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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:57 am 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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paprikapapaya wrote:
I've never been to Europe and am going this year (See you there, 'bang?!) and I'm kind of worried about how that will work out. Especially since part of my trip will be in Hungary, and I'll be visiting with family who don't know a lick of English and I only know a few phrases in Hungarian. That should be interesting.
Remember, a lot of us are singling out one or two things over months or years living in the target language's country - just visiting is another matter. 90% of the people in the world are kind, considerate, interesting and wonderful. It's the other 10% that can be silly sometimes. Have a fantastic time!

Don't underestimate the power of giggling hand gestures and silly noises (a blender goes vvzzhh a knife sharpener goes schik schik schik). Humour is your saviour!

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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:55 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
when I speak my American-tinted Dutch, some people treat me like I'm either stupid or a child.

this happened to Mr T in Japan all the time with his accented Japanese. Oddly, my accented Japanese meant I was a smart foreigner, his meant he was a rhubarbed japanese person. Funny how different our experiences were.


That said, Gulliver is completely right. The ability to just laugh, at yourself if need be, when you're in these situations and have to fulfill all your needs using a phrase book while being genuinely appreciative, etc is useful, functional, and even great fun.

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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:23 am 
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Gulliver wrote:
Remember, a lot of us are singling out one or two things over months or years living in the target language's country - just visiting is another matter.

Don't underestimate the power of giggling hand gestures and silly noises (a blender goes vvzzhh a knife sharpener goes schik schik schik). Humour is your saviour!


Yes and yes. When someone asks me how good my german is i usually just say that i've become an expert in communicating in single word sentences and hand gestures.


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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:37 am 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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Fun fact for you: there isn't really a Swedish word for please like the English expression. Not even a one expression fits all. While there are ways to express it, most just don't.

Gulliver wrote:
On an unrelated note, I want to study another language. Swedish or Dutch? I think Dutch would be quite easy weil ich Deutsch kenne und die zwei sprachen sind relativ ähnlich, on the other hand I want to be able to read in Swedish eftersom Tove Jannson är en favorit författere till mig.

You'd have a lot of help from English and German when learning Swedish, too.

And since you separated a composite word here (favoritförfattare), I'll mention that this is one of my pet peeves when it comes to writing Swedish. Now, you're not Swedish and say you haven't even studied the language so you are forgiven. Native Swedes do it all the time too, though, and that annoys me. Particularly since it can totally change the meaning. My favourite example of this will usually come up during Christmas season regarding a type of Santa-shaped marshmallow-type candy called skumtomte (foam Santa).
Correct Swedish: Chokladöverdragen skumtomte (translation: chocolate-covered foam Santa)
Separated to the max: Choklad över dragen skum tomte (translation: chocolate over drunken weird Santa)


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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:50 am 
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Not NOT A Furry
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No "please"? How do you order a drink?

I feel like a foreigner in Croatia although I've lived here my whole life.

I come to a café. The waiter comes to my table. I say: "Good afternoon! One black tea and a glass of water, please."

An average resident of Croatia comes to a café. The waiter comes to their table. They say: "Coffee with milk." No greeting, no "please".

I say "please" at farmers' market, too. I can't talk like other people do. I feel like sellers often think I'm naive and that they can sell me anything.

Threads about visiting England on Croatian forums warn tourists that they won't be able to order or buy anything if they don't say "please", that English people are really formal about their "please", blah blah. Isn't saying "please" common decency?


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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:09 am 
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rhelune wrote:
No "please"? How do you order a drink?
I think you use tack/thanks in much the same way. Like in (British) English how the response to "thanks" is usually "thanks", rather than "you're welcome". "Thanks" in English can also kind of mean goodbye or you're welcome or any number of things. I probably don't say "please" enough, but I say "thank you" or its variants a bajillion times a day.

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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:23 am 
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rhelune wrote:
No "please"? How do you order a drink?

There are several possible ways including using the word for "thank you". Mostly we're just "rude" like you describe Croatians. When ordering something in a café most just state what they want (although people will usually say hello first). I also get the feeling that pleasantries in general are more common the older you are. Apparently (from what I have noticed lately) the only ones who say sorry when bumping into someone are people my age or older.


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 Post subject: Re: multilingual/multiculti people: help me?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:34 am 
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inceptisol wrote:
Gulliver wrote:
Remember, a lot of us are singling out one or two things over months or years living in the target language's country - just visiting is another matter.

Don't underestimate the power of giggling hand gestures and silly noises (a blender goes vvzzhh a knife sharpener goes schik schik schik). Humour is your saviour!


Yes and yes. When someone asks me how good my german is i usually just say that i've become an expert in communicating in single word sentences and hand gestures.


Yes! Dating my husband was filled with this. It's funny because he was so shy about his lack of English, but I wasn't afraid to make a fool of myself, and it eventually made us closer and he loosened up a bit.

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