I recently registered on your forum as ******** and would like to
ask a question about the use of the word "Jew." Is it offensive? Would
the average Jewish person be offended by a non-Jewish person using it
in an educational setting? Here's why I'm asking:
I teach students at Ulsan University (South Korea) and they often
replace Z with J. The Korean language doesn't have Z, so instead of
saying crazy zipper, they would say crajy jipper. In my first year
here, I had a student earnestly tell me they didn't like Jews because
they smelled bad. I was shocked at how random and rude the sentence
was until I realized they meant "zoos" smelled bad.
Currently, I'm making a pronunciation worksheet that shows contrasting
words (called minimal pairs) with Z and J. One of the pairs I'd like
to include is zoos and Jews. I would simply avoid it if it weren't so
common, but that isn't the case. The worksheets will be available to
ESL educators and students around the world (it'll probably come up on
a Google search after being posted).
If you're wondering how I found you, I typed "Jewish forum" into
Google and you were the first link. I have a somewhat Jewish friend,
but he doesn't care about anything except self-deprecation, so I
thought it safest to ask someone else. I'd like to ask on your forum
where and if appropriate, but I'd be all right with you responding
directly as well.
All the best to you and your forum,
What do you think?