Othering and Projection: Chinese is confusing vs. Chinese are confused

In English, a person says, “It’s all Greek to me,” when they do not understand the words of someone else. In Greek, when a person does not understand, they say it sounds like Chinese. Many languages have an expression that names another language as epitome of unintelligibility. It turns out that in a directed graph, most languages converge on Chinese as the unintelligible language.

Directed graph shows various languages as nodes with arrows pointing at other languages, eventually pointing to the 'Chinese' node. The 'Chinese' node points to 'Heavenly Script'.

This is understandable. Chinese writing, especially Traditional Chinese, is very visually complex. Chinese characters are logograms, which makes learning how to read Chinese difficult.

However, there is a difference between finding Chinese writing confusing and alleging that Chinese people are confused.

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In which Mark and Eduardo fulfill their yellow fever dreams

I wish all my news came in the form delivered by Next Media Animation TV.

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Canada’s Recent Immigrants’ Country of Birth, 2006

You can click on the map below to see a larger version.

World map. Place of birth of recent immigrants to Canada, 2006.
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Map of Recent Immigrants in Toronto: 1981 versus 2006

For these maps, “recent immigrants” are those who arrived in Canada within the last five years of the Census date. You can click on the maps to see larger versions.

1981

Toronto CMA. Recent immigration population in 1981 Census by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs).

2006

Toronto CMA. Recent immigration population in 2006 Census by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs).

Via Recent immigrant population from 1981 to 2006 Census by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs) by Statistics Canada.


Related post:

Map of White Segregation/Enclaves in Toronto

Statistics Canada has a “thematic” map of the percentage of visible minorities in Toronto CMA (Census Metropolitan Area) in 2006. You can click on the map below to see a larger version. Generally, the lighter areas are where the whites live.

Toronto CMA. Percentage of Visible Minorities by 2006 Census Tracts (CTs). Map 2 of 2.

Toronto is a multi-racial city with a marshmallow centre (or two). The suburbs surrounding Toronto have a greater percentage of visible minorities, while large patches of Toronto’s core have been gentrified are inhabited by whites.

Note that some areas of Toronto are whiter than the national average, over 90% white.

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Statistics of Women of Colour Profiles at OkCupid

OkCupid statistically analyzed the profiles of their users and found the phrases that made each racial group distinct:

We selected 526,000 OkCupid users at random and divided them into groups by their (self-stated) race. We then took all these people’s profile essays (280 million words in total!) and isolated the words and phrases that made each racial group’s essays statistically distinct from the others’.

There is a lot of data at the link, but here are the phrases that make groups of women of colour—Asian women, Pacific Islander women, Indian women, Middle Eastern women, Black women, Latina women—distinct. (For some reason, all female groups except for White women and Indian women really like Alicia Keys.)

Asian women: coz

coz, chocolates, i'm a simple girl, a foodie, surfing the net, love story, alicia keys, serendipity, asian food, romantic comedy, different places, the xx, tuesday's with morrie, the time traveler's wife, bossa nova, sashimi, jolly, different cultures, china, music, jason mraz, noodle, food network, cheerful, good heart, trying out new things, petite, mom's, michael buble, my cellphone, r & b, my passport, malcolm gladwell, u are, norah jones, anthony bourdain, a walk to remember, gossip girl, pls, badminton, slumdog millionaire, pop rock, food, new recipes, asian, cooking and baking, sleepless in seattle, lip balm, pho, cookbooks
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Diversity in color names is not caused by innate sex differences.

Randall Munroe of xkcd fame conducted a web survey on color perception, and here are the results on (chromosomal) sex differences (although the correct labels should be “Actual color names if you do not have a Y chromosome” versus “Actual color names if you have a Y chromosome”):

Actual color names if you're a girl ... Actual color names if you're a guy ...

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