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"A América não é um país, é um continente."

Translation:America is not a country, it is a continent.

April 1, 2014

29 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/realmadrid27

If America cannot be used to refer to a particular country, why is "americano" the most common adjective to describe someone or something from the United States


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/vegjjany

Estadunidense is the correct specific form to refer to it, even though the most used and colloquial form used in Brazil is "americano", but also many people feel discomfortable with it, cause we consider ourselves Americans as well (not from the US, but from America, the continent, obviously).

I'd like to call US people "United Staters", just like US people call people from the United Arab Emirates "Emiratis" and people from New England "New Englanders". However, people feel concerned with that and laugh at it, so I prefer to just call them US people or US Americans, sounds "more right" for them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ezequiel409291

It's easy, because the US has appropriated the continent's Gentile. When the continent was christened "America" ​​the USA didn't even exist.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JustHereToRelax

According to the english wikipedia article : "The Americas, also collectively called America, encompass the totality of the continents of North America and South America. Together they make up most of Earth's western hemisphere and comprise the New World."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Johnny_Lingot

Grammatically speaking, it would also be correct to say, "America is not a country, but a continent". Grammatically speaking.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulBelme

the word "America" used on it's own like this refers to the USA exclusively as far as I'm concerned. You could say "the Americas" to refer to a collection of countries (typically central) but even that does not usually refer to the continental portions.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarueGamba

If you say America in Brazil people will think you are referring to the continent, because we (or the majority of us) are taught that it is a single continent with subdivisions, but using 'the Americas' is understandable.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PaulBelme

and in a Brazilian Portuguese course all that matters is what to use in Brazil so thanks for the heads up :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ezequiel409291

America is a continent! the name "America" ​​was given to the continent long before the "USA" if they even existed. Europeans gave the name to the continent as a whole and not just "a nation" that at the time no one would even know existed.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/orchidstra

It's so true. America applies to North, Central and South, not just the United States. ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaclyn9189

There is no continent called America in English. The continents North and South America are referred to collectively as "The Americas". In the English-speaking world, America exists only as an abbreviation for the United States of America, and a citizen of the United States is officially called an American.

I think the confusion arises from the fact that in Spanish, Portuguese, and some other languages, "The Americas" are just one continent, "America", and they have separate words for citizens of the United States (whereas in English we just have "Americans").


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kwasi1507

It doesn't matter at all, America can also be a super-continent (composed of 2 continents, North and South America)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JuanDavidG

You just decided to ignore geography to make a point that people from United States should be called Americans. Just try to wrap your head around the idea that America is a Continent, not a country. So Americans applies to all countries in that continent.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaclyn9189

I don't think you read what I said. America is not considered a continent in the English-speaking world like it is in the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking worlds. It's not ignoring geography when continental bounds are not universally agreed upon.

In English-speaking countries (and probably some others) there is no "America". There are 2 continents: North America and South America.

In Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries (and probably some others) there is just one continent: America. Therefore it depends on what language you are speaking.

Look it up. Different cultures divide up the continents differently. It's hard to believe at first since we are taught our own versions since grade school, but it's true. No one's ignoring geography here. When citizens of the United States of America are called Americans, it's because it's an abbreviation of the country's name. According to most, our continent is North America, so when we are referring to people from Canada, Mexico, U.S.A., etc. collectively, we call them North Americans. I don't think many Canadians would appreciate being called Americans.

When we refer to Brazilians, Chileans, Colombians, etc. collectively, we call them South Americans.

Check out this Wikipedia so you can see that continental divisions vary widely depending on who you ask: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent

"They are generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ezequiel409291

The name of "America" ​​was damage to the "new continent discovered" and not to a country, the USA did not even exist when Europeans christened the continent From "America". By studying history you can learn all of this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/xJC4Rx

Yeah I've learned that brazilians take offence to this and hate when people from the US call themselves Americans. It's just weird because we're the only country named after a continent, so we don't have another name for ourselves.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Elvs77

America is not a continent. North America and South America are continents though. There is a difference, overcome your pride (and disdain for Americans)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aavalos41

Part of learning a language is learning how people name things in different cultures and places. This is how it is taught to us by teachers across most of the continent. This land mass here that you know as two different continents, has a single name in Spanish and Portuguese, and it is 'América'.

If you are in Brazil and someone says "América" it means the whole thing, north and south, the Caribbean islands and the isthmus. This item of the course is preparing you for that fact.

It's not a contest of who says it right or wrong, it's just how it is called and how it has been taught for a long time. We don't decide to mix things up to mess up people who speaks a different language or uses a different concept.

Not sure why americans (yes, in English conventionally means people from USA) have to make things that happen elsewhere in the world about themselves. Talk about pride and disdain for other cultures.

It is an interesting story, that of Amerigo Vespucci - the places he visited and how Waldseemüller decided to name certain landmass with his namesake, and then Mercator extended its use to the entire continent. Probably he did it to piss some north Americans a few centuries in the future.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RatliffLarry

If "Los Estados Unidos de Mexico" can be referred to as "Mexico", cannot "The United States of America" be referred to in shortened form as "America"? It does not stop North America from being North America. It does not stop South America from being South America. By the way, I think that makes two continents.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SarueGamba

In Brazil we are taught that America is a single continent and North, Central and South America are subdivisions. Although you will hear people calling americans "americanos", here it's far more common to refer to the country as "Estados Unidos" than simply "America".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaclyn9189

Interesting. In the U.S., we are taught that there are two continents: North and South America. Central America is considered the lower portion of North America. This is probably where all the confusion comes from on both sides of the argument :).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Languagelover559

North America is a Continent. South America is a Continent. There is a country in North America called the United States of America. When people say they want to come to America, they are referring to the US.... and this is coming from an immigrant. No need to be offended if you are from another country by this fact. Nobody thinks of Columbia or Venezuela when referring to "America".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aavalos41

That may be the case in English. Not in Brazilian or Spanish, hence to argument. This is a Brazilian Portuguese course, not an English course. Also, there is no country called Columbia.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ezequiel409291

Yes, because the USA APPLIED from the continent's Gentile! He used his influence for that! When the continent was christened America, no one would know that a country called "United States" would take Just for you the name of the continent, Colombo didn't even want to dock his ship in the USA, but in the Dominican Republic, anyone who studied history would know that !!.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marvincorea

Everyone born in the Western Hemisphere can technically be called American.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dperrtr

By that definition, citizens from UK, Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Portugal, and a dozen African countries are Americans... you'd better tell them...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kwasi1507

I think they meant everybody born in America (not the USA)

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