Argentine vs Argentinian

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by mjscott, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. mjscott Senior Member

    Which is correct. When in Argentina (some years ago) people referred to themselves as Argentines (with a long "i"). In more recent postings, I've seen them referred to as Argentinians. The phrases, "This is a picture of an Argentine countryside," or "He is an Argentine performer,"--are they passè?

    I always felt "in the know" by using the same adjective the Argentines used. Now I am afraid I am "out of the loop" by not keeping up with the Argentinian changes!
     
  2. Sextus Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish
    Hi,

    As far as I know, people here and elsewhere use "Argentinian", "Argentine" and even "Argentinean". I saw this last one in an American dictionary this year. I myself use the first one.

    Sextus
     
  3. Tormenta

    Tormenta Senior Member

    Lancashire,England
    Argentina-Español
    Hi mj,

    Not sure if I can help you, as I don't know what my people really want:D

    Personally, I never refer to myself as "Argentine" , to be honest I don't really like the sound of this word. I prefer " Argentinean/Argentinian", I think it's better sounding.
    I have heard many Americans using the word "Argentine"; however, here in the UK, I usually hear "Argentinian" .

    As I said before, this is just my personal opinion. Maybe I should write to all my friends in Argentina and make a little survey. :rolleyes:

    Tormenta
     
  4. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    With respect, T., isn't that beside the point? The people of Argentina can't decide what words those speaking other languages use to describe them and their country.

    I don't think the people of the Netherlands are all that keen on being called "Dutch" (cognate with Deutsch/Duits, i.e. German), but they have to put up with it. :(

    In the UK "Argentine" is the word almost always used by official bodies like the government and in BBC reports:
    - Thousands of unemployed Argentines have marched to demand jobs
    - The Argentine peso ended trading stable against the United States dollar
    - Following a meeting with the Argentine Foreign Minister Dr Carlos Ruckauf
    - Argentines have had to struggle with military dictatorship

    although the occasional "Argentinian" slips in:
    - an Argentinian woman living in Britain

    "Argentinian" is almost certainly more frequently used in everyday speech however. ("Argentinean", BTW, is an American spelling.)

    Argentina often used to be known as "the Argentine" (short for "the Argentine Republic"), but that usage is now more or less extinct.

    Now for my question:

    Why is it Río de la Plata (as you would expect), but Sierra del Plata and Mar del Plata?

    F
     
  5. Tormenta

    Tormenta Senior Member

    Lancashire,England
    Argentina-Español
    I think you might have misunderstood me, F. I did not mean to say that I will ask my Argentinians friends which English word/adjective should be used to describe us or our land. I know it is not up to us/me to decide. Actually, it is not up to native English speakers either, as the decision has already been made.

    Most dictionaries (Webters' , Cambridge, etc) show all three words : Argentine, Argentinean (Am), Argentinian (B ). According to the definitions they give, it is correct to use any of these three words.

    Now, as I understand it, mjscott, was not asking which one is the correct English word. She/he was rather asking which word Argentinians prefer to use when speaking English. I do believe it is up to me to decide which word I prefer; I am not making up a "new word" , I am just choosing from three existing ones.

    When she/he visited Argentina most Argentinians seemed to use the word "Argentine" when speaking English; however, in this forum we use the word "Argentinian" more. Mjscott was wondering if most Argentinians would now say "Argentinean" instead of "Argentine" when speaking English. Since I do not know what my people prefer, I said I would ask them which one of the 3 words they prefer so that mjscott can use THAT word when visiting Argentina again.

    As for myself, I prefer "Argentinian" , as I stated earlier; however, they can call me "Argie" if they want; I can surly hold my ground.

    Tormenta


     
  6. mjscott Senior Member

    Dear Tormenta,
    You are surely correct! You can hold your ground! Also, yes, as only two people had responded, I am sure that two people does not a forum make. Also, I do believe that it is important to call people by what they call themselves most generally. Understanding that neither is offensive nor passè is most helpful.
     
  7. Tormenta

    Tormenta Senior Member

    Lancashire,England
    Argentina-Español
    Interesting question, F.
    To be honest, I do not have any bibliography to support my answer. All I have is the word of my Spanish teacher back home.

    "Río de la Plata" sounds correct, as you said, because "Plata" is a feminine noun which takes the feminine article. When the river was named "Rio de la Plata" the idea was to indicate that it was a "river of silver", because the Spaniards tought there was much silver there.

