Nationality - distinguish meanings

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by kusurija, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Hi, all!

    Translating personal documents, there is some problem, how to distinguish main meanings of word nationality in English. In Countries I'm familiar to, in documents are distinguished:

    1. meaning: Nationality as citizenship (person is citizen of certain country(state) without regard what is his nationality (nationhood)
    2. meaning: Nationality as nationhood (person is member of certain nation without regard what language he can speak (most often the same as language of that nation, but not always) and without regard what is his citizenship.)
    3. Who is the person regarding to what language is his mothertongue.

    I'm curious, how it is in Your respective language/country?

    In Czech:
    1. Státní příslušnost (E.g. občan České Republiky)
    2. Národnost (E.g. - česká)
    3. (no specific term) (E.g. Čech or česky mluvící)

    In Lithuanian:
    1. Pilietybė (E.g. Lietuvos Respublikos pilietis)
    2. Tautybė (E.g. Lietuvis)
    3. (no specific term) (E.g. Lietuvis or lietuviškai kalbantis)

    Thanks for answers.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  2. Sionees Member

    England, UK
    Welsh - Wales
    I have a related problem - the more so as I come from a nation which does not have full statehood, but is part of a nation state of, inter alia, the EU and the UN. I refer of course to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, which some unfortunates mistake for England (or the equivalent in their native tongue). But let us not talk politics on a language and linguistics site.

    I just want to draw your attention to these differences in my language, with apologies for translations only in English (I can do the same in French):

    Cymru (n.f.) > Wales
    Cymraeg (n.f.) > The Welsh language
    Cymraeg (adj.) > Pertaining to the Welsh language
    Cymreig (adj.) > Welsh in nature

    Note then that the two adjectival forms are distinguished by us but not by the English. Llyfr Cymraeg is by definition 'a book in the Welsh language' but llyfr Cymreig can be any book in any language which touches on Wales or the Welsh.

    These forms continue for e.g. Saesneg/Seising 'English', Ffrangeg/Ffrengig 'French', Llydaweg/Llydewig 'Breton' etc.

    Hwyl fawr
  3. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    In Portuguese, we don't normally distinguish between 1) and 2). We tend to identify one's nation with one's state. Some people occasionally do speak of "nationalities" in sense 2), but it's typically when they're talking about foreign countries, and frankly that tends comes off as a little pedantic.

    In government forms and such what you will find is the question "What is your nationality?", meaning your state/country, not your "nation". Like in English, as a matter of fact. Indeed, we normally use the word for "nation" as a synonym of both "state" and "country", unless we're talking about a country like the U.S., which is subdivided into "states".

    A similar notion to 2), which I prefer, and is more commonly used, is 2*) ethnicity.

    Now, if you are looking for words I would suggest the following:

    1) nacionalidade* (e.g. nacionalidade portuguesa, Portuguese nationality)
    2) nacionalidade (e.g. nacionalidade catalã, Catalan nationality in Spain --> rarely said)
    2*) ethnicity: etnia (e.g. etnia cigana, Gypsy ethnicity)
    3) língua materna (-->mother tongue)

    *The word cidadania (a literal translation of "citizenship") also exists, but it refers more to the rights, duties, and engagement of a citizen in a democracy. You do, nevertheless, say cidadania portuguesa (Portuguese citizenship) and cidadania europeia (European citizenship).
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  4. Sionees Member

    England, UK
    Welsh - Wales
    And to try and answer the initial questions.

    Cymro, Cymraes, Cymry > Welshman, Welshwoman, the Welsh people
    Cymro/Cymraes di-Gymraeg > a Welshman/woman without Welsh (i.e. not speaking the language - the majority of the population.
    Cymro/Cymraes/Cymry alltud > Exiled Welshman/woman/people (i.e. not living in Cymru) Also Cymro/Cymraes/Cymry tramor > Overseas Welshman/woman/people

    None of the above have official status within the UK. We are (British) subjects of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, yet laws and passports tell us we are (British) citizens. Following the passing of the Maastricht Treaty we are also European citizens of the EU.

