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Old 2009-06-17, 19:51   Link #1
Gordy Lechance
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Unhappy Double Standards of Western Travellers In Eastern Countries

Most of Us ABC's (American/Australian Born Chinese) have met one or two of these.

The type of person whom on western soil screams at you to "Speak English!!" when it's frankly none of their business what language you speak to your family, friends and loved ones.

And the same type of person who does not even bother to learn one word of the tongue spoken in the Asian country they are visiting, and then get indignant and angry that nobody is speaking English for them.

And recently, they are appearing in unfortunately increasing numbers in Asian countries.

Yet they seem to be the ones who remember that its good manners to learn the tongues of the European countries they visit; too bad they don't seem to think that basic respect applies to countries that don't use a Roman Alphabet.

Have any other ABC's here met idiots like these in your home countries?
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Old 2009-06-17, 20:14   Link #2
Vexx
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No, actually the "ugly 'merican" (or "ugly aussie, etc") tourist is a fixture in European, Latino, and even Canadian countries as well. Don't feel extra special just because you don't have a 'roman alphabet'. Sometimes they're like that even WITHIN the US when visiting another region within the US (making fun of dialects, accents, etc).

They *really* don't understand that people don't secretly speak english "off stage", they stay in utterly westernized hotels, and have zero interest in how people actually live -- they're just there to check off *things I've seen* and they're a monstrous singularity of self-centrism. The "restroom is down the hall" hotels just completely horrify them.

Some of it stems from simply getting almost no cultural studies in K-12 coupled with zero requirement for languages (they often don't even speak their native tongue well).

I find myself doing "cultural repair" too often (me suffering) because of their arrogant idiocy.

Oh and as a counterpoint to the "Speak English!!!" ... nothing like a US native-born 3rd gen asian being told "Your English is very good!" by the well-meaning branch of this lot
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Old 2009-06-18, 01:04   Link #3
Mystique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordy Lechance View Post
Most of Us ABC's (American/Australian Born Chinese) have met one or two of these.

The type of person whom on western soil screams at you to "Speak English!!" when it's frankly none of their business what language you speak to your family, friends and loved ones.

And the same type of person who does not even bother to learn one word of the tongue spoken in the Asian country they are visiting, and then get indignant and angry that nobody is speaking English for them.

And recently, they are appearing in unfortunately increasing numbers in Asian countries.

Yet they seem to be the ones who remember that its good manners to learn the tongues of the European countries they visit; too bad they don't seem to think that basic respect applies to countries that don't use a Roman Alphabet.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA!
You're kidding, right?
My dear, let me tell you about British tourists, or more specifically:
"English tourists and Spain"
English tourists have such a bad rep that Europeans hate us.
We're freaking infamous for it, lemme see if I can dig up that BBC article I read sometime ago.
Not only does it go as far as 'speak English' but also 'where's my fish and chips, I want real food!'

English native countries take for granted that since English is the international language of the world, they 'assume' and 'expect' all to bow down to it.
Tourists like that make me wanna gut them, it infuriates me that much, their sheer arrogance is outstanding.
"Can't be arsed to learn a lil of the language or respect the culture of the country you're visiting?
GTFO then please."

Good thing I'm not an immigration officer, would love to stalk bad mannered tourists and deport them faster than they can say "speak-".
Sadly there are too many in Tokyo (tourists and "drifters" (long term gaijin who live in the Roppongi bubble) alike as I call them) and it doesn't particularly increase my like for Americans, sad to say.
A good one I had during my year out in Tokyo.

Me: Let's grab the lift to the canteen
Dude: Say what?
Me: *translates* The elevator, we're using that to get to Sakura cafe
Dude: Yeesh, learn to speak english, will you
Me: Excuse me...?
- I was verbally civil after that... somewhat >.>

As for the term ABC, someone mind re-explaining that again in terms of geography (you mean asian in asia?) for the clueless Brit please?

Edit:
Okay, income the articles, whee~~~ (typicaly Brits vs Europe)
World's Worst Tourists: The Bad, Bad British
Quote:
More recent surveys have focused on how often Brits get arrested overseas, with 1,549 British tourists being arrested in Spain alone last year. ('06)
The article above also referrs to the 2002 survey which is linked on the BBC website here

Each nationality has their share of ignorant, non-stopping whining and bitching tourists, though somehow we've made an art of being unruly as well as rude >.>
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Last edited by Mystique; 2009-06-18 at 01:20.
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Old 2009-06-18, 01:21   Link #4
Theowne
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Regardless of a few arrogant people, I think it's good that there is some kind of international language accepted in most places around the world, as it sure makes cross cultural communication easier.

