Monday, July 13, 2009

「阿兜仔」─ 熱絡還是侮辱的稱謂? TAIWAN TRIBUNE, published in USA for Taiwanese communities there...


「阿兜仔」─ 熱絡還是侮辱的稱謂?

原文:丹布隆 (Dan Bloom)‧漢譯 :Shirley Tu

[Edited by Liu Yu-Hsai, NEW JERSEY]



你是個「阿兜仔」嗎?你喜歡被朋友、同事甚至路上遇到的陌生人叫「阿兜仔」嗎?甚至被你的妻子或丈夫如此稱呼?

無論您對這個有趣、幽默,用來稱呼「外國人」的的台語俗語感覺如何,請你用幽默感來閱讀本文。

儘管「阿兜仔」一詞指的是「外國人」,但主要指的是西方人,日本人不會被稱為「阿兜仔」,印尼人、印度人、越南人 或 菲律賓人也不會被如此稱呼。

前台灣行政院新聞局派駐多倫多台北經濟文化代表處新聞組長郭冠英以筆名在部落格發表文章,文中用「台巴子」及「倭寇」兩詞來形容台灣人,受到許多台灣學、政界人士責難,但多數台灣人仍然認為用「阿兜仔」來形容西方人並無不妥。

但有些人認為這個字眼令人感到憤怒,必須避免在公共場合使用,甚至在廣播或電視中禁用。

多年來,一些旅台外國人的網路討論區中,對這個稱謂的正反兩面意見都有,也有許多幽默的回應。

一個普遍的看法是,這個辭彙意味著「突出的鼻子」,來自台語「Dok-Dok(突突)」,用來形容鼻子的「突出」或「高聳」。

多數台灣人說這個字眼並無貶抑或侮辱之意,甚至是含有相當幽默意味的贊許辭彙。

一些旅居台灣的外國人則覺得,六十年前「阿兜仔」可能是用來形容高鼻樑的西方人的字眼,幽默而友善。但某些人,特別是電視節目主持人如吳宗憲等,在節目中毫無顧忌、不管他人感覺的使用這個字眼實在不應繼續。

輔仁大學歷史系教授陳君楷在電子郵件中說: 大多數的台灣人相信「阿兜仔」是幽默的字眼,但如果大部分在台灣的西方人討厭它,台灣人毫無疑問不該再繼續使用。

陳教授表示:孔子說「己所不欲,勿施於人」,如果台灣人不喜歡中國人(外省人)稱呼我們為「台巴子」,台灣人就必須停止用「「阿兜仔」來稱呼西方人。如果被稱呼的人不喜歡,我們就沒有必要繼續使用它。

他說:因為長久以來語言上和種族上被羞辱,台灣人至今仍未能正常發展。我們必須為我們的自由奮鬥,並建立一個新的、公義的國家。如果能達到這個目標,我相信我們可以從其他國家的人學到更多的東西。

另一位任教於東華大學本土文化系教授的紀駿傑教授在電子郵件中說:

我必須承認我從未想過「阿兜仔」是一個不好的或有負面字義的用語,

我確信台灣人只把它當作一個幽默的字眼來使用,並不含有任何負面的意思。

他說:儘管如此,重要的是,「阿兜仔」被廣泛使用並不意味它是好的用語,即使它不是以負面或否定的方式被使用。紀教授說:使用語言首要的事就在於當它涉及不同國家、人種或族群時,被提及的人的主觀感覺。

他說,根據字面,「阿兜仔」被用於在臺灣的西方人時…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。

一位旅居台灣超過十二年的加拿大人Martin de Jonge以別的方式來看待這個稱謂。

他說:因為我來自一個長久以來一直以種種方式來進行資訊活動的國家,其使用的方式包括打造、啟動、追蹤、注意、再形塑、再啟動等等方式。這些活動的目的在於讓這個國家的諸多不同文化族群以分享資訊、提高人們敏感度,增進彼此了解的方式來促進不同文化間的了解。因此,我有時會理所當然的認為,台灣社會的一些異常現象,本地媒體及領導者的公共言論應該可以用正確的方式,限期將之去除。

居住於美國紐澤西,海外台灣人報紙《臺灣公論報》的編輯劉玉霞女士以長期(1992年以來)旅居美國的角度來做評論。

她告訴我說: 「我已經多年不曾聽到『阿兜仔』這個詞語,但我小的時候曾使用過。我同意你的意見,從一個美國人的觀點來看,「阿兜仔」可能有點侮辱、忽略他人的感覺,有如稱呼某人『胖子』一樣。然而,當臺灣人叫西方人「阿兜仔」時,並沒有侮辱的含意」。

「但重點是,如果有人不喜歡被冠上這樣的稱呼,這個字眼就不應該被使用。」

她說:「臺灣人不像西方人對與人體有關的字眼那樣敏感,例如體重、高度或眼睛等。某些臺灣人被別人說『胖』、『矮』或『小眼睛』時,他們同樣感到不舒服。但是一般來說,臺灣人並不是那麼敏感」。

