...

其實不懂為什麼會有人自以為了解華人,還說華人全部都有自卑感,會有這種想法的人大概自以為自已是這個世界跟宇宙的中心,還自以為到了別人的國家,可以禁止別國的國民說哪些話, 說起來這種人根本自尊自大到了一種可笑又可悲的地步.....這種人根本不適合來討論這個話題吧

dan said...

A Taiwanese man, a longtime editor in the publishing field in Taipei, fluent in English, and a good friend, tells me today -- and he tells a very GOOD story below:

"Dear Mr Biko Lang,

Is "a-tok-a" (in your spelling, ADOAH) a good word or a bad word?

Here is a situation that is very imaginable:

A Taiwanese woman married a westerner, and the girl's old father or mother likes their son-in-law very much.

One day, maybe something happens to the son-in-law, for example the son-in-law messes up something that is so unfamiliar to him, and the old father or mother find it interesting, so they tell their neighbors with a smile:

"Goan hit-e a-tok-a kiann-sai goa koo-chui leh lin kam chai?" (Do you know how lovely our "a-tok-a" son-in-law is?) The smile and the way they say it show how they love the son-in-law.

As Taiwanese like me whose mother tongue happens to be Taiwanese, I will definitely know how the parents-in-law are fond of their "a-tok-a" son-in-law.

In their loving manner, I can see they actually see themselves as the parents of the "a-tok-a", only they have had no chance to bring him up.

How do I know such a situation is imaginable?

Because I grew up in this culture.

When I was a child I lived in Yun-lin, just beside Chia-yi, and I am already 55 years old now."

dan said...

Carlos, above:

WELL SAID, SIR! GOOD POINTS and thanks for ADDING THEM to this discussion. You are right, Westerners come in many colors and all stripes, and we are not one people. We are all individuals from many countries and ethnic groups and how we react to the ADOAH term is up to everyone as individuals I agree.

-- from BIKO LANG, who is of European ancestry, by grandparents: Hungary, Russia, Poland, France. [Call me a gypsy!]

But, Carlos, did you see Yuchun's letter below in part, where she says:

"[Since I live in Australia now for a long time...] I was not aware of the situation where TVBS - TV and other TV networks in Taiwan associate the term ADOAH with unpleasant news footages that involve foreigners.

As I said in my previous post the term "ADOAH" is not meant to be discriminative at all, but it seems to me that TVBS et all are trying to turn "ADOAH" into a discriminative word by associating it with negative images. In my opinion, this is completely unprofessional and is in breach of the industry code of conduct (if there is one...you know what I mean.).

I don't know what TVBS get out of this apart from satisfying their need of feeling "Chinese are superior". (inferiority complex?)

Now I understand why you feel uncomfortable being called "ADOAH". I guess I would too, if I were you.

Well, most Taiwanese TV networks are "owned" by Chinese and you know what Chinese are like. They all have inferiority complex and they will seize any opportunity to put others down to make them feel good.

I don't know how I can help...all I can do is to agree with you that "ADOAH" should not be used in public."

Anonymous said...

Dear Biko Lang

I come form south part of Taiwan--Tainan.
My mother languang is Taiwanese, from childhood to adult, I use
Taiwanese always.
I remermer that when I was a child, I saw some foreigner walked on road,
and I say to my mom:「There are A-DO-AH!」
Then, I ask my mom:「Why we say "ADOAH"?」(Here's 阿度仔is tantamount to
阿凸仔that you say it.)(※mimi say: because pronunciation is the same in
Taiwanese)
Mom explain it to me, "that's seniors spread this kind of wording."
Reportedly, the Netherland particular period, Dutchman have high nose,
so we called them "ADOAH".
If we describe someone have high nose, an orthodoxy Taiwanese is
度鼻(DO-nose), that means high nose person.
So my definition of "ADOAH" is someone have high nose.

I use it form my childhood, like your article said, there are no
scornful meaning in this word.
Furthermore, I know the 度鼻(DO-nose) is describe people's high nose, so
I never think ADOAH have scornful meaning.

That's what I think.

Anonymous said...

Dear friend Biko Lang,


對不起,本人英文不好,容我以本國文字回應日前自由時報所載貴文“請別叫我阿凸仔”一文。

首先對該名稱引起您的誤解,我為説這話的人致歉,以下是回應內容..

“阿凸仔”台語發音不對,正確應為“阿督仔”。其意也不是“大鼻子的人”真正的解釋是“是鼻子高又直的人”, 是很俊俏.很美的讚美語。我不知誰提供這錯誤訊息,但希望您明白這是一句對外國人(特別是白種人)的外觀的一句欣賞.喜歡的形容詞。

既然不喜歡,我們尊重您的選擇,但身為台灣人,我必須將此誤解做一澄清,以上,倘有冒犯,請諒。

Dear Biko Lang,
Sorry, myself English was not good, allows me to be free by our country writing response the Liberty Times to carry the expensive article the other day “please not to be called me the Arab League raised young” an article. First causes your misunderstanding to this name, I make an apology for 説 this saying's person, the following is responds the content. “the Arab League raised young” the Taiwanese pronunciation is not right, correct should be “Arab League supervises the young”. Its Italy is not “big nose's person” the true explanation is “is the nose Gao Youzhi person”, is very good-looking. Very beautiful approves the Americanism. I did not know that who provides this wrong news, but hoped that you understood this is one to the foreigner (is specially caucasian) an outward appearance appreciation. Likes adjective. Since does not like, we respect you the choice, but the body is a Taiwan people, as soon as I must do this misunderstanding clarify, above, if has affronts, please forgive. One this year 60 year old could not leave the Taiwanese from the birth to the present Taiwan

Anonymous said...