Just a small note:

Quote:
The type of person whom on western soil screams at you to "Speak English!!" when it's frankly none of their business what language you speak to your family, friends and loved ones.
Personally, I think nations that open themselves to people around the world have at least the humble right to want their language/culture to carry on the same level of importance to future generations. (I say this as a second gen immigrant).
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Old 2009-06-18, 01:25   Link #5
Vexx
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@Mystique: We can only assume the Roman tourists probably behaved somewhat the same when visiting the territories in the late 400s AD.

Quote:
Personally, I think nations that open themselves to people around the world have at least the humble right to want their language/culture to carry on the same level of importance to future generations. (I say this as a second gen immigrant).
Yes, everyone should learn the primary language of the land they immigrate to, but it is the height of obnoxiousness to *yell* at a stranger for speaking another language to their friend (or to yell at tourists for speaking their own language). In a trolley in San Francisco, it isn't unusual to hear multiple languages, sometimes from the same person. If I moved to any other country, I just assume it is MY duty to learn the local language though I'd always keep my native tongue handy.

In my area, we have a large influx of recent immigrants: Russian, Ukraine, Guatemala, Cambodian, etc. They're not immediately up to speed -- my wife (pharmacist) has picked up enough phrases in 4 or 5 languages to make these people comfortable and help them with their english.

Great amusement is to be had when you know a bit of a language and the speakers don't realize you know what they're saying My wife and I were running a concession stand with some help from members of the high school soccer team. The two boys didn't realize we could speak some spanish and were "checking out the girls". My wife (japanese-american) asked them in Spanish if their mother let them talk like that about women.

Beet, beet red embarrassment....
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Old 2009-06-18, 01:27   Link #6
Oppius
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I don't know this one counted but in my country Jews are not welcomed because they afraid Jews will steal their land.
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Old 2009-06-18, 01:42   Link #7
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amex_Yohko View Post
I don't know this one counted but in my country Jews are not welcomed because they afraid Jews will steal their land.
... ... O.O

no, that isn't quite it. The OP was discussing poorly behaved obnoxious tourists who think the world should all be like it is in their neighborhood.
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Old 2009-06-18, 01:47   Link #8
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Slightly off-topic, but even here at home, when I speak Mandarin, people tend to think I'm from the PRC. Perhaps, I should do that if I ever visit the States.
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Old 2009-06-18, 02:22   Link #9
Gordy Lechance
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystique View Post
As for the term ABC, someone mind re-explaining that again in terms of geography (you mean asian in asia?) for the clueless Brit please?
Ah,

A.B.C is a term popularized in the mid 1990's by the online Chinese/Taiwanese/Cantonese immigrant community, with the world A standing in for the two most popular countries for people of Chinese ethnicity to immigrate to:

America

and

Australia.

B is for "born" and C is for "Chinese."

And hence "ABC" means "Australian/American Born Chinese."

It is a catch-all term for people of Chinese ethnicity who are either born in the west

Or someone born in Taiwan/China/Hong Kong who has moved to and grown-up-in the western country (for Taiwanese-Aussies like me).

It is also, of course, a pun on the English language to denote someone who has been overseas for a long time to study it ("ABC", get it? )

But of late it has gradually evolved to encompass westernized-Asians of any ethnicity. So for instance it won't be too odd occasionally in an Asian-circle-of-friends for a Japanese-American friend to be referred to as an "ABC" as well.

Hope that helps.
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Old 2009-06-18, 02:43   Link #10
Shinoto
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Tourists suck...That's why they are Tourists

And being frank, They aren't learning English out of good manners. The modern economy heavily involves English speaking countries. Not to mention most Math and Sciences are in English languages.
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Old 2009-06-18, 02:44   Link #11
Daniel E.
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A lot of americans that visit my city often assume that a good number of people here can speak english easily. Truth to be told, a lot of people here can read and write at least a bit of english, but are very bad when it comes to speak it.

