Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

When foreigners come to my country ...

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #21
    Originally posted by flow View Post
    Are the two languages related to each other? Would someone who only speaks and understands Spanish still understand you if you talk Catalan to him?
    flow
    As a Spaniard myself, I can say that I am able to get chunks of conversation, but it is not completely clear to me and I might lose conversation here and there. It's not that different, but it is another completely different language, like Portuguese or Italian. Even if you have no idea of Portuguese, Italian or Catalan, you can understand basic conversation if you can speak Spanish.

    As for the things of Spain that catch foreigners by surprise, I'd say Synch has summarized them pretty well. Speaking loud is a real thing. I remember watching an episode of Modern Family where Sofía Vergara was talking to someone by telephone and her husband thought she was arguing. Well, she played Colombian but I felt totally represented I have been abroad and the contrast is notorious. Once I was in England, I just arrived, got in an airport's bus with a Spanish colleague and he told me twice to low my volume, since it was seemingly awkward. I also have lived in Germany and trams and buses are quiet like graves, even if they are jammed with people, at least to my standards
    I always think is has to be unbearable, for a foreigner, to use public transport in Spain Not to mention going out in pubs or bars.

    And while the touching and kissing is an ordinary thing in Spain, I notice that a growing number of people are more and more replacing kisses with handshakes. It is something I can understand and in fact I'm in for it, I myself have a thing with excessive touching. Plus, you have to consider kissing is rather uncommon between males. This is something that is common between girls o between a male and a female, except with family members, where males can kiss each other and it is perceived as "normal". It does not make sense to me, but I'm certain it has something to do with cultural repression regarding the way it is perceived males should show affection.

    We also have a great inclination towards profanity. This is very common in Spaniards and we have an astonishing variety of profanity. When I'm here I'm always repressing my true self I always talk using profanity and I don't need to be angry at all. This is something that sometimes surprise foreigners. James Rhodes (not Iron Patriot, but the English pianist) moved to Spain in 2017 and that was one of the things he found hilarious about Spaniards. Profanity and insults might confuse foreigners, because, in some occasions, they are used to praise someone This is the case of "son of a $%&/", for instance. I am curious about that. Is it usual in your countries using profanity or insults to praise people?
    Last edited by Sandman; 06-03-21, 05:23 PM.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by flow View Post
      Yeah, that was what I thought as early as last March. When we make it out of this we will have gotten used to the casual greeting with a small wave of a hand and no one will shake hands anymore.

      I miss hugging friends or family members who are close to me but I always hated those kisses, no matter if it's two or three kisses.

      Synch

      Are the two languages related to each other? Would someone who only speaks and understands Spanish still understand you if you talk Catalan to him?

      There are more things foreigners find peculiar when they come to Germany. You might know that we have a formal address in Germany. It doesn't exist in English but I know the French use it too. If we are close friends with someone we use their first names and "You". But on formal occasions, we use their last names and "Thee". The latter is still very common in the workplace and for example, pupils use it when talking to their teachers in school. I remember talking about this in regard to the Buffyverse once and watched some of the German synchronizations for the first time only to find out how the characters called each other. Buffy is using the formal address when talking to Giles. So was Spike while talking to Giles whereas Giles uses the informal address for both of them. There used to be rules about how to switch from the formal address to the informal address but those are nearly forgotten nowadays. People switch more easily.
      However, it is still very common for someone who works in retail to address a customer by the formal address. Also, their name tag always has the last name on it not the given name. No German customer would call the shop-girl who tries to sell us a mummy hand, Buffy. That would be disrespectful. We would call her Miss Summers.


      flow
      I'm pretty sure this is something that exists in many languages - it sure does in mine. The only difference is that it's the second person plural, just like in French - not the third person plural, as in German.

      And in fact, it existed in English, too - the English took it from the French (of course they did - since the French language was the official one among the English nobility and royalty through most of the late Middle Ages). In fact, the formal address is what's to blame for the fact that the English language has lost the distinction between the 2nd person singular and 2nd person plural. The English started using "ye/you" (plural) as the formal address (as in French, where "vous", second person plural, is the formal address), and overused it to such an extent that the normal second person singular (thou/thee) started to be seen as too rude (you can still see the distinction between the formal ye/you and the informal thou/thee in Shakespeare, for instance) and eventually completely fell out of use. It was only somewhat salvaged by the King James Bible, thanks to the fact that the translators used "thou/thee" as a way to address God - to match the intimate, personal way God was addressed in the original, and to stress the personal connection of an individual to God.

      /linguistic nerd out

      Anyway, in Modern English, the lack of distinction between singular and plural is even weirder than the lack of formal address through a pronoun. And yep, this is always giving translators and interpretors trouble.

