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Other than Brewing => The Pub => Topic started by: corkybstewart on January 26, 2012, 06:57:48 am

Title: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: corkybstewart on January 26, 2012, 06:57:48 am
I see this a lot, usually from somebody who may have been to Paris or Toulouse for a working week and suddenly they are experts on French culture and people.  I've been married to a French woman for 31 years now, she has 10 siblings and they all live within  3 miles of each other.  Over they years we've spent a total of about 3 years in France, but I still don't consider myself an expert.
When I'm in my wife's village I know everybody and it's normal that we are treated great by everybody, even the ones who claim to dislike one thing or another about America.  They're usually like the Americans I meet who dislike France(ignorant).  When we're away from home base I still have never been treated with anything but respect, even in Paris. When I go somewhere on my own, with no French inlaws with me, I still have never experienced rudeness.  In fact I've had people ask if I'm american and then buy me a drink and ask me questions. I speak my own version of French but it's close enough to the real thing that people understand me and they appreciate that I've taken the time and effort to learn French. Here in the States when I see tourists from Europe they will always have somebody in the group with a good working knowledge of English.  When I see Americans in Europe they seem pissed that the waiter doesn't speak perfect English.  I've seen Americans get angry that when they order "iced tea", a drink not commonly enjoyed by Europeans, it comes with 2 small ice cubes, or when the food they order is not at all what they expected it would be.  In general 95% of the a**holishness I've seen in Europe originates with an American tourist who can't comprehend why things aren't done like they are in America.  Last year In Germany I unknowingly ordered a medium rare pork steak(my German is limited to ordering ein bier) but I ate it and enjoyed it because it was my own stupidity, not the waitress.  It's my responsibility to learn a foreign language when I travel, not theirs so any misunderstandings are my fault.
End of rant
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 26, 2012, 07:06:45 am
Brushing up on the Deutsch right now. We had an OK level of the language when we lived there (to give credit, the wife was much better).  When we hear some American say in a loud voice "CAN'T YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?" to a German, we shake our heads and wander away.  We have seen this all too much.

Edit: When traveling to a new country, we have found that some effort to learn a little of the language pays back dividends. We learn how to say "Please, Thank You, I don't speak (insert Language hear)", and as a beer drinker "Where is the restroom". 

You can learn a lot of a language in a month it you try.  Made our trip to Italy a few years back much more enjoyable, and I had started off with no Italian. 
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: phillamb168 on January 26, 2012, 07:12:03 am
@hopfenundmalz you really hear people say that? Jeez.

Living overseas certainly gives you perspective on intercultural behavior.

Of course, the problem is that in the touristy places, the waiters etc really ARE jerks, and in a lot of the shops near touristy areas the customer service is HORRIBLE. Ya just gotta go a little further out, is all.

Oh and one more thing to keep in mind before passing judgement: Paris is statistically the most touristy city on the planet, and France is the most touristy country. For customer service and waiters in those touristy areas, they don't care whether you get served or not - there will always be somebody coming in right after you.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: pinnah on January 26, 2012, 07:12:56 am
We have seen this all too much.

+2.

I spent a summer living on a famous plaza,
and almost invariably
it was the Americans that were loud, fat, and demanding.

No wonder some Europeans have a particular stereotype of all Americans.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: hopfenundmalz on January 26, 2012, 07:13:25 am
Yes.  The more frustrated they get, the louder they say it.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: Kit B on January 26, 2012, 07:16:55 am
Sometimes, people can project their discomfort on others & make everyone seem like a**holes.

For instance, I once went to a family reuinion in Canada (yes...French).
Most of the French-speaking family members didn't mingle with the most of the English-speaking family members (& vice-versa).
At one point, someone said that the families from Montreal were a**holes, for avoiding the rest of us.
My dad asked them whether they had tried to go over & introduce themselves...Of course, they hadn't.
I'm conviced that it wasn't due to anyone being a**holes...It was all about comfort levels/zones.
It was strange, but everyone got along & attended the same parties & games, that week.
I have never seen so many short, portly folks wearing perma-smiles.
I'd like to see that happen again, some day.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: bluesman on January 26, 2012, 07:20:30 am
When I hear a stereotype like that...my tpical response is "I didn't realize you knew everyone from France".

Stereotyping is very short sighted and ignorant. I try to ignore this kind of behavior.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: theDarkSide on January 26, 2012, 07:32:48 am
it was the Americans that were loud, fat, and demanding.

