Thursday, March 5, 2009


América - 1) the Americas (North and South). In Spanish, "América" refers to one continent that is made up of both North and South America, 2) a woman's name

*Note: América and America are "false friends", as are American and americano/a.

For those of you Latin Americans out there, "America" in English means the United States of America. America, as ONE SINGLE continent does not exist in English, because we are taught that América is composed of two continents North America (including Central America), and South America. "From the 1950s, most United States geographers divided America in two[50] — consistent with modern understanding of geology and plate tectonics. With the addition of Antarctica, this made the seven-continent model. However, this division of America never appealed to Latin America, which saw itself spanning an America that was a single landmass, and there the conception of six continents remains, as it does in other scattered countries." (Continent, wikipedia) Get Alfredo Jaar's two cents here.

Check out this, University of Texas, map site and notice that it lists Africa, Asia, Europe and The Americas as geographical regions. Some people view Eurasia (Europe and Asia) as one continent, and others view it as two. Some people see América as one continent, others as two. Read more about this on the wikipedia continent article.

That said, in ways, I do prefer the Latin American view of América, because it's a cultural one, not taken out of a physical geography class. Americans do have a lot in common with americanos. Our nations are very young. Among us live the indigenous people. We all are here because of a lost sailor named Columbus. We have European ancestors, etc. However, I do find a huge cultural divide between Anglo-Americans and Latin Americans. Culturally they are similar in ways, but they are also different.

I've talked about this a bit in my blog, but its a sort of interstitial and interesting knowledge that many don't seem to have, so that's why I repeat myself.

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