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Thread: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

  1. #21
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    I agree with k-in-sc.
    "Foreigners" sounds bad, kind of demeaning. "Foreign people" isn't any better. So what to use? it's a mistery. They all sound despective. And 'people born in foreign lands' is great for Disneyland.
    Saludos.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoElAbogado View Post
    I agree that "foreigner" can have a negative connotation. I also agree that saying "foreign people" (or otherwise modifying "foreign" with a word or phrase (such as "foreign-born clients") removes it.

    I am not surprised that "immigrant" has a negative connotation in the UK (and probably in many other countries). But in the US, it's part of our DNA.
    I know, it's funny isn't it? - and very interesting!

    Quote Originally Posted by duvija View Post
    I agree with k-in-sc.
    "Foreigners" sounds bad, kind of demeaning. "Foreign people" isn't any better. So what to use? it's a mistery. They all sound despective. And 'people born in foreign lands' is great for Disneyland.
    Sorry, you're wrong - 'foreign people' can sound much better, and said in the proper way would be perfectly acceptable!
    Last edited by lauranazario; 21st January 2013 at 9:51 PM. Reason: merge consecutive posts
    Please feel free to correct my Spanish if you have time!!!

  3. #23
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by srb62 View Post
    Sorry, you're wrong - 'foreign people' can sound much better, and said in the proper way would be perfectly acceptable!
    Not here.
    Saludos.

  4. #24
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by duvija View Post
    Not here.
    .

    Well, exactly!! That was the whole point - and why I qualified my post with the fact that I opined 'as a British speaker'. So, I'm afraid you're.......wrong?
    Please feel free to correct my Spanish if you have time!!!

  5. #25
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by srb62 View Post
    .

    Well, exactly!! That was the whole point - and why I qualified my post with the fact that I opined 'as a British speaker'. So, I'm afraid you're.......wrong?
    Hell yeah!
    Saludos.

  6. #26
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-in-sc View Post
    I agree that sometimes you have to use "foreigners," but Spanish speakers seem to be unaware of the unpleasant connotations. When possible, alternatives are usually preferable.
    Personally, I don't see anything unpleasant about the word at all. It simply means non-native and has no pejorative connotations at all except in the minds of people who don't like foreigners, and substituting new, more-convoluted but less-precise terms won't cure that. Sorry for the rant.

  7. #27
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by duvija View Post
    My problem is with the original 'Había mucho extranjero...'. I don't mind 'Había(n) muchos extranjeros',
    I thought that hay and its variants (e.g., había) were invariable and did not change to match number. Typo? Or do I have more to learn?

  8. #28
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoElAbogado View Post
    I thought that hay and its variants (e.g., había) were invariable and did not change to match number. Typo? Or do I have more to learn?
    I thought that too ... looks like duvija has some 'splaining to do
    "Everything has been said before, but since nobody was listening, we have to keep going back and starting over." - André Gide

  9. #29
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by FromPA View Post
    Personally, I don't see anything unpleasant about the word at all. It simply means non-native and has no pejorative connotations at all except in the minds of people who don't like foreigners
    The denotation of the term is, of course, neutral. Here's my guess why some people think that the term "foreigner" has a negative connotation. When we Americans read about ourselves being referred to as "foreigners" in the press and public statements of people in foreign countries, it very often has a negative connotation. A lot of the time "foreigner" is associated with trouble-maker in those statements (foreign spy agencies, foreign governments interfering in local affairs, etc.). And it is sometimes used by native speakers to speak disparagingly about foreigners (or as it usually rendered when quoting suspicious rural folk in the US, "them furriners").

  10. #30
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    I do believe that using the singular for a group, has some added values (or lack of them). '¿Habían muchos extranjeros...?' sounds to me much better than 'Había mucho extranjero...'
    Does anyone agree? (or I'm nuts? don't answer!)
    Saludos.

  11. #31
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    @ Duvija. Well, even in plural the verb would be "había", not "habían" as Ricardo and K-in-sc pointed out, but I see your point about the Spanish, "mucho extranjero" vs "muchos extranjeros". It's common to hear it expressed that way here, but you might be right that there is a critical tone about it, as in "Hay mucho listo/mucho mangui etc por aquí".

  12. #32
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    Re: ¿Antes había mucho extranjero por esta zona de la ciudad?

    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoElAbogado View Post
    I was not seriously suggesting that the term "aliens" was less harsh than foreigners.
    How can "foreigners" be considered "harsh"? Every single person on the planet is a "foreigner" in the eyes of the vast majority of the rest of humanity.
    And "alien" is just "foreigner" expressed in legalistic jargon.
    saludos

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