Re: OT: Intergermansk - Traveller's Phrasebook
|From:||René Uittenbogaard <ruittenb@...>|
|Date:||Monday, February 7, 2005, 0:18|
Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> As for Germans in general, I think there are cultural differences that
> can lead to misunderstandings easily. I and many of my friends
> who've here at the university can attest that continentals that we've
> met have a tendency to be more forthright about their opinions
> in some social situations than Americans tend to be; this is
> interpreted by them as honesty and a truer sign of friendship,
> while for us it can be seen as boorishness.
Yes - Dutch people tend to be very frank/rude as well; and I've got
colleagues at work who realize this and use careful wording when
addressing foreigners, and also colleagues who don't realize this -
sometimes leading to hair-raising dialogues on the phone.
> Anyways, we've actually recently seen an example of this kind of
> misunderstanding on the list, when one of the Francophones a while
> back pointed out Anglophones' habit of saying "How are you?" at
> every greeting, even when the latter don't actually want to carry
> on a drawn-out conversation about the other person's current
> welfare. The former interpreted this as insincerity, whereas
> to the latter it is politeness.
Let me lift the blame from any francophone by saying that it was me,
actually, who brought up this subject.