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Thread: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

 
  1. #31
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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    Wow! Where's the popcorn? Hehehe The conversation got kind of heated but it was pretty interesting to see everybody's point of view...

    In Puerto Rico, a gringo is a person from the USA that speaks english. It is not a derogatory term, it is just a word. It is not a bad word or anything, but some people feel offended by it (including my husband). I believe that the only way that word could be seen as offensive is if somebody says it in a harsh or mean tone. Then again, that's just my opinion.

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    the thing with names being offensive is the intention, of course. to give you an example that you might find strange, in my country we use the name "Negro" to address people of dark (or just darker than white) skin, and sometimes not even connected to the person's color but just developed as a nickname for them. they're never offended, of course UNLESS you say it in a harsh tone (and generally followed by more words that indicate dislike or contempt). I know well because I was once married to a dark-skinned person. I'm sure you wouldn't be able to do the same in the States... (I really don't know about other countries...)

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    Did you know that in Brazil anyone who is not Brazilian is a gringo?
    I doesn't matter if you are Chinese, South American, Mexican, Indian, Canadian, etc.

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    I would have never guessed that the word "gringo" was at all used in Brazil! It's a Spanish word, isn't it?
    But I'll repeat it AGAIN: great thing about the forum is how much we learn!

    Keep 'em coming! ;-)

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas
    ....and I heard it a few times in Southern Brazil where I lived. Yes, Brazilians use it too....

    Hi Laura!!...as you can see, our friend Thomas told us back in 2008 that it was used in Brazil.

    And you are so right, this entire thread has certainly taught me a lot about a word that I used to think I understood completely!

    At times, I refer to myself as "The Old Gringo" but now I realize I have to be aware of what country people are from.
    vicente

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    oops. thanks for pointing out my absolute lack of memory, Old Gringo!

    the other TRUTH you mention is worth a new thread! how we always have to consider that certain words are not used in the same way (or with equal intention) in different countries or by different people...

    ;-)

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    Thumbs up Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    Hi Vicente!

    Here in Argentina formerly was used to call the Americans, but we have replaced it in the daily use for "yanquis".

    Usually we use "gringo" to talk about someone foreign, mainly an immigrant that came to establish in the country.

    And Tradutore is right, in Brazil also they use "gringo" to call anyone not born at Brazil.
    To reply to Lauracipolla, I think the use of "gringo" in Brazil it's mainly in the South and up to São Paulo due to influence of the Spanish spoken in Argentina, Uruguay or Paraguay that share borders with Brazil.

    ~~~

    Talking about the "american"... When I worked in a call-center I used to get phone calls from States customers. They could tell right away due to my accent that I wasn't "American" so they asked me where I was from. I used to reply that I was American located in L.A. Usually they thought I was Mexican working in Los Angeles, but I loved to correct them quickly: «No ma'am, I'm Argentinian located in Latin America.»

    It really upsets me the use of American as if only people from the States where located in América.

    ~~~

    And about the origin of "gringo" I found the Wikipedia link that talks about the several theories:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gringo
    It also talks about the use of "gringo" in Brazil, some may find it interested too.

    By the way, great thread!

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    Hi Laurinha!!

    in response to "It really upsets me the use of American as if only people from the States where located in América."

    Here is what I wrote to another poster who felt the same as you.


    [IMG]images/icons/icon1.gif[/IMG]
    Hola chapinrico:

    You have raised a question that I have asked others for years! , i.e., So why do people from the states think they are the only ones who are Americans?

    Personally I do not like the term Americano for that very reason but I do not think that we in the U.S. applied that name to ourselves. I think it is what others called us from the beginning and we adopted the name and now it is too widespread to change it. Perhaps it evolved from the fact that officially we are named The United States of America, but you are absolutely right, every citizen of North, Central and South America is tecnically an American. The trouble is that nobody is going to understand when an Ecuadorian identifies himself as American. It would simply lead to confusion and eventually he would have to say he was from Ecuador anyway.

    In my early years on the Mexican border I met many people who called themselves Mexican even though they were born in the U.S. I would say "then you're an American, no?" and they would say "yes, but I'm Mexican". The term American did not appeal to them either. Mexican-American maybe, but not just American.

    What else can we call ourselves that would not be too cumbersome? As for "United Statians", I like estadounidense! But what then if Mexico objects? They have the right to that name as well since Mexico is actually the United States of Mexico.

    Some call us norte americanos but that isn't entirely accurate either because Canada and Mexico and even parts of Central America are in North America (depending on which map you prefer).

    I used to say I was a gringo and assumed everybody would know that I was from the USA. Now after learning that it means different things in different countries I will have to change. In a formal introduction I have always said I'm from the United States or soy de los estados unidos. I guess I'll have to stay with that.

    Saludos!



    Quote:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chapinrico
    In Guatemala, a Gringo is anyone who is white from North America or Europe. It's not ment to be offensive only a name that is given to white people. Some people who are white in Guate are called gringo looking!

    One thing thats always bothered me. The name American, I'm American and no I wasn't born in the US. But I was born in the American continent. What do you call a person born in Europe...a European. So why do people from the states think they are the only ones who are Americans?
    If anything the correct name would be united statetian or something similar. In Guatemala we don't say Americano...we say estaunidence!....just thought of and wanted to add to my comment....later...




    vicente

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    Post Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    Hi Vicente!

    It's funny. In Spanish we have the word "Estadounidenses" that usually we use to call people from the States, and we use "Mexicanos" to call people from Mexico. (It could be with "x" or with "j": Mejicanos/Mejico. I like more to use the "x".)
    But being English the natural language of the United States there isn't a word in English to call US citizens, other than "Americans".

    I think I don't like this use of "Americans" as I also don't like the use of "Latino" or "Hispanic" to call everyone coming from Latin America.
    We have a huge diversity of culture, language, customs, lifestyles and even origins that to generalize all that bothers me. I feel it's like denied all this diversity that we have in Latin America.

    I think it could be like mistake a Chinese with a Corean just because they have slant eyes...

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    Default Re: Gringo. ¿Que signífica?

    Hi Laurinha!

    As I have said, I agree in principle with those who object to the term American being applied solely to people from the US but it is a term that is unlikely to change. We are known as Americans throughout the entire world. Even the Canadians call us Americans, although they and the Brits usually refer to us as Yanks (yankees-yanquis). They have called us Americans and Yanks since colonial times back in the 1600s (so blame the Brits for it, not us!! ).

    As for latino and Hispanic, I also understand your point about the diversity of cultures but those are also appellations that would be difficult to change, at least insofar as they are applied in a broad sense. In the US the term Hispanic is official. It is used to describe a race, as is, White, Asian, Negro, etc. As you know, in race designations for demographics, census, etc., the specific country of origin is inconsequential on the whole because there can be different ethnic groups, or races, within a country.

    Latino on the other hand is more of an informal designation for Hispanics and is useful in discribing things latin in a general sense, e.g., music, appearance, accents, neighborhoods, dance, etc. Of course, in some instances you can be more specific. (Cuban music, Mexican food, Brazilian dance, Argentine beef, etc.) but in other instances you can't be that specific. For example, how do you describe a mixed community such as Miami, Florida that has a population from all over Central and South America? Latino or Hispanic are the only words that come to my mind. True, maybe you can break down certain barrios and perhaps say that they are Cuban, or Dominican, or Venezuelan but as a whole community these are people from various Spanish-speaking countries and therefore it is an Hispanic or latino community.

    Yes? No?

    P.S. What would you call a community in Argentina (or elsewhere) that is a mixture of Europeans and North Americans? (a bunch of gringos? )
    vicente

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