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nationality vs ethnicity-LetPub英文科技论文写作杂谈之5

英语论文写作过程中,往往会遇到一些中西文化的差异,而如果这些差异没有引起写作者重视时,很可能就是导致审稿人阅读文章产生疑惑的原因之一。LetPub结合多年服务于英文科技论文的编辑经验,搜集了一些中国作者在英文写作中经常出现的错误,列出最常见的“国籍与种族”一组词来举例,希望对您有所帮助。


nationality vs. ethnicity

(noun) vs. (noun)

nah shun AL ih tee vs. eth NIH sih tee

("al" rhymes with "pal") ("eth" rhymes with "Seth")

Nationality

The state of being a citizen of a specific country or otherwise a member of a national group.

Ethnicity

The state of belonging to a group with a shared ancestral, national or cultural tradition

In common usage in the U.S., "nationality" and "ethnicity" mean very different things. "Nationality" means "What country's on your passport and birth certificate?" and "ethnicity" means "Who were your ancestors." In my case, my nationality is American and my ethnicity is mostly Italian and Irish.

In other English-speaking countries, however, "nationality" and "ethnicity" are almost interchangeable. (This is probably because most countries are believed to have been founded and principally populated by one group of people. This would be various specific Celts for Ireland, Scotland and Britain proper, Franks for France, Indians in India, etc. This belief is not always true, but it is usually there. The people in the U.S., however, have always considered themselves to come from more than one ancestral group. (Back in the 1700s, having Germans and Britons and Dutchmen in the same room counted as a highly diverse meeting, and the concept of ethnic diversity has expanded since.) So nation and ancestry were more clearly two separate things for Americans than for other people.)

To U.S. readers, talking about the "nationalities" of participant in a medical study does not make sense may be confusing because they will be thinking about citizenship and passports and not about shared genes or even shared recipes and eating habits.

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