Prowler wrote:What's with people online referring to people from Spanish speaking nations as just "Spanish"? Referring to Mexicans, Guatemalas and Cubans as "Spanish people". Also, why do Americans call the Québécois "French" just because they speak French? That'd be like me referring to Nigerians and Kenyans as "English people". One guy once told me he found a Portuguese song he liked and when he told me the name of who sang it I told him I had no idea who that was and he told me "well she's Brazilian".
Is this an English language thing or mostly one of those strange American things? Because no one I know would refer to Colombians or Argentinians as "Spanish people", nor would they refer to an Australian singer as an "English singer" or refer to Tintin as a "French comic book". If we're referring to a language spoken or something like that we'd say "it's in French" or "in French language". If we just call something French the only thing it can mean is that it's from France.
I hear it sometimes, but (at least where I live) it's fairly well-known as being incorrect.
"Hispanic" or "Spanish-speaking" are acceptable, though.
Actually not long ago I was criticized for having referred to something as being "Spanish" and I had to explain, "But it really is
Spanish, it's from Spain...." The person I was speaking to assumed I was using the word in its incorrect sense (i.e., referring to Spanish-speaking areas of the Americas) rather than Spain.
So that demonstrates that (a) it's a common enough error that someone assumed
I was making the error, rather than actually referring to Spain, and I had to clarify that I really meant what I'd said; and (b) people do
actively correct it when they hear it.
It's a little different when referring to language, though. Adjectives like "French" or "Spanish" in English are commonly used to refer to either the country or
the language. So, it's not uncommon to hear someone refer to a song as a "Spanish song" if it's sung in the Spanish language (or a "French comic book" if it's in the French language) regardless of where it comes from. The adjective is describing the language that it's in, rather than the country. If the adjective causes confusion it can be clarified by calling it a "Spanish-language song", etc., but often the word "language" is left out. You can't do that with people though. With people, if you need to use an adjective like that, you either say where they are actually
from, or you add "speaker" to the language they speak ("Portuguese-speaker" "Portuguese-speaking person," etc., but not "Portuguese" unless the person really is