https://www.duolingo.com/EdgarChavezIII

Do they call Black people "Negros" en EspaÑol?

I have heard of Black people referred to by many words/names/epithets...

What are some appropriate ways to refer to Black people in Spanish and Portuguese?

Any comments or tips from German, French, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish or Esperanto native speakers is also welcome.

Gracias.

3 years ago

8 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/pseudocreobotra

As someone already mentioned... "Schwarz" is the most common way to refer someone with really dark skin in German. But I'd like to mention that the topic is treated in a very different manner compared to the USA.

First of all, you don't speak about races. Should be almost a no-brainer given the German history but just in case someone didn't think about it... Just the thought of dividing people into different races irritates a lot of people and evokes thoughts of Nazism... "Schwarz" is really just an visual thing - it's not limited to people of African descent but mostly used for all kinds of dark skinned people (at least where I live). I've heard Tamils being described as "schwarz" too by many people. If you want to refer to more than just visuals, you try to be as precise as possible. After all, there are so many different cultures tied to Black people that it would be rather nonsensical to put them all under one big umbrella term when it's avoidable.

Another possibility is "Afrodeutsche" (Afro-German) which seems to be a term coined by an Black American woman who lived in Berlin for several years. I never heard it actually being used but it's kind of an official thing.

It's also important to mention that it's a far smaller percentage of society, probably less than 1% (estimations say 300,000 to 800,000 people). Even very diverse cities such as Berlin only have about 2% Blacks - and 100 years ago, there were less than 3000 Black people living in Germany. Compared to about 3 million people of Turkish descent alone, that's a pretty low number.

Also, most of them have a fairly short history in Germany. Many were fathered by soldiers of the Allied Forces after WW2, others immigrated seeking work or education.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/v43ng
v43ng
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"Schwarz" (black) is pretty much okay in German. There are always people getting ridiculous when it comes to race. "Dunkelhäutig" (dark skinned) is heard sometime and even "stärker pigmentiert" (more pigmented) for the people even more afraid to say black. Clearly stay away from "Neger", although old people still use it with (hopefully) no bad intention.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianaBoshenka

It seems like people of color should be saying what they prefer to be called in any language. I know that race is constructed differently in the U.S. than in most other places. It is very much a social construct and not any kind of objective reality. But I think the polite thing is to ask people what they prefer to be called, and stick with that.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/El2theK
El2theK
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It sounds like a very good idea, though it has one major flaw. What some people consider to be acceptable etc. other people with the same skin colour may have a very different opinion of that and vice versa.

Let's just say that some dark skinned people in the U.S. think it is acceptable to use the n-word amongst themselves. Other dark skinned people don't share that opinion, as discussed in this wikipedia article on the topic in the section intragroup versus intergroup usage.

And then there are others like Samuel L. Jackson and Malcom X's daughter that are of the opinion that if you accept a word to be used in music etc., you should not get offended when someone with another skin colour sings those lyrics or uses that term.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Luscinda
Luscinda
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As opposed to people of no colour? What on earth is a 'person of colour'?

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/superdaisy

Oh totally, but the OP is asking for general patterns rather than individual data, so the responses so far have made sense. (I would have appreciated some further reading from people though. Looks like I'll have to do further research.) The notion that the construct of race really differs depending on the country and culture is also a good thing to keep in mind.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/RRR-ENGLISH

It depends on many factors: the country, your familiarity with the person, the situation, the entonation, etc. I think the safest term in LatinAmerican Spanish is "afrodescendiente" or "afroamericano" but it's pretty stilted.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PepePerez14

En España la gente les llama simplemente "negros", pero en lenguaje políticamente correcto son "subsajarianos" (subsaharianos) aunque no procedan del sur del Sáhara.

3 years ago
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