我娘咧說一開始是叫:阿ㄍㄡ`仔(外國人的"國")...後來不知道為什麼就變成阿ㄉㄡ`仔@ @"我想原因應該跟城門城門雞蛋糕(幾丈高?)類似吧!

Anonymous said...

如果外國人真的不喜歡阿ㄉㄡ`仔這個稱呼滴話,我也會改口滴啦^_^
我想到了!娘咧有說阿ㄉㄡ`仔的ㄉㄡ`是指外國人的鼻子尖尖滴樣子,好像會啄人~尖這個字在台語除了ㄐㄧㄤ之外,有些人也會說成ㄉㄡ`(同啄字發音)
p.s.我家哈士奇剛來的時候,因為眼睛是水藍色!被我娘咧叫:哩機加阿ㄍㄡ`仔告.....(你這隻外國狗~)

Anonymous said...

應該是口音問題-.-

PS:那我養的7隻波斯貓怎辦!還好我老媽沒來看,不然應該跟你差不多.

Anonymous said...

那你的就是~中東貓....@ @"哇!有七隻耶^____^

Anonymous said...

http://city.udn.com/52340/3517994

dan said...

YouTube - Amah Koon Beiki

A Taiwanese folk song in Taiwanese sung by an American expat living in southern Taiwan (stage name: ''Biko Lang''). The song is about a grandma who cannot sleep ...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=muTRj0GP5wU

dan said...

Expat's Taiwanese novelty song a surprise YouTube hit

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- ....an expat in Taiwan with the stage name of “Biko Lang” has created a comical tune he sings in Taiwanese that has garnered over 12,500 hits on YouTube.

The song, which Lang calls “a love song to Taiwan,” is titled “Amah Koon Beiki” (Grandma Can't Sleep). All the words are in Taiwanese, with a repeating refrain sung with two popular Japanese words meaning “just a minute,” as well.

“I can't speak Chinese or Taiwanese very well,” Lang says. “But after living in southern Taiwan for a while, I learned a few phrases in everyday Taiwanese from my friends and students, especially slang terms and idioms, and I put these colorful words into the lyrics of this admittedly goofy song.”

When asked why he posted the three-minute song on YouTube, the music and video-sharing site, Lang explained: “I recorded the song first on a simple tape recorder at home, and then a friend made a short video of me singing the song in the backroom of his clothing store, and his wife put the video up on YouTube. At first, it was invisible and got only a few hits, but after a Chinese-language newspaper in Taipei wrote a story about the song and included the link, the hits started coming from all over the world. In fact, of the over 10,000 hits so far, most of them are from overseas viewing.”

Lang said that some foreigners overseas have told him that the song, while mostly unintelligible, nevertheless has inspired them to try to learn more Taiwanese words and phrases.

“I think of this song as a learning tool, and if it can help foreign people overseas to start getting acquainted with the Taiwanese language, even in a simple and rudimentary way, then cool,” Lang said.

The song is about an elderly grandmother who cannot sleep on Chinese New Year's Eve because she is worried about what to buy her grandchildren for presents since she is poor and a resident of a small village near the coastline.

“This is a novelty song,” Lang added. “It's meant to cheer people up, to give them a smile, and if it can also teach them some simple words and phrases in Taiwanese such as 'did you eat yet?' or 'It's Greek to me!', then the song will have served a small purpose.”

“I've sung the song in public once or twice, and the reaction from local people was warm and full of laughter,” Lang said. “I'm not a professional singer or a performer, so I hope 'Amah Koon Beiki' can be picked up by other singers, expats or Taiwanese bands, to give the song a lift. I've sent demo CDs to Wu Bai and 2moro in Taipei, and to Brian Funshine as well.”

Now the novelty song sits on YouTube and can be heard free of charge at the file-sharing site. Type “Amah Koon Beiki” into the search window at the Web site to hear the song yourself.

Anonymous said...

Hey Biko!:

By the way, if your translator that translated the 阿兜仔 as 阿凸仔
is a computer software, I can forgive this tool because sometimes machine makes mistakes.

Biko said...

Hi Biko,

First, I want to thank you for replying me back and let me know about your culture. I totally agree with you that if YOU don't like anything, we shall stop doing it.

Second, YES, please send your English version of the adoah article that appeared in the Taipei Times on May 19 to me, I really want to read it.

Third, my English is not good enough but good enough to communicate with you, hope you don't mind reading some broken English. ^_^

Fourth, I thought that most of people were angry with your EXAMPLE of TAIBAZI, comparing it to ADOAH, not because of your "big nose" article. SEE?

The bad example is that you have compare "Taiwanese" vs. "Mr Guo Guan-Ying" the arrogant mainlander who wrote those bad words in his blog about Taibazi.

I am a Taiwanese, I have been bullied my whole life by so-called "Wai Sheng Ren" (I am sure you understand what it means -- MAINLANDERS). However, I have never treated any of my "Wai Sheng" friends badly.

P.S. I am not angry with you for your article, I just wanted you to understand that we don't mean to hurt anyone's feeling, not like what "Guo Guan-Ying".

Nice talking to you and thank for loving this island, it needs more love.... I would cry whenever I hear a foreinger saying he (or she) loves Taiwan...... as some people don't love Taiwan and don't know how to cherish their luck for being there.


P.S. Usually, I don't bother to check my English gramma or spelling, hope you don't mind. However, if any sentence ever caused any misunderstanding, please must ask me. Thanks."

[BIKO LANG SAYS: "What a nice nice nice letter. Thank you for writing to me this way. I do love Taiwan. It is because of people like you, ma'am, and your kindness and warm heart.!"]

Biko said...

