in this part of Steve’s book the word “Spaniards” is used to refer to people from Spain. What’s the difference between this and “Spanish”.
The complete sentence is:
“With a little bit of study and reading in Spanish, and daily conversation with the friendly and talkative Spaniards, I was able to bring my Spanish up to an acceptable level.”
A Spaniard is a person from Spain, a Spanish person.Spanish is an adjective Spaniard is a noun. This is like Frenchman or Swede or Scot as opposed to French person or Swedish person or Scottish person. This is just usage.
In Portuguese we don’t have such a distinction. We use the same word either as an adjective or as a noun.
This is not the case for all nationalities, just for some, for historical reasons. We say Irishman, Frenchman, but an Italian and a Greek, a German, a Brazilian, but we say Dutchman, Turk. Englishman, Welshman.
But is it optional?
I mean, can I choose between saying “the French” or “the Frenchman”?