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    #1

    correct term for races

    Do native speakers refer to the Japanese as Japanese people? What about the Americans? American people?

    For the British, how do you call them? British?

    Many thanks.

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    #2

    Re: correct term for races

    Certainly can't speak for the Japanese, but as a former American, now Canadian, married to a Brit, I might suggest that Americans call themselves Americans, Canadians call themselves Canadians and sometimes get upset when Americans claim the whole hemisphere by that term, but don't have another suggestion (Yankee is a pejorative, usually). And British call themselves British, or English if their playing football.

    These, by the way, are NOT races. These are nationalities.

    A much more interesting question is what do the races call themselves - and how they can "get away with" calling themselves terms that those of other races are best to avoid!

  1. stuartnz's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: correct term for races

    Quote Originally Posted by Tan Elaine View Post
    Do native speakers refer to the Japanese as Japanese people? What about the Americans? American people?

    For the British, how do you call them? British?

    Many thanks.
    I'm not a professional teacher, but I do deal with this issue regularly in my work. The definition and application of the label "British" is a sensitive issue for many citizens of the United Kingdom. There are many English, Scots, Welsh and Irish people who, although technically British, do not like being so labelled. In my work, we ask questions about how people identify themselves ethnically and/or nationally, and with people from the British Isles, the trend is very strongly toward self-identification with a particular member nation of the United Kingdom. Thus "English", "Scottish", "Welsh" are more often given in response to a question about ethnic or national identity than is "British". "British" does seem to be the preferred desingation for people from Northern Ireland who identify with the UK.

    The above describes my experience over the last 16 years interviewing people from the UK who are now resident outside the UK.
    Last edited by stuartnz; 08-Oct-2008 at 09:45.

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