Note to Argentines: Stop Blaming "U.S. Nationals" For Calling Ourselves "Americans"
I got a comment today that I have to respond to, since the author is way off and has no idea what he's talking about. I experienced this quite offten when I was in Argentina -- people getting upset that Americans call themselves Americans. I just have to address this because hopefully our Argentina reader will read this and then pass it on.
I refuse to call you an American since America is first a continent and then it could be used as a country nick name. Therefore when I listen someone says "American", I say I am American too, since I was born in South America, a part the American Continent. Anyone who whishes to refute this should read the Set theory, in particular they should at the Subsets definition. Basic geography will also work. This is just another way the US people show that they are the only one living in the American continent or worst, in the world. No other citizen of any other country call themselves as the continent name and mean just their country...
Its About Language, Not Arrogance
The name of our country is "The United States of America". That's quite a mouthful. Simply put, you need a one-word way to refer to people from the United States. Many countries have this. We refer to people from Argentina as Argentines. People from Spain are Spanish. If you're from Mexico, you're Mexican. So, look at the name of our country -- The United States of America" and give me one word in English that can be used to describe us. The only one that works is "American."
In Spanish they have a word, estadounidence, that is used to describe U.S. nationals. When I'm in Argentina and someone asks me my nationality, I always say, "Soy estadounidence." In English, that's "I am American." So, when I'm speaking in Spanish, I will continue to use the proper Spanish word for Americans. However, when you're speaking in English, you should just accept that the English word for people from the United States is "American".
The Real Problem
In English, when you've been talking about someone and then they walk in the room and you want to let them know you've been talking about them, you say, "Speak of the devil..." However, in Argentina, the way you say this phrase is "Hablando de roma..." If you actually translated the phrase, "Habla del diablo," it would give you an incorrect meaning. The same goes with the word American.
The root of the problem is that your TV translators are doing a poor job of translating our speeches. When the President of the United States is on TV and says, "We are Americans," the proper translation should be, "Somos estadounidences." The reason is that in the context of the speech, he is referring to "Americans" as people from the U.S. not people from the American continent.
However, all your translators screw up and translate this literally as, "Somos americanos," meaning "We are people from the American continent." So, the result of this is that everyone in Argentina thinks that Americans have this attitude as if they are the only important people on the American continent, when in reality, this is just a language issue. There's no other way in English to describe Americans than by using the word "Americans."
Labels: Living In Argentina