      However, it's usually very easy to figure out whether people are addressing each other formally or informally, because there are other signifiers, such as:
      are you addressing someone by a formal title, or a formal title + last name etc. - or are you addressing them by their first name, or just by their last name with no title, or a nickname etc.?

      So, this just seems like a case of a bad translator who couldn't read cues and incorporated their own views about how the characters "should" act - they obviously thought that Buffy was supposed to address Giles formally because he's much older or her mentor - even though that's obviously not their relationship. (No idea why they thought the same about Spike. That's super weird. Was it just because James Marsters looked young? They did realize that Spike was way, way older than Giles?!)

      A good translator would immediately see:

      If someone is addressing you as "Giles" - just your last name - that's informal address (same as "Rupert", first name). If Buffy were to address Giles as "Mr. Giles" or "Sir" or something like that, that would mean she is addressing him formally, and should be translated accordingly.
      Last edited by TimeTravellingBunny; 07-03-21, 03:55 PM.
      You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post

        I'm pretty sure this is something that exists in many languages - it sure does in mine. The only difference is that it's the second person plural, just like in French - not the third person plural, as in German.
        We have that too, in Spanish. We use third person singular («Usted»). However, I observe that formal addressing is more frequent in Germany than in Spain.

        I learnt about formal addressing in English by reading old Thor comic books

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by flow View Post

          Synch

          Are the two languages related to each other? Would someone who only speaks and understands Spanish still understand you if you talk Catalan to him?
          Yep, they are. Both languages came from the same origin (Latin). A non Catalan speaking will have some problems to understand it because is somewhat more complex pronunciation wide (more vowels). The vast majority of catalans speak both and we switch constantly according to our speaking partner at the time.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by Sandman View Post
            We have that too, in Spanish. We use third person singular («Usted»). However, I observe that formal addressing is more frequent in Germany than in Spain.

            I learnt about formal addressing in English by reading old Thor comic books
            What do they do in all Thor comic books?
            You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

            Comment


            • #26
              TimeTravellingBunny
              The English started using "ye/you" (plural) as the formal address (as in French, where "vous", second person plural, is the formal address), and overused it to such an extent that the normal second person singular (thou/thee) started to be seen as too rude (you can still see the distinction between the formal ye/you and the informal thou/thee in Shakespeare, for instance) and eventually completely fell out of use.
              I knew about the old thou/thee but I thought it used to be the formal address and ye/you used to be the informal and the English just lost the formal address because they were such relaxed and friendly people. That's really interesting to know!

              So, this just seems like a case of a bad translator who couldn't read cues and incorporated their own views about how the characters "should" act - they obviously thought that Buffy was supposed to address Giles formally because he's much older or her mentor - even though that's obviously not their relationship. (No idea why they thought the same about Spike. That's super weird. Was it just because James Marsters looked young? They did realize that Spike was way, way older than Giles?!)
              The translation of BtVS into German is one of the worst translations that have ever been made in German tv history. We usually translate and dub everything. Every tv-series and movie on German tv or in the movie theatres is dubbed. We have a whole industry out there that does nothing else and we have a bunch of professional voice actors who also do nothing else.

              However, they slaughtered BtVS. Don't ask me why. Personally, I can't watch it in German synchronization and never have. I have only watched little bits and pieces to find out how they handled the formal address.

              There is another thing that bugs me about the synchronization. The voice of James Marsters is also the voice of Johnny Depp. The voice of Sarah Michelle Gellar is also the voice of Drew Barrymore. It's a bit weird but I guess I could get over it if it weren't for the really bad translation.

              I guess the translator went for the formal address in Buffy's and Giles's case because Buffy uses Giles's last name instead of calling him Rupert. As for Spike and Gilkes - I guess it was a way to emphasize how much more respectable Giles is as opposed to Spike. Or maybe they just have everyone use the formal address when addressing Giles. Xander, Willow, Anya... Checking some of the German scripts I found that Giles uses the formal address when talking to Angel and Angel and Joyce also both use the formal address when talking to each other.

              Buffy and Robin Wood also use the formal address until they sit down in the French restaurant. Then they switch to the informal address.

              flow

              Comment


              • PuckRobin
                PuckRobin commented
                Editing a comment
                I think I worked out the thou = informal thing through French lessons. I learned more about English grammar in French and Latin class. In Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, thee is used when talking to an inferior.

            • #27
              Originally posted by TimeTravellingBunny View Post

              What do they do in all Thor comic books?
              Guess so. I have to confess I'm not very much into recent Thor comic-books.

              Comment


              • TimeTravellingBunny
                TimeTravellingBunny commented
                Editing a comment
                I don't know any of the Thor comics. so I'm curious what they do in them.

