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    #1

    Red face Questions about nationality

    1) Aside from saying "what's your nationality", I've heard of another version like "What nationality are you of?"? Is this correct?

    2) If two persons of different nationalities get married, do we call it a "mixed marriage"?

    3) And following on from 2), how do you call their kids - colloquially, a 'mix' as in 'They are mix'? [I know you can say they are half A and half B]

    Thank you

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    #2

    Re: Questions about nationality

    1 You could use What nationality are you?
    2 Mixed is used for people of different ethnicities; I haven't heard it used for different nationalities, though some may use it.
    3 I wouldn't- I'd use half.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Questions about nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    1 You could use [I]What nationality are you?
    ...
    There was a time when the question 'Where are you from?' didn't cause offence. 'Where are you from? Jamaica...Barbados?...' 'Nah, Peckham, innit.'

    b

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Questions about nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by Tedwonny View Post
    1) Aside from saying "what's your nationality", I've heard of another version like "What nationality are you of?"? Is this correct?

    2) If two persons of different nationalities get married, do we call it a "mixed marriage"?

    3) And following on from 2), how do you call their kids - colloquially, a 'mix' as in 'They are mix'? [I know you can say they are half A and half B]

    Thank you
    What nationality are you?
    What's your nationality?

    A note about this: in BrE "nationality" denotes the country of which you hold a passport, regardless of where you were born, where your ancestors are from, what colour you are etc. In AmE, I think the word for that is "citizenship".

    I have only ever heard "mixed marriage" used to refer to two people of different religions (a Christian marrying a Muslim) or different colours (a white guy marries a black girl). If a Brit married a Belgian, that wouldn't be a mixed marriage.

    There used to be several ways of describing a child whose parents were of two different races (that usually meant colour). As far as I am aware if it's absolutely necessary to refer to it at all, then a child would be referred to as "mixed race". However, I would advise against using any description of this kind in casual talk as offence is easily caused, even if not intended.

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    #5

    Re: Questions about nationality

    I would say that in AmE, your

    - nationality is where you were born, or where you identify your immediate heritage and/or loyalty to belong.
    - citizenship is where you hold a passport from, typically where you reside, and can be more than one (eg. dual-citizenship).
    - ethnicity is where your ancestors are from, or what culture you subscribe to.
    - race is what color you are, or what culture you subscribe to.

    They "categories" are certainly not mutually exclusive.

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    #6

    Re: Questions about nationality

    To me, if you ask someone's "nationality" you are asking where their various ancestors came from. Like I'm half-Irish and quarter Scots and Swedish. My wife has German and Irish and Croat.

    Of course, I was born in the US, as were my parents and grandparents.

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    #7

    Re: Questions about nationality

    The variation in definition explained the many and varied responses we used to get when I worked at an airport and arriving passengers had to complete a small white card with their personal details, including the line marked "Nationality". Almost everyone completed it in the way it was intended, with the name of the country whose passport they hold, apart from those from the USA. I recall seeing some spectacular combinations of things written in that line:

    Caucasian
    Irish/German/Spanish
    Black/Hutu
    Afro-American
    and my favourite "Jewish/Italian/overweight Armenian"!!

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    #8

    Re: Questions about nationality

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    There used to be several ways of describing a child whose parents were of two different races (that usually meant colour). As far as I am aware if it's absolutely necessary to refer to it at all, then a child would be referred to as "mixed race". However, I would advise against using any description of this kind in casual talk as offence is easily caused, even if not intended.
    Dual heritage is a term that I believe is in favour at the moment.

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