3 Vote

I know it means a person from the United States ........ but what is its literal meaning in spanish?

  • Posted Jan 9, 2011
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6 Answers

5 Vote

Unitedstatesian, literally.


Colombia, colombiano, Colombian

Portugal, portugese, Portuguese

Estados Unidos, estadounidense

There is no whatever the word is that denotes the country of origin of a person for US citizens in English, that I know of. Clearly, American, although usually used to refer to those from the US, pertains to anyone from the American continent.

I vote for Unitedstatesian grin

3 Vote

In U.S. English, estadounidense = American

I know, I know, the rest of the Americans feel this is not fair that those from the U.S. use the word, American, to describe themselves when all of us are Americans, but in the U.S. that is the equivalent to what you are asking. Also, when other Americans from their respective American country answer where they are from, they don't use the continent name, they use their country name. Unfortunately, those from the U.S.A. can't really use any of the parts that make up their country name that can clarify their nationality as other countries are able to do in the 2 American continents.

I believe it was used because the name of the country was so long that it didn't lend itself to more simple descriptions like Canadian, Colombian, etc. A 'United States of American' just doesn't sound right in English, so it is just shortened to the last part, American. Mexico has done this, (Mexicans in English), but nobody gets up in arms by the name because it is distinguished from all other "United States" by it's own particular name.

  • When I go to Europe for example, and ask me where are you from? I say American, I am from Colombia, but in USA I say Colombia. - mdpv1 Mar 28, 2013 flag
  • Is better you use in Spanish " Estadounidense" and in English from United States, because if you see your passport say you born in United States no in America, because America is a continent no a country. - mdpv1 Mar 28, 2013 flag
2 Vote

It is the word used to describe a citizen of the United States. Better to use this word than americano smile

  • or gring@ - 0074b507 Jan 10, 2011 flag
  • :) true!! - theredqueen Jan 10, 2011 flag
  • Gringo is not pejorative in some parts, and in others spat out with contempt. I objected and corrected when called gringo on first coming to Colombia, only to be laughed at by mates telling me that it is quite friendly an expression here... - afowen Jan 10, 2011 flag
  • very good to know :) thank you! - theredqueen Jan 10, 2011 flag
2 Vote

It is not a unique word form.


2 Vote

Actually it means person from the United States which could be either from the United States of America, or Estados Unitos de Mexico. The actual name of the country South of the U.S.A.

  • It still mexicano. No one says that although it is Mexico´s oficial na,e - BellaMargari Jan 20, 2013 flag
1 Vote

Estadounidense means "American" and is the best translation for spanish speakers.

There is a lot of confusion amongst Spanish speakers in Latin America and the spanish speaking carribean regarding the word Americano/a, but ironically zero confusion amongst English speakers around the world. The reason why is because in English the word American has dual meanings, and in Spanish it doesn't. English speakers understand "American" as the nationality for the people of the united states, and also a regional grouping of people (North American, Central American, South American). In Spanish, they don't understand the word Americano/a as having multiple meanings, and at times can even interpret it as American arrogance when used to describe nationality. But it's just a language barrier in reality. "American" in english just does NOT translate to Americano in spanish, even though they sound so similar. As an American that has traveled and lived throughout latin america and the spanish speaking carribean, i have heard this argument on numerous occasions, but ironically enough have NEVER heard a Canadian or any english speaker from the many english speaking carribean islands feel any frustration towards the term being used to describe the nationality of people from the united states. Why? Because anyone that speaks English as their native tongue understands the multiple meanings of the term "American", otherwise Canadians would be saying "Hey I'm American too, because i'm from North America!" But you never will once hear that, because they understand that "American" in English has multiple meanings, depending on the context its used in.

So in the end, when traveling to the non-english speaking countries of Latin America and the carribean, it's more clear to say estadounidense when telling other people your nationality, because American just doesn't translate to Americano in spanish, even though it's so much more easier to remember Americano than it is to remember estadounidense! Haha

Safe travels, hope that helps!

  • Good post! Unfortunately, this question is a couple years old so plfausnight probably won't know you answered. You can see when something was posted in small letters below the post. - HCAStudent Feb 15, 2014 flag
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