How to Spot an American in Europe

Old May 15th, 2015, 09:38 AM
  #101  
 
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pariswat - I am German, so "European", and I do not share 80 percent of those stereotypes.
In fact, I never ever heard any of my colleagues, friends or other Germans even mentioning these stereotypes tongue-in-cheek.
It's click bait on a website.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 11:51 AM
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Guten Tag Cow Boy
I didn't say we share the stereotypes mentioned in the article.
What I mean is that we are closer between Europeans than we think. When I'm in Shanghai and we're surrounded with foreigners (being a Belgian, you don't imagine how many foreigners we have), I realize I'm closer to Germans than to US guys or Chinese.
Not that it matters. I've got good times with US and Chinese, and even more with Indians...
Except that Germans have longer hair and coloured jackets... yek.
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IMDone here, I'm frenchspeaking. But not French - on top of Canadians from Québec, you have frenchspeaking people in Belgium, Switzerland, and a lot of African countries.
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And some French (mostly Parisians actually) can be rude - they are the ones easy to spot, the well behaving you don't see them I suppose...
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Old May 15th, 2015, 12:46 PM
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I assume them were not Africans and considering there are only 11 million Belgians and many speak Dutch, I will add a small group of Swiss to the possibility.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 01:55 PM
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pariswat-- oui, c'est vrai
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Old May 15th, 2015, 05:33 PM
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<i> and many speak Dutch,</i>

Maybe they do, but I've been told that the local language is Flemish.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 06:09 PM
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"I've told my wife and friends that if I, as an American male, ever take to wearing a perfectly knotted or draped scarf in 70-degree weather in order to look more "European," they have my permission to hit me over the head with baseball bat. Or, in a pinch, a cricket bat."

I have to say I loved this response.

I really don't think it matters how we look. I just came back from the Balkans and most people presumed we were American. We told them we were Canadian, but in the end it really isn't any different. Each person is either nice, neutral or rude, in their own right.

I think generalizations can be handy at times to understand a group culture in general, but they are definitely not handy to understand a person. I have met so many lovely Germans, French, Brits, Americans, Filipinos, Argentines, etc. during my travels. I'm not really sure what any generalizations did for me in these cases, other than to remind me that I should broaden my thinking and culture.

We Canadians often hide behind the "I'm not American...I'm a polite Canadian" banner. But it's really more of the same for any group. We just want to be accepted. We're obviously no better, or worse, than our neighbours to the south or than our European cousins. Perhaps we should just accept everyone who shows any decent level of respect for others. Eh? (Had to throw in the Canadian phrase.)
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Old May 15th, 2015, 07:43 PM
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Pointing out the differences in this way is just a way to make me feel superior over you. So good for me.
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Old May 15th, 2015, 08:13 PM
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Geenance you forgot to say "Sorry" before you stated your opinion. Are you really Canadian?
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Old May 15th, 2015, 10:25 PM
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The official language spoken in the Flanders region of Belgium is Dutch. There are several dialectical differences from standard Dutch, but that's also true everywhere in the Netherlands.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 01:02 AM
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Hey, lots of people knowing about Belgium !
Nice but sorry to disagree a little bit.
We learn'Netherlands' (Nederlands) (is it transalted into Dutch ?) and nobody speaks it in Belgiun, only in Netherlands..
We all learn it in Belgium, but we all end up speaking Flemish. At school one of my best friends had bad results in Netherlands because he was Flemsih and the teacher Dutch. Flemish differs from Dutch a little bit more than French of Québec from French of Paris : accent, and some different wording - but if they pay attention they should understand each others. Lots of French into Flemish (like English into French Canadian)
Then there is a second sublevel, when locals speak dialect (and these can vary a lot).
Note that there are no dialects left in Wallonia - we all speak French, a French quite close to the one spoken in France (only a few idioms, words that are out of fashion in France and obviously our accentS).
Thanks to have given me the opportunity to tell about our complicated country.
Ps : we also speak German in Belgium, in the east...
We're about 6 millions Flemish, 3.5 millions walloons, 1 millions 'Bruxellois' (mostly frenchspeaking but not wallons) and the rest Germanspeaking.
HAve a good day all.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 06:41 AM
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Yes, Dutch is the translation of Nederlands into English. As I said, it's the official language of the Flanders region of Belgium. What you call Flemish is officially a dialect of Dutch from a linguistic point of view, because they're mutually intelligible. It's not a separate language.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 09:41 AM
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Tell that to my co-worker's wife. Her iPhone/Siri is set to Dutch/ Nederlands and usually has a hard time to understand her Flemish.

Languages do matter. Did you know that we have 24 official languages plus 5 more recognized regional languages in the Union, and have the right to address the EU instititutions in either one of them, and to receive a reply in that language of choice.

And, as a zero relevance trivia question:
Which official/first language of which EU member state has the status of a recognized regional or minority language in the highest number of other member states?
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Old May 16th, 2015, 09:52 AM
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I need a translator just for the question.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 10:03 AM
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Pariswat, what about the interdiction of linguistic statistics in Belgium? From what I understand, it is to try to avoid a new linguistic war that would make the various groups want to claim new territories and divide the national budget differently.

And that little detail about Brussels now being 93% francophone (based on the language used on forms filled out in the city) spread like wildfire all through the French speaking world and even in some English speaking places, because I saw it on the BBC website also.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 10:24 AM
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cowboy1968 that should be either German or Hungarian?
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Old May 16th, 2015, 11:28 AM
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Imdone:
Thanks ! I was thinking it was the mix of Cote du Rhone + Pouilly Fume taht made me not understand...
Ker :
I wasn't aware !!! I spend so much time in France, I only read 'le canard enchainé' for the news, and listen to our news in french in the morning, in Flemish in the evening.
But didn't take my car lately... or just missed it.
You can explain it all to me when we meet next.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 11:42 AM
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Every time I look at the title of this thread it irritates me all over again.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 12:06 PM
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There are some dialects in Italy that require subtitles on our TV, but they're still Italian, not separate languages.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 12:28 PM
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Keep in mind dearly beloved Europeans, Brits included, most of us are descendants of Europe and our ancestors thought it wise to depart your humble abode. They left Europe mainly because of oppression and have returned several times to keep you from killing each other. Many of us still return year after year to spend our extra capital and even take on some debt to help boost your sluggish economies. Believe me we enjoy spending every dime. Possible because we still have an endearing affection for your old world charm. Give us a little credit won't you, since we are related more than you would care to admit.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 12:40 PM
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leSenator
'qui aime bien chatie bien'
however if you fled oppression in our countries, why did you slaughter so many native americans ? one example below...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seminole
We are no better than you and you are no better than us.
You spend your $ in Europe, we spend our € in US.
good relationshp, no ?
And most of you are nice guys.
But if your only goal is to come to help our sluggish economy, just stay home and spend your $ drilling for oïl in Antartica.
Cheers
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