Dear Biko Lang,

關於自由時報的那篇文章
我想說的是
< 阿兜仔並不是指大鼻子的人呀
應該是有高鼻子的西方人才對呀 並無貶低的意思>
那是台語 並不能用北京話去直譯的
我覺得你們應該是會錯意了 哪有歧視之意呢?

香港人說西方人是"鬼佬" 你認為誰比較友善呢?

問一下真的懂台灣話的朋友吧!
我們可是很 friendly 的:)

希望可以減輕你的憤怒
Best Regards

- Doris

in translation, by machine:

Dear Biko Lang, what I want to say about Liberty Times's article is that adoah does not refers to big nose's person to have the high nose's western talented person to be right. And it does not disparages meaning. That is a Taiwanese Cannot translate literally with the northern Beijing accent I thought that you should be wrong . Where has meaning of the discrimination? The Hong Kong person said that the westerner is " Foreigner " You thought that who is quite friendly? I hope and Ask you to really understand Taiwan words friend! But we very friendly :)

The hope may reduce your angry Best Regards

Doris

[BIKO adds: "Yes, Doris, thanks for your note. And I really do understand from all these nice and kind comments from many many people on this Liberty Times letter I wrote, I really do understand that adoah is not a bad word or an insult, and that Taiwan is a wonderful country, and the people are so nice here, that is why i live here and work here and love life here. From my point of view, Taiwan is the best country on Earth! Really. And the Taiwanese people are the best people on Earth! I love love love it here! Okay, do I don't like the word adoah so much, but that's okay, it's just one word, and it also has an old history with a warm and affectionate meaning, so I am not angry at all. I am sorry my letter in the Liberty Times made it look like I am angry, I am not. I love Taiwan. It is because i love Taiwan that I just wanted to know the meaning behind adoah, the meaning behind the meaning. And NOW I KNOW. and now you know how some of us foreigners feel about adoah word, too. So we can be frieds and enjoy our lives here together. thank you for writing to me, Doris. -- BIKO LANG"]

Biko said...

LETTER TO BIKO LANG FROM A READER:

我先自我介紹,我是一個平凡的中年家庭主婦,住在嘉義市,在看完您的書之後寫了這封信,雖然我是一個不容易和陌生人對談的人,但是忍不住想要和您說說話。  

這兩本書是我女兒在夜市向您買的,從您每篇短短的文章裡,讓我對您有了初步的認識,也深深感受到了您對台灣的深厚感情,我真的很感動!您的言談之間是那麼的熱情、真誠,您的生活價值觀是那麼的樂觀、惜福,讓我這個對台灣有諸多不滿的小市民自省;一個外國友人都能那麼全心全意的喜愛台灣,為什麼我們總是看不到它美好的一面?"心",惜福的心,知足的心,或許正是我們所欠缺的!  

您說有永居這裡的打算,誠摯的歡迎您加入這個大家庭,所以提筆親自向您表達我的心意,也希望您能繼續出書,讓我們分享您的點滴!       

祝             

平安,快樂

Biko said...

我就這樣哈上了台灣 by BIKO LANG

是一位美國籍的新聞工作者,旅居亞洲十年之久,五年前來到台灣.他可能和你印象中的外國人不太一樣;他愛吃路邊攤,對臭豆腐情有獨鍾,愛搭普快車遊台灣.
為什麼他如此喜愛台灣?
因為隨時隨處可尋的台灣美食,媲美義大利的嘉義鄉村風光,還有熱情友善的計程車司機.....
從他在台灣的奇遇與生活中,你會發現,在這樣一塊我們熟悉的土地上,擁有這麼多可愛的人事物,讓身為台灣人的你我,也忍不住驕傲起來.
=========================
※ 丹布隆 美國籍的自由新聞工作者,畢業於波士頓的 Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts USA 主修法文。旅居亞洲十年之久,曾於日本停留五年,五年前來到台灣,目前居住在嘉義。

http://www.books.com.tw/exep/prod/booksfile.php?item=0010169204

Biko said...

Dear Biko Lang



其實喔~ 我想,你應該是會講一些台語的才是, 或是很會講!
biko lang 好像是台語音-- 美國人, 對不對? 我中計了, 哈哈~
沒關係啦! 語言就是要多溝通才會明白, 我只是怕你誤會了原意.

看到那個媽媽寫給你的信, 我很像她.
因為這是我第一次跟作者對談, 就是怕你會錯了我們的意了.
"台語"在台灣差點被斷了根, 還好,我是鄉下長大的小孩還會講;
我台北的同學有很多都不會講的, 有時想想也很可悲, 悲台灣的命運!
謝謝你喜愛台灣 , 有你的加入, 台灣一定會越來越好.

祝 順心
Doris

chiz2 said...

如果"阿兜仔"這個詞本身並沒有對於外國人有任何輕蔑或是嘲諷等惡意,為何要因為外國人不喜歡這個詞,或者是因為外國人對這個詞有誤解,台灣人就放棄或者是禁用這個詞??
如果這個詞彙並沒有在惡意的情況下被使用,只是因為外國人聽了不舒服,所以我們台灣人就要因為外國人的喜好去放棄自己使用語言的權利,我不知道除了"奴性過重"之外,要如何來形容這種行為.

chiz2 said...

