Americans Favorite Country to Travel In?

Aug 4th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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A word on french fries. Please note the lower case f rather than F on the french. This is because the name of this dish comes from the verb "to french" which means to cut into small strips (check your dictionary if you don't believe me). It has absolutely nothing to do with France the country. The actual name of the product should normally be "frenched fries" but since most people don't say iced tea or iced cream, as well as a couple of other similar culinary terms, confusion has set in.
kerouac is online now  
Aug 4th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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I would have never thought Sweden would be on such a list - maybe as willit says ancestory enters into it - in Holland's case too as we have quite a few Dutch ancestry, or perhaps many dream of going to Dutch coffeeshops!
Australia and New Zealand also caught me by surprise - as i have little interest in them but i guess all the beautiful beach pictures make one dream.
PalQ is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 12:40 PM
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Once you see the list, it makes sense.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Well if they typed their post in Word and cut and pasted like I usually do it probably automatically capitalizes the F.
Dohlice is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 01:05 PM
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Kerouac -

You almost had me! I checked both the Random House unabridged and the Shorter OED, however, and they have it French fry with the capital F. There is of course a verb to french in cooking, which I have seen used to describe meant scraps and fat from the bone of a lamb chop or rack.
Aug 4th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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That is to say "describe removing meat scraps and fat from the bone of a lamb chop or rack."

We need an edit function.
Aug 4th, 2006, 01:08 PM
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Even in Belgium, the home of French Fried potatoes i believe they at times called them, in Dutch, Franse Frites - after France - of course they could have take the name from the English verb to french - i'm not taking sides just commenting. And i find this fascinating!
PalQ is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 01:16 PM
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I've seen "Franse frites" in the Netherlands, but never in Belgium.
KT is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 07:04 PM
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Why Australia near the top of the list?
Some guesses:
1* Australians speak English (Sort of!)
2* Australia is politically very stabe, and the community law-abiding, so a visitor will feel 'safe'.
3* Australia has 'cute' and 'funny' native animals.
4* Americans don't have to worry about 'what to wear' so that they 'will fit in'. (An oft-repeated post on the Europe branch!)
Any of the above near the mark?
adeben is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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All of the above.
DixieChick is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 08:23 PM
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Hi adeben, well since you seemed to ask for comments may I just comment regarding Australians speaking English (sort of). First of all American speaking English is not the only English in the world. And having the pleasure of having a friend from Australia phone me last evening let me just say IMO his "English" was more polished and elegant than the typical American's English. With all due respect to my fellow Americans of course. Sorry, but I just couldn't resist so many people think "American English" is the only proper English which of course is not the case. Best regards.
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 08:50 PM
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adeben, I suspect they're a bit closer to English than we are. Not sure all Americans know this... given the ones that have sincerely congratulated my wife on her mastery of the language once they find out she's Australian. But at least they were sincere.

I do suspect it's partly all of what you listed - but I think also it's the image of Australia still being that laid back, outdoorsy, friendly sort of place where someone might actually talk to you first. If you haven't seen the ads on tv - check out to see how the image has been polled and the reflected back to Americans. I kind of like what they're selling actually. lol

The rest of the list doesn't surprise me either except Sweden (although there's a lot of Swedish decendants in the north around MN and WI. Otherwise, the "ought to see the good ole' USA first"; proximity; family ancestor stories; movie influences.

Then the Swedish interest could be remnants of the bikini team following.
Clifton is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 10:49 PM
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Hi Loveitaly,
Actually, I'm Australian, so, as you have suggested, as a native speaker I do have some rudimentary linguistic skills in English. However, from the experiences of several visits to the USA, it is clear that my accent often makes parts of my conversation with American friends quite incomprehensible to them: In addition, we use certain common words that have quite a different meaning depending on which country you are in. For example, a US movie currently on release here has as its tag line: 'Granny kicks fanny!' This has drawn wry sniggers from all sections of the media, including the most conservative of newspapers, because all Australians would consider this a most inappropriate place for anyone to kick a woman (and in Australia it is not possible to kick a man in the fanny!) So I'd still maintain that, as far as Americans are concerned, Australians speak a 'sort' of English!
adeben is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 11:42 PM
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Australia having been at or near the top of the list for some time the result didn't surprise me. But as PalQ says, this doesn't reflect actual visitor numbers. Distance, real and perceived, is the main reason for that.

As far as the why's are concerned, adeben's list is about right - especially over the vexing "what to wear" issue (shorts at the opera might be considered a tad underdressed, but you won't be refused admission). The natives are mostly friendly, the animals are weird, you can drink the water (but why would you?), and English is widely spoken, except by Sydney cabdrivers. For Americans, the lifestyle and social informality will be familiar, and for Britons the way language is used, and the sense of humour, will be equally familiar.

I met many Americans whose view of Australia was touchingly romantic - a sort of innocent last frontier, as one lady said "sort of like America before all the shit happened". Not wanting to disillusion her I refrained from pointing out that we also drive through congested cities fretting about global warming, crime and drugs. Which ironically was more than she could say in her idyllic corner of Colorado.

An accent being something other people have, it can come as a surprise to find that you're not being understood in another English-speaking country. When I spelled my name to American airline reservations agents I'd sometimes find that my a's had been interpreted as i's. Gorblimey, I thought - I must be turning Cockney.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 09:13 AM
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I notice that except for Italy and Switzerland all the other countries on the list are English speaking or if not the people there speak English quite well. I have actually been to all 10 and speaking the language can make or break a holiday.Italy does well because it has magnificent art but the linguistic skills there are quite poor. The scenery in Switzerland is wonderful although I actually prefer Austria myself.Fortunately the spread of English makes it easier to enjoy other countries too and this list is likely to change significantly over the years as a result.
Aug 5th, 2006, 09:28 AM
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What I find particularly hilarious is the idea of places where Americans "would most like to travel" when Americans travel very little compared to most other developed countries. The only thing that counts is where Americans actually do travel. (Just for the record, living in France, I have regularly seen the survey of "countries where the French would most like to immigrate" [France being a country from which very few people emigrate]. Canada, Australia and the United States always top the lists, whereas the actual places in which the French most settle are Belgium, Israel, Spain, the UK, Germany....)
kerouac is online now  
Aug 5th, 2006, 09:41 AM
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Hello adeben, my father was raised in your beautiful Australia. And yes I am aware some words do have different meanings. I can imagine that movie's tag line did cause more than one raised eyebrow, lol.

And Neil, don't assume the employee of the airline you spoke with learned English as his/her first language. Sometimes we all have a problem understanding and being understood by various customer service reps.

BTW, when I watch British films or TV shows I sometimes I feel like it is filmed in a foreign language as I have a difficult time understanding what is being said!

Thanks for another fun thread PalQ!!
LoveItaly is offline  
Aug 5th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Not surprising somehow considering Orlando is the Number One tourist destination on Earth right now and makes sense that a lot of those visitors are from the US.
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