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How do u call someone who's of mixed race ? If someone's father is a white American and his mother is from an Asian country , then he is of mixed race and he also looks different from most people in china . I don't know if it's a Chinese thing cuz it's rare for Chinese people to be of mixed race so in Chinese we have a fixed term to call people of mixed race . So I wonder in English how do most people call people of mixed race ? Can I say " Are you mixed ?" , does it sound weird to native speakers ? I'm not talking about being polite or not , just the language.... Another case is that people from a certain area look different , they look like mixed race . So can I just say " The local people look like mixed race ."? Thanks a lot for answering the tricky question!
Nov 6, 2018 4:10 AM
Answers · 3
'Mixed' is a rude way of phrasing it. Generally, if someone is 'mixed race' we would say: "He/She/They are bi-racial/multi-racial." If you're not concerned about being polite than yes, you can ask "Are you mixed?" However, you are more likely to hear "Are you bi-racial?" than "Are you mixed?" Similarly, "The local people look bi-racial / multi-racial" rather than "The local people look mixed."
November 6, 2018
I would just say his father is Chinese and his mother is white American. But you're correct to be cautious here because talking about race in America is very sensitive and we often just avoid it.
November 6, 2018
Matt's answer may be specific to the USA. Personally, I have never heard the phrase bi-racial, and even multi-racial seems a bit strange. Here, we do say 'of mixed descent', or 'of mixed race', and neither would be considered rude. So, you could certainly ask someone "Do you mind if I ask if you are of mixed descent?"
November 6, 2018
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Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English