In America, if one is a visible minority, even if one is born/raised in America the following conversation might happen:

A: Where are you from?

B: New York

A: No, where are you from from?

In this situation, "from from" is supposed to indicate they want to know what your ethnic origin is/where you and/or your parents originally immigrated from. For some more context, you can see the first twenty seconds of this video or this article.

I was wondering how one might replicate that conversation with that nuance in Japanese (replacing New York with Tokyo and assuming that B is a visible minority in Japan), but I'm struggling with the last line.

A. 出身はどちらですか?

B. 東京です

A: 本当の出身を聞きたいのです!

Any ideas? Creative suggestions that don't exactly translate the dialogue, but capture the awkwardness of the situation for person B are very welcome. Or maybe this concept is just too difficult to explain simply?

EDIT: My purpose in asking this question isn't to actually ask someone this question. It's to try to, via a translated dialogue, explain this situation to someone in Japanese. And hopefully without having to go on a long winded explanation of American culture.

  • 5
    Why would you assume that what person B is answering is not really where they are from? Even if my parents immigrated from somewhere, if I never lived there, then I'm not from there.
    – istrasci
    Dec 21, 2018 at 16:27
  • 2
    I don't think the OP is wondering how to ask someone this rude question but how to recreate the dialogue in Japanese, perhaps to explain the issue to a Japanese speaker.
    – mamster
    Dec 21, 2018 at 16:41
  • @istrasci I agree with you entirely. I edited my question to be clearer in my intent.
    – Ringil
    Dec 21, 2018 at 17:20

1 Answer 1


I think in this context, if Person A replies with いや、そうじゃなくて・・・ it would give the sense that the question is asking for a further origin explanation. For example:

A. 出身はどちらですか?

B. 東京です

A: いや、そうじゃなくて・・・

B: あぁ、分かった。 外国人みたいだからね。

  • 2
    +1, but 「みたいから」 is surely ungrammatical.
    – user4032
    Dec 21, 2018 at 22:22

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