你看得懂嗎？Revisiting the “white people can’t read this” shirt
The Aussie China Stories Twitter feed reminded me of a t-shirt I saw for sale on the internet years ago. On it are 5 simple Chinese characters: 白人看不懂, or “white people can’t read this.”
Well, it just so happens that plenty of 白人 can read it, and add to that every other color of the skin color rainbow, too. The Western world’s growing fascination with China means that more and more people of non-Chinese heritage are learning the language.
On the other hand, heritage language loss among Chinese and other Asian groups in Western countries is advancing so rapidly that many Chinese Americans, Chinese Australians, or what have you can barely speak the language, let alone read or write it.
Perhaps we should change the shirt around and have it say something like “黃人看不懂.” (Yellow people can’t read it.)