Hey...I resemble that remark...I mean resent  ;D


Of course, the problem is that in the touristy places, the waiters etc really ARE jerks, and in a lot of the shops near touristy areas the customer service is HORRIBLE. Ya just gotta go a little further out, is all.
Same here in the States, and not to just the foreign tourisrts, but Americans as well.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: theDarkSide on January 26, 2012, 07:35:02 am
When I hear a stereotype like that...my tpical response is "I didn't realize you knew everyone from France".

Stereotyping is very short sighted and ignorant. I try to ignore this kind of behavior.

I heard the stereotype for people in Delaware was they are all brilliant and handsome...thanks for setting the record straight  ;D

Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: bluesman on January 26, 2012, 07:38:30 am

I heard the stereotype for people in Delaware was they are all brilliant and handsome...thanks for setting the record straight  ;D



Hey...I resemble that remark.  ;) :P
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: weithman5 on January 26, 2012, 08:23:09 am
1.  i don't travel to foreign countries because i don't speak the language, or have someone that can. 
2.  similarly i expect people who come here to have a working knowledge of our language, it is right for them to expect me to have a knowledge of theirs when i visit.
3.  most people are assholes ;D, regardless of where they originate
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: Slowbrew on January 26, 2012, 09:27:19 am
We joke about the French stereotypes in our house because it one of my wife's "this will get her going" buttons.  She spent in a summer in France between Jr. and Sr. year of high school.  She stayed with a wonderful family and we still exchange letters at Christmas.  Our kids know it's all in fun and do not believe all the French are rude, cheese eating, surrender monkeys.

One of the funniest aspects of the Christmas letters is that we right our letter in English and they write there's in French.  I always imagine them sitting around the kitchen table trying to tease out the meaning of our English the same way we do their French.  We have started sending the English version and a Google Translate version to help everyone involved.

Scott Adams once had Dilbert say "Everyone is somebody-else's weirdo" and the same is true for a55h0l3s.

I try to learn at least enough of any countries language to be able ask for food, water, beer and a bathroom.  It isn't perfect but it at least keeps you from completely embarrassing yourself.

Paul
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: morticaixavier on January 26, 2012, 09:32:04 am
thank you corky! it drives me nuts.

Sometimes, people can project their discomfort on others & make everyone seem like a**holes.

For instance, I once went to a family reuinion in Canada (yes...French).
Most of the French-speaking family members didn't mingle with the most of the English-speaking family members (& vice-versa).
At one point, someone said that the families from Montreal were a**holes, for avoiding the rest of us.
My dad asked them whether they had tried to go over & introduce themselves...Of course, they hadn't.
I'm conviced that it wasn't due to anyone being a**holes...It was all about comfort levels/zones.
It was strange, but everyone got along & attended the same parties & games, that week.
I have never seen so many short, portly folks wearing perma-smiles.I'd like to see that happen again, some day.


Hurray for short portly Québécoise having fun! it makes me smile just thinking about it
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: edvinjonsson on January 26, 2012, 10:12:42 am
I live in Mazatlan, Mexico, a small town on the west coast, and I see that everyday. A lot of americans come here, and some even live here, and I've never seen ONE trying to speak some spanish, they expect everyone in here to understand english. Of course most people here do speak at least some english, since its a touristic place.

I'm actually american, but I've lived here all my life, so english is my second language. I try to practice a lot cause I like to travel to the US pretty often. Mostly because of the beer. ;)
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: jamminbrew on January 26, 2012, 10:54:56 am
I am currently in Iceland, and the language here is nearly impossible to pronounce for the uninitiated. Fortunately, all Icelanders speak decent english. I do try to learn, but the language is sufficiently different as to be a difficult thing to remember. Though my pronunciation is getting better, and I try to say all the words on signs I see to get a feel for it. Mi espanol es mejor... pero no hay mucho personas que hablan espanol aqui...
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: firedog23 on January 26, 2012, 11:13:30 am
To not travel to another country because you don't speak the language is only robbing yourself of seeing the world. Nobody wants you to know their language but if you show a sincere effort to communicate in their language, even at a basic level will earn you a lot of patience from the locals.  Also, to expect someone to know English just so they can visit the states is crazy. They are visiting, not trying to gain citizenship.

I say this from experience and living in 8 different countries and doing my best to use their language.