給所有在台灣的外國人:
歡迎你們來到台灣,不過有件事情應該是全球通用的,那就是不管你們到這個地球上的哪裡去,請你們記得,要"入境隨俗",到了別人的土地上,請試著了解別人的文化,融入別人的生活,請不要片面的以你們自己的喜好,就想要去改變別人的文化或生活習慣,就以外國人在台灣被稱作"阿兜仔"這件事情來講,有多少外國人真正知道"阿兜仔"的含意是什麼?? 多數的外國人或許偏頗的就認為"阿兜仔"是台灣人對在台的外國人一種偏頗貶抑的稱呼,然後就自以為是的認為台灣人不應該用這個詞彙來稱呼外來者,我不知道外國人是用什麼出發點或是角色想要禁止台灣人不可以用這個詞?? 就只是因為你們不了解台灣人的文化,台灣人使用"阿兜仔"這個詞的時機與背景,所以台灣人就該迎合你們的想法,對於"阿兜仔"這個詞彙棄之而不用?? 我覺得這個是給所有的在台外國人一個很好自省的機會, 請你們檢視自己的思想跟邏輯,好好的想一想,是不是身為一個在台灣的"外國人",自己原有的種族或文化優越感太重了些??

Anonymous said...

at 5:02 chiz2 message, in English, translated by machine:

"This word itself ADOAH has not had any despite perhaps evil intentions and so on taunt regarding the foreigner, why wants, because the foreigner does not like this word? or is because the foreigner has the misunderstanding to this word?, the Taiwan people gives up or is forbid this word??

If this glossary has not been used in the malicious situation, is only because the foreigner listened not to be uncomfortable, therefore our Taiwan people wanted, because the foreigner liked giving up itself using the language the right, I did not know except " Servile overweight " Beside, how can describe this behavior?"

Anonymous said...

and chiz2 at 5:36 pm message, translated by machine, says:

"For possesses in Taiwan's foreigner: Welcome you to arrive at Taiwan, but has a matter to be the whole world is general, that is no matter where do go you to this Earth's on, asks you to remember, wants " When in rome do as the romans do " ,

to others' land, have please tried to understand that others' culture, integrates others' life, please do not want one-sidedly by yours fondness, the wish changes others' culture or the habits and customs, outside the people are called as in Taiwan " Arab League pocket young "

This matter says, some how many foreigners know " truly; Arab League pocket young "

What is the meaning?? Perhaps the most foreigners biased think " Arab League pocket young " Is the Taiwan people to the name which belittles biased in Taiwan's foreigner one kind, then thinks oneself infallible thought that the Taiwan people should not use this glossary to call the outcomer, I did not know that what starting point the foreigner is wants with perhaps the role to forbid the Taiwan people not to be possible to use this word??

Is only because you did not understand that Taiwan people's culture, the Taiwan people uses " Arab League pocket young "

This word opportunity and background, therefore the Taiwan people should cater to your idea, regarding " Arab League pocket young " This glossary abandons does not use?? I thought that this is for all the opportunity which very good engages in introspection in Taiwan foreigner one, asks you to inspect that own thought with logic, thinking well, are the body is one in Taiwan's " Foreigner " , the original race or the cultural superiority feeling have been too heavy??"

Anonymous said...

Biko Lang

Are you familiar with the Taiwanese rapper ''Dog G''?

He is from the south; I saw him at the Free Tibet concert and later googled him.

He has a video, that talks about ''adoah''; and the girls that chase after the English teachers.

Anonymous said...

A discussion of Dog G rapper song about adoah:

http://forumosa.com/taiwan/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=75914&p=947856#p947856

here is a complete translation of the lyrics of this song, and yes it is supposed to be funny don't take it too seriously please

西餐妹 Western Cuisine Girl

(translation note: I will abbreviate western cuisine girl as WCG)

SPOKEN PROLOGUE

yea, this is your Small Brother Dog G (double pun on the word big dong)
in this song I'll talk about racism
not whites toward blacks or blacks toward whites
but taiwanese being racist toward other taiwanese
for these type of people
I need your xu of disapproval (the taiwanese use the 'xu' sound or 噓聲 for disapproval)
when I point my finger like this and xu
xu with me, okay?

this type of people...come on...

CHORUS
xu...we use chopsticks but they insist on knives and forks
xu...where do they put us taiwanese
xu...your knives are cutting through my flesh
xu...your forks are piercing through my heart and lungs
xu...you love me...or love adogahs x 3
xu...if you continue i will...ha

VERSE ONE
what is western cuisine? just cuisine using knives and forks
what is a western cuisine girl? just a girl who refuse to use chopsticks
when there's an adogah next to her she becomes all excited and wet...like her snatch is
itchy...oops I mean...like a western doll (word play on snatch and doll)
when the adogah says "my name is" and something really long, the WCGs cannot pronounce it
but who cares as long as theres English in it

the WCGs are experts in English
the adogahs ask them "how old are you"
they answer "fine thank you"
the WCGs pretend they cannot speak Chinese and Taiwanese
they are neither blue nor green
their president is Bush
they eat potato chips and watch western dramas (pun on western dong)
WCGs love the Yankees (another pun on western dong)
but they are not fans of Chien-Ming Wang...haha

WCGs love the adogahs' physique
WCGs all love Dog G's hmm? thank you (pun on big dong)
my girlfriend is a WCG...ya you heard right
because everyone says I look like Brad Pitt

REPEAT CHORUS

VERSE TWO
foreigners, are you here to teach english or are you here to learn Chinese
I think they are here to host shows
Blackie Wo hosts Hei-Se-Hui (host of a stupid but popular teen girl variety show)
white dongs are hosts to WCGs
except for listening to icrt all they do is chase after girls
doing nothing all day
but prance around in a pub with a Heineken
making conversation about some lame topic
they are all talking about Dog G's new album

I have a friend that's together with a adogah...ya that's great
she says the adogah is a gentleman and quite romantic
she plans on getting a green card and then giving him a white little girl
yet she is still selling oyster omelettes in a nightmarket
but you say some adogahs are much better...yes you are right I know
but all he did was say hello and you were like "wow that's so cute"
sigh...WCG...forget it...
some of the adogahs in Taiwan are more like packs of Cesar canine cuisine

