How do you go about expressing ethnicity that is different from your nationality.

I happen to be of British decent from Canada (now living in Japan):


That's my best guess. Any improvements?

  • Looks good to me. – Jesse Good Oct 19 '12 at 6:49
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    Possibly related: japanese.stackexchange.com/q/5795/91 – Andrew Grimm Oct 19 '12 at 8:12
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    You can leave out the の. イギリス系カナダ人 sounds a tad more natural to me. – Earthliŋ Oct 19 '12 at 9:07
  • From the 在日韓国人 wikipedia page it suggests ethnic Koreans with Japanese nationality are 日本籍コリアン and not 韓国系日本人. Wonder if there are more exceptions – jlptnone Oct 19 '12 at 15:52
  • The word 在日 is used for people of either Korean or Chinese decent in Japan, especially the former. While the word itself just means "staying in Japan," so 在日アメリカ人 for Americans living in Japan should make sense, such usage is rare and even awkward (to my ears). The word 在日 is frequently used by the jingoistic Japanese to refer to the said groups of people in quite derogatory manner, so depending on the occasion you may need to be aware of the subtleties the word could bring to in your conversations. For the original question, イギリス系カナダ人 would be the most natural way; no need for の there. – Taro Sato Oct 19 '12 at 16:52

I'd say the best way is


if your nationality is Canadian but you are of British descent. Using の in between is okay and perfectly makes sense, but in many cases it will lead to an excessive use of の. For example, if you are an British Canadian engineer, then


sounds a bit awkward but


is pretty much perfect.


I would try:


It's a bit longer, but should be clear that you were born in England but are Canadian (if this is the case).

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