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  1. #91
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackmail! View Post
    Well. I'd say that the obvious obsession many Americans here have with French language is quite entertaining (it was fun to read EffEmm), but very, very far away from actual truth.

    It's YOUR obsession, not ours. Stop projecting.
    See!!! See!!!

    They're/You're doing it again!

    Damn snobby Frenchmen so proud of your freaking French language :steam:

    LOL (I'm kidding of course)

    I have more anecdotal stories but I'll save them.

    As for the 'cultural differences' = allegations of rudenes...I could see that. As an Asian-American with an immigrant background, when I travelled to Spain and then later Peru and Mexico, I saw lots of European tourists as well as interacted with "the natives".

    I realized that American culture is actually pretty friendly and accomodating compared to 'pan European' culture (though my friend who visited her brother somewhere in Scandinavia said people were pretty friendly and approachable).

    In really crude typology generalization terms, there is a good bit of Fe that is praised in American culture. Of course there are many people who are NOT friendly or helpful, but these traits are praised and prioritized in the US. - think about the all-American cheerleaders and the idea of being a "good neighbor".

    That kind of Fe and *going out of your way* to help people or SHOW people you are happy and like them etc. - not so much for Europe. (BTW, have you ever watched British TV to see their "American" characters? It's hilarious to see how they view Americans)

    This is a WIDE generalization, I know, but just go to Madrid if you're wondering what I'm talking about. Or just ride on Iberia Air (I made so many jokes about Franco when retelling my Iberia Air nightmare stories) Har har har. It's just a very different culture with a different baseline for accepted/acceptable behavior (this would be Northern Spain/Southern Mediterranean Andalucian Spain has a very different vibe). I found people in Mexico City to be very nice/friendly/helpful but I think it was also the closeness to and familiarity of the US but overall it was by far the friendliest city for 'outsiders' that I had visited (even in relatively larger cities in Spain like Sevilla I encountered some straight up ignorance). And I would say folks along the Mediterranean, whether in Spain or France would probably be warmer (more Fe) and laid back than their northern counterparts.

    Also, tourists from the 'developed world' can be assholes when visiting 'developing countries' so maybe that partially skewed my view.

    But yeah, travelling to these places did make me recognize *expectations* and priorities in a culture - namely that for all the (valid) criticism Americans can get for being rude and boorish at least at a baseline level being "friendly and neighborly" are actual basic American values ... at least theoretically.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by demimondaine View Post
    even if your french is fluent, you're not necessarily home free. i've had some "pure laine" québécois friends who were mocked or mistaken for americans while travelling in france. osti de câlisse!

    i've only been to paris but i found the french no more or less accommodating than the people anywhere else i've been. i'm friends with a few ex-pats, even had a misguided fling with one. they seem to be proud of their heritage, but it's generally not been snobby.

    one exception would be one of three exchange students we were hosting who sat at my dining room table in front of my entire family and a special dinner we worked hard to put together and exclaimed "americans have no taste or manners".
    This is funny.. As an Anglo Montrealer. I found the Europeans much more accomadating and paitent with me when I spoke French and also much more able to understand me. Most Quebecoise just tell me after I have said 2 or 3 words, to switch to English

  3. #93
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Pour la gloire de l'empereur et l'empire français!
    Que la gloire de Napoléon vivre éternellement. Je n'ai jamais oublié.

    I sort of understand the cultural arrogance part. The language part of it is seriously annoying, though...
    French is a hard language, and not very practical. English is after all spoken more widely, and it is very easy to learn.
    All should, in fact, learn it. I'm not a native speaker.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  4. #94
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Pour la gloire de l'empereur et l'empire français!
    Que la gloire de Napoléon vivre éternellement. Je n'ai jamais oublié.
    Is this irony?

    Well, even if it isn't, I still laughed.

  5. #95
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YourLocalJesus View Post
    Pour la gloire de l'empereur et l'empire français!
    Que la gloire de Napoléon vivre éternellement. Je n'ai jamais oublié.