REPEAT CHORUS

BRIDGEx2
eating out every meal
like WCG loving adogahs
adogah x 6

VERSE THREE
wow so many WCGs I wanna go to a steakhouse too
[but it says sorry yellow people and dogs cannot enter]
why are there people racist toward their own kind
I said but I'm a African Taiwanese
[she says you're nothing but a dog to me]

you have no self esteem
no wonder no one values you highly
that's why you like to visit Hong Kong (sarcasm about HK's return)
don't let the adogah act like Big Bird when they come to Taiwan
their faces look like that of mating dogs
[because the westerners are superior!]
master huang, westerners have guns and powder but we have kung fu
if you think the moon is rounder in western countries
then you are a WCG, no matter male or female

but we are the greatest ok?
no one will look down on us beat us down
if you hold your head up high
WCGs go away because
we are the greatest, the greatest
because we are taiwanese

REPEAT CHORUS

Anonymous said...

Dear Biko Lang

Yes, I know Dog G. He also lives in Tainan but I never meet him face to face.

His songs are somehow funny, sharp, and sometimes rudely. His songs touch many realities of the society but these kind of songs may never become mainstream in Taiwan.

The song on Youtube you gave is about some Taiwanese girls who go crazy for westerners, adoah, but seemingly look down upon their own Taiwanese people or culture. I don't think this is fair, but it is humor mixed in with reality.

Dog G thinks that's wrong and therefore he writes that rap song.

Discovery had an interview with Dog G. I think it might give you more impression about him.

http://www.im.tv/vlog/personal/586050/5714494

Anonymous said...

Dear Biko LAng

I saw your article on Liberty Times. Your point of view is good.

http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2009/new/jul/8/today-o7.htm

It’s important for you to express your feelings in order to let Taiwanese friends know why you don’t like the epithet attached on the foreigners.

But in my opinion, it’s one of the slangs in the Taiwanese language.

You know most of the slangs are vulgar and derogatory no matter in what language.

“Adoah” is just a humorous one.

Please don’t feel bothered.
In fact, many Taiwanese think being “Adoah” is cool and handsome.

Signed

A Taiwanese mom

chiz2 said...

For those who put your finger in some other people's pie:
If you are not capable of translate my opinion written in Chinese into English, then JUST DON'T BOTHER YOURSELF putting them into the machine translator,cause the outcome is really AWKWARD.

dan said...

Good point, sir. Please do not translate future comments in Mandarin into English using a machine translation device, since the results are not accurate and are awkward. Good point, sir. -- BIKO LANG, reading you loud and clear

By the way, chiz2, there was a good letter in the Liberty Times today, in Chinese, by a Taiwanese gentleman. You can read it here:

翻譯官回應「阿凸仔」

◎ 黃大河


署名Biko Lang的西方人士,在自由廣場投書呼籲台灣人:請別叫我「阿凸仔」!其理由是因為許多住在台灣工作的西方人認為,那是一個侮辱和不尊敬的詞句,不應該出現在公眾場合。

筆者同意Biko的看法。打從少年時代開始接觸西方傳教士,到了成年在美軍駐台顧問團工作,筆者接觸過的西方人為數不少,但是我始終沒有使用過「阿凸仔」來稱呼西方人。當然,我承認目前在台灣還有許多人使用「阿凸仔」來稱呼西方人。在新加坡、馬來西亞等國家使用福建方言的華人族群裡,他們雖然不講出「阿凸仔」,卻使用另類獨特的稱呼。他們把西方白種人統稱為「紅毛仔」,看場合有時也叫「紅毛猴」,而且是現在進行式。在新加坡的地理中心地帶就有個大社區叫做紅毛橋(Ang Mo Kio)。新加坡政府早察覺到此語不妥,所以帶頭把華文的正式名稱改為「宏茂橋」,以期誘導新加坡人漸漸地淡忘「紅毛橋」。高明吧!比較之下,台灣的政府對此現象似乎很遲鈍,令「有品」的台灣人無語問蒼天。(作者早期曾任美軍駐台顧問團翻譯官,部落格http://www.goodweber.com/?4151)

And from now on, there will be no more machine translations, since the result is very awkward, indeed. Thanks for writing in here!

-- Biko

Anonymous said...

「阿兜仔」─ 熱絡還是侮辱的稱謂?

dan said...

A Taiwanese man studying for PHD at UC Berkley in USA says:

"I haven't seen your Liberty Times article and related responses yet, but I want to pay my respect to you for saying it out and loud about the ADOAH slang.

No matter how many excuses we Taiwanese have for that "adoah" term, what matters is how the people being defined by this term think about it - obviously they are totally unhappy and feel insulted, so we must apologize and recognize this mistake and make an effort to clean it.

Too often Taiwanese and especially Chinese like to coin these disrespectful terms for other people - they say "little Japan", "India A-San" etc, and I think that all needs to be fixed. One hundred years ago Japanese called Chinese "feeble dude in the East Asia" - How's that? pretty bloody bad!"

dan said...

So we now have three ways to write ADOAH in Chinese characters, which one is the best and most accurate way? Or doesn't it make a difference, all three are okay in print?

1. 阿凸仔
2. 阿兜仔
3. 阿啄仔

Does anyone know?

It's all BUSASA to me....

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
According to what I have heard and had verified by several Taiwanese, A-dok-a originally meant something like Christian or missionary (阿督仔, 督 as in 基督教, Christianity) because most white faces around used to be missionaries. It is a homophone to "pointed nose" or however you prefer to translate it and has now taken on that meaning as there are fewer and fewer missionaries around.

