Student or Learner
I've heard and called a person 1.5 generation who immigrated to a foreign country during childhood(5-15years) and became the citizen. But is this "One point five generation" proper for such people? 2(second) generation are the people who were born by immigrants, but is 1.5 generation a common expression?
ex)He is Korean 1.5 generation. He immigrated to America along with his parents when he was only 10 and now he is American citizen.
While I like the concept, and I understand the meaning being conveyed, '1.5 generation' is not at all common in American usage. 'First generation' is used to refer to both immigrants as well as to the children of immigrants. Since that usage is ambiguous, 'second generation' is also used to mean two groups: the children of immigrants or the grandchildren of immigrants.
Taking the words themselves, since 'to generate' something is to create it, it is most logical to speak of immigrants, their chidren as the first generation (in the new country), and their grandchildren as the second generation (in the new country). Again, while I understand that '1.5 generation' would indicate someone who immigrated close to birth or in early youth, this would not adhere to the logical sequence. A person is either an immigrant or the offspring of an immigrant.
'1.5 generation' can also cause the same kind of confusion as the statement that the average couple has 2.5 children. Many people ask how can a couple have half a child.
I haven't heard the term used in the UK.
So when you see Chinese, Japanese or Korean immigrants(1st or 2nd), and classify them in detail, what do you call them? Korean 1st generation or 2nd generation? There must be some terms related to ethnic immigrants, not general terms for immigrants.
I think this may be a cultural issue more than a language one- we don't tend to classify things this much. As immigration is a sensitive topic in the UK, labelling people by generation, or semi-generation, is not something we do much. We do have second generation, but subdividing it seems OTT- maybe they do it in specialised studies, but I have never heard it in everday speech or in a number of years working in the educational system (universities and colleges).
If the term 'second-generation immigrant' is actually used, then this post is rather irrelevant, but the expression seems to me to be strange. Children born in the country in which their immigrant parents have settled are not any kind of immigrants.
That's an excellent point. I was trying to figure out what was wrong with this whole discussion, and then I realized it was the noun.
I'm a first-generation American, since my mom was born in Poland. I'm not a first (or second) generation immigrant. My mom was the immigrant, although she was less than a year old when she came to the US.
However, I do think it's common, I think, to talk in sociological terms about first- and second-generation immigrants when you discuss assimiliation.
I'm terrible at doing those COCA searches, but perhaps one of you with more skills that way could see how often the term "second-generation immigrant" is used compared to "first-generation" and then see how often those terms are used wtih "American"instead "immigrant."
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
First(-)generation American - 29
Second(-)generation immigrant - 12
Second(-)generation American - 16
I don't think we can read anything into those figures, though they do suggest that 'second(-)generation immigrant' is acceptable.