You are not Mexican, Irish, or Italian, you are an American

#81
Interesting. So you're able to discern whether a person who's not actually there, but rather is a subject of a conversation you've never met, is actually Italian or an American who's parents were also born in USA, with one set of Italian grandparents? Or you are just so jaded that you dismiss the Italian portion until you've verified the passport, birth certificate, and Ancestry.com print out?
When an American says they are Italian it is obvious they are talking about their ancestry. Whether they are 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 50th generation living in the US. It does not cause any confusion and consternation within the US as Sabrosura said.
 
#82
Plus Canada (except First Nations), Australia (except Aborigines), New Zealand (except Maori).... any others ?
Sure but none of those countries has the diversity of ancestry that Americans have, except perhaps Canada. And from what I have seen Canadians use the 'I am (XXXian' formula too.

I don't really get the point of "consternation" here. :p Each country has certain specific ways of talking about themselves, whether it's about ancestry or something else, which may sound strange to people from other countries, so it's all about understanding the cultural context, which of course for people from other countries requires a bit of extra research/asking people from that country. From my perspective it is far more useful to understand the cultural context than to go around telling the people from that country, "the way you refer to yourself is wrong", as the OP seems to be doing here. :p

For example, in Romania we have a very popular folkloric song that goes, "We are Romanians, We are Romans". It obviously does not mean anyone in Romania has a Roman Empire citizenship card, it's simply meant to say that Romanians are descendants of Romans. So, it's similar to when an American says they are 'Italian'. Anyone who has lived among Americans for a while understand this cultural context so all this 'splitting hairs' doesn't make much sense to me...
 
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#83
Plus Mexico and most countries in Central America and South America that also had indigenous people who lived there first. :)
Yes but Central and South Americans don't have ancestors from so many places like Americans do, their foreign ancestors are for the most part from Spain and certain parts of Africa, with the occasional Chinese/other heritage in some places (plus f course the native population). Hence no need for them to specifically define their ancestry like Americans do.
 
#84
Interesting. So you're able to discern whether a person who's not actually there, but rather is a subject of a conversation you've never met, is actually Italian or an American who's parents were also born in USA, with one set of Italian grandparents? Or you are just so jaded that you dismiss the Italian portion until you've verified the passport, birth certificate, and Ancestry.com print out?
A person who is from another country and now lives in the US will usually say, "I am *from* XYZ country." This makes it clear they were born there, and then moved to the US. If a person in the US says "I am XYZian", they usually (though certainly there are exceptions in how people refer to themselves) mean they are talking about their ancestry, not where they were born. Again, someone who has lived among Americans is generally familiar with this subtle linguistic detail.
 
#85
A person who is from another country and now lives in the US will usually say, "I am *from* XYZ country." This makes it clear they were born there, and then moved to the US. If a person in the US says "I am XYZian", they usually (though certainly there are exceptions in how people refer to themselves) mean they are talking about their ancestry, not where they were born. Again, someone who has lived among Americans is generally familiar with this subtle linguistic detail.
No offense, but I never said anything about the location where these conversations occurred, I've worked with Americans in over a dozen countries, and they speak this way overseas. So they'll be in Italy and they'll be speaking to Italians (obviously actual Italians living in Italy) that their neighbor is Italian (who actually has a single grandmother that was born in Italy). Then when the Italians ask, "Oh, do you know where in Italy they are from?" they'll answer, "I don't know", because in all honesty they have no idea whether said neighbor was or was not actually born in Italy.

You changed the example. As both the example in this and my last post referring to Italians the person was not in the conversation themselves and therefore unable to say "I am from XYZ country" or "I am XYZian", but rather the person who was speaking of ABC said, "ABC is XYZian".
 
#86
A person who is from another country and now lives in the US will usually say, "I am *from* XYZ country." This makes it clear they were born there, and then moved to the US. If a person in the US says "I am XYZian", they usually (though certainly there are exceptions in how people refer to themselves) mean they are talking about their ancestry, not where they were born. Again, someone who has lived among Americans is generally familiar with this subtle linguistic detail.
Hmm. Interesting.
So... I was actually born in Belgium as a US citizen due to US parents, grew up in Germany, moved to the US and I get asked ALL the time where my accent is from. If I do not want to tell my life story I just say I grew up in Germany. No one has ever asked me if I AM German.

