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When you say where you're from to Europeans how do they respond?

When you say where you're from to Europeans how do they respond?

Old Feb 18th, 1999, 11:09 PM
  #61  
Tony Hughes
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S C Dixon, the whole of Britain was subject to rationing well into the 1950's, not just England, son. It's that old thing again, isn't it, where you are taught to substitute England for Britain, eh?
 
Old Feb 19th, 1999, 03:57 AM
  #62  
Maira
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Joanne----You are my new Fodor's hero. <BR> <BR>Neal----My best friend's kids did not do so well; the 11 yrs. old- 7 correct, the 16 yrs. old- 11 correct. But, the 16 y/o knew the right answer to Q21 though: Puerto Rico (San Juan was established as capital and remains the capital since 1509). <BR> <BR>To all: Very enlightening discussion. <BR>
 
Old Feb 19th, 1999, 06:49 AM
  #63  
Bob Brown
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The Fodors cookie byte monster has been ravenous the last few hours. It keeps eating my postings. <BR> <BR>For Tony: isn't England on that island off the west coast of the Netherlands? <BR>I believe the government had trouble with some rowdy colonials in North America a few years back. <BR> <BR>For my North Carolina friends: I teach with 3 UNC Chapel Hill graduates, so we have gone through the first and last argument a few times over who got there as a university. We all get amused here because the procession at the spring graduation ceremony is led by the Clarke County sheriff. He is clad in full dress regalia and marches with a drawn sword to run off the Indians. <BR> <BR>On the language issue. In Western Europe, I am told by my foreign students that no university prep curriculum can be completed without foreign languages. <BR>In the USA, very few public high school graduates, even those university bound, are required to take a foreign language. <BR>My statement about western European students learning languages was generic; it was not limited to English requirements. <BR> <BR>
 
Old Feb 20th, 1999, 01:40 PM
  #64  
Joe
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I went to Europe - - England and Scotland - - for the first time in the summer of 1980. Not many will remember this, but "Dallas" ended its '79-80 season with a cliffhanger about who shot J.R. We had never watched the show, but a lot of the English assumed we had inside information and asked us about it. And when we got to Oban and stayed in a b&b that burned peat in the grate, the bathroom mirror was decorated with a picture of Fonzie. U.S. pop culture is ubiquitous, at least in Europe. Sadly, while Europeans are often surpringly familiar with U.S. geography and products, I think they see us through a sort of soap opera lens that exagerates the violence, racism and other problems here.
 
Old Feb 21st, 1999, 05:16 AM
  #65  
jeff holcomb
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When I was in Great Britain, people were very impressed with the fact that I live in Kentucky. Apparently Queen Elizabeth has a horse farm near where I live, so I get a lot of questions about horses. The British also seem to think(in my experience) that this area is quite wealthy, but for the most part the opposite is true.
 
Old Feb 22nd, 1999, 07:03 AM
  #66  
Bob Brown
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With this post, I will resign from this competition because it has gotten far afield from the original thread. We did, however, take a diverse course into what Europeans know about geography vis-a-vis what Americans know or do not know. Before we bash ourselves further, I would like to point out that many Europeans are very ignorant of other cultures. We in the United States certainly have no monopoly on boorish behavior and on ignorance of other cultures and nations. I wish to offer in evidence an article written by Mei-Huey Chin, a Taiwanese author who now lives and writes in Germany. In a very perceptive article she decribed her experiences in Italy and Germany as an Asiatic female. In Italy, Italian men, mistaking her for Japanese, sang to her Japanese love songs. In Germany she was confused with people from Thailand or Vietnam. When she would tell people that she was from Taiwan, the instant reaction was "Oh yes! Thailand. I know it well." In addition, according to Ms. Chen, the stereotypical German male reaction was that all women from Thailand are prostitutes and that all Vietnamese women sell cigarettes. Ms. Chen married a German man and, immediately after the ceremony, Germans made derisive comments about a Kling-a-ling Hochzeit -- a marriage of convenience so that she could become a German citizen. So before we continue bashing ourselves, labelling other Americans as ignorant of foreign cultdures, or priding ourselves the ability to recall spot facts of esoterica, I recommend we sample wider, with a more sophisticated measuring tool than egocentric anecdotal recall, and see just who is ignorant and who is intelligent. After all, our collective perspectives are still highly limited to our own narrow experiences. And lets not confuse the memorization of reams of minutiae with true intelligence and worldly perspective. <BR>
 
Old Feb 22nd, 1999, 10:36 AM
  #67  
dan woodlief
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I think this will be my last post on this also. Bob, you make a great point. Perhaps if we limit the scope a little, some generalizations could be made. However, I think you are likely quite correct in suggesting that Europeans may not be any more aware about non-European cultures than are Americans. Asia is obviously distant from both in many ways. It would be interesting to know how many Europeans can speak Japanese, for example, given that it is also a leading tourist nation. <BR> <BR>Obviously there is a lot of intolerance for cultural differences in most countries of the world, so awareness in itself doesn't solve all problems. <BR> <BR>I think it is important to promote an international understanding and attitude in schools. The world is coming closer in so many ways, but there are still so many troubling disagreements, that it can only help. Perhaps Americans' relative ignorance of international affairs has been slightly blown out of proportion, at least as to effect, by this whole discussion. I don't think we have necessarily suffered tremendously as a country from it, but I do believe that we can improve as a nation by increasing our knowledge about other cultures. Besides, a large number of Americans do care about these things, as evidenced by the numerous knowledgeable posters on this site.
 