Over the years, I have stumbled with several of these americans and none were rude in any way. They were all a bit surprised but all seemed to know enough spanish to speak their minds.
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Old 2009-06-18, 02:47   Link #12
yezhanquan
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I am actually curious about the second languages being taught around the world. E.g., in Mexico, do they teach a second language, after Spanish? Personally, I took both English and Chinese as first languages. If I'm not mistaken, many Europeans do learn the languages of their neighbours.
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Old 2009-06-18, 03:01   Link #13
Gordy Lechance
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
I am actually curious about the second languages being taught around the world. E.g., in Mexico, do they teach a second language, after Spanish? Personally, I took both English and Chinese as first languages. If I'm not mistaken, many Europeans do learn the languages of their neighbours.
I heard Spanish is the second most spoken language in America, correct?

How does Italian and Yiddish stand, considering the sizeable Italian and Jewish population up there?
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Old 2009-06-18, 03:02   Link #14
Daniel E.
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
I am actually curious about the second languages being taught around the world. E.g., in Mexico, do they teach a second language, after Spanish? Personally, I took both English and Chinese as first languages. If I'm not mistaken, many Europeans do learn the languages of their neighbours.
English is the only language that kids are introduced to in public schools. It's very very basic, but at least it's there. It remains the only language taugh at public schools all the way to university level, where you can finally try your hand at other languages by applying for extra language classes.

Back in my days, the extra languages included French, German, Japanese and a few more I can't remember atm.

EDIT:

And I obviously mean all this as a second language being taught at schools.
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Old 2009-06-18, 03:07   Link #15
Gordy Lechance
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Originally Posted by Daniel E. View Post
English is the only language that kids are introduced to in public schools. It's very very basic, but at least it's there. It remains the only language taugh at public schools all the way to university level, where you can finally try your hand at other languages by applying for extra language classes.

Back in my days, the extra languages included French, German, Japanese and a few more I can't remember atm.
Good old Latin still seems to be popular in Australian High-Schools last I checked.

It really helps the old fantasy-writer to make up cool-sounding languaged for made up races.
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Old 2009-06-18, 03:24   Link #16
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Originally Posted by Gordy Lechance View Post
Good old Latin still seems to be popular in Australian High-Schools last I checked.
Not really. In my years of Australian high school, I've never had one lesson in Latin.

And the tourist issue? I just laugh at their ignorance if I'm in a mood to care enough.
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Old 2009-06-18, 03:25   Link #17
Miles Teg
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Originally Posted by yezhanquan View Post
I am actually curious about the second languages being taught around the world. E.g., in Mexico, do they teach a second language, after Spanish? Personally, I took both English and Chinese as first languages. If I'm not mistaken, many Europeans do learn the languages of their neighbours.
In France the second language is English and you can choose another language later between Spanish, Italian, German and other (less important) that I don't remember

You can also learn Latin and old Greek but it's up to you do to it or not.
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Old 2009-06-18, 04:32   Link #18
Circular Logic
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A quick note about the ABC thing for Mystique:

We also have the acronym BBC: British Born Chinese. I rather like it
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Old 2009-06-18, 05:53   Link #19
SaintessHeart
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Originally Posted by Circular Logic View Post
A quick note about the ABC thing for Mystique:

We also have the acronym BBC: British Born Chinese. I rather like it
IMO, people get freaked out by alien culture. Sometimes languages can be misunderstood due to the vocals making the tone sound offensive. For example, in Hokkien, "Lu gong simi?" means "What are you saying?", but is quickly rolled off the tongue in a rather curt way, making it sound rather rude when no offense in intended.

Over here, we usually have something in that dialect for those highty-tighty people who try to act big by speaking English or espousing it as a lingua franca with little respect for other languages :

This *beep* eats potato instead of rice (speaks only English) still complain so much, damn useless.

Of course, THAT is meant to be REAL offensive.

I tend to distrust people who speak in proper sentences and English, but yet do not get to the point or can't write as well in that language. Unfortunately, these kind of people seems to be increasing.
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Old 2009-06-18, 08:23   Link #20
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Coming to the Philippines took some adjusting for me too. Geezers, almost everyone made an issue about my american accent. It was like a joke to them. It did get a little bit annoying when they tried to mimic me. And then they went "nosebleed nosebleed" and also called me the "dollar spokener" (i know that you're all thinking that could be wrong but yes they say spokener on purpose to make it sound funny) I remember this teacher of mine who hates foreigners and called me the dollar girl. Yeesh!! "Go Home Dollar Girl!!!"
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