              • Sandman
                Sandman commented
                Editing a comment
                Oh, sorry I didn't understand what you meant. Bad English here. Well, it is just about the archaic use of Thor's language, with all these "Thou", "Thee", etc

            • #28
              I am going to start off the week with another thing foreigners find quite shocking when they come to my country and actually I only realized how shocking it really is after seeing it mentioned on ex-pats reaction videos.

              I am talking about the infamous German


              Mettbrötchen.

              I don't know if there is an original English word for it. It translates to something like a raw minced meat roll and it looks like this:



              It is very simple to make. You take raw meat - it's usually half pork and half beef but I have seen it made from beef only -, mince it, put it on a roll and put some raw onion slices on top. Yummy.

              Now, this is something that was very common when I was a child. We used to have it for breakfast every Saturday. Why on Saturdays and not on Sundays? Because shops are closed here in Germany on Sundays (that's going to be another topic) and you can only eat raw meat on the very same day you have bought it. There used to be a special law for selling raw minced meat and it stated the exact amount of time you had to sell a raw minced meat roll after preparing it. It's one of the more lovely German words that is why I am going to cite it here. It was the Hackfleischverordnung. The rules are still the same, by the way, but they have nowadays been integrated into other regulations and are not a stand-alone law anymore.

              Nowadays we eat significantly less meat in Germany. Nina mentioned it already in a previous post. We used to eat huge amounts of meat but people have become more health-conscious and also more environmentally conscious and vegetarian or vegan food is on the rise.

              Mettbrötchen are still being sold as street food or food to go. For example, you will always find Mettbrötchen at a railway station in Germany and also at most butcher shops.

              I only realized how problematic a Mettbrötchen might be when I saw the shocked expression of an American YouTuber who said "They eat raw meat." Fun fact is, the German word Mettbrötchen doesn't have a word for raw in it, and for all my life I have never really thought of it as raw meat.

              I do understand how weird it must look for foreigners. However, if you ever should travel to Germany, don't miss the opportunity to get a bite off a Mettbrötchen. It is delicious.

              flow

              P.S.: I think the Dutch and Belgium have something similar to Mettbrötchen too. I am not sure though, how common it really is in those countries.

              Comment


              • #29
                Originally posted by flow View Post

                P.S.: I think the Dutch and Belgium have something similar to Mettbrötchen too. I am not sure though, how common it really is in those countries.

                Yep, we do eat raw meat on our sandwiches as well. We add spices though. (Dutch people using spices is shocking, I know ) We have filet americain (which is a lot like steak tartare, but as a spread) and ossenworst (which is smoked, but the meat remains raw). The classic steak tartare is served here as well of course. And some like their regular steak very rare.


                So yes, raw meat isn't that odd. That said, I would only order it in a place I trust. Raw meat as street food sounds scary.

                Comment


                • #30
                  Raw meats like steak tartare isn't unheard of and rare cooked meat is common. But I think they tend to be red meats. I wouldn't want to eat raw pork though which I (possibly mistakenly) think of as a white meat and more prone to harmful bacteria, like chicken. But I'm not much of a meat eater generally, so raw meat for me is quite off-putting.

                  Comment


                  • Nina
                    Nina commented
                    Editing a comment
                    That's true, all the raw meat in the Netherlands is red/cow as far as I know. Raw pork isn't something I would eat either.

                • #31
                  Shows, what I know :-) I should have done my research properly before posting. Mett is traditionally made out of pork only. My parents used to serve half beef half pork for breakfast but that is actually a lesser known variety. So, it's probably less weird because it is raw meat but simply because it is raw pork. We still eat it and it is still delicious. Bacteria is of course an issue but that's why we have those strict regulations.

                  It's also called the poor man's tartar. I guess it became popular in the first place because pork used to be cheaper than beef.

                  flow

                  Comment


                  • #32
                    This amused me.

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YV_0udB3F4E

                    Comment


                    • #33
                      I think what surprises visitors about Canada is the size. I think we've all met visitors who are shocked they can't see a province in 2 weeks let alone the entire country.

                      "I like who I am when I'm with him. I like who we are together."

                      Comment


                      • #34
                        Unless it's PEI

                        Comment


                        • #35
                          I remember visiting my relatives in Vermont in 1986, and they remarked that we must be near “that Expo”. We were from Hamilton, Ontario. Expo ‘86 was in Vancouver, British Columbia.

                          For Americans, that’s a bit like saying to someone in Buffalo, NY that they must be near Seattle.

                          Or to put it another way, London, England is much closer to Moscow, Russia than Hamilton or Toronto is to Vancouver, even though those cities are in the same country.

                          Comment

                          Working...
                          X