    I sort of understand the cultural arrogance part. The language part of it is seriously annoying, though...
    French is a hard language, and not very practical. English is after all spoken more widely, and it is very easy to learn.
    All should, in fact, learn it. I'm not a native speaker.
    I think maybe there is some tension because of that. French is still the official 'international language' not English, though practically speaking French is. Every Secretary General is supposed to be fluent in French, currently were doubts raised about the current one's (Ban-Ki Moon) fluency but it wasn't enough of a big deal to disqualify him.

    I have nothing against the French or France (after, I'd like to be truly fluent in French) and other than my own personal interactions with Francophones who correct my French (which I found equally if not more amusing than I did off putting) have nothing first-hand bad to say about them.

    However, the world has changed a lot since WWII and I think former super powers probably feel a bit of a threat from emerging or new players on the international scene. Unless it's changed, the current configuration of permanent seat holders on the UN Security Council doesn't really (fully) reflect today's realities.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  6. #96
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    Is this irony?

    Well, even if it isn't, I still laughed.
    A bit, at least

    Although, I am fond of the Napoleonic era. A bit too fond of it, maybe.
    France is mighty romantic, for all its glory.
    And mighty for romantics, wherever they might be.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

  7. #97
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    Most Quebecoise just tell me after I have said 2 or 3 words, to switch to English
    I found that with German. I took A-Level German (British equivalent level to roughly US first year college major) at school and was, if not fluent, then pretty close to it, but since then have almost completely lost the ability to compose sentences. I can still understand it passively, better written than spoken, but I've lost about 60% of the ability I used to have to speak German, exactly because I never got the opportunity to use it, and on the rare times when I did, the Germans would all switch to English the moment I made one mistake.

    I think, in English speaking cultures, there's a lot of cultural hangover from the days when, in England, French was the language of the aristocracy. Even after the aristocracy started to speak English in everyday life, it was still the case that fluency in French was a marker of and essential must-have for a person of "quality", and education and literature was exclusively in Latin and French, with English being regarded as an inferior, "peasant" language.

    Even long after Shakespeare et al rehabilitated English into a respectable, internationally usable language, the sorta inferiority complex still hangs over, and I think is largely behind a lot of the knee-jerks and automatic labelling of all things French as "posh" and "élite". I've seen pamphlets from as late as the 19th century, that were written for the express purpose of trying to convince scientists, professors and the like, that it was now "okay" to use English as a medium for their written literature. It's a mistake to underestimate how far back the English cultural memory goes... ffs, every time England plays France at any sporting event, the English tabloids are wheeling out the Agincourt/Waterloo references!

    And where the English took their empire, and their language, they also took their hangups and prejudices and left them behind for people who had no reason to adopt them and no memory of why they were there. But... people do love a good bit of "us and them", they don't take much persuasion to take up the communal pitchfork
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  8. #98
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proximo View Post
    And where the English took their empire, and their language, they also took their hangups and prejudices and left them behind for people who had no reason to adopt them and no memory of why they were there. But... people do love a good bit of "us and them", they don't take much persuasion to take up the communal pitchfork
    The French hate les rosbifs more!

    And who can blame them? They are cursed with such excellent taste.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  9. #99
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morgan Le Fay View Post
    The French hate les rosbifs more!

    And who can blame them? They are cursed with such excellent taste.
    I dunno. What I see when I'm in either England or France, is alternating bouts of Anglomania/Francomania and Anglophobia/Francophobia. I think they love to hate, and hate to love each other. They've been tied inextricably since a certain enterprising 4th generation Viking decided to try his luck over the Channel... whether they like it or not.
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  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by proximo View Post
    I think, in English speaking cultures, there's a lot of cultural hangover from the days when, in England, French was the language of the aristocracy. Even after the aristocracy started to speak English in everyday life, it was still the case that fluency in French was a marker of and essential must-have for a person of "quality", and education and literature was exclusively in Latin and French, with English being regarded as an inferior, "peasant" language.
    Yes, I love to drop a French word into the conversation simply for caché. Or as a French student told me, because I love to be chic.

    But how I love to be chic in French, what caché!

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