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Old 04-02-2010, 12:06 PM   #41
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In Italy, we were touring with four other cruisers, 2 from San Francisco and 2 from Texas. The Texan man was wearing a cap with the Canuck flag displayed front and center. Being Canadian, we asked the Texan where he was from. Houston he said without blinking!
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:02 PM   #42
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But I can attest that the French community living in the US had to deal with similar BS. It was so bad in 2004 that I almost moved back to Europe. In addition to the personal attacks, the constant and widespread French-bashing in the media became unbearable and each anti-French comment or joke became like a dagger that someone planted in my stomach. It felt horrible.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:32 PM   #43
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We once had an interesting experience in Sydney, Australia. We were in a bank attempting to change some travelers checks into Australian $. I was stood behind DW who was doing all the speaking. Unlike me she is very good at "linguistic accommodation" but the bank teller guessed she was English from her accent and was very rude. When she asked for id, DW slapped down her Louisiana driver's license and you could see the thoughts running through the teller's mind -"US $ travelers checks, US driving license, strange accent - OMG she's not English, she's American". Her attitude changed immediately and was extremely polite and welcoming from that point on





Full disclosure - we've spent 8 weeks in Australia and this was the only time we've ever came across a bad attitude or service, despite the stereotype that the Ozzies hate the Pommes.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:54 PM   #44
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It felt horrible.
Sounds like we each had unfortunate experiences.

I got side tracked going down bad memory lane. Before we went on the vacation to France my ds and I took a French class. Unfortunately we keep our mouths shut most of the time.

Italy and Japan I tried but unless the accents are dead on, they really have a hard time figuring out what you are saying. The Chinese on the other hand, God bless 'em, see it as a challenge and a chance to teach you and will have you say something again and again. They try to guess your nationality (they thought my Chinese sounds Italian which amused ds) and hug you for trying even when you are telling them you don't want any. I loved the Chinese, they are so very nice (to each other not so much...but I did secretly enjoy watching them scream at each other in public - lol).

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she's not English, she's American". Her attitude changed immediately and was extremely polite and welcoming from that point on.
Funny. I always get Australian and British accents mixed up.

One of my favorite forums is WordReference Forums Be careful though it's really addicting for some reason.
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:32 PM   #45
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Funny. I always get Australian and British accents mixed up...
The ability to distingish between Aussie, Brit and South African is indeed a fine art. But the speaker will consider it a great talent on your part.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:32 PM   #46
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The ability to distingish between Aussie, Brit and South African is indeed a fine art. But the speaker will consider it a great talent on your part.
Don't forget to add New Zealand to that list.

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Old 04-03-2010, 03:32 PM   #47
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The only country I have experienced anti-American treatment is Canada. Maybe a whiff in Germany and Holland (so much for having a Dutch surname), but the Canucks (not uniformly, but IMHO more than half) are definitely hostile. (I learn so much by keeping my mouth shut and listening. )

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Cummon Ed. We Canucks, collectively, think you you-alls are ok individually but your collective persona leaves a bit to be desired. Most of us have met one or two who do fit the "ulgy American" stereotype. The term "tarred with the same brush" comes to mind. Don't leave Cowtown for Tronna or Ottawa, you'll get a real shock there.

Disclaimer: Some of my best friends are from south of the border.
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Old 04-03-2010, 03:35 PM   #48
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Heck, in 2006 we got some really nasty looks due to our TX license plates in Washington State! For some reason, by our visit in 2008 this seemed to have gone away.

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Old 04-03-2010, 03:53 PM   #49
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The ability to distingish between Aussie, Brit and South African is indeed a fine art. But the speaker will consider it a great talent on your part.
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Don't forget to add New Zealand to that list.

Audrey
I've met so few New Zealanders that I don't think that I could tell the difference. Back in 1979 we went on vacation to Ireland, and at a beauty spot on the Ring of Kerry I thought I had met my first ever Americans but when I asked what part of the USA they were from I got a very agitated "We are Canadians!!". A few days later while lining up at Blarney Castle to go and kiss the stone we heard a group of 4 tourists ahead of us and one of them hollered "Anyone wanting the gift of the gab line up here - Texans need not bother". I turned to my wife and said "Ah, that's what an American accent sounds like ".

Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to move to Texas 8 years later
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Old 04-03-2010, 08:03 PM   #50
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kumquat,

I have been working in Ontario, Alberta and now BC for over seven years. Alberta was the most friendly, but don't take it for granted. I get along best with the immigrants.
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Old 04-05-2010, 11:51 AM   #51
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I've met so few New Zealanders that I don't think that I could tell the difference. Back in 1979 we went on vacation to Ireland, and at a beauty spot on the Ring of Kerry I thought I had met my first ever Americans but when I asked what part of the USA they were from I got a very agitated "We are Canadians!!".
I am taking a Spanish class with a New Zealander. I would say that they are easier to pick out than any of the others (except Canucks).
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:22 PM   #52
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Granted, it was 25 years ago, but when I was living in Geneva (with France at the city limits in almost every direction) I was amazed at the amount of goodwill still remaining after WWII. Folks, sometimes strangers, "d'un certain âge" often approached me to tell me exactly when and where they were when liberated by U.S. forces. They generally knew the name of the company. It was very touching, and made history much more real and personal for me.
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Old 04-05-2010, 02:40 PM   #53
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I am taking a Spanish class with a New Zealander. I would say that they are easier to pick out than any of the others (except Canucks).
Does he/she sound like this?



