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I heard that people don't or shouldn't call a multiracial person as 'mixed'. Is it true?

A Japanese celebrity whose father is German American and mother is Japanese said that English speakers don't use the word 'mixed' for describing them anymore. They call them 'doubled' instead.

I wonder if it's only a few young generations just started to change the term or really most of you don't say 'mixed' anymore.

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  • Doubled would only be used in something like science fiction or fantasy. Dual, however, is a possibility. Sep 26, 2019 at 2:04
  • Thank you for your answer! What word is the most common for those people in your surroundings? Sep 26, 2019 at 2:38
  • Whether or not you use mixed race (or blended) is a matter of political correctness and personal choice. Also, who you ask. It's still quite common. But nobody would object to multiracial, which you use in your question. Sep 26, 2019 at 3:11

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I have never heard people referring someone is doubled... even google does not catch any trends.

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  • Thanks for your research! Then I wonder where the celebrity heard it from. What do you call people like that? Is mixed an insulting word? Sep 26, 2019 at 3:00
  • no, it is not insulting at all. Just a normal statement, but normally during a casual conversation people would say something like 'Oh I know Jonh, he is mixed, half British half Chinese'
    – Elizabeth
    Sep 26, 2019 at 5:55
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We avoid referring to a person's "race" unless it is essential to the context.

For example we might say:

I know Joe, he's a person on my team.

There is no relevance of race to this statement so to say "... a mixed-race person ..." or "... a black person..." or "... a white person..." would be odd and uncomfortable to hear.

On the other hand, when specifically relevant it is not unusual. The term often used is "mixed-race", and not just "mixed"

The number of mixed-race people in America has been growing since the 1960s.

In the particular Japanese context, the term "haafu" is used, borrowed from English "half-Japanese". English speakers might object to this, especially when Japanese speakers use the Japanese word when speaking English

Hello, Are you English or Half?

This would be a mistake. Using the Japanese term in English is incorrect, the implication that the person's race is more important is rude.

I suspect the celebrity was making the point that he isn't "half" of anything, but has both German and Japanese cultures, and so is not "half" but "double". Perhaps this comment works better in Japanese than in English.

So "mixed-race" is the term used. But avoid stereotyping people according to their race. Refer to race only if it is directly and unavoidably relevant to the context.

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  • I understood I shouldn't mention personal race without the necessity. Perhaps, is it not normal "John is mixed, half British half Chinese" as Elizabeth mentioned? Oct 7, 2019 at 4:48

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