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Off topic: Things people ask you because you are (Brazilian, etc)
Autor wątku: Nesrin

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 13:23
Członek ProZ.com
od 2004

angielski > włoski
yes... Oct 11, 2010

Marie-Hélène Hayles wrote:

and I said nothing about the Mafia



the Mafia/violin cases/ horse head jokes are indeed a bit tiresome, but I don't mind it here... I often mention violin cases myself (or go for a walk with one - I do have one, obviously) and everybody immediately shuts up!

[Edited at 2010-10-11 12:26 GMT]


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:23
niemiecki > angielski
+ ...
American / Latvian Oct 11, 2010

On being American in Germany and Austria (and traveling elsewhere), what I remember best, besides a few comments about Al Capone (I'm from the Chicago area), is the monologues I heard from people on the topic of "Why I don't like [insert name of president or foreign policy here...]

Less often, it was "Why I don't like [insert name of US domestic policy here...] The monologues ranged from the astounded ("You pay how much to attend university?!") to the accusatory ("You people are ma
... See more
On being American in Germany and Austria (and traveling elsewhere), what I remember best, besides a few comments about Al Capone (I'm from the Chicago area), is the monologues I heard from people on the topic of "Why I don't like [insert name of president or foreign policy here...]

Less often, it was "Why I don't like [insert name of US domestic policy here...] The monologues ranged from the astounded ("You pay how much to attend university?!") to the accusatory ("You people are making the world go to pot...") People were rather free with their opinions! And often I actually agreed with them. I remember frequently saying "But I didn't vote for [insert name of president here]."

Also, people would ask me which of the National Parks I liked best, when I hadn't actually been to any. That put visiting interesting places in my home country on my travel list.

On being Latvian in the United States - You're from where? Is that Russia? You speak Latin/Lapp? And occasionally, "My neighbor / hairdresser's cousin / brother's old girlfriend, etc. is Latvian do you know her?" The funny thing is, I often do!

[Edited at 2010-10-11 14:40 GMT]

[Edited at 2010-10-11 14:41 GMT]
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Krzysztof Kajetanowicz (X)  Identity Verified
Polska
Local time: 14:23
angielski > polski
+ ...
How stereotypes can save you money. Oct 11, 2010

Monika Rozwarzewska wrote:

...I am often asked these questions:
- do you really drink straight vodka?
- do you really drink straight vodka by glasses?


Me and my friends went to Italy this August. Vodka & Red Bull being a popular drink back home (or vodka & Anything for that matter), we would usually order it just next thing after washing down dinner with a beer.

Back home, vodka & Red Bull means "a shot of vodka - 25 cl - in a glass of Red Bull, with ice".

Anywhere we went in north Italy, "vodka & Red Bull" meant - aside from the waiter's suprised look - more than half a glass of vodka with ice, and a can of Red Bull to fill up.

Needless to say, the vacation worked out just fine.


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
USA
Local time: 05:23
angielski > niemiecki
+ ...
In Memoriam
Apparently you don't have to travel far to have fun Oct 11, 2010

Daina Jauntirans wrote:

(I'm from the Chicago area)



A friend of mine, when she moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon was asked: "Do people still live in wagons there?"

I was asked where my quite unusual Zippo lighter is from (it is very old and has the logo of a U.S. aircraft carrier printed on it), so I reported that a friend of mine bought it during vacation in Cambodia. "Cambodia - is that in Germany?"


 

Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:23
niemiecki > angielski
+ ...
Ha ha! Oct 11, 2010

Good one, Nicole. A friend of mine grew up in Singapore and then her family moved back to Indiana. People frequently told them that they hadn't heard of a town named Singapore in Indiana. In all fairness, though, there is a Peru, Indiana, and a Cairo, Illinois!

Another friend of mine visited Latvia from the States in the 1980s and was asked whether there were palm trees in Minnesota.


 

Miranda Drew  Identity Verified
Włochy
Local time: 14:23
Członek ProZ.com
od 2009

włoski > angielski
I'm shocked Oct 11, 2010

ryancolm wrote:

Being Irish anyplace where there isn't a significant Irish population...

