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Enrico
What is a "Westerner"? When travelling around China, I find that the term "Westerner" is an ambiguous term. It could mean "person who lives or was raised in USA or Canada," "person who lives or was raised in USA", "person who lives or was raised in USA, Canada, or any European country", "person from Canada, USA, or Great Britain, especially Caucasians." On top of that, "American" somehow becomes ambiguous as well. It could either mean, "citizen of USA" or "person from any North American country." When I hear "Westerner," I assume that it signifies any person from North America. When I hear "American," I assume that it represents a person from USA. I find that the terms "Canadian," "US citizen," "British," and "European" have no ambiguity. What is your first thought when you think of "Westerner" or "American"? I don't think there is a correct answer for this.
Nov 1, 2012 3:01 AM
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Answers · 12
The term “Westerner” refers to one of Western culture and is often interchangeable with “European” when referring to one’s culture. It refers to anyone whose culture derives from that which developed in Europe after the decline of the Classical culture of Greece and Rome. When I lived in Hong Kong I was referred to not only as an “American” by nationality, but also as a “European” culturally. When referring to one’s nationality, “American” refers to one from the United States because we are the only nation which uses the word “America” in the official name of our nation. Latin Americans would prefer us to be called “norteamericanos” but that word refers to geography rather than to nationality. Used in other senses, geographical, anthropological etc., even those in the US use the word to refer to inhabitants of the western hemisphere. The confusion seems to arise because we often do not indicate whether we are referring to nationality or culture
November 1, 2012
My understanding was that "Westerner" meant people in the U.S., Canada (sorry, mondaytuesday), Middle and South America, Australia and New Zealand, and Western Europe. I thought the connections were largely linguistic and cultural, but I'm not certain. There are several different definitions on the internet for "Western Europe" and "Western Civilization".
November 1, 2012
I am a Chinese.When I said "westerner",it usually means the person who are from Europe or America.And the same as "western country“.
November 1, 2012
I think Wikipedia covers "Westerner" in it's "Western World" article better than I ever could. It basically indicates places that were very much influenced by the Roman Empire and Christian church and those who were colonized by those places. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_world
November 1, 2012
Typically Westerner means a Caucasian person from Europe or North America. When I hear the term American, I have always heard it used to refer to US citizens. Technically, anyone from North or South America is an American, but I have never heard the term used that way.
November 1, 2012
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Enrico
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)