    Prydeiniwr/Prydeines/Prydeinwyr > British man/woman/people (= Briton/Britons)

    These words are of course ultimately P Celtic. (See above).
  5. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Thanks for answer, but ther is a little misunderstanding: the most important terms in Your respective languages are those I after edition marked bold and red colour, it is names of [entities] nationality: this word itself e.g. may be omited: [E.g. občan České Republiky this may be omited (or not)]. Excuse me, that I didn't ask clearly the problem :eek: .
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  6. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    You're absolutely right, Sionees! Mistake repair:
    1. Státní příslušnost (E.g. občan České Republiky or/and občan Evropské Unie)

    1. Pilietybė (E.g. Lietuvos Respublikos pilietis or/and Europos Sąjungos pilietis)
  7. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    In Arabic, you can distinguish between:

    1. جنسيّة - jinsiyya, the nationality in terms of citizenship; you would say "he has a British jinsiyya" to mean that he holds British civil papers of identity (passport, nationality...etc.) regardless of his actually being British. The word is derived from جنس - jins (type/class/genus).

    2. قوميّة - qawmiyya, the nationality in terms of your ethnicity, the peoples you belong to in the vast term. As an example, Arab Nationalism is called القومية العربية - al-qawmiyya al-'arabiyya. The word is derived from قوم - qawm (people).

    3. وطنيةّ - wataniyya, the nationality in terms of your place/country/region of birth; to explain the difference between the two you would say that X as an example is Syrian in terms of wataniyya and Arab in terms of qawmiyya. The word is derived from وطن - wattan (home in terms of land or country).

    4. The mother toung is اللغة الأم - al-lugha al-umm (lit. the mother language) and refers only to language.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  8. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Thanks for answers. Yes, this theme is somewhat pedantic and most people doesn't pay attention in such details, neither tend I (in some situations).
    But in case, when is needed to distinguish those terms, how to explain them in that respective language? (Most curious am I in bold written (1. and 3.) terms).

    In Czech:
    1. Státní příslušnost (E.g. občan České Republiky or United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland or EU)(citizenship)
    2. Obyvatel země/státu (E.g. Morava or Wales(Cymru) or Utah)(of which Country/state)
    3. Národnost (E.g. - česká or Cymreig) (ethnicity)
    4. (Rodná řeč) (E.g. Čech or česky mluvící or Cymraeg) (mothertongue)

    In Lithuanian:
    1. Pilietybė (E.g. Lietuvos Respublikos pilietis or/and Europos Sąjungos pilietis)(citizenship)
    2. Kurios žemės gyventojas (E.g. Žemaitijos or Auktštaitijos))(of which Country/state)
    3. Tautybė (E.g. Lietuvis)(ethnicity)
    4. (Gimtoji kalba) (E.g. Lietuvių or lietuviškai kalbantis)
  9. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    One thing you're asking about, if I well understand, is whether there is a specific term for, say, Portuguese-speakers. Well, there are a few, but they are not used very much in everyday talk. They're more technical terms used by philologists, or linguists, and so on.


    1. República Portuguesa
    2. Açores, Algarve, Madeira, etc.; açoriano, algarvio, madeirense, etc.
    3. Etnia cigana, etnia chinesa, etc.
    4. Lusófono. This is very formal; in alternative, you will more often use an adjective phrase, such as de expressão portuguesa (literally "of Portuguese expression"). But these are the kinds of qualifiers that you may read in the media or in formal contexts, but the man on the street will seldom use.

    Another issue might be whether there is a separate term for "Portuguese" as an ethnicity. There is not. It's all português. There is, however, the term lusodescendentes, for the descendants of Portuguese immigrants to other countries.
  10. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    Nice! These are answers. Well now, how do You ask questions to get these answers? E.g. what is Your [1. ] citizenship? Ask in Portuguese. Answers to these questions are not the very theme of my post.
    I beg Your pardon that I can't explain it clearly. Sorry.

