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Old 06.06.2011, 23:22
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Re: Should the word Nigger be used in Swiss German?

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"Jetz bin I Neger worden" Along the lines of "He's a bit of a Jew" - indicating tightfistedness. Not really on.


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Do you mean that one can say that expression "he's a bit of a Jew" without chocking English speaker????
You say that in my home and you are asked to leave. Germans will never ever use Jews in any expressions. If the expressions is not meant offensive in English, then make sure I am not hearing it. My old nazi aunty however would not complain...

I am so shocked by that expression, I looked up and found also "to jew someone down". Can you seriously use that in an English speaking environment?
Not really on = not appropriate.

No need to be alarmed: one can no longer use "he's a bit of a Jew" in the English speaking world without causing offence.

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Old 06.06.2011, 23:33
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Re: Should the word Nigger be used in Swiss German?

Thanks for that. I had to clear that up, sorry for my lack of vocabulary in English.

I still insist that the discussion does not mix up comments on the English words Nigger/Negro and the German word Neger. The one is not the other. See Humboldt and Weisgerber.
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Old 06.06.2011, 23:41
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Re: Should the word Nigger be used in Swiss German?

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Not really on = not appropriate.

No need to be alarmed: one can no longer use "he's a bit of a Jew" in the English speaking world without causing offence.


what if only one of your grandparents is/was a jew.? wouldn't you be a little bit of a jew then?
  #144  
Old 06.06.2011, 23:50
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Re: Should the word Nigger be used in Swiss German?

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Not really on = not appropriate.

No need to be alarmed: one can no longer use "he's a bit of a Jew" in the English speaking world without causing offence.

But, apparently I am a bit of Jew and I am very frugal.
Sylvia Plath uses the word Black and Jew in a poem that may raise eyebrows if written today, yet is still considered a great poet.

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Old 07.06.2011, 00:50
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

I'm really surprised that some folk, some of whom I know are "well traveled," seem to be mystified that some other folk (such as the teacher in the OP) could be well-meaning but ignorant... such as the case of the teacher giving her students a paper which utilizes a word that has become improper usage elsewhere.

I can not even begin to count how many times I've had arguments with friends over their ignorant and unintentional slights due to words and usages they grew up using... among them being a name that some Americans (and perhaps others elsewhere) use for Brazil nuts. How many "discussions" I've had with friends and coworkers about the usage of derogatory words in musical lyrics and things.

How they shouldn't call people by nasty (racial) names, no matter what color any of them is because it clouds the issue of whether it is okay or not as well as how they shouldn't allow themselves to be called "beyotch" and similar because no matter how we each tell ourselves it takes the power out of the word, to my mind and heart, allowing someone to call me that brings me to the level of the word.


YES, calling someone such a name while behaving like a bully is bad. That's not tough to figure out.

The teacher's paper though... that's a bit more tough. Should the wording be corrected? I think so BUT that doesn't mean the teacher necessarily thought about it at all... any more than one of my friends ever thought twice about calling Brazil nuts what she grew up calling them.
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  #146  
Old 07.06.2011, 07:52
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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The teacher's paper though... that's a bit more tough. Should the wording be corrected? I think so BUT that doesn't mean the teacher necessarily thought about it at all... any more than one of my friends ever thought twice about calling Brazil nuts what she grew up calling them.
I don't know german, so I can't comment on that word. But if swiss members of this forum say it is a bad word to use in the swiss-german language, I believe them.

If the word in english means something bad, it keeps the signification no matter the language. In french it is a very bad word like many other languages. It is not the word with it's letters that is bad, it is the meaning of it, the history behind the word.

I believe the paper is offensive as well according to the OP's description; a black person with big lips. But we can judge much without seeing the picture.
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Old 07.06.2011, 09:25
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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Knowing, that it is an offensive term in both English and German, I must say, that I feel truly offended and disappointed, that the EF allows open usage of this word.
I'm not sure I agree with you there lib.

As adults we should be able to use the word we're discussing.

Does calling it "N-Word" or "N****r" make it any less offensive?* We all know what the word in question is.

