Do the three words have the same meaning ? orientals easterners asian Any difference among them? thank you:)
Dec 1, 2016 9:54 AM
Answers · 8
Oh, my goodness, this is a minefield! It depends on so many things. The interpretation depends on where you are geographically and culturally, what period of history you are talking about, who you are talking to, and (potentially) how politically correct/polite you want to be. In the UK, 'Asians' generally refers to people from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, as these are main ethnic minorities we have in this country. In the USA, 'Asians' tends to be used for people from China, Japan, Korea and neighbouring countries. 'Orientals' makes it clear that we mean people from what has traditionally been called the Far East, namely, China, Japan, Korea and neighbouring countries. However, this is an outdated term and it is can be seen as mildly offensive these days. The word 'Easterners' doesn't mean anything much - it seems too vague. Although it would seem to be the opposite of 'Westerners', I have never heard it used. Here's some advice - avoid using nouns like this as much as you can. It's more precise, and more professional and respectful to say 'People from...' and then specify the particular country or region.
December 1, 2016
Well easterners is a general geographical reference, so, no it doesn't link up with the other two. Certainly I've heard West Germans talk about Easterners when they mean other Germans for instance and similarly in Poland. Asian and oriental can mean the same but "oriental" is a little out of date and is more related to physical stereotypes, while Asian is more geographical and yet more stereotypes.
December 1, 2016
Hi Carina, Oriental is an old word that we don't normally use anyway, but many years ago it meant Asian. Asian refers to all countries in Asia, some of which are China, India, Japan, Pakistan, Iraq and Iran, but there are many more. Easterners in this case refer to people from the East. However, I also want to add that in general we don't refer to people as being Asian. More often we say he or she is Japanese, Chinese, Indian, etc. Probably because Asia is huge and there are so many completely different cultures in Asia. Hope this helps. Sinead
December 1, 2016
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