Sidenote: this never happens to my brother. He seems to have perfect pitch and can even voice a tonal language like Chinese and native Chinese speakers assume he actually knows the language. He is a Swiss citizen now and his Swiss friends think his Swiss German can sound funny as he mixes three regional dialects together.
 

azana

Super Moderator
Staff member
#87
Sure but none of those countries has the diversity of ancestry that America has...
My understanding is that Australia has the most diversity of origin, followed by Canada. I think the US was third...I read the breakdown in an article in The Economist this year, and it makes sense - I’ve never encountered anything resembling the multiculturalism in Australia (unfortunately accompanied by entrenched racism and inhumane treatment of refugees :( ) The US never struck me as as multicultural as Australia, particularly away from the coastal strips.
However, you may well have sourced your statistics from an equally reliable paper/piece of research, so it’s likely difficult to judge for certain.
 
#88
No offense, but I never said anything about the location where these conversations occurred, I've worked with Americans in over a dozen countries, and they speak this way overseas. So they'll be in Italy and they'll be speaking to Italians (obviously actual Italians living in Italy) that their neighbor is Italian (who actually has a single grandmother that was born in Italy). Then when the Italians ask, "Oh, do you know where in Italy they are from?" they'll answer, "I don't know", because in all honesty they have no idea whether said neighbor was or was not actually born in Italy.

You changed the example. As both the example in this and my last post referring to Italians the person was not in the conversation themselves and therefore unable to say "I am from XYZ country" or "I am XYZian", but rather the person who was speaking of ABC said, "ABC is XYZian".
Reposting...nothing more to add.

I don't really get the point of "consternation" here. :p Each country has certain specific ways of talking about themselves, whether it's about ancestry or something else, which may sound strange to people from other countries, so it's all about understanding the cultural context, which of course for people from other countries requires a bit of extra research/asking people from that country. From my perspective it is far more useful to understand the cultural context than to go around telling the people from that country, "the way you refer to yourself is wrong", as the OP seems to be doing here. :p

For example, in Romania we have a very popular folkloric song that goes, "We are Romanians, We are Romans". It obviously does not mean anyone in Romania has a Roman Empire citizenship card, it's simply meant to say that Romanians are descendants of Romans. So, it's similar to when an American says they are 'Italian'. Anyone who has lived among Americans for a while understand this cultural context so all this 'splitting hairs' doesn't make much sense to me...
 
#89
No offense, but I never said anything about the location where these conversations occurred, I've worked with Americans in over a dozen countries, and they speak this way overseas. So they'll be in Italy and they'll be speaking to Italians (obviously actual Italians living in Italy) that their neighbor is Italian (who actually has a single grandmother that was born in Italy). Then when the Italians ask, "Oh, do you know where in Italy they are from?" they'll answer, "I don't know", because in all honesty they have no idea whether said neighbor was or was not actually born in Italy.

You changed the example. As both the example in this and my last post referring to Italians the person was not in the conversation themselves and therefore unable to say "I am from XYZ country" or "I am XYZian", but rather the person who was speaking of ABC said, "ABC is XYZian".
Actually I do have something more to add :p Have you ever actually asked these Americans why they talk like this, rather than posting your frustration on a salsa forum? I imagine a face to face conversation with the actual people whose usage of the "XYZian" frustrates you so much would be much more interesting than this "venting" you are doing here. Not sure what you actually expect us to say...give you some emotional support to bring your blood pressure back down..? Here, sending you a hug, does that feel better? :p
 
#90
My understanding is that Australia has the most diversity of origin, followed by Canada. I think the US was third...I read the breakdown in an article in The Economist this year, and it makes sense - I’ve never encountered anything resembling the multiculturalism in Australia (unfortunately accompanied by entrenched racism and inhumane treatment of refugees :( ) The US never struck me as as multicultural as Australia, particularly away from the coastal strips.
However, you may well have sourced your statistics from an equally reliable paper/piece of research, so it’s likely difficult to judge for certain.
I remember a couple of years ago during the last time I went to Australia an American serving me at a restaurant. Australia absolutely feels more multicultural. Unfortunately I didn't have much luck with salsa :( , but that was more of my job's fault than Australia itself.
 
#91
Actually I do have something more to add :p Have you ever actually asked these Americans why they talk like this, rather than posting your frustration on a salsa forum? I imagine a face to face conversation with the actual people whose usage of the "XYZian" frustrates you so much would be much more interesting than this "venting" you are doing here. Not sure what you actually expect us to say...give you some emotional support to bring your blood pressure back down..? Here, sending you a hug, does that feel better? :p
Of course! I get into all kind of weird conversations about race, ethnicity, and nationality with Americans, due to the fact that so many are baffled by blond and redhead Puertoricans (who oddly enough all seem to remember the very white Ricky Martin :( ).

