Posted byu/NomadFire 1 day ago
I been corrected a number of times when I called a Chinese female a "woman". They prefer to be called girls. I have not figured out how they define it.
But it appears that you can be a girl from the time you are 15 to mid 30s. It has nothing to do with virginity. But if you get married you are a woman. Even if you don't have kids. And even if you get a divorce and you are in your early 20s. They really don't like to be called women.
I am not sure how big of a deal it is in other countries. In the USA we call females "women" depending on how they act but usually has something to do after their first mensural cycle or at the very latest when they turn 21. It is a title most people are proud of.
And if you call an American female a "girl" when they are older than 25 it is usually consider an insult. To some level calling them females is also an insult.
The only other similar instance I know about is in Germany you shouldn't call any woman of any age range a "fraulein". Even when it is the proper term for them. It is some sort of insult now.
Not sure if this is a regional thing I only really heard about it from females from the Yunnan area. And only got it from 3 different females.
YangKyle 3 points·1 day ago
My wife is 29 if I call her a woman she'll get pissed at me. I think but am not sure its like a title thing. In China woman seems to not refer to a specific age range but rather "girls" who are older than you and could classify as "ayi." I don't think my wife would mind if a kid called her a woman but would be very upset if someone our age did.
TheMediumPanda 2 points·1 day ago
Sounds about right. I think there could be somewhat of a generation gap at play too with people in the 18 to -say- 40 range seeing themselves and China as vastly different from the pre-2000s. They're much more individualistic than their parents' generation and it shows in a number of ways. In the "old" days yes the divider would definitely be set around marriage and children. The other generation issue has something to do with addressing people from your own rough age range. If you are 25 then it it considered somewhat rude to refer to anyone between 18 and 35 as "women" instead using the terms older/younger sister. People definitely get stuck with the term "girl" here and it's probably down to a cocktail of reasons.
NomadFire 1 point·1 day ago。
It is nice I am not the only one who has experienced this.
Smirth 5 points·1 day ago·edited 1 day ago
Basically if you accept not being called a girl it means you are "off the market" for marriage. Either because you age out (~27-30) or get married. In China this is a happy circumstance indeed because you can get on with women's only purpose in life which is to produce a son.
Obviously it might annoy women over 30 who still believe they are marriageable so of course they will correct you. Much like presuming a "Mrs" in English will sometimes get a correction of "Miss actually" or even "Ms" if they want to keep things mysterious.
There's not much of a culture of "please call me by a word that is neutral regarding whether I am married or not" - for which "woman" works pretty well in English/Western culture.
But in China if you are not a girl then you are either married or un-marriageable (an auntie).
NomadFire 2 points·1 day ago
I actually thought it was because Chinese might have different words for stages of womanhood.
For instance I believe they have different words for different types of cousins. Where we just say 1st cousin and 2nd cousin and so on. They have words for cousins on mother side of family male cousin or cousin from father's side. Same with in-laws.
In english we just have female girl woman and lady. Besides the slang terms. I thought maybe they had other words and that girl fit better for most of them.
Smirth 1 point·1 day ago
female chick babe doll gal sheila bitch ho matron madam lassie miss lolita goddess siren lady broad dame missus ms bimbo floozy blonde...
i think we have a few and all have connotation
NomadFire 1 point·13 hours ago
I don't know if you are a natural english speaker or not but almost all those words you have there are slang.
Smirth 1 point·4 hours ago
many are slang that are in daily use
ladies is not slang. matron is not. madam is not. missus is not etc etc
point being that there are more than three words for women in English
gghans China 2 points·1 day ago
'woman' just make them feel old. nothing too special about its definition.
buz1984 2 points·1 day ago
It's age sensitivity. I saw someone insist that a girl 25+ years younger call her jiejie.
I've always felt uncomfortable using these titles at all because they incorporate judgement.
proletariatnumber23 1 point·1 day ago
Just get them to read an English textbook and they’ll get it
pengYao23 1 point·1 day ago
Women = married
NomadFire 1 point·1 day ago
So a 45 year old never married Chinese female is still a girl? Is this a Chinese thing or asian thing?
pengYao23 3 points·1 day ago
It’s not your fault to assume a 45 years old has married if you don’t know her . It’s safe to call a woman by her family name + her job title if you know her in east Asia. I don’t know how Indian do.
NomadFire 1 point·1 day ago
It is just an hypothetical. No one has ever gotten mad at me for referring to them and or their friends as women. But they do stop me in my speech and correct me.
I am just curious because it says something about Asian culture as opposed to Western culture.
NomadFire 0 points·1 day ago
You might not realize this but much of Asia does share a lot in common at the core. Specially when comparing Asia to other continents like North and South America. For instance both Americas are far more violent and like conflict.
The cuisines have a lot of similarities. Most Asian countries prefer noodles or/and rice and soup is a staple even in Russia. In North America pasta and breads are far more important.
You would be hard pressed to find ovens in most Asian countries.
Also as far as education goes math languages and computer science is more important in many asian countries than in other parts of the world.
KTV is popular in almost every asian country.
The only thing that is different is the way each country changes. What is popular among the youths in India is not popular with the youths of China or Thailand.
pengYao23 1 point·1 day ago
A fight between two family could happen in China like a thousand men versus another. We don’t fight in cities just because police & video surveillance are too strong. Food tastes similarity to Chinese food: Thai >European>Indian >Muslim >Japanese >Korean. We don’t make bread ……but I would like to have bread. I have no knowledge about KTV.
junkrat288 1 point·1 day ago
Yo it's the nuances of Chinese language and translating that in English isn't culturally accurate.