- "Are you in the IRA?" (Only ever asked by Americans)


You actually met Americans that knew what the IRA was?

The worst for me was after Bush was re-elected. For week (months?) every person I talked to asked me, "why did you re-elect him?". I DIDN'T vote for him!!!!

The other thing is a stereotype, but kind of the reverse - Italians (and maybe other Europeans, I don't know), at least until this crisis, often believed the things they saw about America on TV, they seemed to all think that all Americans have a lot of money, and at one point when i was changing jobs and having "cash flow" problems, my Italian friends kept telling me, just ask your parents for money. Well, I would but:
1) my parents don't have much money (Americans don't save money, at least the ones I know don't)
2) even if they had money, american parents won't give you any if you're over 18!


 

Piotr Wargan  Identity Verified
Polska
Local time: 14:23
angielski > polski
+ ...
More of Poland Oct 11, 2010

Authentic exchanges I had

Anywhere in Europe:

- Where are you from? Poland!
- Aaah Holand, how nice.

In the UK (many years ago)
- so you are from Poland... Do you drink tea from bowls down there, ha?

Somewhere in Greece, but a question was from a UK citizen :

- How do you cope with these p
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Authentic exchanges I had

Anywhere in Europe:

- Where are you from? Poland!
- Aaah Holand, how nice.

In the UK (many years ago)
- so you are from Poland... Do you drink tea from bowls down there, ha?

Somewhere in Greece, but a question was from a UK citizen :

- How do you cope with these problems you have with Kosovo...
- That's former Yugoslavia, we are quite far away...

The last two were a curiosity that is obvious, I mean - ouch! You, white bear leve my tea-bowl alone will you!!!))))

[Edited at 2010-10-11 18:28 GMT]
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Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:23
niemiecki > angielski
+ ...
Yup! Oct 11, 2010

Miranda Drew wrote:

The worst for me was after Bush was re-elected. For week (months?) every person I talked to asked me, "why did you re-elect him?". I DIDN'T vote for him!!!!


Yeah, see above! I loved getting held personally responsible for anything from the Bush election to the lack of strong labor unions in the United States.

PS Piotr - Sometimes people think Latvia is a "Balkan" state, not a "Baltic" state.

[Edited at 2010-10-11 18:44 GMT]


 

Elizabeth Faracini  Identity Verified
USA
Local time: 08:23
Członek ProZ.com
od 2010

włoski > angielski
+ ...
Do you speak American? Oct 11, 2010

Raphael Correia wrote:

"You speak Brazilian, right?" - no, Brazilian is not a language...we speak Portuguese.



Yes, I have been asked more than once if I speak American.

Italian questions:

Did you vote for Bush? Did you vote for Obama? Are you pro-war?

You must love hamburgers!

You all drink Budweiser don't you?

Do people get fired from their jobs all the time because they don't have 'permanent' work contracts (like the Italians have)?

Do you own a gun?

Brazilian question:

Do your wooden houses burn down a lot?


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Holandia
Local time: 14:23
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

angielski > afrikaans
+ ...
Met online Oct 11, 2010

Nicole Schnell wrote:
Similar question, asked by Americans on several occasions:
"Oh, you are married to an American! So, you have met online?"


If they imply that you must be a mailorder bride, it would be a compliment, right? But.. what if they mean that your mate probably never saw what you looked like until you stepped off the airplane? Ouch...


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazylia
Local time: 10:23
angielski > portugalski
+ ...
In Memoriam
What's the secret of the Brazilian woman? Oct 11, 2010

Many years ago, an American colleague asked me this question. He had never been to Brazil, but was a fan of the actress Sonia Braga, who btw just turned 60. I didn't have an answer at that time.

A few months later, chatting with the Brazilian dubber ...
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Many years ago, an American colleague asked me this question. He had never been to Brazil, but was a fan of the actress Sonia Braga, who btw just turned 60. I didn't have an answer at that time.

