Es tu “américain”?

An interesting column in the Times this morning from the web editors of Le Monde, the august French daily. The typical French word for "American," "américain(e)," is insufficient, they argue, since it doesn’t distinguish between citizens of the two continents and of the United States. But when Le Monde published the Québecois alternative "États-Uniens,” the paper was deluged by emails from angry readers who found the phrase pejorative, anti-globalist, anti-imperialist, or just impractical and ugly sounding.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Es tu “américain”?

  1. Liz

    I like that Spanish has the word “Estado Unidense,” which would translate into “United Statesian.” From my admittedly limited experience, Chileans and Mexicans seem perfectly comfortable with the term.

    I wish we had an equivalent term in English. “People in the U.S.” (which is what I mostly use in place of “American”) is really clunky.

  2. Ben

    I think most Americans don’t speak French and consequently don’t care :) But personally I’d have no problem saying I’m Etats-Uniens.


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