RSS RSS   Frequently Asked Questions FAQ   Kwebbelhoekje Chat   View the advanced search options Search   Register Register   Login Login   Exercise Exercise
  Change font size Print view It is currently April 16th, 2014, 11:06 pm    
 

American Behaviorisms

Funny stories about your learning experiences. Mondegreens, Silly mistakes, Jokes, Riddles and all kinds of fun stuff. Strange things you noticed about differences and similarities between Dutch and English (or German, French, Swahili, ..).

American Behaviorisms

Postby teostrom » March 12th, 2006, 11:51 pm

I am taking private lessons in Boston, and my teacher is Dutch (you would think that to be normal, but the language school first has me assigned to a German native who spoke Dutch). We exchange comments sometimes about the differences in our cultures - here are a couple of interesting ones.

1. Americans walk around everywhere (anywhere) with cups of coffie in their hands... on their way to work, in between meetings - everywhere and anywhere. This is strange to the Dutch.

2. My teacher was working in a lawyer's office and a woman in the office kept on saying, over and over again, "I LOVE your outfit!!". This has made my teacher slightly uncomfortable and thinking that this is very strange. Definitely an Americanism to go overboard with compliments like this.

more to come...
Timothy Ostrom
Dutch Language Beginner
teostrom
Nieuwkomer
 
Posts: 2
Joined: March 1st, 2006, 3:05 pm
Location: Boston, MA
Country of residence: United States

American Behaviorisms

Sponsor


Do not like ads? Register for free and view this forum without ads.
Sponsor
 

Postby evilbu » October 28th, 2006, 3:29 pm

(I'm not Dutch. I am a Fleming.)


One thing I found bizarre is how much money people waste in cities on New York. I saw a lady taking a kid into a tavern in the morning, and she bought him a glass of orange juice and a muffin. He only drank and ate half of it.

Now in Flanders we would never eat out of the house BEFORE going to school. We just eat some bread of cornflakes at home and that's it. There you can drink orange juice from a box instead of buying a glass you don't even finish.

I also saw little bags containing pieces of apple. What a waste of money? Why not buying an apple and cutting it up yourself?

I think in Flanders we eat a lot more at home and prefer to cook for ourselves. :eek:
User avatar
evilbu
Moedertaalspreker (native speaker)
 
Posts: 172
Joined: September 22nd, 2006, 12:00 pm
Location: near Ghent, Flanders (Belgium)
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)
Gender: Male

Postby evilbu » October 28th, 2006, 11:05 pm

Ah another cultural difference I thought of :
:D

In USA-movies I often see people going to a friend's or a relative's house and immediately taking a drink from the refrigerator.
In Flanders that would be considered VERY IMPOLITE.

On the other hand, people act as if this is some sort of desert and ask all their guests whether or not they want to drink something, regardless of the length of their visit.
User avatar
evilbu
Moedertaalspreker (native speaker)
 
Posts: 172
Joined: September 22nd, 2006, 12:00 pm
Location: near Ghent, Flanders (Belgium)
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)
Gender: Male

Postby Tom » October 29th, 2006, 4:51 am

Don;t believe everything you see on television that you see as being normal in america.

I have never seen that except on tv and I will soon be seeing Abraham. I would consider that impolite as well. That is not to say that it may not happen with a population of 300 million people, however. There may be people who are such good friends that there is a standing agreement that they are given permission to do so.

My in-laws are given permission when they visit to do that, for example. But they are very close blood relatives.

P.S. They also use a glass if they do so. I have seen on television where people come in and drink right out of the milk carton. That is is not only rude but disgusting!
Groetjes
Tom
User avatar
Tom
Global moderator
 
Posts: 506
Joined: August 12th, 2005, 10:41 pm
Location: New Jersey, USA - Belgie
Mother tongue: English
Gender: Male

Postby Dora » October 29th, 2006, 10:27 pm

I agree with Tom. I don't know anyone who does that.

Americans do seem to like to waste money, though. It is as if spending money makes you important!

BTW orange juice comes in a carton, not a box (unless it is a small, single serving container; that would be a box).
User avatar
Dora
Superlid
 
Posts: 209
Joined: March 26th, 2006, 8:17 am
Location: Wisconsin
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: English (United States)
Gender: Female

Postby Dora » October 30th, 2006, 3:02 am

There used to be a TV show called The Honeymooners where the neighbor would come over all the time (uninvited) to visit his friend. He would immediately go to the refrigerator and help himself to whatever food they had. If they offered him food, he would always accept it, even if he had just eaten at home.