... and is it much different from this?




The NZ accent does sound milder than the OZ accent
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Old 04-07-2010, 10:23 AM   #54
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Does he/she sound like this?
Yes she sounds pretty much like the first one (except of course when speaking Spanish).
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:31 AM   #55
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Funny you guys have so much time distinguishing between Aussie, Kiwi and Saffa accents. As an Aussie, to me, these accents are so distinct that it seems unreal that anyone could not tell the difference. I think Aussies are much more nasal than the others. Kiwis, just ask them to say six (sounds like sex) and fish and chips (fush & chips). Saffas are more formal sounding, their choice of words is structured more formally.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:44 AM   #56
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Learning to speak spanish has been a bit of an obsession of mine for the past couple of years. One of the most rewarding outcomes of it has been the ability to connect with people during my travels - to interact with random people in shops, taxis and in the streets.

The people abroad who can speak english will of course aproach an obviously foreign-looking person (to sell you something or whatever). I find that the people who don't speak any english generally are so happy to talk to me. Maybe because they don't normally speak to tourists they enjoy telling their stories.

I've really enjoy breaking out of the pre-packaged tourist bubble when I can.
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:01 PM   #57
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Funny you guys have so much time distinguishing between Aussie, Kiwi and Saffa accents. As an Aussie, to me, these accents are so distinct that it seems unreal that anyone could not tell the difference. I think Aussies are much more nasal than the others. Kiwis, just ask them to say six (sounds like sex) and fish and chips (fush & chips). Saffas are more formal sounding, their choice of words is structured more formally.
I have no problems recognizing a saffa accent as I've heard many. With the kiwis I can tell them apart on those videos I found and I guess I'll be able to tell them apart for the next few months until I forget what the kiwi accent sounds like For me it's all a matter of being exposed enough to the accents I think.

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Learning to speak spanish has been a bit of an obsession of mine for the past couple of years. One of the most rewarding outcomes of it has been the ability to connect with people during my travels - to interact with random people in shops, taxis and in the streets.

The people abroad who can speak english will of course aproach an obviously foreign-looking person (to sell you something or whatever). I find that the people who don't speak any english generally are so happy to talk to me. Maybe because they don't normally speak to tourists they enjoy telling their stories.

I've really enjoy breaking out of the pre-packaged tourist bubble when I can.
4 years ago I was traveling on business and I always like to attempt the local language when I can - in my experience the effort is usually well appreciated. One day I was traveling from Spain to France and at lunch in Madrid I concentrated really hard and correctly ordered food at a carry out place. Later that day in Lille railway station I didn't concentrate as hard since I know a lot more French than Spanish. I intended to order a chocolate croissant and a cup of coffee. When I got the end of the line where you pick up your order I received 3 cups of hot chocolate (I said nothing, just behaved as if it was exactly what I wanted )
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:04 PM   #58
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alan, sometimes all you need is a point of reference. If you were talking with myself and a Kiwi at the same time I am sure you would immediately pick the difference between the two of us.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:16 PM   #59
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I've met so few New Zealanders that I don't think that I could tell the difference.

Never in our wildest dreams did we expect to move to Texas 8 years later
Grew up with a bunch of them. It was a pretty extreme accent to me - but I think some of it rubbed off. My accent was probably more Australian though.

But living in TX all my adult life, I lost the "exotic" accent and everyone has me pegged as a southerner now (but a southerner from where? - that they can't tell).

I though my DH (native texan) had a pretty strong TX accent when I first met him. But I don't hear it at all know.

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Old 04-08-2010, 06:37 AM   #60
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I have always associated the "wear a Canadian Flag on your backpack and you'll be ok" with the stereotypical 20-something American who spent a summer during or after college backpacking from hostel to hostel in Europe (or SE Asia), hanging out with mostly 20-something backpacking westerners of very similar mindset. I just assumed these people thought it was cooler to be from somewhere that wasn't big bad US of A.
Most of the time yes but...

A work friend of mine and his wife were in the Congo, looking a Gorillas in a park (I believe the same spot as Gorillas in the Mist ). Their entire expedition was captured by local rebels. The SOB sorted them by nationality and hacked my friends, another American couple, and British couple to death with machetes. I guess they are execution weapon of choice in Central Africa . The rebels eventually released the Canadians and other Europeans. The Canadians interviewed afterword were sure it was purely a nationality issue.

I'll certainly travel with a Canada flag if I was going to any place potentially dangerous.
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