July 14, 2009 10:01 PM

Anonymous said...

c

Anonymous said...

RE: THE MISSIONARY EXCUSE:

''According to what I have heard and had verified by several Taiwanese,
A-dok-a originally meant something like Christian or missionary (阿督仔,
督 as in 基督教, Christianity) because most white faces around used to be
missionaries. It is a homophone to "pointed nose" or however you
prefer to translate it and has now taken on that meaning as there are
fewer and fewer missionaries around.''

I asked a friend to ask his wife, who is Taiwanese, what she thought of this rather strange explanation, and it is the second time i heard it, the first time from a top editor at a top newspaper in Taipei, and my friend, from the USA but living in Taiwan for over 30 years, said:

"My wife says that explanation is nonsense.

It sounds like someone trying to give a pleasant interpretation to adoah; and say it does not refer to our noses but to missionaries ."

untek said...

This Taiwanese words that correct writing in Chinese-traditional , according to Taiwanese dictionary, it is like this.

詞目 阿啄仔
音讀 a-tok-á 
釋義 老外、洋人。因為洋人的鼻子高挺,所以用「啄」(tok)來代稱洋人。

近義詞 啄鼻仔

from http://twblg.dict.edu.tw/tw/index.htm

dan said...

dear untek

thanks for these notes. I have a question. Why does Liberty Times use a very different way to write ADOAH?

阿凸仔

WHY?

RE: "This Taiwanese words that correct writing in Chinese-traditional , according to Taiwanese dictionary, it is like this.

詞目 阿啄仔
音讀 a-tok-á 
釋義 老外、洋人。因為洋人的鼻子高挺,所以用「啄」(tok)來代稱洋人。

近義詞 啄鼻仔

Anonymous said...

quoted textIn future comments, i will use italics like this, instead of CAPS, since it makes it look like a shouting match to onlookers, and it is not a shouting match at all. a tip of the hat to my computer blogging teacher, Mr You Know Who, thanks mate.quoted text

Mr YKW told me:

quoted textIn your replies, the ALL CAPS answers make it look like a shouting match. I'd suggest quoting people in italics by putting the tags on like this: quoted text

Testing 1234.

Biko said...

In future comments, i will use italics like this, instead of CAPS, since it makes it look like a shouting match to onlookers, and it is not a shouting match at all. a tip of the hat to my computer blogging teacher, Mr You Know Who, thanks mate.

Mr YKW told me:

In your replies, the ALL CAPS answers make it look like a shouting match. I'd suggest quoting people in italics by putting the tags on like this:

Testing 1234.

untek said...

to dan:

That is an article that a reader contributed, not written by Liberty Times , 阿凸仔 is wrong words, completely. and btw, most Taiwanese CAN'T write Taiwanese( holo language) in correct chinese or romanization, because Kuomintang wants to eliminate our mother tongue, they did for 50 years, it has nearly succeeded, and now they are continue eliminate it.

so, WE JUST LIKE IRISH, you know I mean.

untek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dan said...

Dear untek

again, thanks for your comments here. you are a good teacher to me, thanks. and i agree, long live the Taiwanese language, it is wonderful and needs to be preserved for future generations, and all the supression that went on before was wrong wrong wrong. the Jews have a colorful language called Yiddish, that is also a spoken language, and it has also suffered tragically from suppression from many factors. Long live Yiddish! Long live Taiwanese! Long live Gaelic! Long live all earthy, colorful and important languages of the world!

I agree!

Biko Lang

Just one point, even though the letter to editor in the Liberty Times was a letter by the writer, the editor of the Liberty Times changed it to their own way of writing adoah. really. i know. because my first letter in the Lib Times on July 8 , translated by Shirly Tu, wrote adoah in another way, but the Liberty Times editors changed to what you see on their page. I have no idea why....I am just all busasa here....

untel, you can see my full apprecation of the Taiwanese language here on YOUTUBE where i sing a song i wrote in Taiwanese, with over 12,500 hits in two years. -- BIKO

http://amahsong101.blogspot.com

click on the Youtube link there. and dont laugh, okay, laugh!

RE:

That is an article that a reader contributed, not written by Liberty Times , 阿凸仔 is wrong words, completely. and btw, most Taiwanese CAN'T write Taiwanese( holo language) in correct chinese or romanization, because Kuomintang wants to eliminate our mother tongue, they did for 50 years, it has nearly succeeded, and now they are continue eliminate it.

so, WE JUST LIKE IRISH, you know I mean.

untek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adst513(from TW-language of telnet://ptt.cc) said...

I agree. In fact, this word isn`t meaning foreigner but Caucasian or white people. A word Huai-coh-lhen(外國人) in Mandarin means foreigner at first, but develops the other meaning as adoah or a-tok-a by Ban-Lam-Gu(Taiwanese) speaker who use huai-coh-lhen(外國人) in place of adoah in Mandarin, but without any other same word.
Although we use this word without any other meaning or bad intention, we should not name other one with his body features.

untek said...

(Correction, and post again.)

to dan:

tnx for your agreed, and I also admire Jews for keeping their Yiddish, too. Our people will fighting for that!

and btw, A-TOK-A is a very ordinary word completely. if you want to see some bad words when Taiwanese say to foreigners, I can tell you let you understand and protect yourself.


阿啄仔番(a-tok-a-HUAN)
紅毛番(ang-mo-HUAN)
西洋番(se-iunn-HUAN)
死番仔(si-HUAN-a)
白番仔(peh-HUAN-a)
黑番仔(oh-HUAN-a)
洋鬼子(in chinese)
死老外(in chinese)
白豬(in chinese)


above words are really bad and serious words, but very very very few times we can hear those words, actuality even no Taiwanese use that, but we just know those words. I just type that let you guys understand.

someday, if someone say those words to you, you can kick his ass, haha.

so you know, A-TOK-A is a REALLY ordinary word, we can stop this case,haha.

dan said...

