美國教授只因說了「那個」 後果讓網友驚:發音很重要 | US professor accused of using racial slur for saying ‘that’ in Mandarin

Professor Greg Patton was accused of using a racial slur after saying the Chinese word for "that" on a Zoom class. (Screengrab of @CabotPhillips/Twitter)

【看CP學英文】發音真的很重要,尤其在較敏感的情況下更是需要注意。近期,一位美國南加州大學教授被要求強制休假,只因他在一堂課上說了「那個」,被檢舉因發音不準讓許多人誤以為他以貶義詞稱呼黑人。

Pronunciation can sometimes be a tricky thing, especially in these difficult times. That’s the lesson a professor at the University of Southern California (USC) learned (the hard way) after he was placed on leave when he mispronounced a Chinese phrase, making it sound like a racial slur. 

根據外媒報導,南加大馬歇爾商學院教授Greg Patton在課堂上解釋語助詞和填補詞時,以中文的「那個」為例。

According to foreign media, Greg Patton, a professor at the USC’s Marshall School of Business was talking about “filler words” during his lecture and mentioned the chinese equivalent of “that” as an example, which sounds like “nèi gè” (那個). 

據悉,因為發音不正確,一群黑人碩士生誤以為教授在以貶義詞稱呼黑人,並宣稱此事件「影響了他們的身心健康,使其無法好好專注在課業上」。

However, because of his poor pronunciation skills, a group of black MBA students thought the professor was saying a racial n-word slur, and claimed that it “affected their mental health and their ability to focus on their studies”, according to reports.

學生表示教授「疏忽和漠視」使用不當用詞,也稱教授並未在「那個」兩字間停頓,導致此修辭被連成一字。

The group subsequently released a statement saying that the professor displayed “negligence and disregard” and claimed that the word is usually said with a pause between the two syllables, which the professor did not do. 

據報導,教授已向學生道歉,也接受先離職幾天,直到學校審視完此事件。

In response, the professor was reported to have now apologized and agreed to take a short-term pause while the university continues reviewing the situation.

這不是第一次因為教授不小心發音有誤或說錯話而被強制離職。上個月,一位教授因為請一名叫「Phuc Bui」(音似英文的渣男) 的亞裔學生以另一個名字上課以免影響其他學生而被強制要求休假。另一位教授因為在一個「反歧視」的視訊會上咪上眼睛而被指控不重視此議題。

This isn’t the first time a professor has been put on leave or fired because of a mispronunciation or a seemingly innocent act.

A recent similar incident occurred last month when a professor was put on leave for asking a foreign student named, “Phuc Bui,” to use a different name for fear it would offend other students.

Another teacher was also branded “racist” for resting her eyes during an “anti-racism Zoom call.”

許多網友也在推特指出現今的「從眾效應」和「取消文化」可能會詆毀無意間說出一詞在另一種語言或語句中有其他意思的人。

Many on Twitter pointed out the severity of mob-mentality and “cancel culture,” and the detrimental effects it could have on those who say words that may sound like other words in different cultures or contexts.