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Scoobyqueen

我国 can foreigners use?

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Scoobyqueen

It is well known that 我国 means China. I was wondering if it sounds strange if a foreigner also used this phrase. I was thinking that perhaps the possessive pronoun is not literal. Would it be possible for a foreigner to say 我国有面积广大 just talking about China being big.

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Kenny同志

It might be slightly strange to some people at first (it isn't to me) but I see nothing wrong with it. :D

我国 seems to me somewhat formal. In everyday conversations, always use 我们国家 or 德国 (I suppose you're German).

By the way, 我国有面积广大 is incorrect. snatch 有 out of the sentence. :)

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Peter2010
possessive pronoun is not literal

Yes, it is. if an American says 我国面积广阔, I will suppose he is talking about the US.

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Scoobyqueen
By the way, 我国有面积广大 is incorrect

sorry it should be 由于我国有面积广大 then the 有 is correct

Peter - I dont think it is literal, otherwise it would not make sense in a news article where possissive pronouns are only used in quotes. 我国 is used there to refer to China but not literally "MY" country as in the author's country I think.

Kenny - your comments are useful as always. Cheers.

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Kenny同志

No problem, Queen but I am afraid 由于我国有面积广大 is still incorrect. You should drop 有 here as well. :)

PS: I agree with Peter on that point.

You could also try 由于我国国土辽阔(或者:宽广)

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Scoobyqueen
PS: I agree with Peter on that point.

In an English newspaper you would never find somebody writing "my country's GDP has risen by xx" (an example) since the "my" would refer to the journalist's country and you do not know where he comes from (and also this is a style issue - but it would be ok for an editorial but you might put "our country" then). I have also not seen 我 used in any other reporting contexts in such news. This leads me to think that the possessive pronoun here is not literal ie it doesnt mean it is the author's country but rather it is a fixed term for "China". It does not make sense to use "wo" when a journalist is reporting on his countrie's financial matters if "wo" is used literally to mean "my country".

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Brandon263

I asked my teacher the same question a few months ago and she replied that when foreigners use that phrase it causes confusion and awkwardness because it has nationalistic undertones. She suggested "我们国家"as a substitute.

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roddy

I'd agree with Brandon - it's the language of Xinhua reports on increased grain production and military strength - there's national pride and identity in there. I wouldn't say it's wrong as such, but I can't see that I would ever use it. Apart from anything else, your audience is going to stop listening for a moment and think 'Oooh, a foreigner using 我国, that's new'.

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Kenny同志

The difference between 我国 and 我们国家 is that 我国 is more formal and almost never used in everyday conversations, nothing more.

It is not a fixed term for “China”. As Brandon mentioned, 我国 can sometimes cause confusion. This is because the context is not quite clear. If you address a house of Chinese corporate executives, and use 我国, everybody will get the idea that you are referring to Germany.

But then again, I admit people may find it interesting as 我国 is rarely used by westerners.

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Scoobyqueen

Thanks Kenny for your explanation. I am not German by the way but I get the usage of the sentence

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Peter2010
I have also not seen 我 used in any other reporting contexts in such news

Other examples:

我军、我党 reffer to PLA and CPC, respectively, if you see them in Xinhua news or Renmin daily. But if you see them in Taiwan's news paper, you should be aware that the author is not talking about PLA and CPC.

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skylee

I agree with Kenny that 我國 is not a fixed term for "China". I also agree with him that when a foreigner says “我國", people will automatically think that the foreigner is referring to his/her own country.

I think one reason that few foreigners use this term to refer to their own countries is that few foreigners use Chinese. :) But we don't use this term much in HK either. It is more used in Mainland China and Taiwan. It seems that some Malaysians use it too (to refer to Malaysia, of course). Here is an example of a Malaysian using 國人 and 我國 to refer to her own countrymen and country. If I am not mistaken the same term (wagakuni) is also used by Japanese to refer to Japan/their home country.

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Kenny同志

Thanks Skylee. I did a google lookup for 我國 and found many a hits from Taiwan.

Take a look at this.

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yonglin

Sorry to hijack the thread.

Does that also mean that Chinese people in Singapore/Malaysia/Indonesia would consider Chinese people from the mainland to be 外国人?

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skylee

I would think that Chinese people from the Mainland (or Taiwan, or HK/Macau) are certainly not 本國人 in Singapore/Malaysia/Indonsia (hmmm, this reminds me of "Englishman in New York"). But it is more appropriate for Singaporeans/Malaysians to answer this.

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Guoke

It's true that “我国”is often used to refer to the country Malaysia in its local media.

Mainland Chinese are definitely foreigners/外国人 to Southeast Asian Chinese.

Ethnic Chinese in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia never identify themselves as 中国人. They call themselves 华人instead.

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Hofmann

I've never assumed 我國 meant China. It always means the speaker's own country. Warring States people (i.e. before China) said it.

...Wait, did they? Well you get the point.

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rob07

我国 is a bit like 我妈, you can drop the 的 because it is a family-like relationship. 中国 is 祖国. I would feel a bit funny using it in normal speech because I don't think of Australia as a motherland in the same way that Chinese people think of China as a motherland. The 5000 years of history is important. On the other hand, if I ever became Australian ambassador to China I would probably start using it then.

There's no 的 in 我国家 as well of course, but adding the 家 makes it feel more generic, less intimate, at least to me.

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skylee
There's no 的 in 我国家 as well of course

What do you mean?

I don't think of Australia as a motherland in the same way that Chinese people think of China as a motherland.

Could you elaborate this point?

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