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  1. #11
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Quote Originally Posted by charliedeut View Post
    Hi CS,

    That's the reason I started my post with "personally", to state my personal opinion. I never said it was wrong, just that I tend not to use it.
    I respect your personal opinion, so don't take this the wrong way. I have noticed that most native speakers, when they talk about "America", in 99% of the times, they refer to the "United States of America". If, on different occassions they would like to include Canada as well, they always say "North America". If, on different occassions, they talk about countries such as Brazil, Uruguay etc, they always say "South America" or "Latin America". So in my opinion, "America" is not ambiguous at all. If the modifier "North", "South" or "Latin" is absent, then "America" refers to the USA. Even the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines "America" as "a name commonly used for the US". If you personally feel that you don't want to use "America", fine, I'm just saying...

    This is just my opinion.

  2. #12
    pinkie9 is offline Member
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Thank you all.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Quote Originally Posted by billmcd View Post
    Afro-Americans and Asian-Americans can, at the same time, be classified and considered as native Americans.
    Question - does the term "native American" not suggest that someone was born in the USA and is therefore American by birth? I only ask because I have met many people who describe themselves as "Afro-American" but some were born in the USA and others were born elsewhere, moved to the USA and have since been naturalised. Those naturalised citizens can, of course, on that basis, call themselves "American" when referring to their citizenship (or nationality in BrE), but presumably you would not expect someone who was born in, for example, Ghana, then moved to the USA when they were ten years old and then later obtained American citizenship to refer to themselves as a native American. Am I correct?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #14
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Not an American, native or otherwise.

    I have the impression, perhaps incorrect, that 'native (or Native) American' is used primarily for decendants of those people who lived in that contienent that we now refer to as (North and South) America before the arrival of the Europeans from 1492 onwards - i.e., those to whom we referred in my childhood as 'Red Indians'.
    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  5. #15
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Not an American, native or otherwise.

    I have the impression, perhaps incorrect, that 'native (or Native) American' is used primarily for decendants of those people who lived in that contienent that we now refer to as (North and South) America before the arrival of the Europeans from 1492 onwards - i.e., those to whom we referred in my childhood as 'Red Indians'.
    In post #7, Soothing Dave pointed out that "native Americans" and "Native Americans" are not the same thing.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #16
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    Not an American, native or otherwise.

    I have the impression, perhaps incorrect, that 'native (or Native) American' is used primarily for decendants of those people who lived in that contienent that we now refer to as (North and South) America before the arrival of the Europeans from 1492 onwards - i.e., those to whom we referred in my childhood as 'Red Indians'.
    Yes. American "Indians" are known now as "Native Americans." With 2 capital letters.

    I was born here and could call myself a "native American," but that could cause confusion. So you would not normally hear that used.

    "Natural born citizen" is the term used in the Constitution as a requirement for the presidency.

  7. #17
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    Yes. American "Indians" are known now as "Native Americans." With 2 capital letters.

    I was born here and could call myself a "native American," but that could cause confusion. So you would not normally hear that used.

    "Natural born citizen" is the term used in the Constitution as a requirement for the presidency.
    So only a "natural born citizen" (born in the USA) would be referred to as a "native American"?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  8. #18
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Question - does the term "native American" not suggest that someone was born in the USA and is therefore American by birth? Yes, I should have added to my original statement, "if born in the U.S." I only ask because I have met many people who describe themselves as "Afro-American" but some were born in the USA and others were born elsewhere, moved to the USA and have since been naturalised. Those naturalised citizens can, of course, on that basis, call themselves "American" when referring to their citizenship (or nationality in BrE), but presumably you would not expect someone who was born in, for example, Ghana, then moved to the USA when they were ten years old and then later obtained American citizenship to refer to themselves as a native American. Am I correct? Yes, and although I can't speak for that population, in casual conversation I think they would simply and most often refer to themselves as American. As always, context, environment and what one has for breakfast rules.
    b.

  9. #19
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    In a word, America.

    The landmass is called the Americas; its continent parts, North and South America. You can also say the U.S.

    A born citizen of the USA is a born American.

    The aborigines are called Indians, Eskimos, Aleuts, and Dene. Or you can say Inuit, but not all Eskimos are Inuit.

    I think the obvious charge so many people feel about calling the USA "America" is utterly pointless. I also think cultural sensitivity can be taken too far.

  10. #20
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: How should non-native speakers call the United States in casual conversations?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    So only a "natural born citizen" (born in the USA) would be referred to as a "native American"?
    Yes. Native is related to birth, isn't it?

    But, as I said, the confusion with our aboriginal people makes the term not very common.

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