It was very funny because it was so extreme, and the people who lived there never got annoyed because (I guess) they were so used to it. It was a running joke.

Maybe the other shows and movies are copying that?

I don't know how many of you have seen the show. It is very old.
User avatar
Dora
Superlid
 
Posts: 209
Joined: March 26th, 2006, 8:17 am
Location: Wisconsin
Country of residence: United States
Mother tongue: English (United States)
Gender: Female

Postby Vicky » October 30th, 2006, 6:48 am

I think they have exceptions. I had an american collegue who was always negging that everything is expensive here in Kyrgyzstan. Once I drove with her and she had to stop to buy a medicine which cost her about 6 USD and which she found too expensive. And that is with her salary which had at least +00 in comparison with local salaries. The same was when she got her baby, she found it stupid buying (skill developing) toys which would be used for few months only by the baby.
User avatar
Vicky
Superlid
 
Posts: 169
Joined: October 17th, 2006, 4:17 pm
Location: Sneek, Friesland
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: Kyrgyz
Second language: Russian
Gender: Female

Postby yessamaca » October 30th, 2006, 10:47 am

:lol: Yeah, I complain about the prices of things too. The lack of thrift and second hand stores is something I haven't quite gotten used to yet. I do think that, like Vicky's colleague, I am an exception. Especially with American teenagers. They have nicer cars than I ever did!

I think there is something to the idea that people are welcome to come in and help themselves to anything in an American home. Not everyone, of course, but I did have friends who did that. Although, they always used a glass. :) I always had a friend who kept spare keys to my car and house. We had many friends who didn't knockor ring the doorbell before coming in. I never knew it was an "american" thing though. :-D
User avatar
yessamaca
Lid
 
Posts: 18
Joined: October 12th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Location: Breda
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: English
Gender: Female

Postby evilbu » November 1st, 2006, 12:24 pm

Ah, a major difference is the "tip" in restaurants. In Flemish restaurants (and I suppose most Dutch restaurants as well) you really shouldn't tip, if you pay too much, your change will be correct, down to the last cent.
Of course, some naive tourists don't know this and do tip, and ... it's likely the staff doesn't go to heroic lengths to point out that they shouldn't. :D
User avatar
evilbu
Moedertaalspreker (native speaker)
 
Posts: 172
Joined: September 22nd, 2006, 12:00 pm
Location: near Ghent, Flanders (Belgium)
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)
Gender: Male

Postby yessamaca » November 1st, 2006, 1:33 pm

I still feel bad about not tiping. I know it's not something you do here in the Netherlands, but I feel guilty. I always leave the restaurant or cafe quickly and try not to make eye contact with the servers. Pull my hat down over my eyes and turn up the collar of my trenchcoat...that kind of thing.
User avatar
yessamaca
Lid
 
Posts: 18
Joined: October 12th, 2006, 1:24 pm
Location: Breda
Country of residence: Netherlands
Mother tongue: English
Gender: Female

Postby evilbu » November 1st, 2006, 1:40 pm

yessamaca wrote:I still feel bad about not tiping. I know it's not something you do here in the Netherlands, but I feel guilty. I always leave the restaurant or cafe quickly and try not to make eye contact with the servers. Pull my hat down over my eyes and turn up the collar of my trenchcoat...that kind of thing.

You really shouldn't. :D As I said, if you give too much they give it all back.
In Malta (which isn't exactly Flemish or Dutch, I know, but it's Europe.) we once explicitly told a waiter "THIS is your tip." and he immediately gave it back and said "No,you don't have to."
User avatar
evilbu
Moedertaalspreker (native speaker)
 
Posts: 172
Joined: September 22nd, 2006, 12:00 pm
Location: near Ghent, Flanders (Belgium)
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)
Gender: Male

Postby evilbu » November 4th, 2006, 12:06 pm

Nu moet ik ook eens iets positief over de USA-ers zeggen. :D

De mensen zijn er meer open en gaan je sneller helpen. Toen ik in Manhattan een gebouw op een kaart probeerde te vinden, kwam er een vrouw op me af die me vertelde waar ik heen moest. Toen ik verloren geraakte in de luchthaven van Atlanta, was er een passagier die me onmiddellijk zei waar wat te vinden.