「下次當有人稱呼你『阿兜仔』的時候,你可以認真、嚴肅的告訴他(她),你不喜歡這樣被形容,我相信這個人以後再也不會這樣稱呼你。」

至於住在美國的台灣人會不會稱呼他們的鄰居「阿兜仔」?她表示:我們通常不會,因為這裡的「阿兜仔」太多,但有時我們會叫他們「老外」,但我們忘了,我們才是真正的「老外」。

法庭依舊在審理此案─「阿兜仔」在今日是否有其實用價值?真正的法官仍是台灣人本身。

那麼這是我給讀者的問題: 「阿兜仔」是臺灣人應該繼續使用的字眼,或是應該丟棄的老辭彙?台語裡是否有更恰當的字眼,而不是以他們鼻子或眼睛來形容西方人?

無論您是否同意我的看法,我希望您在讀完這篇報導之後能讓我知道您的看法。請以email(中英文皆可)送到 bikolang@gmail.com 或台灣公論報(taiwantribune@yahoo.com)。

(作者Dan Bloom, 美國人,目前居住於南台灣,著有兩本中文書「我就這樣哈上了台灣」及 「丹布隆 哈上台灣夜市」,其部落格為:danbloom888.blogspot.com;Shirley Tu為 台北市民。)(本文英文版載於taipeitimes:http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/05/19/2003443960)。

8 comments:

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!"

Anonymous said...

I watned to point out that the Liberty Times newspaper uses still another way to write ADOAH in Chinese characters for the Taiwanese word:

So we now have:
1. 阿凸仔
2. 阿兜仔
3. 阿啄仔

Which one is correct? BUSASA on my part. I dunno.

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.

dan said...

A Taiwanese friend tells me now: re above

"I don't think so.

Actually, Taiwanese people can't really tell the difference between Catholicism and Christian religion. They both called them "麵粉教" (flour religion) in early time, because the church gave relief such as flour, milk powder or clothes to people since Taiwanese were poor at that time.

I don't think people would use such a formal term "基督" as spoken language."

Anonymous said...

*** An 18 year old high school girl in Taipei, who grew up in south Taiwan, says:

"Yes, I used it sometimes.. adoah.... that word, I still use it sometimes...
Because in Taiwanese , it just means "a foreigners who are speaking english "

But I didn't know it offended you guys. Sorry!"

-----------------------

NOTE: Most people under 25 do not know the original meaning of the word, it's true. Why don't they know the real meaning of adoah? Maybe the word has become so embedded in Taiwanese and in Taiwan's general culture that the word has become part of Taiwan without people even knowing the real meaning of the word. It's an interesting language story, if nothing else. -- Biko Lang

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 ."

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...

Dear Rosanne: My Taiwanese BF called me ‘big nose’



Originally published in The China Post

Dear MeiGui;

My Taiwan boyfriend make a big mistake last night. He absentmindedly called me an “ato-ah” in the Taiwanese language while at my place. I mean, here he is in my own home calling me a “big nose”! I do not call him unkind names like “slant eyes”; not even when we argue. I always call him Tony, his English name, and yet here he is calling me an “ato-ah”. Of course, we both laughed at his remark later, but really, why do Taiwanese people still refer to us big-noses as “big noses”?

Is this a holdover from Japanese colonial rule on Taiwan? Or does size really matter?

I told Tony if he ever calls me that word again, I will tell all my girlfriends how small his “nose” really is! Kidding of course, but you but you catch my drift. Taiwan should outlaw that word “ato-ah” in my humble big-nose opinion.

–Nose-Job Not Required, Planet Earth

Dear Nose-Job;

You have raised some very interesting issues here, as well as sending me on quite the research expedition.

My first discovery came from my Taiwanese-Mandarin dictionary. It defines “atoh-ah” as “Western Ghost” (洋鬼子) – similar to the offensive and deprecating Hong Kong term GweiLou (鬼佬). However, when I discussed this translation with my colleagues, they were affronted and didn’t believe it to be true. They claimed “ato-ah” was simply an old word for “waiguoren” (外國人). Even after I reminded them that the correct Taiwanese translation for foreigner is “goa-kok-lang”, they continued to insist that “ato-ah” was simply a different, and possibly older, translation of the word for foreigner.

Next, I visited a Taiwanese linguistics expert who told me that the correct translation of this word was “protruding-nose one” or “a-tu-zi” (阿凸仔) in Mandarin. She further informed me that there are other experts who link this term to the Mandarin character for “sharp” – “jian” (尖). I also stumbled across a Taiwanese-to-English interpretation of the term as “hook-nosed one”. At any rate, as with all things related to the Taiwanese language – and culture for that matter — there is no simple answer to this question.

I think “big-nose” is too simple a translation of the term. Here’s hoping your boyfriend really does have a big one!

[– “Children are all foreigners.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet]