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native American vs. Native American

A lot of English learners have said they want a "native American" person to practise English with. I know they mean someone who was raised in the United States but every time I see that, it makes me think they want a tribal person like Chumash or Cherokee, because in America, that's what "Native American" means. It's a bit confusing. 



that's interesting.

i don't actually expect to learn much English from them.

in fact, it's just about culture that I am interested in.

in return for this, I will tell others about our culture.

I usually hear "a native English speaker."

I always stop my language exchange partners in saying "native American," like a police by clarifying it.


People usually say native speaker. But as for native American, any person born in the territory of the Americas after the establishment of the americas is a Native American. Because most of the people being described as Native Americans did not live in a place called America, they are not Native Americans but natives to that area. But this is like most modern politically correct uses of words and terms that rarely take into account proper title. I guess nobody cares. Native Japanese sounds normal to a modern Japanese person, but like most countries in the world there were people living there before, that are not related to the current inhabitants. I doubt a Native Rhodesian would want to be called a native Zimbabwean.

Mewe, that's funny and true. The other thing we'd say is Indian or American Indian, but that's not accurate either because they aren't from India. I think the new term is First Americans. I'd rather just say Yokuts or whatever their tribe is. Amanda, that's good because maybe someone would actually want to learn Cherokee. Oh I forgot they are called aboriginal too, but I think only of aboriginal Australians haha.

I know the Aborigines called Native American and people who immigrated from Europe called just American , Am I right?

Yes Comandante. That's why I said its confusing when people on italki say native American when they just mean American. 

Spanish speakers from Peru are also Americans and they may be native to their countries. This also applies to many other languages natively spoken in various parts of the Americas. We in the USA tend to call those who lived in the Americas prior to European colonization Native Americans. I say that I speak American English to mean that I speak the English used by the people of the USA. 

I'm Canadian which, I suppose makes me an American of sorts. Still, I would never call myself that. To me, an American, is a person who lives in the political entity called the United States of America. I would not suggest you call a North American native (meaning indigenous) person an aborigine. You might get a punch in the nose! In Canada, we often politely call them "First Nations" people. This may be  because we don't know the name of the tribe they are part of (or can't pronounce it).  Many of them call themselves Indians, by the way, which is a problem because there are a lot of people from India around. Recently an indigenous friend of mine called himself a native American although he is Canadian, like it or not.  By default, people from India are often called Hindus even though some of them are Sikh or some other religion. Oh dear. 


Recently, I asked a couple of people with strong accents, "Where are you from?" only to have them say, "Vancouver". Of course, I am asking about their country of origin. Apparently this has recently become an insulting question. Oh dear, again.





I'm looking for Native English speaker who's willing to

help me in exchange for Tagalog.

I think it's just a learner's mistake, but quite easy to understand their real intention which PROBABLY is to get in touch with an English native speaker.

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