Also, there are places in France that welcome Americans with open arms and meet us more than halfway when it comes to language. The biggest reason for this, we are not German and they still remember what our grandfathers did back in WWII.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: tschmidlin on January 26, 2012, 11:20:32 am
I've found people to be very nice when I've traveled and struggled with the language.  The worst is when you're really trying and they insist on switching to English because your Italian is so bad. ;D

Although I still think it is weird to go to a Mexican restaurant in the US and say por favor and gracias, it just doesn't feel right to me.

Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: morticaixavier on January 26, 2012, 11:27:16 am
I worked at a taco bell in NM while I was in college and most of the other folks that worked there were at least raised speaking spanish at home. By the time I left there were a half dozen native spanish speaking mexican/americans pronouncing taco, burrito and quesadilla with a bad american in mexico (cwesadilia) accent. I actually have decent spanish pronunciation but I also have a terrible sense of humor.  ::)
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: garc_mall on January 26, 2012, 11:37:20 am
I've found people to be very nice when I've traveled and struggled with the language.  The worst is when you're really trying and they insist on switching to English because your Italian is so bad. ;D

The last time I was in Korea (I speak pretty good Korean) I always had waitresses in restaurants try to speak to me in English. I usually had to insist that they spoke Korean, because I couldn't understand their English.

And on topic...

My wife speaks french, and loves France. Being in the US Army, I love to push her buttons about the french rifle-droppers. It always gets her going  ;D
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: firedog23 on January 26, 2012, 11:43:34 am
And one experience repeated many times in Japan is they wanted to speak English because it was conversational and not academic.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: Slowbrew on January 26, 2012, 12:04:01 pm
I've found people to be very nice when I've traveled and struggled with the language.  The worst is when you're really trying and they insist on switching to English because your Italian is so bad. ;D

Although I still think it is weird to go to a Mexican restaurant in the US and say por favor and gracias, it just doesn't feel right to me.



We visit our local Mexican restaurant at least once a week.  The kids call it our second kitchen.  You know the one with good food.  Anyway, I goaded my son into asking for a job so he could learn the language faster.  Our waiter walked up and Mike asked, in Spanish, for a job.  The waiter didn't think he was serious at first but they didn't have a job for him anyway.  The funny outcome of this is that Mike is now required, by the entire wait staff, to speak only Spanish at the table.  Ironically, his Spanish is getting much better.

Long story short, some nights they even expect the old German/English guy with zero second language skills to converse in Spanish.  Please and Thank You are easy and perfectly normal in either language for us.  My wife throws them a curve ball by conversing in French.  They do all know us by name though and it makes for very entertaining meals.

Paul
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: corkybstewart on January 26, 2012, 12:10:08 pm
We've traveled all over Europe and the only place we've ever experienced rudeness was in Italy back in 1988 and it was so widespread that I'll never go there again.
Language-wise one of my funniest experiences was visiting London with my 2 sisters, a BIL and my new wife.  She had lived in London for a couple of years and was the only person in the group who understood British English so she had to translate everything for us.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: firedog23 on January 26, 2012, 12:17:25 pm
Living in England is a matter of trying to slow down what you hear.  After 5 years I still struggle with parts of Suffolk (mainly the out in the country parts) let alone the rest of the country.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: euge on January 26, 2012, 12:19:05 pm
We've traveled all over Europe and the only place we've ever experienced rudeness was in Italy back in 1988 and it was so widespread that I'll never go there again.
Language-wise one of my funniest experiences was visiting London with my 2 sisters, a BIL and my new wife.  She had lived in London for a couple of years and was the only person in the group who understood British English so she had to translate everything for us.

haha I love it!

Watching travel shows and they have subtitles for when the Brits are speaking. And Cajuns too. Hilarious.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: beersk on January 26, 2012, 12:31:52 pm
it was the Americans that were loud, fat, and demanding.

Hey...I resemble that remark...I mean resent  ;D


Of course, the problem is that in the touristy places, the waiters etc really ARE jerks, and in a lot of the shops near touristy areas the customer service is HORRIBLE. Ya just gotta go a little further out, is all.
Same here in the States, and not to just the foreign tourisrts, but Americans as well.
My girlfriend's sister was in town for xmas and she works in a restaurant in Times Square in NYC.  She was telling us how foreign people come in all the time and don't speak English and how they're rude if you don't understand THEM.  She was saying how when they do that, she just walks away.  She was b****ing about how French people smell and get all rude when you can't understand them.  I was thinking to myself, "Americans are the same, except we wear tons of nasty smelling perfume and think the world is made for us."  She was annoying the piss out of me, ruined my night, unfortunately.
I pretty much think a**holes are going to be anywhere you go.  Americans are a special kind of a**hole with the "come to our country, speak English or die, follow OUR traditions, blah blah blah" attitude.  

