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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. René