american natives

temujin

Senior Member
Norway / norwegian
hoi
Just read a thread addressing "American natives", in the sense "native English speakers in America"
I was wondering about this expression, because I think "American natives" would mean the American Indians...

Any opinions on this?


t.
 
  • Sharon

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Temujin,

    The definition of "native" is: being such by birth or origin. America is my native country, so I am an American native.

    American Indians are "Native Americans". This form is also used for "African American," "Asian American," and many, many others.


    :confused: Following the second form, I also believe that I would be a native American, ( lowercase 'n' ) but I think that form is not as common to avoid the confusion with Native Americans.

    Does that help?

    Sharon.:)
     

    temujin

    Senior Member
    Norway / norwegian
    This was confusing... :)

    So there is a difference between American native and Native American?
    Do you mean that also Afro-Americans and Asian Americans are referred to as Native Americans? This sounds strange to me.


    t.
     

    Sharon

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Temujin,

    I see a difference between American native and Native American, yes.
    Following the definition of "native," I am an American by birth or origin. I am an American native.


    No, African American and Asian Americans are not referred to as Native Americans. They are African Americans, or Asian Americans. They may be native Americans, but not Native Americans.
    Sharon said:
    American Indians are "Native Americans".
    When reading something, it is easier to see the capital or lowercase 'n' . In speech, since it is hard to make sure the listener knows we mean "lowercase 'n' " ...we say "American natives."

    Maybe it would help if you look at it this way...usually when we use two words to name or describe something, the last word used is what it really is...so bluish-green has blue in it, but it is green, whereas greenish-blue has green in it, but it is blue.

    Everyone is native to somewhere. So, what kind of native? An American native.

    When talking about our people, they are Americans. What kind of American? An African American, or Native American, or Asian American. (or...or...or...)

    Hope that helps!

    Sharon.:)
     

    temujin

    Senior Member
    Norway / norwegian
    thanks.

    Think I will just say indians.
    But then maybe it´s even more confusing cause that could mean a Native Indian or a Native American.
    HeHeHe
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Look at it this way, temujin:

    Everybody who is from America is an American native. In that case, the term is kind of redundant - with the possible exception of serving the purpose of distinguishing American natives from naturalized Americans.

    The term American natives comprises a vast variety of specifications, of which "Native Americans" is one. Native Americans are referred to as such because they were the first to originally inhabit America, way before the settlers from the Eastern Hemisphere arrived.

    I would advise against using the term "Indies," not only because of the ambiguity about a possible reference to natives of India, but also because it can be taken pejoratively. I would definitely stick with Native American, or at the very least American Indian (which is a clear term that is also accepted socially).

    I hope this helps. :)
     

    Edwin

    Senior Member
    USA / Native Language: English
    elroy said:
    I would advise against using the term "Indies," not only because of the ambiguity about a possible reference to natives of India, but also because it can be taken pejoratively.

    Obvious, you meant to write Indian and not Indies.
     

    kens

    Senior Member
    Canada - English
    I agree that you shouldn't use the word Indian. In Canada, we often refer to Native Canadians as "First Nations" or "First Nations People". We also call them "Aboriginals", but this term includes Inuit and Métis in addition to First Nations People.

    Do these terms exist in the USA as well?
     

    gotitadeleche

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    I would advise against using the term "Indies," not only because of the ambiguity about a possible reference to natives of India, but also because it can be taken pejoratively. I would definitely stick with Native American, or at the very least American Indian (which is a clear term that is also accepted socially).

    I used to date a man who was Native American (one of the finest men I have ever known). I called them Indians, they called themselves Indians, and curiously they sometimes referred to their ancestors as "those old Indians."
     

    gotitadeleche

    Senior Member
    U.S.A. English
    kens said:
    I agree that you shouldn't use the word Indian. In Canada, we often refer to Native Canadians as "First Nations" or "First Nations People". We also call them "Aboriginals", but this term includes Inuit and Métis in addition to First Nations People.

    Do these terms exist in the USA as well?

    I have never heard these terms. I think of Aboriginals as native to Australia.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    gotitadeleche said:
    I used to date a man who was Native American (one of the finest men I have ever known). I called them Indians, they called themselves Indians, and curiously they sometimes referred to their ancestors as "those old Indians."

    Indians might be fine; I was referring to Indies, which I guess was an errant slip. Just to be on the safe side, though, I personally try to say Native American or American Indian.
     

    Sharon

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    Temujin said:
    Do you mean that also Afro-Americans and Asian Americans are referred to as Native Americans?
    One thing that I forgot. You want to say "African American" and not "Afro-American." Africa is a place. An afro is a hairstyle.

    Sharon.:)
     

    jacinta

    Senior Member
    USA English
    kens said:
    I agree that you shouldn't use the word Indian. In Canada, we often refer to Native Canadians as "First Nations" or "First Nations People". We also call them "Aboriginals", but this term includes Inuit and Métis in addition to First Nations People.

    Do these terms exist in the USA as well?

    How interesting! I've never heard these terms. We learn such fascinating facts here. The term I have heard used is Native American Indians, also shortened to Native Americans.
     
    Top