Whatever.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: weithman5 on January 26, 2012, 12:32:17 pm
its not that i don't travel to foreign countries (i was in the navy for goodness sake) i just feel uncomfortable if i don't know the language.  i have made efforts, and fortunately my wife was a language major and she keeps me out of trouble (or she is contracting a hit ;D0

hopefully will be going to paris with my wife (flight attendant and will have to work ;D) in the next few months

incidentally, just to pick on the french for no good reason. go to you tube and search french missile test.you have to wait till near the end but it is worth it.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: Kit B on January 26, 2012, 12:43:08 pm
Wow...Change of pants, anyone?
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: firedog23 on January 26, 2012, 12:44:45 pm
It would have of no big issue. It was filled with hundreds of tiny white flags!  ;D
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: theoman on January 27, 2012, 05:01:30 am
Being a rude tourist is one thing, but a life without exploiting stereotypes would just be boring.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: phillamb168 on January 27, 2012, 05:44:59 am
Being a rude tourist is one thing, but a life without exploiting stereotypes would just be boring.

You just say that because you eat frites all the time.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: theoman on January 27, 2012, 06:02:43 am
Being a rude tourist is one thing, but a life without exploiting stereotypes would just be boring.

You just say that because you eat frites all the time.

Isn't it hard to type with a cigarette in one hand?
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: phillamb168 on January 27, 2012, 08:35:37 am
Being a rude tourist is one thing, but a life without exploiting stereotypes would just be boring.

You just say that because you eat frites all the time.

Isn't it hard to type with a cigarette in one hand?

Not as hard as it is to type with no government. Besides I have my mistress to hold the cigarette for me.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: beersk on January 27, 2012, 03:17:20 pm
So you guys are like, how old?  Just lovin' the frivolous arguing guys, keep it up.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: pinnah on January 27, 2012, 04:18:16 pm
the frivolous arguing

 :D, I thought they were just pointing out some hilarious stereotypes from that part of the world.

I chuckled hard at this one:
Isn't it hard to type with a cigarette in one hand?   ;D

Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: fatdogale on January 27, 2012, 05:29:43 pm

Watching travel shows and they have subtitles for when the Brits are speaking. And Cajuns too. Hilarious.

We're big fans of An Idiot Abroad, but there are times I don't understand a word Karl Pilkington says - subtitles please!
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: EHall on January 27, 2012, 05:30:38 pm
somehow I get the impression I caused this rant... I was the one in your 'coworker was bugging you' thread... I said he sounds like a typical french asshole....
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: corkybstewart on January 27, 2012, 09:51:09 pm
somehow I get the impression I caused this rant... I was the one in your 'coworker was bugging you' thread... I said he sounds like a typical french asshole....
Yeah, but I've had exactly the same rant with my french and German friends whose complete knowledge of the US comes from re-runs of Dallas and other ignorant shows. >:(
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: firedog23 on January 28, 2012, 12:54:02 am
somehow I get the impression I caused this rant... I was the one in your 'coworker was bugging you' thread... I said he sounds like a typical french asshole....
Yeah, but I've had exactly the same rant with my french and German friends whose complete knowledge of the US comes from re-runs of Dallas and other ignorant shows. >:(

And Jerry Springer does us wonders over here in England.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: narvin on January 28, 2012, 08:54:18 am
This probably isn't the right forum for this topic.  Ask a proctologist.
Title: Re: "Typical French a**hole"
Post by: phillamb168 on January 30, 2012, 04:22:23 am
somehow I get the impression I caused this rant... I was the one in your 'coworker was bugging you' thread... I said he sounds like a typical french asshole....
Yeah, but I've had exactly the same rant with my french and German friends whose complete knowledge of the US comes from re-runs of Dallas and other ignorant shows. >:(

Speaking of stereotypes, in France every tv show theme song has lyrics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlfHcCLn4pk <- Dallas

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pm95j3iNXNk <- The A-Team

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGHx93g0wyA <- Knight Rider

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjLqtioEpm8 <- Starsky & Hutch