Hi. I saw you post recently about linguistic appropriation. I am not of Asian descent but I am studying Chinese and Japanese. What constitutes appropriation? I want to make sure I study/practice in a way that is respectful to both cultures.
Here are some examples, which also cover orientalization and fetishization.
-In Chinese/Japanese, the term for ‘XXX’ is actually some magical, deep word because it is different from my original language. (Really, it’s just a regular term)
-I find hanzi/kanji super cool looking, so I will get a tattoo of some phrase I pulled up from the internet. Words are exotic!!!
-My psyche is deeper than the Mariana Trench. To express this, I reblog random phrases written in Chinese/Japanese with the (questionable) English translation below.
-My parents expect me to ‘talk Oriental’ to the waiters at Panda Express.
-I’m just SO GOOD at Chinese/Japanese. I take every opportunity to show off my superior knowledge. Even to native or heritage speakers, because I might just know something better than them. It’s like I become more Chinese/Japanese the more I use the languages!
-Learning Japanese will get me closer to anime land. I can now become a manga-ka or idol singer. Would you like to see a demonstration?
-I can speak Oriental now! *makes stereotypical racist noises*
Not linguistic appropriation:
-I have a friend who speaks Chinese/Japanese. This friend has given permission to and encourages me to practice with them. Be it just springing questions at me or looking over my practice in an academically honest way, I appreciate the help.
-I find it cool that Chinese has tone markings and Japanese has hiragana, katakana, and kanji. The different grammar structures make learning these languages a fun challenge.
-I try to strengthen my linguistic stills by reading children’s books or watching unsubbed movies.
Really, just be respectful of native+heritage speakers and the original culture, don’t orientalize/fetishize, etc. There are plenty of ways to improve without appropriation. Best of luck with your studies.