Definition of the word "expat"

51 posts in this topic

Nonsense, the world is full of furriners, except the English, who are just English, no matter where they are. This attitude has stood us in good stead for centuries, we're not about to change now. :P

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That is like a boring post. You suck at the internet. ;)

 

 

Then why is your user name ecks patz, sure sounds like expat to me

This is a classic! Soon to be nominated as such. Take note. :lol:

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Interestingly, I used to think the term "expatriate" was very negative. Sounds like someone banned from their country, or someone who has decided not to be "patriotic" anymore. I was interested to learn that it is not a degrading term, and simply describes what has been well defined in this thread.

 

Allershausen is correct in saying we would call an American born of Turkish parents a "first generation American of Turkish heritage..."

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Well thank you all!

I don't know what I would call myself. Like so many of you posted, Expat sounds snobbish. Likewise I had wondered, if it meant you gave up your citizenship in your home nation. I also never understood why some people were Expats and others were refugees. I guess I am just a visitor!

 

Now as to my own citizenship, I really don't understand it. I am an American because I was born here. I was raised to believe I am German, although I was never taught to speak German. Likewise, because my parents were also born here. We can no longer claim any ties to Germany. My grandparents never became citizens. So, my parents are "naturalized citizens". In other countries that would not make either my parents nor myself citizens.

 

Now you EU people have it made, you are all automatically citizens of every country in the EU! :)

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Now you EU people have it made, you are all automatically citizens of every country in the EU!

Not really. We are just allowed to reside and work in all countries of the EU. Not the same thing. But it's pretty good.

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"expat" doesn't seem even remotely snobbish to me, it's an objective description of my situation. I do not reside in my country of origin. Simple as that.

 

 

It seems to me that "expat" is used to describe professionals and highly skilled segments of the workforce, also diplomats, ONG staff, artists, etc.

Nope, I don't get those overtones either.

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Nope, I don't get those overtones either.

Do you have examples or know of any instances where unskilled or low-skilled workers are referred to as expats?

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There is some nuance here. Big companies who bring over skilled employees and give them housing allowances, pay them in dollars, equalize their taxes relative to the home country, pay for the kids to go to international schools, etc. usually refer to "expat packages". Usually, if one's stay last longer than the company is comfortable providing this, one is said to "go local/resident/native" and one is expected to be paid/taxed as any other local employee.

 

The use of "Expat" instead of "Immigrant, "Migrant Worker" or "Guest Worker" does indeed imply some element of optionality to the decision vs. doing so out of economic necessity. In Germany, as one usually has to take a salary hit/tax hike to do remain here, it does in some sense imply some element of voluntary hardship (i.e. you'd rather be back home ... otherwise you'd be an immigrant).

 

While "Expatriot" is cited as an ironic usage in the wikipedia article, it's really yet another erroneous usage that has gained currency.

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There are also those who like it in Germany

Hopefully medical research will one day find a cure for that.

 

Anyway, expats. As has been alluded to, an "expat" is a bit like an immigrant, but is white, and normally has a job.

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As has been alluded to, an "expat" is a bit like an immigrant, but is white, and normally has a job.

In Germany, yes. Now why didn't I become an expat in, say, the Algarve. More sunshine, and being an expat involves living in a villa with a swimming pool and drawing a pension... *sigh*

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To get around helping me with things like taxes and other (what I assume are) typical services for "Expats", my company terms me an "Inpat" since I have a German contract. It is a load of bullshit. Has anyone else encountered this?

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Allershausen is correct in saying we would call an American born of Turkish parents a "first generation American of Turkish heritage..."

Yes, but interestingly in America, we never seem to take into account that this family might have no intention of staying in the US permanently. We say "first generation," as if we assume that of course they'll stay and have a second generation, and so forth. This may no more accurately describe their situation than "exile" would.

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I find it interesting that in the case where these two 'immigrants' beat up the 76 yr old pension in the UBahn, that the perps were not immigrants - well, at least one, the Turkish one, was born in Germany - so how can he be an immigrant if he was born here? In the States, we would call him '1st generation Turkish'.

Actually, in German, this youth would be referred to as "a 2nd generation Turk living in Germany" or rather, since often the person's nationality isn't known or shouldn't be mentioned, "with migration background" (mit Migrationshintergrund). Immigrant (Einwanderer) seems to be less used than migrant (Migrant) in German. Perhaps migrant reflects more accurately that many people don't necessarily emigrate from their country of origin for good and/or don't stay in one country permanently – they are a kind of modern nomads. Expatriate is an equally general term, but also conveys a certain distinction, as I understand it.

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An expat has nothing to do with being a citizen of the EU (thats brits, irish etc but NOT Americans) An expat is a person who decides to live abroad (NOT EU) in order to avoid home country taxes - but not being a resident tax payer of the host country - and therefore CANNOT return to his country of residence/domicility for more than 90 days i(in the case of UK brits) in any given year. Its a tax dodge nomenlature. If you are a brit living in Gemany you are NOT and ex-pat! If you pay taxes in your "host" country - you are not an expat.

Boring stuff but that's the truth of it.

End of discussion! :P

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