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Something special just for you. Someone in America cares about you! Thank you for sharing your sons with our family.

Love,
Peggy

1890 views
updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by Peggy-Ussery

4 Answers

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I don't think it is ambiguous, as the official demonym in Spanish for the Mexicans is "mexicanos", and not "estadounidenses", which is used only for the people from the USA. The word "American" can be ambiguous, because it can refer to either people from the USA and the whole continent (at least it says so in the dictionary). But you already know this, of course.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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A problem in English is that we have no adjective to refer to citizens of this country other than American. That is, we have no equivalent of estadounidense. So in English, at least, we have no option but to call ourselves Americans.

However, if one wanted to be picky, one might say that even estadounidense is ambiguous, because the official name of Mexico is "Los Estados Unidos de México," so those citizens are technically also estadounidenses. Naturally, no one calls them that, but it underscores something I have always thought: that the USA has no real name. USA is just a description, and not even precise, since there are at least two "United States of America" (the USA and Mexico, if you include Mexico as part of Greater America).

On a translator's forum, I once suggested (half-jokingly) that we change the name of my country to Usa (pronounced as in that Spanish word), and its citizens would be Usans. ¿Qué les parece? jejej

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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Well... America was the name of the continent before someone, somehow, decided that it only applies to people from the U.S.A., and not to the rest of the people who live in America, and who no longer have the right to be called Americans (sorry, we paid for the word!). It is an interesting concept, indeed. In English everyone "knows" who the Americans are, but in Spanish we regard -well, not everyone- the whole continent as "América", and their inhabitants as "americanos", so I think it is better to use the proper word in each language.

The word was a latinized version of the name of an Italian sailor (Amerigo), who explored the coasts of Sourth America (he called it "New World"), and the word was given to the whole continent 15 years after Columbus arrived for the first time. The United States of America was not recognized as such until nearly 300 years later, time during which everyone in that continent was called "americano" by all Spanish speakers. I think they deserve to be called "americanos" in their own language, at least.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by lazarus1907
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I assume you want this translated (why make us guess'), and since no native has weighed in, I'll give it a try.

Algo especial sólo para ti. ¡Alguien en los Estados Unidos tiene afecto por ti! Gracias por compartir sus hijos con nuestra familia.

Note: In the US we tend to refer to our country as America, but America actually refers to the New World, including North and South America, and many Latin Americans consider themselves a part of America, even though they may never have been in the US. So, when speaking Spanish, it is best (more polite) to use the official name of our country (the abbreviated version, that is). Also, we are estadounidenses, rather than americanos. Others may disagree with this, but I try to be culturally sensitive.

updated JUL 9, 2008
posted by 00bacfba
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