There have been many threads regarding the correct term to use when speaking about ourselves as "American" in other countries. I finally remembered to ask my boyfriend to clarify. (He is from Mexico) He stated that neither term were correct. Americano refers to anyone living in the Americas and estadounidenses refers to Mexicans as well because their country is "Estados Unidos Mexicano". According to him, the term used exclusively for people from EE UU is "gringo" and that it does not refer to any other foreigner, but is exclusive to people who live in the United States of America.
I just thought I would share that bit of information with you-all.
I'm from the Dominican Republic,a half island in the same way of the sun which you probably never have heard. I have read your comments and I could not help but to say the following. First, for us who speak Spanish, there is a conceptual difference, and the Canadian argument is very poor. It is unreasonable to say that he can't be an American and a Canadian at the same time, perhaps the French aren't Europeans, or maybe Japanese aren't Asian because they live on an island. For the rest of the people that don't live in the USA, America is the continent. It is taught that way beginning in primary school and Hispanics understand, because of that education that American means coming from America (the continent).
The second is that such differentiation is the result of imperialism. Military and political interventions by the USA have left a bit of resentment, even I myself have felt rancor in the past. It brings us to want to differentiate ourselves, that doesn't mean that it is necessary to create a new adjective for those who are living in the U.S. It is just the feeling of exclusion and contempt that it brings. The reality is, everyone in the world understands that American means from the USA. In any language it is correct. Just be compressive (?) with us who speak Spanish, because the first definition in our language for American is a native of the continent. It is our language and part of our history.
There is no universally acceptable term. Estadounidense may be applied to Mexicans, norteamericano could apply to Canadians, Mexicans, and Central Americans. The only unambiguous way to say it is "Soy ciudadano de Los Estados Unidos de América". But polite people of every country will accept most any imprecise term you want to use. And most people you run into will be polite.
In answer to Moe, I didn't say Europe was a country. Last I knew, it was a continent just like North and South America. Therefore a similar situuation exists. The French, Italian, Swiss, and so on and so on, are all Europeans unless I'm seriously mistaken. So, we are all American as much as it may stick in your throat.
I don't want to offend anybody. At the same time I don't want to be offended by being gathered in to a big basket that's not of my making.
I'm a Canadian. I live in the Americas but I am not an American. Here, in Canada, we think of Americans as those neighbours of ours who love, laugh, work, play and generally live out their lives in American States including Alaska, Hawaii and maybe Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands or any other territory or protectorate of the United States of America. For me, Canadians are Canadians, Americans live in the United States of America and Mexicans are Mexicans. Oh yeah, and we think of the U.S.of A. as "America", and I will use that reference hereafter.
I have no quarrel with America nor with Americans. They are are nearest neighbour. I'd bet that some other nations or other nationals think that Canada and America are joined at the waist, twinned, the inseparables and all that other united stuff. America and Americans are are nearest neighbour and largest trading partner. You bet they are important to us.
Without wanting to suggest, convey or hint that there is any kind of dispute between our two soverign nations, I just want to have it known that I am Canadian. I cannot be Canadian and American at the same time. Just forget all that technical bafflegab about dual citizenship. It is only in wanting to be Canadian that I say I do not want to be or to be seen as an American.
I mean your boyfriend no offence, but, I do not agree with his view of this continent and I believe almost all Canadians feel the same. His view, which you have expressed for him, is not the view of America's northern neighbours.
Just another proud Canadian. True, North, Strong and Free.
mountaingirl has it right.
"Gringo" is not a friendly term. If you want a more neutral term I would suggest "norteamericano" or "estadounidense."
The name of this country is America. Complete name is United States of America.
Same thing with Mexico. Whole name is Estados Unidos Mexicanos (de Mexico)
Why is it so hard to understand?
Brasil's whole name used to be United States of Brasil.
People from any of these countries cannot be named "estado unidenses"
Nobody can refer to brasil's people as "suramericanos" as to defining being from brasil.
You cannot say "norteamericano" without saying the same for Canadians and Mexicans.
Why is it so hard to understand?
Yes, all of the countries that are in the Americas can claim the fact that are "americans" but only people from USA can call themselves "americans" to define they are from this country, as they refer to the name f this country and not the continent.
Why is it so hard to understand?
This is why we as people from the United States we refer to ourselves as "Americans"or "Americanos", not "United-Statesians" or "Estadounidenses". The full name of our country is called "The United States of America". The word is in our name. Yes North America and South America are names of Continents, to which the United States is a part of North America.
