https://www.duolingo.com/EgilHenrik

Inaccurate country names

'British' is not the same as 'English'. The word 'American' is today usually taken to designate a person from the whole continent, not only from the U.S. -

3 years ago

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/b05aplmun.ca
b05aplmun.ca
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The second sentence may be true in some circles, maybe, but is certainly not true in mine. (What do people use instead of "American" if they want to specifically designate a citizen of the United States?)

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
ignatznkrazy
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I use USian, but it hasn't really caught on. When I am in Europe, I am very careful to say that I am from the US, not America ... and I get my fair share of blank stares back.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I say I'm from California. Everybody knows where that is. The reply is usually, "Ah, americaine."

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Christ_Oso

Same here. Enjoying the notoriety of specifying location. I identify as an "Alaskan" instead of being "American", as that word is nebulous and ill-defined.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/luckygutsy
luckygutsy
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I tend to move in pretty progressive circles -- in North America at that -- and I always hear people from the States referred to as Americans. I'm from Canada and I'd never call myself an American.

While your first point is totally true, maybe they just made it the same for efficiency. In a limited course like Duolingo it would be pretty silly to teach all of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Maybe the word that's taught is the most common way to refer to the country in Spanish. Regardless, it would certainly be understood.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

I do hear some Canadians say "North American" when they mean the US and Canada. What Duo teaches is mostly North American English excluding the English-speaking countries in the Caribbean and Belize. Mexico is often often referred to as "Latin America." Really, all these categories are somewhat arbitrary and what it means depends on where you are.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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If British and English are being taught as interchangeable, that is an error, pure and simple. Is it being taught as such?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elizabeth261736

It depends on where you are. I do know that this is a sensitive subject for many people from South America especially.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/rocko2012
rocko2012
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Words have multiple meanings. If a new country in Eurasia ever decides to use the name Eurasia I think people will easily figure it out from the context of the conversation if the person is trying to communicate they are from the bi-continental Eurasian land mass or the nation of Eurasia. Most people are simply not going to first identify that they are a citizen of bi-continental land mass. It is going to be low on their list of attributes. And if you are speaking in the native language of most the people in the nation of Eurasia they are probably are going to understand "Eurasian" to mean a citizen of their nation. If it is another language then use the word that language uses for citizens of the nation of Eurasia.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/danarst

Nationalities need names. The country of the United States has the word America in its official name, so the rest of the world refers to residents of the US as Americans. I suppose they could have also called them the Uniteds or the Statians, but neither caught on.

We already have names for the rest of the people in North and South America, such as Mexicans, Canadians, Venezuelans, and so on. So why would anyone be confused about this matter?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/EgilHenrik

Not so many are confused, I guess, but I know that many are insulted. And what should we call somebody from the American continent? An 'African' is a person from the African continent, a 'European' is somebody from Europe.

3 years ago
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