Category: In Writing

Photo of Mr. Spock from Star Trek, holding his hand up in the Vulcan salute, with a "V" formed by parting his fingers.

Live Long and Ever Given: A Cultural Explainer and Teachable Moment on Asian Language Bias

“It’s a weird name,” typed many a social media spectator this past week. Yes, much has been quipped of late about the Ever Given — the enormous cargo vessel that had been blocking the Suez Canal — as well as Evergreen, the Taiwanese shipping giant which owns the vessel. But the names actually serve as an example of how Asian languages and cultures often elicit a reaction of confusion or unconscious bias by Western audiences.

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An enormous freight ship, with shipping containers stacked more than 10 layers high like toy blocks, can be seen touching both sides of the Suez Canal. It's so big that a big tractor-digger on the shore looks like a tiny insect. The foreground is stacked containers from the ship from which this photo was taken.

Live Long and Ever Given: A Cultural Explainer and Teachable Moment on Asian Language Bias

“It’s a weird name,” typed many a social media spectator this past week. Yes, much has been quipped of late about the Ever Given — the enormous cargo vessel that had been blocking the Suez Canal — as well as Evergreen, the Taiwanese shipping giant which owns the vessel. But the names actually serve as an example of how Asian languages and cultures often elicit a reaction of confusion or unconscious bias by Western audiences.

Continue Reading