    Question: 1. [(What is Your) citizenship [in Portuguese]]: nacionalidade
    Answer: [not needed][may be "República Portuguesa" or any other (República Checa, ..., ...)]
    And so on.
  11. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Those nouns would be the ones I listed in my first post. :)
  12. Nanon

    Nanon Senior Member

    Entre Paris et Lisbonne
    français (France)
    From a French point of view:

    1. Citizenship is citoyenneté. A citizen of the world = un citoyen (fem. une citoyenne) du monde. A European citizen = un citoyen européen, etc.
    However what appears in one's ID, passport... is "nationalité française", meaning in fact that you are a French citizen (cf. Outsider's answer about Portugal).
    1b. For an acquired nationality / citizenship, the word origin is used: "un Français d'origine portugaise".

    2. Nationality is nationalité.
    France does not distinguish between 1 and 2 in official documents.
    Maybe some Belgians would like to declare themselves as "citoyens belges de nationalité flamande / de nationalité wallonne", but, ahem... I just wanted to take an example, not to bring a slippery topic :eek:!

    3. A French speaker is a francophone, regardless of his / her nationality or citizenship. "Senghor, écrivain francophone". But this word often refers to French speakers outside France. "D'expression française", "de langue française" should cover everybody.
  13. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    In Hungarian:

    1. állampolgárság
    2. nemzetiség
    3. magyar anyanyelvű
  14. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    I wish to withdraw the side remark about English fom my previous post. I was not aware of it at the time, but in English "nation" can indeed refer to ethnicity as opposed to statehood/nationality in some contexts, for instance when referring to Native Americans.
  15. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian

    1. cittadinanza
    2. nazionalità
    3. lingua materna / madrelingua

    Differently form other European languages, in Italian "cittadinanza" is always used for this meaning 1). Nazionalità is rarely used for 1).

    1. 国籍 guo2 ji2
    2. 祖国 zu3 guo2 - literally: ancestor's country
    3. 母语 mu3 yu3 - literally: mother tongue

    The difference between 1. and 2. is clear. My 国籍 is currently Italian, but my 祖国 will always be China.
  16. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Former Czechoslovakia was a multi-ethnic state. The official documents (like birth or school certificates, ID cards, etc.) strictly distinguished "státní příslušnost" (= citizenship, affiliation with a state, Staatsbürgerschaft) and "národnost" (= lit. nationality in sense of 'ethnicity', affiliation with a nation/ethnicum, Nationalität/Völkerschaft). Both "státní příslušnost" and "národnost" items were obligatory in the official personal documents.

    In my birth and school certificates I have:

    Státní příslušnost: československá (Czechoslovak, i.e. I was a citizen of the now non-existent Czechoslovak state)
    Národnost: česká (Czech, i.e. I was, am and always shall be a member of the historic Czech nation)

    There was no Czechoslovak nationality-ethnicity (národnost), even the children from mixed Czech-Slovak marriages were either Czechs or Slovaks, never ethnic Czechoslovaks. The citizens of Czechoslovakia were mostly ethnic Czechs, Slovaks, Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Gypsies (officially národnost cikánská), Rusyns (Ruthenians, národnost rusínská), Ukrainians, Romanians, Greeks and others.

    Národnost (nationality-ethnicity) was hereditary (automatically according to the father, or according to mother when the father was unknown) and could not be changed (it was like a hereditary desease :)). Once a Mongol, always a Mongol.

    After 1989 the "národnost" item was discarded from the official documents. It is still present in the census form.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  17. LilianaB Banned

    US New York
    From the point of view of the American legal system nationality equals citizenship, in all American documents. There is nothing like American citizen of German nationality, or Cherokee, or Spanish-speaking American citizen. I think this would all be considered discriminatory.