Mensen in Vlaanderen (en Nederland?) kunnen misschien een beetje koud lijken. :-?
Ze zullen je echter ook wel helpen (ook in het Engels! :-D ) maar pas als je het hen expliciet vraagt.

Now I have to say something positive about the USA-ers as well. :D

People there are more open and will come to help you sooner. When I was trying to find a building on a map in Manhattan, a woman came up to me and told me where to go. When I got lost in Atlanta's airport, there was a passenger who immediately told me where to find what.

People in Flanders( and the Netherlands) mighy appear a little cold. :?
However, they will also help you (in Engish as well!:-D) but only if you explicitly ask them first.
User avatar
evilbu
Moedertaalspreker (native speaker)
 
Posts: 172
Joined: September 22nd, 2006, 12:00 pm
Location: near Ghent, Flanders (Belgium)
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)
Gender: Male

Postby Leeuwin » November 4th, 2006, 4:28 pm

Hoi iedereen,

I have lived a while in the USA and I still find most of their costomes quite strange. My mother has kept the Belgian costums and culture alive in our household, so many people have found our way of life odd too.

One of many things I find stange in the USA, is that not a lot of people eat together at a meal. Even when they are in the same household they seem to eat by themselves. Also if I'm at work and we are on lunch break, everyone eats alone and don't talk to eachother. I guess thats their way of eating a meal. I can't stand that though, I have to eat wih my family or fellow colleagues or it will feel strange or impolite to eat by myself.

Met vriendelijke groeten Leeuwin :)
User avatar
Leeuwin
Superlid
 
Posts: 130
Joined: September 8th, 2006, 4:09 am
Location: Leuven, Belgie
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: English
Gender: Female

Postby Janeera » February 5th, 2007, 7:55 pm

I agree with Leeuwin about eating by yourself feeling strange.   Where I used to work I would sometimes go find someone eating alone and ask if I might join them.  Usually they were happy to have some company – and I was too.  I just hope they didn’t think I was totally gek!

As long as we are talking about food....

Ik heb een vragtje over het verschil in gebruiken in restauranten.
I have a small question about the difference in customs in restaurants.

In the VS restaurants tend to serve large portions.  If you eat all of the food, you will get very fat – and many of us do!  So it is a common practice to ask for a “take home box” and bring the extra food  home for another meal.  Leaving the food behind seems wasteful, and it usually wasn’t cheap.

However, I got the impression in The Netherlands it may be quite rude to ask for a “take home box.”  Can some natives fill me in on the proper etiquette?
Alleen mensen die niets doen maken geen fouten.             Ome Jorge
User avatar
Janeera
Waardevol lid
 
Posts: 35
Joined: January 6th, 2007, 12:10 am
Location: Doha, Qatar

Postby Quetzal » February 5th, 2007, 9:30 pm

Janeera wrote:I agree with Leeuwin about eating by yourself feeling strange.   Where I used to work I would sometimes go find someone eating alone and ask if I might join them.  Usually they were happy to have some company – and I was too.  I just hope they didn’t think I was totally gek!

As long as we are talking about food....

Ik heb een vragtje vraagje over het verschil in gebruiken in restauranten.
I have a small question about the difference in customs in restaurants.

In the VS restaurants tend to serve large portions.  If you eat all of the food, you will get very fat – and many of us do!  So it is a common practice to ask for a “take home box” and bring the extra food  home for another meal.  Leaving the food behind seems wasteful, and it usually wasn’t cheap.

However, I got the impression in The Netherlands it may be quite rude to ask for a “take home box.”  Can some natives fill me in on the proper etiquette?


Uh, yeah, it's not usually done here. Under American influence the so-called doggie-bag exists in some restaurants (though I wouldn't try it in the more fancy restaurants), but that's not exactly the same as taking it home for the human customers to eat later. ;)

Of course, our restaurants tend to serve far smaller portions in the first place, so it's less often necessary. Especially the fancy ones tend to have rather small portions. In a restaurant that does serve really large portions and isn't too fancy/expensive, I guess it's worth a shot. The worst that can happen is they tell you they don't do that...
User avatar
Quetzal
Native speaker & global moderator
 
Posts: 2163
Joined: November 4th, 2006, 11:51 pm
Location: Belgium
Country of residence: Belgium
Mother tongue: Dutch (Flanders)

Next

Return to Laughs and Learning

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users