I've deliberately avoided it here because I'm responding to you and respect your revulsion of the word, but I wouldn't normally avoid using any word in a neutral way when discussing its prejorative use.



*And that's a genuine question. As a white anglo-saxon, I'm less sensitive to these things.
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  #148  
Old 07.06.2011, 09:30
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Re: Should the word Nigger be used in Swiss German?

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Do you mean that one can say that expression "he's a bit of a Jew" without chocking English speaker????
You say that in my home and you are asked to leave. Germans will never ever use Jews in any expressions. If the expressions is not meant offensive in English, then make sure I am not hearing it. My old nazi aunty however would not complain...

I am so shocked by that expression, I looked up and found also "to jew someone down". Can you seriously use that in an English speaking environment?
You shouldn't use any of those terms today, and if somebody does use them it is probably intended to be offensive. But times change. I once rented a room off a landlady. She was the sweetest old lady you could imagine. I am sure there was no hate in her. She wasn't well educated and her language and manners were a bit coarse at times, but I am sure she had a pure heart and hated nothing and nobody. It was from her mouth that I first heard the expression "to jew somebody".
  #149  
Old 07.06.2011, 10:14
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

Tempted (but really not caring to devote the time to it) to go back to the "blackface" thread and compare post for post for the types of responses in this thread vs that.

There are many in this thread saying so definitively that the word "näggr" couldn't possibly have any other intent but to cause offense, even in a (who knows how old) children's school paper and how many people on that thread were so certain that Swiss school children couldn't possibly have meant any offense by painting their faces in a sloppy way which (to the person who observed them) spoke loudly of a racist intent.

Quite the contradiction I think, but perhaps I'm wrong and the exact same people are expressing the exact same sentiments in both threads.
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  #150  
Old 07.06.2011, 11:18
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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If I read the OP correctly, her child - who is dark skinned - was bullied by other children who chose to use this word in a deliberately intimidating way.
I fully agree that if this was the case your view is right. The word is generally not acceptable, but if the kids did in fact bully a bloack child it is even worse...

But: Where did the OP say that the kid is dark skinned? Kids will repeat any words they hear that apparently make adults react... and they don't really care if the bullied one really is black, gay or Jewish.

As I wrote before is the word in any way not acceptable anymore, but I also think that we should stop inventing missing information to make a story worse than it was? (That's again the same as the blackface thread were some simply directly assumed that they costumes must be for some carnival... and assumed that they will be making racist jokes)
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Old 07.06.2011, 12:23
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

Maybe because I'm like, totally perfect, but I've never figured out why people would be openly offensively racist. I think that there is acceptance of using inappropriate language when in the company of close friends or as a means of getting a point across to your inner circle of peers, but using the same words to the type of person you're referring to in an aggressive manner is very inappropriate.

Maybe the key is defining racism which would require a very lengthy analysis as I think that we are all in some way intolerant of other people's cultures and accepted practices without being paid up members of the KKK, but does this constitute "racism"? Take the Chinese, they call all Japanese the "Red Devils" whilst westerners are branded as "White Ghosts", is this historical, visual or racist? Now I could care less what someone says behind my back if it is irrelevant, but if someone taunted or baited me to my face because of my particular color or creed then that's nasty and will, at best, provoke an appropriate (unpredictable) response.

Like I posted before, human nature prevails. The theory of us all getting on with one other in some Utopian dream is just that, a dream. I'll speak how I see fit using the values that I was raised on; I've yet to have anybody feel injured by racial slurs, but bad taste would be another matter...
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Old 07.06.2011, 14:45
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

I grew up in Apartheid riddled South Africa, so I am more sensitive to racial slurs than others.