Old Feb 22nd, 1999, 10:39 AM
  #68  
dan woodlief
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I think this will be my last post on this also. Bob, you make a great point. Perhaps if we limit the scope a little, some generalizations could be made. However, I think you are likely quite correct in suggesting that Europeans may not be any more aware about non-European cultures than are Americans. Asia is obviously distant from both in many ways. It would be interesting to know how many Europeans can speak Japanese, for example, given that it is also a leading tourist nation. <BR> <BR>Obviously there is a lot of intolerance for cultural differences in most countries of the world, so awareness in itself doesn't solve all problems. <BR> <BR>I think it is important to promote an international understanding and attitude in schools. The world is coming closer in so many ways, but there are still so many troubling disagreements, that it can only help. Perhaps Americans' relative ignorance of international affairs has been slightly blown out of proportion, at least as to effect, by this whole discussion. I don't think we have necessarily suffered tremendously as a country from it, but I do believe that we can improve as a nation by increasing our knowledge about other cultures. Besides, a large number of Americans do care about these things, as evidenced by the numerous knowledgeable posters on this site.
 
Old Feb 22nd, 1999, 10:42 AM
  #69  
dan woodlief
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Sorry, meant Japan is a leading tourist nation, not Japanese.
 
Old Feb 24th, 1999, 05:56 AM
  #70  
Marge
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We were standing by the memorial plaques in an English cathedral - don't remember whether York or Salisbury - when we were approached by a gentleman who had heard us talking and knew we were Americans. Without preamble he thanked us for America's help in W.W. II. He was a mariner on convoys in the North Atlantic, and said Americans were the reason England survived the war. Nice to be appreciated. Marge
 
Old Mar 23rd, 1999, 12:07 PM
  #71  
"Crazy" Dave
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We are from Salt Lake City, Utah. We will be traveling to France, Italy, and Switzerland soon. I can hardly wait to see how many people just assume I have six wives (Mormon) and can be easily bribed.
 
Old Mar 23rd, 1999, 09:52 PM
  #72  
Gene
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They respond with surprise. I live in Petaluma, California. San Francisco is 30 minutes south. The ocean (Bodega Bay) is 20 minutes west. We water ski at Lake Sonoma which is 40 minutes north. The drive on Dry Creek road to Lake Sonoma is the most beautiful road on earth, nothing but miles of vineyards <BR>and grapes practically waving at you in August and September as you drive by. <BR> <BR>As much as I love travelling, there's no place like home. <BR>
 
Old Jan 5th, 2000, 03:56 PM
  #73  
topper
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Any takers?
 
Old Jan 5th, 2000, 07:54 PM
  #74  
bb
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We usually say we're from Silicon Valley when we're in Europe. Few Europeans know where Sunnyvale CA is located, but they instantly recognize Silicon Valley. It's a great conversation starter.
 
Old Jan 5th, 2000, 11:00 PM
  #75  
April
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From west coast Canada... <BR> <BR>I had to laugh at your response, Jen, because I have heard the exact same comments - "do you speak French?" and "do you know my relative in Toronto?" <BR> <BR>And one more about British Columbia: "Ahh, Colombia, *puff, puff, wink, wink." <BR> <BR>Europeans always take me for an American, and why not? I think Rick Steves sounds more Canadian that I do. <BR> <BR>Generally people amaze me with their knowledge of where I'm from, but oddly, when I was in the Netherlands and mentioned s'Hertogenbosch, not the tiniest town in the country, many Dutch people didn't know what I was talking about.
 
Old Jan 5th, 2000, 11:47 PM
  #76  
Sjoerd
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's Hertogenbosch is the official name of the town, used only in written language. In spoken language, all Dutch speakers will use Den Bosch. <BR>
 
Old Jan 6th, 2000, 06:54 AM
  #77  
Sandy
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A couple of years ago, when I said I was from Texas, I would get, "Oh . . . Dallas, J.R." Now, I get, "Oh . . . Walker, Texas Ranger, big man." <BR> <BR>Sometimes I travel in places where they don't recognize Texas so I say, "America," or "USA." Then I get, "Oh . . . Clinton, Monica." Embarrassing!
 
Old Jan 6th, 2000, 07:30 AM
  #78  
April
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Sjoerd, <BR> <BR>Ah, interesting! Thanks for the explanation.
 
Old Jan 6th, 2000, 08:24 AM
  #79  
Julie
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It's interesting to note that our front running political candidate made quite a showing of his knowledge of other countries - nice to see where we are headed.
 
Old Jan 6th, 2000, 09:10 AM
  #80  
Andrew Hall
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I lived in London the summer of 96' and the misconceptions of the southern U.S. are terrible, and I think they stem from the fact that is all Hollywood, or T.V. puts out. People I worked with immediately asked me if I was in the KKK, they were serious. When I said NO! <BR>they replied, " well everyone is" As far as geography, I think no one country is much worse than the other. We all know where tourist locations are. Not many people knew where Alabama was exactly, but they knew florida, california, NY, etc. Same as us. Just as one of the gentlemen commented earlier, there are some generalizations which hold true, but for the most part it's person to person. There are jerks and nice people everywhere. Which is why email and the internet are so wonderful, they are allowing people across the pond to communicate, as well as the entire world.
 

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