    There was something like that in the old Soviet passports: citizen of the Soviet Union -- Lithuanian nationality, or Jewish even, although Jewish is more of a religion. Even now, in Russia, they still put nationality on Birth Certificates if the mother wants that -- only at the request of the mother, though. I don't think there was anything like that in Poland ever -- Polish citizen of Silesian, German, or Russian nationality. If someone really insisted on another nationality being assigned to them -- they simply had to leave the country.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  18. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    Nationality in terms of ethnicity: Fem. noun «εθνικότητα» [eθni'kotita] < Modern construction (1833) «ἐθνικότης» [eθni'kotis] (fem. noun), in order to render the Fr. nationalité --> lit. ethnicity < Classical neut. noun «ἔθνος» étʰnŏs --> nation, people; PIE *swedʰ-nos, expanded form of *swedʰ-, custom (cf. Proto-Germanic *sedu- > Ger. Sitte).
    Nationality in terms of citizenship:
    Α/ Fem. noun «ιθαγένεια» [iθa'ʝeni.a] < Modern construction (1848) in order to render the Fr. indigénat --> indigenity, indigenousness < Classical adj. «ἰθαγενής, -ής, -ές» ĭtʰăgĕnḗs (masc. & fem.), ĭtʰăgĕnés (neut.) (secondary form «ἰθαιγ-» ĭtʰæg-) --> indigenous, native < compound, v. «ἰθαίνω» ĭtʰǽnō --> to purify (PIE *ai-dʰ- /*i-dʰ-, to burn) + neut. noun «γένος» génŏs --> race, kind (PIE *gen-, to produce).
    B/ Fem. noun «υπηκοότητα» [ipiko'otita] < Modern construction (1831) «ὑπηκοότης» [ipiko'otis] (fem. noun), in order to render the Fr. sujétion < Classical adj. «ὑπήκοος, -ος, -ον» hŭpḗkŏŏs (masc. & fem.), hŭpḗkŏŏn (neut.) --> obeying, subject < compound, prefix, preposition and adv. «ὑπὸ» hupò --> under, below (PIE *upo-, under) + Classical fem. noun «ἀκοὴ» ăkŏḕ --> hearing, sense of hearing (PIE *kew-/*skew-, to notice, observe).
    My identity card has «ιθαγένεια» [iθa'ʝeni.a], older cards had «υπηκοότητα» [ipiko'otita].
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2013
  19. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    So does modern Greek have a lot of calques from French?
  20. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Yes it does, mostly technical terms absent from the ancient/medieval vocabulary, yet, constructed by using Classical/Koine/Byzantine pre-existing words, e.g:
    «Αὐτοκίνητον» [afto'ciniton] (neut.) < Fr. automobile (in Fr. also a hybrid word)
    «Προλιμήν» [proli'min] (masc.) < Fr. avant-port
    «Πρόνοια» ['pronia] (fem.) < Fr. provision (a clause in a legal instrument providing for a particular matter)
    «Πυρόλιθος» [pi'roliθos] (masc.) < Fr. pierre à feu
    «Ἀνοίξατε πῦρ!» [a'niksate pir!] < Fr. ouvriez le feu!
    «Δακρυγόνο» [ðakri'ɣono] (neut.) < Fr. lacrymogène (gaz)
  21. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    We never got a complete answer from Sionees five years ago regarding Welsh, so I'll try to provide one. :)

    cenedligrwydd means "nationality" in the sense of ethnicity, or the nation one identifies with. It's based on cenedl ("nation" or "race") + the adjective suffix -ig + the suffix -rwydd which forms nouns from adjectives. I'm pretty sure that this word doesn't have the legal implications that Eng. nationality sometimes does.

    The legal sense of "nationality" is covered by dinasyddiaeth "citizenship", which is composed of dinasydd "citizen" + the suffix -(i)aeth (which forms nouns from adjectives and other nouns). dinasydd is itself formed somewhat like citizen and cognate terms: dinas "city" + the noun-forming suffix -ydd.

    For one's native language, you can use the term mamiaith (< mam "mother" + iaith "language") or the phrase iaith frodorol ("native language").
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2013
  22. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    there is no written Tagalog word for Nationality but i know it is " tubo(h) or origin in english .So Nationality= Tubong Pilipinas-( name of country)

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