Language Word Pronunciation
Bulgarian Имигрант imigrant
Chinese 移民 Yímín
Japanese 移民 Imin
Korean 이민 imin
Russian иммигрант immigrant
Why do all of these languages in Asia, Europe and Africa use a word similar to “immigrant”? Like other modern words, such as “computer” and “Internet,” the very concept and contexts of “immigrant” were born in America.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word became accepted usage in 1792 in America:
According to Google dictionary, mentions of the word began in the early 1800s:
“Emigrant” is a much older word. There have been emigrants, of course, for thousands of years, and certainly, there were efforts by a nation to attract a neighboring population.
Before America, there were migrations — people leaving countries going somewhere — Russian refugees headed to France, French heading to Russia, and diasporas and invaders. But these smatterings sprayed out in many directions, along with wanderers and gypsies.
Then came this almost empty land beckoning. America was a clean slate, a new beginning — away from, but more so, away to. America was a beacon to peoples of all nations, and a consequential gathering of all peoples, that had never taken place anywhere close to what it became here, a veritable nation of immigrants.