What is the term used for a person or a child whose parents have different nationalities?

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Egoexpress

Senior Member
Hungary, Hungarian
Hello,

What is the term used for a person or a child whose parents have different nationalities?

Peter's mum is Danish but his father is an arab.

Is he a half-blood? sounds awkward, isn't it?

Thanks for your help.
 
  • nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Well, there's probably a few terms for that, let me think...

    Half-caste [I don't find this useful, because it has no information about the ethnicities]
    He's half Danish, half Arab [this is the one I'd use most often]
    He's Scottish, but his mum is Danish, and his Dad is an Arab.
    He was born in Scotland, but he has Danish and Arab parents.
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Ah, that was the one I couldn't think of!

    But could you use that when the parents races are the same (Caucasian and Caucasian)?

    E.g White American and Scottish. English and Scottish. French and German.
     

    Egoexpress

    Senior Member
    Hungary, Hungarian
    Mixed race? Nay, it sounds awful to my ears, if I were Peter I wouldn't be happy to call myself mixed-race. Then, I'd go with half Danish, half Arab.

    Thanks,
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    I guess you could say that in that case.

    But if you were talking about Arab/Danish, I'd go with mixed race - it seems quite a common term in NZ, and online anyway.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In dogs, "random bred".

    And although it sounds sort of like animal husbandry, it is less offensive to my ears than "mixed-race".
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hello,

    What is the term used for a person or a child whose parents have different nationalities?

    Peter's mum is Danish but his father is an arab.
    The original question is about nationalities and Arab is not a nationality.

    I am a child of two nationalities (Canadian and American) and although people call me a lot of things, none of them has anything to do with the combination of nationalities.
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    Bi-racial is the term I've heard come more and more into use.
    Growing up, that's what I've heard. And that's what most of my friends (who have parents from two different races or ethnicities) proudly self-identify as. :)
     

    Egoexpress

    Senior Member
    Hungary, Hungarian
    OK. I get it, and what about the offspring of a black man and a white woman?
    Similarly to this, an Arab and a European?
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    I have friends whose parents are those ethnicities, and they still term themselves "bi-racial".
     

    Egoexpress

    Senior Member
    Hungary, Hungarian
    Bi-racial? Sounds better, but still half Danish, half Arab is winning, with me.

    Thans xebonyx.
     

    Oschito

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I put my two cents in with xebonyx. Bi-racial (or multi-racial) the politically correct term on my very politically correct university campus at any rate. And if pressed to specify my own race, this is typically the term I choose.

    However, if given the option on the blank line next to the "other" option, I usually just write in "human". :)
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    I put my two cents in with xebonyx. Bi-racial (or multi-racial) the politically correct term on my very politically correct university campus at any rate. And if pressed to specify my own race, this is typically the term I choose.

    However, if given the option on the blank line next to the "other" option, I usually just write in "human". :)
    ;) (haha, don't mind me)
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I believe that both Danes and Arabs are Caucasians, so mixed-race would not work even if you were happy with how it sounds (I'm not).

    "Mixed-nationality" works for me, but I am not certain at all that it is an accepted term. At least is does not offend my sensibilities.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    OK. I get it, and what about the offspring of a black man and a white woman?
    Similarly to this, an Arab and a European?
    Mulatto, quadroon, octoroon.

    Arabs are caucasians as are most Europeans.

    Mixed race does not work.
     

    icecreamsoldier

    Senior Member
    New Zealand English
    He's half Danish, half Arab [this is the one I'd use most often]
    I agree on this one. I recommend avoiding "half-caste," "mixed race," "bi-racial" and other such expressions as they are often taken as pejorative and politically incorrect, despite what Oschito says. In most cases anyway it's very hard (and pointless) to categorise people into "races" as we all have mixed ancestry, and it becomes ridiculous when people start talking about being "one-sixteenth Maori" and so on. Better to talk about cultures or nationalities... so I also endorse Packard's "mixed-nationality."
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    "mixed race," "bi-racial" and other such expressions as they are often taken as pejorative and politically incorrect, despite what Oschito says.
    To whom?

    I disagree once again, based on my personal experiences: attending many activism conferences on self-empowerment in relation to identity reclamation, talking to people on the streets, having best friends and romantic partners, etc. the list goes on. I usually support what those feel is right for them.

    I agree on this one. I recommend avoiding "half-caste,"
    That's without a doubt perjorative, because it equates one's social ranking to his or her race.

    "mixed-nationality."
    This sounds just as bad as when people say "Hispanic", and looks like just another archive in the census bureau. Nationality is artificial.
     

    Oschito

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    If you want to get specific about it, half-Danish half-Arab is fine, especially if you are simply describing an individual. However, if you are trying to write a census form, or anything of the like, listing all the possible racial combinations might be a bit cumbersome.

    Here in the US I see a lot of: Caucasian/White, African-American/Black, Asian, Native American/Pacific Islander (or does PI go with Asian?), Biracial/Multiracial, Other.
    And a note for "Hispanics" to pick one of the above, since the US Census Bureau considers Hispanic an ethnicity, not a race.

    I'm personally very confused about the difference.
     

    Oschito

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    It starts to get absurd. Octoroon? Seriously???

    Let people identify themselves.

    And as I said, personally, when I'm given a choice, I identify myself as a member of the "human" race.
     

    Egoexpress

    Senior Member
    Hungary, Hungarian
    Allright, thanks for all the inputs, what I figured is that there's no specific term for this in English, not like in my native language.

    Thanks again.
     

    Oschito

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    One last note, just because the topic grabs me, I would venture that such terminology varies widely from country to country (what with very different racial/ethnic histories) and generation to generation. "Mulatto" sounds fine to my mother, but I would personally be mildly offended by the term.
     

    xebonyx

    Senior Member
    TR/AR/EN
    "Mulatto" sounds fine to my mother, but I would personally be mildly offended by the term.
    That's interesting!

    I remember saying that many years back a couple of times without knowing its' history and people instantly blew up at me or had the "are you serious?" reaction. Since then, I haven't used it-- plus I've come to fruition with other words typically embraced.

    This thread actually reminds me of the old one in the Arabic forum about using "a3bd"(slave) to mean "Black", which is the most commonly used term among both Black people in the Arab world and those who aren't.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Allright, thanks for all the inputs, what I figured is that there's no specific term for this in English, not like in my native language.

    Thanks again.
    In American English there are the offensive (to my sensibilities) quadroon and octoroon. Quadroon means that one grand parent was African American, and octoroon means that one great grandparent was African American. This, of course is not a nationality distinction, but racial one.
     

    bluegiraffe

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'd like to chip in with my BE point of view. Mixed-race is the politically correct, widely accepted and used term in Britain. But this only applies to people whose parents have different skin colours. I don't know of any term for people with parents of two different nationalities. If they're English with a Canadian mother and a French father, they'd be English. I've never heard or seen "bi-racial" used as a term in this country. Race specifically refers to members of different races, not nationalities so my English person with Canadian/French parents couldn't be bi-racial or mixed race.

    Half-caste used to be a common and acceptable term, but is now pejorative.
     

    Matching Mole

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Moderator

    Note that the topic of this thread is nationality, not race. I am closing this thread as it seems to have run its course in any case. If you feel you have something valuable to contribute, and which is on-topic (see first post), then you may contact a moderator and we could consider re-opening it.
     
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