    Mar del Plata does not mean "Sea of silver" , it means "Sea of the Plata Territory" (a region in Argentina). During the colony, the entire region was called "Territorio del Río de la Plata" In this case, it is "el" because it refers to "territorio" , not "Plata"

    Mar del territorio del Río de la Plata
    Mar del territorio Plata

    (BTW, my dad was born in Mar del Plata)

    Anyhow, this is what I can remember, but I will investigate a little more and let you know what I find out.

    Tormenta


     
  8. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    Sorry, T., I think I might. The original question was "which is correct?" (Argentine/Argentinian) -- and I jumped to the conclusion that your survey was an attempt to answer that question in those "correctness" terms. While it would be incorrect, of course, to call the people of Argentine, say, "Australian" or "Algerian", Argentine/Argentinian is not a question of correctness but of usage. Both are "correct" in that both are used and both are unambuguous. It's a very similar case to Slovak/Slovakian, Serb/Serbian, etc.[/quote]
    There, however, I disagree with you. No linguistic decisions are set in stone. Language changes. The court of usage decides. One example I already gave was the change in English from "the Argentine" to "Argentina" over the years. This was not an imposed change: it just happened.
    But of course!
    That's a bit of an odd argument. Most people in Argentina call themselves "argentinos". The people of Germany most generally call themselves die Deutschen: but when they speak other languages they of course use the names that others use: Allemands, Germans, Niemcy, saksalainen, etc. The people known to others as Breatnaigh, Gallois and Welsh call themselves Cymry: Irish-, French- and English-speakers make no effort to call them by what they call themselves -- and that's just the way things are. It's because languages work like that that we call Russians by the Finnish name for Swedes. :)

    F
     
  9. mjscott Senior Member

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjscott
    I do believe that it is important to call people by what they call themselves most generally

    That's a bit of an odd argument. Most people in Argentina call themselves "argentinos". The people of Germany most generally call themselves die Deutschen: but when they speak other languages they of course use the names that others use: Allemands, Germans, Niemcy, saksalainen, etc. The people known to others as Breatnaigh, Gallois and Welsh call themselves Cymry: Irish-, French- and English-speakers make no effort to call them by what they call themselves -- and that's just the way things are. It's because languages work like that that we call Russians by the Finnish name for Swedes.

    F

    When in Argentina and the people from Argentina were speaking English, I recall most referring to themselves as Argentines--they didn't switch back to Spanish and call themselves argentinos. Whether in Spanish or English, I prefer to respect the preferences of the people I'm speaking with and use the same nouns and adjectives they use themselves when referring to themselves. It is more a matter of courtesy....
     
  10. Sextus Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish
    There's no point in continuing with this discussion (I don't mean to be rude). As I said in my first post, I have heard both Argentinian people and foreigners using both of them. And I know that both are grammatically correct (as you have pointed out). So it's just up to speaker.

    Sextus
     
  11. Focalist Senior Member

    European Union, English
    Sorry, I forgot to thank you earlier for this answer, T.

    Sounds convincing to me -- and will also settle a debate in the Wikipedia!

    Since the name of the river itself is frequently shortened, if I am not wrong, to el Plata -- from el (río de la) Plata -- I presume that many instances of "del Plata" also come directly from that.

    F
     
  12. Leopold

    Leopold Senior Member

    Barcelona
    es-ES
    I'm almost sure you're right. I think it refers to the river in fact.
    Mar del (Río de la) Plata

    L.
     
  13. Tormenta

    Tormenta Senior Member

    Lancashire,England
    Argentina-Español

    Sí, como "virreinato del río de la plata"
     
  14. radiolibre Junior Member

    Eastern Seaboard, USA
    Merriam Webster's dictionary says Argentinian. Argentine means "silvery." So, you can have an argentine spoon, if that's silvery, but you can't have an argentine person, unless they're made of silver ;)
     
  15. nach_in

    nach_in Senior Member

    Argentina (Córdoba)
    Spanish - Argentina
    About the "Río de la Plata" thing, if I'm not mistaken it's related to what radiolibre said, argentine it's an adjetive so "República Argentina" could be silvery republic :D

    And that's why the river is called "de la Plata" because it's the river of the silver (land?), and the rest of the names are called "del Plata" because they refer to the river because it's an important place in the region (Mar del Plata = Mar del Río de la Plata) of course this is an historical and cultural determination, not logical, so it's not too rare to hear "Río del Plata" and I would doubt to say it's incorrect.
     
