bare plural Japanese to mean 'We Japanese'

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
An author of an book that I browsed at a bookstore the day beofore says he feels the bare plural 'Japanese' sounds close to 'We Japanese' or 'us Japanese.' What do you think?

Japanese go to hot springs to relax muscles.
Japanese like to watch baseball games.
Japanese are stupid.
Japenese stay behind and work over time.
This new computer game attracts Japanese.
etc.

Hiro
 
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  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    It depends who is saying it. If you said it, I would include you in "Japanese" and understand it as "we"; If I said it, I would be referring to Japanese as "they".

    Japanese - Japanese people in general.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thanks, Paul.

    I think the author insinuates not many non-Japanese people use bare plural 'Japanese,' and it is used by many Japanese speakers; therefore, it sounds like 'We Japanese' or 'us Japanese' (?)

    Moreover, this points to segregational streotyipical sublety it might suggest. We Japanese, not you non-Japanese.

    (Note that the examples I placed are just random. I just make them up without thinking)
     
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    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    You have just given vital context. Of course, I do not know the book or what the author insinuated. Nevertheless, I suspect what I wrote above is accurate.

    When three people are together, there is a convention that any two of them do not speak about the third person by using the third person pronoun. My using "Japanese" creates the third person pronoun.

    Those of a sensitive disposition, those who fear giving vicarious offence, and those who are unsure who will hear or read their words, therefore avoid "Japanese", and this then "becomes the polite way of referring to the people of Japan - the polite way is then promoted as the "correct" way.

    I'm sure that the use, or the frequency and distribution of use, of the bare plural for a nationality has been discussed before. My experience is that those conscious of the effect that may be attributed to certain words will not say "Japanese all like Godzilla films" but "The Japanese people/The population of Japan all like Godzilla." or avoid the adjective altogether "Godzilla films are very popular in Japan."

    However, this leaves a very large percentage of native English speakers who would have no qualms in saying "Japanese all like Godzilla films" or using any of your examples above.

    PS overtime (n.) is one word.
     
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    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thanks, Paul. Yes, I totally agree. I was a bit concerned if I said it it would sound like 'We Japanese,' the notorious phrase 'we Japanese' :)speakers use when we unconciously speak about generic Japanese people, segregating us from the rest of the world, whether it be about a good thing or a bad thing.
     
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    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Japanese go to hot springs to relax muscles.
    Japanese like to watch baseball games.
    Japanese are stupid.
    Japenese stay behind and work over time.
    This new computer game attracts Japanese.
    These all look very unnatural to me. They all need a definite article.
     
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