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In the United States, my understanding of "foreigner" is as ... the word "foreigner" isn't used very much in any case.

I agree very much with that last sentence. "Foreigner" seems like a very un-American (and I don't mean that in ... in hand). "Foreigner" is at least quasi-derogatory. OTOH I get the sense that British speakers still often use "foreigner", FWTM.

That's the kind of thinking that gave birth to "politically correct". To an American, a person from - say - Germany - is a foreigner. It doesn't make any difference if you call them a foreigner, a non-native-English speaker, an otherlander, or whatever the term de jour is for a person not of the country of the speaker. There has to be intent to be derogatory on the part of the speaker for the word to be derogatory (as in "Goddamn foreigners").
Considering "foreigner" to be derogatory in itself is messing about with a perfectly good and useful word. Context can make "foreigner" to be derogatory ("This place is full of foreigners"), but context can make any word derogatory ("This place is full of Puerto Ricans").

"New Yorkers" is no different. "He's a New Yorker" is not derogatory, but "He's one of those New Yorkers" becomes derogatory. Context. Intent.
There are words that are derogatory in any context. "He's a foreigner" is not derogatory, "He's a Mexican" is not derogatory, but "He's a spick" is derogatory.
To an American, a person from - say - Germany - is a foreigner.

To you, maybe, Coop. Not to me; I wouldn't use that word. It ain't natural. You saying you consider Bavarian-bred Dr. Reinhold (Rey) Aman a "foreigner"? I consider him a Fellow American.
It doesn't make any difference if you call them a foreigner, a non-native-English speaker, an otherlander, or whatever the term ... in "Goddamn foreigners"). Considering "foreigner" to be derogatory in itself is messing about with a perfectly good and useful word.

Maybe so, Coop, but that's how it is. "Foreigner" is at least quasi-derogatory in Modern AmE.
Is your DIL a "foreigner"? You've been quick, in the past, to emphasize her being Russian.
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For me, to be called a foreigner, one has to speak a different language. I don't regard Americans and Australians etc. as foreigners. What are others' views on this subject?

For me, someone who originally came from another country is a foreigner, full stop. Language doesn't enter into the equation.

I'd include ex-pats like myself as a sub-class of "foreigners": long- term ex-pats with dual citizenship, although naturalised foreigners, remain foreigners.

Cheers, Harvey
Ottawa/Toronto/Edmonton for 30 years;
Southern England for the past 21 years.
(for e-mail, change harvey to whhvs)
For me, to be called a foreigner, one has to speak a different language. I don't regard Americans and Australians etc. as foreigners. What are others' views on this subject?imho it doesn't depend on where you live.

I am from Germany and there are other countries out there where the main language is german (e.g. Austria, Switzerland). But an Austrain is for me a foreigner. OK, communication is easer with him than someone from a country with a language i do not speak.

Regards,
Bob
For me, to be called a foreigner, one has to ... foreigners. What are others' views on this subject? Cheers, Matt

A foreigner is from another country (including the past) In my Social Security days, I once gave a colleague guidance ... course, like dear Quentin, was a legal alien in Noo Yawk. Anyway, Americans and Australians *do* speak a different language.

To me, a "foreigner" is a job you do outside working hours (and preferably using your employer's tools and materials).

Fran
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To an American, a person from - say - Germany - is a foreigner.

To you, maybe, Coop. Not to me; I wouldn't use that word. It ain't natural. You saying you consider Bavarian-bred Dr. Reinhold (Rey) Aman a "foreigner"? I consider him a Fellow American.

I'm not all that familiar with Rey's personal history (prior to the published parts), but if he came to this country from another country he was a foreigner. After he'd been here for quite some time, he became a foreign-born person. He became a "Fellow American" after he acquired citizenship, but he remains a foreign-born American. The term "foreigner" no longer applied when he became so Americanized that he was not discernable as foreign-born to the casual acquaintance.

If there are errors in accuracy in the above in Rey's particular case, ignore then and look at what is written as an example. Also, as far as I know, Skitt is a foreign-born Fellow American.
It doesn't make any difference if you call them a ... is messing about with a perfectly good and useful word.

Maybe so, Coop, but that's how it is. "Foreigner" is at least quasi-derogatory in Modern AmE.

Only if you are the sole designator of how it is. If you are, impeachment proceedings should be initiated.
Is your DIL a "foreigner"? You've been quick, in the past, to emphasize her being Russian.

Certainly. She was born in Russia, she is not a citizen, and she has only been on these shores for a few years. As with Rey above, she will progress to "foreign-born" and then to "Fellow American". Nikolai, however, is an American.
For me, to be called a foreigner, one has to speak a different language. I don't regard Americans and Australians etc. as foreigners. What are others' views on this subject?

We are all human beings.
A pox on your nationalism, sir.
To me, a "foreigner" is a job you do outside working hours (and preferably using your employer's tools and materials).

(Shame on you!)
In the building trade, it's as likely to be during working hours. You swan off to do a cash job with the JCB while the foreman is away - that sort of thing.

Mickwick
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(snip)
I'd include ex-pats like myself long-term ex-pats with dual citizenship

(The snips are there only to justify a thread drift.)

I used the term "ex hyphen pats" in an earlier thread. A certain regular contributor from Oxford, U.K. doesn't like unnecessary hyphens he wondered when I had stopped being a patriot.

We compromised on my offering him a drink or two; wanna split this between us, Harvey?
David
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