Translation:We are not American, but Canadian.
Actually, AnCatDubh is mistaken and DuoLingo is right. Canadians and Americans may have similarities but to say there is no difference is simply incorrect. It is like telling an Australian she is from New Zealand. Like telling a Brit he is from Scotland. Like telling a Belgian she is from France. Like telling a German he is Dutch. Like telling someone from Ireland that they are from England. Like telling a Hungarian she is from Romania. Like telling a Japanese girl she is Chinese. Like telling a Canadian, he is American. We're all one family. But not identical. One tapestry. Many threads. Unity in diversity. Cheers, Max
American can refer to two things:
- Someone/thing from USA; here a Canadian isn't American
- Someone/thing from the American continent(s); here a Canadian is an American
It depends on how you use the word, and the world are not global. For example a Latin American person would call Canadians and themselves as American, while people from USA are specifically United-Statsians (they're also Americans too); this goes for both when they speak Spanish and English.
This wouldn't have been an issue if USA didn't take the name "America" and applied it to themselves. It would be like if Germany was called the Federated States of Europe, and calling themselves European, and then saying no one else is a European.
I have personally, and on many occasions, used the phrase in question - or a variant of it - “I am a Canadian not an American” - to correct someone, for instance while travelling - but the awkward malapropism “United Statesian” is only uttered rarely by those wishing to make your point. I have however heard South Americans refer to Canadians and people from the US as North Americans - which is geographically correct, of course.