A few months later, chatting with the Brazilian dubber Emerson Camargo (his rendering of Star Trek's Capt. Kirk in PT may be found at the bottom of this page), I commented on that, and he gave me an answer:

In ancient times, when the Portuguese brought slaves from Africa into Brazil, most of them were from a tribe that was one of the least developed in that continent. The reason is that they had other interests: among Africans, they were unmatched in arts, crafts, music... and dance. So those women naturally had a dance-like way of moving around. When the Portuguese men saw that, their eyes popped out. And when the Portuguese wives noticed such eye-popping 'competition', it took them several generations, but Brazilian women developed a similar flair when moving around. Evidence of it having taken so long is that more than half of the Brazilian population has some - no matter how minor - African ancestry.

So that was the whole secret. Yet standards change. The present Brazilian bombshell, Giselle Bündchen, has mostly German ancestry and looks.
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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Meksyk
Członek ProZ.com
od 2002

angielski > niemiecki
+ ...
A German in the outskirts of Addis Ababa Oct 11, 2010

- When I walked into a Hardware & Lumber store, the sales girls liked pressing the back of my hand, to watch my rosy skin turn even whiter, and then rosy again - great fun!!

- When I walked along a road, wearing black jeans, a bright shirt, and a black umbrella, some guys greeted me: "Shalooom, Shaloooom!"


 

Noni Gilbert Riley
Hiszpania
Local time: 14:23
hiszpański > angielski
+ ...
British / Irish Oct 12, 2010

Having fun reading this, thank you Nesrin.

Although I have to admit that I get a bit over-sensitive on occasion! This is largely because 50% of my students over the years when I was teaching seemed to think that an English class represented open season making denigrating comments about anything and everything in the UK and the Republic, and on top of that, I had to help them to express these opinions more clearly/accurately etc

My husband's family are also particularly
... See more
Having fun reading this, thank you Nesrin.

Although I have to admit that I get a bit over-sensitive on occasion! This is largely because 50% of my students over the years when I was teaching seemed to think that an English class represented open season making denigrating comments about anything and everything in the UK and the Republic, and on top of that, I had to help them to express these opinions more clearly/accurately etc

My husband's family are also particularly fond of pointing out how much is wrong with the British Isles. Last night at a family celebration the topic of conversation was how dark it gets on winter afternoons there, why should this be. And no, they did not respond well to the scientific explanation, since it is to them so clearly a cultural facet....

Food, music, side of the road (retaliating by pointing out that trains circulate on the left in Spain has little effect), dress sense (Why do you all dress so badly?), why we insist on mispronouncing all words....

Oh, and the drinking thing - I had never been inside a bar in Ireland until well into my thirties, but am expected to be able to recommend one for every town in the country.

Enough. Carry on adding your comments everyone, this is cheering up a very dismal foggy day in "sunny Spain".
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jacana54 (X)  Identity Verified
Urugwaj
angielski > hiszpański
+ ...
Surprising kindness instead of a question Oct 12, 2010

Last week in a small town in northern Portugal, the elderly gentleman at the desk of the hotel wrote down all the information from our passports and when he came to "Uruguay" he paused for a moment and said he would come to the room with us. Once there, he showed us how to turn on the lights and open the windows. He was a charming man who refused a tip so we simply took it as a kind gesture, but I wonder what he was imagining about our country.

To be honest, though, I wish he had e
... See more
Last week in a small town in northern Portugal, the elderly gentleman at the desk of the hotel wrote down all the information from our passports and when he came to "Uruguay" he paused for a moment and said he would come to the room with us. Once there, he showed us how to turn on the lights and open the windows. He was a charming man who refused a tip so we simply took it as a kind gesture, but I wonder what he was imagining about our country.

To be honest, though, I wish he had explained how to use their shower, it took me several minutes to figure that out.

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Monika Rozwarzewska  Identity Verified
Wielka Brytania
Local time: 13:23
Członek ProZ.com
od 2006

angielski > polski
+ ...
Polish in Lithuania Oct 12, 2010

I often travel to Lithuania and when I am back in my country, many people aks me if Lithuanian language is easy for us to understand. They think it is something between Polish and Russian. In fact, it is a Baltic language and we, the Poles, absolutely cannot understand it unless we learn it.

 
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