The last particularly weird conversation I vividly remember was when a new guy came to work for me last year. I brought him into my office and politely started to introduce myself, and he questioned me on my Puertorican background like he was some kind of detective. Were your parents Americans who were living in Puerto Rico? Were are your parents from? What about your grandparents? Surely you must have some other background? I was shocked a new guy would question his boss like that on the very first conversation!

Why here? Because if you're in a salsa forum you are likely to encounter Latinos, and in this forum in particular, even though it's about a form of Latin music and dance, we seem to be in the minority. Just a tip to remember so people don't sound dumb when talking to Latinos. And sure, you could say I am venting a bit, but what's this part of the forum for anyway?
 
#92
Of course! I get into all kind of weird conversations about race, ethnicity, and nationality with Americans, due to the fact that so many are baffled by blond and redhead Puertoricans (who oddly enough all seem to remember the very white Ricky Martin :( ).

The last particularly weird conversation I vividly remember was when a new guy came to work for me last year. I brought him into my office and politely started to introduce myself, and he questioned me on my Puertorican background like he was some kind of detective. Were your parents Americans who were living in Puerto Rico? Were are your parents from? What about your grandparents? Surely you must have some other background? I was shocked a new guy would question his boss like that on the very first conversation!

Why here? Because if you're in a salsa forum you are likely to encounter Latinos, and in this forum in particular, even though it's about a form of Latin music and dance, we seem to be in the minority. Just a tip to remember so people don't sound dumb when talking to Latinos. And sure, you could say I am venting a bit, but what's this part of the forum for anyway?
Wait a minute. Why are you saying Puertorican? Shouldn't you say Puertorican-American at minimum since technically it is part of the US. You have a US passport and are a US citizen. Lol. I don't say I am a Californian or Californian-American. Is this pot calling the kettle black. :p

Just giving you a hard time.
 
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#93
Wait a minute. Why are you saying Puertorican? Shouldn't you say Puertorican-American at minimum since technically it is part of the US. You have a US passport and are a US citizen. Lol. I don't say I am a Californian or Californian-American. Is this pot calling the kettle black. :p
Why would I need to add American? It doesn't add anything to Puertorican that isn't already intrinsic. The default state for Puertoricans is to be US citizens, since yes, back in 1917 the US forced US citizenship on Puertoricans in order to draft them for World War I, and J. Edgar sent a ton of agents to the island for decades to destroy its independence movement. In that sense we mostly resemble Hawaiians, who I also believe don't refer to themselves as Hawaiian-American.

As opposed to Irish which the default state is to be a Irish/British passport holder (though some posters here seem to disagree). When you say Irish-American the base is American the modification Irish; on the inverse you could have an American-Irish which would have the base of Irish with modification of American. This works because Irish and American are independent of each other.

If there was such as thing as Puertorican-American, then there would also be such as thing as American-Puertorican.
 
#95
Cool. Then we can all call you American since that is what you are. Lol:dancingbanana:
Stickler alert...:rolleyes:
Technically (and legally) "American" is not a nationality. USA is. Australian and British immigration officials might let it slide if you wrote that on a visa form. German, French and all Spanish language officials would probably not and make you correct the entry to match the name of the nationality since the name is actually different in those languages.

So.. have we come full circle?

Then again if Puerto Rico became a State of the USA... and also what about the many residents of Puerto Rico who are not native Puerto Ricans, they moved there from the US mainland to save on paying Federal Income taxes.
 
#96
Just a tip to remember so people don't sound dumb when talking to Latinos.
I think most of us on this forum aren't 'dumb sounding Americans' though ;) (though from what you are saying this topic applies when talking to anyone, not just latinos. and how do you define latinos anyway? :p I thought latino only applies to latin people who live within the US, not to latin americans; another topic for you to dissect :p ) And this section of the forum is private so only SFers will see it, so you're not really 'reaching the uneducated masses' with this thread :p
 
#97
My understanding is that Australia has the most diversity of origin, followed by Canada. reliable paper/piece of research, so it’s likely difficult to judge for certain


.
Currently, I think the UK tops all for language diversity. A recent comment by an educator stated that , in one particular school there were , are ya ready for this ? over 150 countries languages among the student body !!.

And English roots are extremely diverse, we are really a "mongrel" race !!!
 
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