  16. djweaverbeaver Senior Member

    English Atlanta, GA USA
    Hello,

    Officially, all English-speaking countries call the people of Argentina Argentines. Argentine is also the suggested adjective. In practice, however, I think most people, in the U.S. at least, use Argentinians/Argentineans in speech and in writing. In more careful writing, you will probably come across Argentine more. I personally almost never use Argentine. I do have an American friend living in Buenos Aires, and she constantly says Argentine whenever I speak to her over the phone or online. To me, I sounded weird at first, and I'm not sure if she's always said Argentine even before moving there.

    Also, when using Argentine, I would pronounce the last syllable like "teen" and not like "tahyn" (long i sound). The friend I mentioned early says the latter. I would say that both pronunciations would be common in American English, but the "een" pronunciation is much more usual just in other words such as Byzantine or Florentine.
     
  17. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Dictionary recommendations aside, I use both Argentine and Argentinian. Argentinean seems strange to me, albeit apparently correct. I'd probably write more often Argentine, well it depends how it sounds in the sentence. Argentine people sounds infinitely better than Argeninian people, but Argentinian wine sounds better to me than Argentine wine. It's about preference. Argentine sounds a bit more formal and learned to me, but just a bit. As for the pronunciation, it may be as common to say Argentáin as Argentín but I prefer rhyming it with teen but tien doesn't shock me. In the spoken language I must say though I usually say Argentinian when speaking. I'd expect Argentine on a news report though
     
  18. Dandee

    Dandee Senior Member

    Chile
    Argentina, español
    Hi,
    Teachers always taught us that we are argentinians. I have heard the term argentine, but never said by a teacher. I thought it was an incorrect way of calling us.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  19. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    I'm wondering if Argentine might be newer? I definitely know I learned to say Argentinian first and Argentine later on, probably hearing it on the news.
     
  20. Istriano

    Istriano Senior Member

    -
    I think Argentinian (just like Slovenian) is the preferred form, but both are possible as in the case of California English vs Californian English :)
     
  21. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    Personally I always thought Argentine was a noun and Argentinian an adjective--similar to Englishman/English; Scot/Scottish; Frenchman/French, etc.

    He's an Argentine; he's Argentinian both sound fine to my AE ear. And -tine always rhymes with fine whenever I hear native speakers using it...
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  22. argentina84

    argentina84 Senior Member

    Göteborg, Sweden
    Argentina Spanish
    I like to be called "Argentinian" but the word "Argentine" is also correct.

    I read once that "Argentine" was preferred when describing inanimate objects from Argentina, wheareas "Argentinian(s)" was used to decribe the people. I don't remember the source but would be good to investigate on that.

    Regards!
     
  23. Cpt_S_Jacob

    Cpt_S_Jacob Junior Member

    Portland, USA
    English - United States
  24. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    The Google Books Ngram Viewer counts up the forms used in millions of books and shows them on a graph.
    On that basis, "Argentine" wins over "Argentinian" by a factor of 7 to 1.
    Unfortunately we can't get the pronunciation from there.
     
  25. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    The official name of Argentina is the Argentine Republic not the Argentinian Republic.
     
  26. Hulalessar Senior Member

    Andalucía
    English - England
    Does the country have an official name in English?
     
  27. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    It's probably a calque. The Argentine republic looks closer to La república argentina than the Argentinian republic would.
     
  28. Lord Delfos

    Lord Delfos Senior Member

    Tandil, Argentina
    Castellano (Argentina)
    Wait, what? This Globalization thing is taking a turn for the worse! :D

    Kidding aside, I'm not aware of any non-Spanish official name.

    What I think is happening with Argentinian vs. Argentine is that back in the 70's and 80's the word "Argentine" was all over the place. It was the "see? I know some English" word of the day. To the point that it wore out. It is still the most used of the two by people that doesn't know English. But most of the people I've talked to that knew English, would use Argentinian because now Argentine sound "cheap" and to some extent corny and taken out of an old Alberto Olmedo's movie (despite being a great humorist, he used that "arshentáin" waaaay too much).
     
  29. wildan1

    wildan1 Moderando ma non troppo

    Well the Embassy of Argentina in the United States consistently uses the term Argentine on its website. I'm pretty sure most people working in that embassy know English….
     
  30. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    I'm basing this on what I have seen in diplomatic circles.
     

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