Dear untek,

I feel like I am in the middle of all this, because since I know that ADOAH is NOT a bad word at all, just pointing out an obvious body part, not to ridicule but to just describe in a normal way -- such as round eyes, or slanted eyes, or big tits, or broad shoulders, or long legs, or big feet, or long fingers, or long hair, or blond hair (gim-mo-ae, in Taiwanese, for adoah woman, right), but then the PTT commnet above says this:

I agree. In fact, this word isn`t meaning foreigner but Caucasian or white people. A word Huai-coh-lhen(外國人) in Mandarin means foreigner at first, but develops the other meaning as adoah or a-tok-a by Ban-Lam-Gu(Taiwanese) speaker who use huai-coh-lhen(外國人) in place of adoah in Mandarin, but without any other same word.

Although we use this word without any other meaning or bad intention, we should *NOT* name other ones with their body features.


And this was said by a Taiwanese man. So I am confused. Is adoah a good word? Yes. Should it maybe be deleted from every day use now in 2009? Maybe.

But the final decision will be the Taiwanese people themselves. If they want to keep ADOAH in their daily vocabulary when they speak of white people, that will be their choice. But if they decide to stop using that word, it will be their choice too. I am just in the middle, observing. I don't care what you call me, even "Hey Motherfucker!" as long as you smile when you say that to me. SMILE. -- Biko Lang

dan said...

Dear untek, part 2,


re:

if you want to see some bad words when Taiwanese say to foreigners, I can tell you let you understand and protect yourself.


阿啄仔番(a-tok-a-HUAN)
紅毛番(ang-mo-HUAN)
西洋番(se-iunn-HUAN)
死番仔(si-HUAN-a)
白番仔(peh-HUAN-a)
黑番仔(oh-HUAN-a)
洋鬼子(in chinese)
死老外(in chinese)
白豬(in chinese)


above words are really bad and serious words, but very very very few times we can hear those words, actuality even no Taiwanese use that, but we just know those words. I just type that let you guys understand.

someday, if someone say those words to you, you can kick his ass, haha.


WOW! Those words are REALLY bad. I am glad I don't know what they mean in English. Maybe later you can comment here and tell me, in a whisper, and I won't be angry. I like to learn new words.

-- Biko Lang

BTW, last night a Taiwanese man told there is a word for white women in Taiwan, they are called GIM-MO-AE, and it just means something like golden hair girl, but he also said it is a bit rude to say that? What does it really mean? And if it rude or safe to say?

And what about calling a Taiwanese person "lianwu" (wax apple nose)? Is that a joke here or a serious compliment? My Taiwanese friends told me some Taiwanese call their noses as lianwu, but as a joke. True?

I think one of the worst words I heard in Taiwan was HUAN AH, or "wana" , meaning savage or barbarian, and this word was once used by Han Chinese people to call the Aborigine people here. That is very sad, because the Aborigines are the first settlers of Taiwan and should be respected, not belittled. Sigh.

America did bad things to its Indians, too. Sigh. The world is full of hatred and arrogance. We are all one people. There are no separate "race" people, there are not white people , no yellow people, no black people, there is just one race: the human race. Am i right or am i wrong, untek>

Anonymous said...

In Response to “Adoah”

-By Terry Huang

Article in Liberty Times, July 14

translation

Dear Sir

Not long ago, a western Caucasian named Biko Lang wrote a letter to Liberty Times Forum, appealing to Taiwanese: “please do not call me Adoah”! Because, to his understanding, the word “Adoah” sounds humiliation if not insult. Thus, the term should be refrained at least from the public occasion.


I concur with Biko. I had opportunity for close contacts with western missionaries in my youth hood, and then worked for MAAG later as an interpreter. My encounters with western Caucasians are wide and stretched. During that tenure, I had never used “Adoah” to address any of them. Regretfully, “Adoah” is still commonly used by some sectors in Taiwan, mainly in Taiwanese speaking ethnic. But there is similar situation in Singapore too. The Hokkien dialect ethnic Singaporeans are accustomed to address western Caucasians “Ang-Mo**” or “Ang-Mo Kau” depends on occasions. There is a large community in the center of Singapore island which is called Ang-Mo Kio meaning Red-Hair’s Bridge. Singapore Government, knowing the sensitivity of the name, has since changed the official Chinese Name into Hong-Mau Chiao while retains Ang-Mo Kiao as official English Name. Brilliant!


In comparison, Taiwan Government is somehow insensitive to the issue. Using press freedom as a shield, just unleashing the medias and publics to enjoy shouting of “Adoah”. Two Chinese ethnic governments, one brilliant, the other dumb. Oh My God!


http://www.goodweber.com/?terry

Anonymous said...

doris

you are right

there is big difference between Adoah & Taipatsu.

Seriously speaking, Tai means Taiwanese, and Patsu is ASS. They call us Taiwanese Ass !
Well, so she is right.

Put them in the Insult Scale 10 - 1,

Taipatsu: 10
Adoah: 2

The Proof?

In the movie "Red Corner", the actor Richard Gere, smilingly repeated the word Tah-Pitzu, pointing to himself.

Tah-Pitzu, meaning Big Nosed Person, is in fact a Chinese version of Adoah.

untek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
untek said...

please look this 1.

Dan, Im very sorry that Im just busy a bit, and I have been see you singing that Taiwanese song haha, very funny, so until now I can use my Taiwan computer..now Im reply for you , Im so sorry.