But to refer to us as North Americans is incorrect because the term "North Americans" could refer to a Canadian, and even, also a Mexican as well as a person from the U.S. I bring this up because I have heard many Mexicans "rename" the name our country as "Los Estados Unidos de Norte America" meaning "The United States of North America" but this is NOT the name of our country.
Also to refer to us as "Estadounidenses" meaning "United-Statesians" is also incorrect because we don't reserve to ourselves as "United-Statesians". We refer to ourselves as Americans, not because the United States isn't the name of our country, it is. But "America" is in our country's name. The name "Estados Unidos Mexicanos" or "United Mexican States" is the full name of Mexico, but the short form name of the country is Mexico and they are called Mexicans. Even though they are a part of the North American continent, "America" isn't part of their name.
Furthermore, it would be more proper to abbreviate "Estados Unidos de America", or the "United States of America", as the name of our country is called in Spanish as "E.U.A." or E.U. de A." as opposed to E.E.U.U. The reason for this suggestion is because the abbreviation is derived from the first letter of each word. E.E.U.U., not even knowing its origin, does not make any sense because E.E.U.U. would mean "Estados Estados Unidos Unidos" or in English, "United United States States". Nobody calls our country that. We don't just say the name of our country twice. It is the "United States of America" or the U.S.A. Or in Spanish, "Estados Unidos de America" or E.U.A. And we are Americans or Americanos, not "United-Statesians" or "Estadounidenses" or "Norteamericanos".
I asked a Mexican friend about this. He said that he would not refer to himself as an "estadounidense" but as "mexicano". He would refer to me, a citizen of the USA, as "estadounidense." This disagrees with some other statements in this thread. This is very confusing. I don't know what to call myself!
Now, I've never heard "gringo" used to refer to anyone else other that a white person. Like mexicans in the area (Houston, TX) say, "ey gringo, what's up?" Meaning, "hey white boy, what's up?" Now this maybe regional, but that is THE ONLY way I have ever heard it used. So in sayin that, I don't see how you could call Americans that, because we got African Americans, Asian Americans, and etc...jaja. And God forbid if you call a black guy a gringo and he finds out what you said, he's going to confront you, and it will not be to talk.
In answer to Moe, I didn't say Europe was a country. Last I knew, it was a continent just like North and South America.
This is another big, big difference. I was taught in school that America is a single continent. There is no such thing as two different continents (South and North America) for us.
When I hear this, I wonder where Central America is located. Or is it another continent?
Aloshek, es muy interesante el comentario de tu amigo mexicano. Sin duda "americano" no es correcto en español para indicar una nacionalidad específica. Todos mis amigos mexicanos se autoidentifican como "mexicanos". Se dice "gringo" para identificar a los extranjeros del norte - or sea de EEUU o de Canadá. Se dice "canadiense" para identificar a los de Canadá y "estadounidense" para indicar a los de EEUU.
Puede ser un ejemplo de diferencias entre regiones, pero para muchos mexicanos (gente de México) el término "gringo" indica cierta falta de respecto.
I realize that we all think of ourselves as only American in the United States, but it just isn't so elsewhere. To distinguish what part of the Americas we are from, we have to use another word, but in Mexico we can't use estadounidense either because Mexico is also the United States. So, accordingly you would be a canadiense, and I am a gringa. They do differenciate between us, it's just differently than we do because, technically, we "Americans" are more than just American. It also isn't clear if we, as Americans, say that we are from Los Estados Unidos, because Mexico is also estados unidos. We have to be sure to say we are from Los Estados Unidos de America in order to differenciate.
I recall many, many years ago, almost getting thrown out of a club in Sherbrooke ,Que. I mentioned I was an American and this guy dumped on me saying " You guys from the US are so f+$*^#6 arrogant. You all think you own the rights to the continent. Don't you know you're still in America ." From that day I've never stated to anyone that "I am an American".
Your abbreviation still does not make any sense.
not even knowing its origin, does not make any sense because
E.E.U.U.EE.UU. would mean "Estados Estados Unidos Unidos" or in English, "United United States States". Nobody calls our country that. We don't just say the name of our country twice.
The term "los EE.UU." does not break down to "los Estados Estados Unidos, Unidos."
The duplication in the abbreviation has nothing to do with the duplication of terms but has to do with the fact that when a pluralized term appears in an abbreviation (i.e. los estados unidos), the letter representing the term is generally duplicated in order to show that it refers to a plural.
See entry number 5 from the DPD: abreviatura