The Kafir is banned in South Africa, because of its history. Though Switzerland has no history of racism, so the word Naggr, is not always looked upon as being racist, its just a word here.
In my experience, most Swiss are just ignorant, they do not have much real contact with dark skinned foreigners ( hell, a large percentage of Swiss do not travel outside of the EU)

My sister in law recently told me that the school in which my daughter was placed in (out in the midst of the farmers) would be a good school, as it has definitely no foreigners!!
If only we could launch a campaign to educate our fellow earthlings on racial sensitivity

Everyone knows about the WW2, so we are all sensitive to the plight of the Jewish nation.
Slavery occurred so long ago, nobody talks about it. And how many people know the details of Apartheid?

Personally, I find calling an African, Black insensitive. Merely because of the word - black-. Is there anything positive associated with this word? Except that black clothes make you look thin. Would you like to be called a word, that is associated with dirt, fear, death, Satanism?
I wouldnt.
  #153  
Old 07.06.2011, 14:51
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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In my experience, most Swiss are just ignorant, they do not have much real contact with dark skinned foreigners ( hell, a large percentage of Swiss do not travel outside of the EU)
I think that's a bit unfair - most of my "Swiss" circle are never bloody here. They are constantly off on a trip to here, there and everywhere around the globe.

That includes work colleagues, friends, family and "can-you-water-my-plants-for-the-next-four-months" neighbours.

My experience of people here is that they are very well travelled.
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Old 07.06.2011, 14:56
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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I think that's a bit unfair - most of my "Swiss" circle are never bloody here. They are constantly off on a trip to here, there and everywhere around the globe.

That includes work colleagues, friends, family and "can-you-water-my-plants-for-the-next-four-months" neighbours.

My experience of people here is that they are very well travelled.
take a trip to my neck of the woods......my neighbor, and her family have never been outside of Switzerland! maybe I'm stuck in some sort of twilight zone....

oh yes, and my sister in law hasnt been out side of the EU........but she lives in Argau
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:01
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

I checked with the OP. The word used on the original sheet was 'Neger'. When I came here, the use of this was acceptable. The English 'equivalent' ws Negro. Also acceptable. On here, and in my dictionary, I read that neither word is PC now. Fair enough. But I still haven't seen the answer to the question of what the politically correct term is. Can anyone help?
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:03
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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I checked with the OP. The word used on the original sheet was 'Neger'. When I came here, the use of this was acceptable. The English 'equivalent' ws Negro. Also acceptable. On here, and in my dictionary, I read that neither word is PC now. Fair enough. But I still haven't seen the answer to the question of what the politically correct term is. Can anyone help?
On UK forms (employment with the state or other such applications) when you have to declare your ethnicity there is a slot for "Afro-Caribbean". Maybe that's the PC term du jour?

So perhaps in German - afro-karibisch
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:07
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

Because of this thread...
Last night, I decided to ask my Swiss husband if he would ever refer to a black person as a "Näggr" (I even used the German pronunciation), and his response was "No!" I asked "Why not?" and he said, "Because that's offensive."

That pretty much settled this debate for me.

The poster above raised a good point, though, about the word "black" also being offensive to describe an African. But this leads me to question what word(s) I should use to describe someone of African descent but who was not born in Africa. In the US, I guess we use the term "African American" now, but I'm not sure if terms like "African Swiss" etc. would be used elsewhere?
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:10
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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I checked with the OP. The word used on the original sheet was 'Neger'. When I came here, the use of this was acceptable. The English 'equivalent' ws Negro. Also acceptable. On here, and in my dictionary, I read that neither word is PC now. Fair enough. But I still haven't seen the answer to the question of what the politically correct term is. Can anyone help?
how about ein Afrikanische Mann, an African Man?

If she had a drawing of a Chinese man, what would she have written?
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:10
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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On UK forms (employment with the state or other such applications) when you have to declare your ethnicity there is a slot for "Afro-Caribbean". Maybe that's the PC term du jour?

So perhaps in German - afro-karibisch

Interesting. Do they also have "Indo-Caribbean" as well?
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Old 07.06.2011, 15:12
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Re: Should the word "Näggr" be used in Swiss German?

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Interesting. Do they also have "Indo-Caribbean" as well?
Don't know - only remembered a few. The list is usually pretty extensive so it probably cover all eventualities.

Anything not covered is usually "Other" with a space to write.
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