BTW, last night a Taiwanese man told there is a word for white women in Taiwan, they are called GIM-MO-AE, and it just means something like golden hair girl, but he also said it is a bit rude to say that? What does it really mean? And if it rude or safe to say?

--

if that word speaks by someone that become a bit rude,that prb. is by someone state ,that words "kim-mo-e",only mean blond hair, not mean else,kim is blond, mo is hair, e is mean guys,and if you are a blond guy, you also a kimmoe too.



And what about calling a Taiwanese person "lianwu" (wax apple nose)? Is that a joke here or a serious compliment? My Taiwanese friends told me some Taiwanese call their nose as lianwu, but as a joke. True?


--

yes, its joke. that means you guys "atoka"'s noses not similar like "lian-bu" completely. you guys noses are tall that not like some asian, and here is "lian-bu" pic.(http://tinyurl.com/l5uo8t) , so you know I mean ,haha.


I think one of the worst words I heard in Taiwan was HUAN AH, or "wana" , meaning savage or barbarian, and this word was once used by Han Chinese people to call the Aborigine people here. That is very sad, because the Aborigines are the first settlers of Taiwan and should be respected, not belittled. Sigh.

--

yes,you are right. some old Han Taiwanese use HUAN to named all foreigners and someone different with Han people ,especially mean Aborigines.

ok,I explain in english for those bad words.


阿啄仔番(a-tok-a-HUAN) -you know
紅毛番(ang-mo-HUAN) -red hair HUAN
西洋番(se-iunn-HUAN)-Western HUAN
死番仔(si-HUAN-a)-fucking damn dead HUAN
白番仔(peh-HUAN-a)-white HUAN
黑番仔(oh-HUAN-a)-nigger HUAN
洋鬼子(in chinese)-oversea ghost
死老外(in chinese)-fucking damn dead laowai
白豬(in chinese)-white pig


can you see that? so many "HUAN"..,,but in fact,now this century, a very very few Taiwanese use those word named ATOKA. Taiwanese don't, use,but those fucking chinese...I dont't know.

America did bad things to its Indians, too. Sigh. The world is full of hatred and arrogance. We are all one people. There are no separate "race" people, there are not white people , no yellow people, no black people, there is just one race: the human race. Am i right or am i wrong, untek>

---

I CAN'T AGREE MORE THAN MORE!

we are human, human just human! I dont think so that Asian better than white people or black people, almost we are the same!

btw, if you have any qustion, you can write me(tanuntek@gmail.com),if Im free, I will write back for you! just call me Tan! and Tan is Taiwanese romanization name, in English , is call Dan! haha , so my surname is same with you, and dan is your first name right? haha!

Anonymous said...

阿凸仔也民調 by Biko Lang

, translated by Terry Huang, letter to Liberty Times re ADOAH

http://pcofftherails101.blogspot.com/2010/01/by-biko-lang-translated-by-terry-huang_10.html


阿凸仔也民調
◎ Biko Lang

Dear Editor of the Liberty Times

自由廣場的讀者或許還記得筆者去年七月中旬發表有關西方人對「阿凸仔」這個稱呼的負面觀感。其實這篇文章的英文版早在去年五月份台北時報(Taipei Times)發表之後,TNS模範巿場研究公司(TNS Taiwan)就阿凸仔的問題舉辦了一次民調。從2009/5/22到2009/5/24三天期間,超過兩萬五千多位台灣人參與了是項民調。

就因為這份民調相當有趣,筆者特別引述其簡要如下,以饗讀者:
您是否使用「阿凸仔」來通稱西方人士? 45% 說(是),55% 說(不)。
當您發現有些在台西方人士認為「阿凸仔」帶有無禮的負面感覺時,您是否會停止使用? 93% 說(會停用),7% 說(繼續使用)。


值得一提的是,這項民調受訪人數高達25.276位,而受訪人的剖面概況是依目前台灣總人口之性別及年齡層的比例來取樣的,其中年齡層則限定在十三到六十四歲之間。

筆者邀請有興趣的讀者們繼續回應。

(作者本名 Biko Lang, aka, Dan Bloom,為美籍資深新聞從業人員;翻譯者黃大河)
部落格http://www.goodweber.com/?terry

==================
Dear Editor, Taipei Times:
======================
'Adoah' poll inconclusive
==========================

Dear Editor,


Some readers of the Taipei Times may remember an article that
appeared in this newspaper last summer about the use of the local
Hokklo term "adoah" for
Westerners in Taiwan ("'Adoah': A demonstration of familiarity or an
insult?", May 19, 2009, Page 4).

After the article appeared, a poll was taken by a local
marketing firm in Taipei based on the article, and the results are, if
not conclusive, nevertheless very interesting.


The online poll was conducted by "TNS Taiwan", a Taipei marketing
firm, from May 22 to May 24, 2009 with about 25,000 Taiwanese people
participating, and with several
questions being asked.

When those polled were asked "Do you use the term 'adoah' to refer to
Caucasians?" the results were as follows: 45% said
they do use the
term while 55% said they do not use the term.


When people were asked "If you learned that this term of adoah was considered
offensive by some Westerners living in Taiwan, would you
stop using it?" the results were as follows:

93% said they would no
longer use the word "adoah" while 7% said they would continue to use
it.

In the poll, the total sample
size was 25,276 respondents, distributed in terms of age and gender
proportionately to the general population, with ages ranging from 13
to 64, according to the polling firm.

Sincerely,

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Anonymous said...

「阿啄仔、阿本仔、阿六仔、外省仔、客人仔」的「仔」沒有貶意

http://taipeilow.blogspot.tw/2013/06/blog-post.html