Discussion in 'English Only' started by namlan, Dec 7, 2007.
- What do you call a child whose parents are from different countries?
Thanks a lot!
I don't understand what you mean Namlan. I just call a child a child, no matter where the parents come from.
- Dear tepatria!
- I mean a child has two bloodstreams, such as "The child is half English and half Vietnamese". So what do you call the child?
Thanks a lot!
Are you looking for a general word in English that describes a child whose parents are from different countries? If so, I'm not aware of one and would be interested to see what other members can share about this. Or are you looking for a more concise description, something like "a child with a multiethnic heritage"? Here in the US, we do use terms like "Irish American", "Italian-French American" for people who are citizens but whose ancestors came from other countries, either recently or further in the past. And I believe terms like "British African", and "British Asian" are used in the UK. The use of these terms is problematic depending on whether the persons being describing like or dislike being described in that way.
I think we say something just like that: "half English and half Vietnamese". I don't think anyone would consider that offensive. However, to use a general term for someone who is "mixed race" or nationality would almost certainly end up sounding offensive. There are number of terms for "mixed race" which most would consider offensive, such as half-breed, half-caste, etc. I don't know any for mixed nationality per se. I would avoid any such words.
As for British Asian, etc., these would generally refer to British citizens who were born in or whose parents or ancestors were from that particular part of the world. They would not necessarily, or even usually, be "mixed", as such.
I've come across the word 'mutt' (which usually describes a dog of mixed breed) used in casual conversations. I personally consider it rather offensive. The word can also mean a stupid person, which makes it even worse.
As others have said it's hard to provide a term for this which isn't potentially offensive (they've been mentioned above). These terms tend to refer to mixtures of race rather than country too - even the mildest mentioned above, mixed parentage, would probably not be used for someone whose parents were very much of the same coloured skin - French and English for example.
I would call them: Children of mixed ethnic parentage.
And I wouldn't consider this a slur or an insult.
An old term for persons who had one parent from a European country and one from an Asian country was "Eurasian", but that only accounted for the continents from which the parents came, and not the countries.
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