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Old 04.04.2015, 21:48
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

Yes we know all that. I just wanted to show that there are very honorable reasons for that "US-American" thing and that it's not worth making a big story out of it each and every time it occurs.

I'm going on the barricades every time someone says Switzerland doesn't belong to Europe.
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Old 05.04.2015, 01:12
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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Yes we know all that. I just wanted to show that there are very honorable reasons for that "US-American" thing and that it's not worth making a big story out of it each and every time it occurs.

I'm going on the barricades every time someone says Switzerland doesn't belong to Europe.
Ooooh!! And when Brits say they are going to Europe !


Best we stick to chemtrails!
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  #83  
Old 05.04.2015, 15:20
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

Even though they may have the same roots, words will not always have the same meaning, let alone connotation, in different languages or cultures - it may even be correct to say that they will differ far more often than not. Plus that "arrogance" bit CGB mentioned definitely holds truth with the swiss, which obviously encourages change in use.

For instance, when asked where somebody will spend their holidays the typical answer used to be "in Amerika" a few decennials ago while these days you're much more likely to hear "i de staate" (in the States) or "i de USA", or a more specific region. So yes, in part it is a newer thing, and the trend may well differ among the DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) countries. Although, if you use (german) wiki as a guide that distinction is far from CH-specific - perhaps some germans could comment. Since "official" definitions (Duden, NZZ et al) always trail reality it may well not be reflected yet.

Sincere question to you miniMia (and all other US citizens):
Wake Island, Guam, the Mariana Islands, among others are unincorporated US territories located in the Pacific. Do you feel(!) this is part of the USA? And what about Samoa (that's even in the southern hemisphere)?

Btw what are chemtrails in the context of a forum?
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  #84  
Old 05.04.2015, 15:36
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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Btw what are chemtrails in the context of a forum?
They are a bit like homeopathy. With which this thread is going down the drain for good, which was exactly what I tried to avoid. Oh well.

STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS! STOP PRESS! EDIT: I made a major blunder in my previous post. Sorry, a senior moment (excusable at my ripe old age). What I wanted to write was, "I'm not going on the barricades every time someone says Switzerland doesn't belong to Europe," meaning it's just not worth the effort.

Last edited by Captain Greybeard; 05.04.2015 at 16:04.
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Old 05.04.2015, 16:15
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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They are a bit like homeopathy. With which this thread is going down the drain for good, which was exactly what I tried to avoid. Oh well.
You can NOT avoid the chemtrails! They are everywhere!
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Old 05.04.2015, 21:10
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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Sincere question to you miniMia (and all other US citizens):
Wake Island, Guam, the Mariana Islands, among others are unincorporated US territories located in the Pacific. Do you feel(!) this is part of the USA? And what about Samoa (that's even in the southern hemisphere)?
we refer to those places the same way New Yorkers (the City, not the State) refer to New Jersey:

Suburbs.



as an Ami, I answer to damn near anything, hence my EF moniker. my pet peeve, however, is when when someone on this side of the pond refers to Americans as "ignorant" for calling themselves "American", or for thinking that there are 7 continents in the world. in the US, we refer to that kind of situation as "ironic".
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Old 08.04.2015, 11:56
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Hey, Manuella (79). Thanks for sharing your blog, your writing, your thoughts about how people function, perceive and journey to understand in a different country, different culture. Let me just say that one of my favorite insights in your blog was "acknowledging and being aware of how and why we perceive things in a certain way could make our life a lot easier." My life experience and discovery has been that this is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves in life (and it effects our close friends and in turn the society around us) is to be AWARE, to seek awareness, to read, to ponder and try to understand. It is a very difficult thing to do and quite a journey to take, but it becomes easier after sometime and we get in a habbit of living life with more awareness, with the mind that's ready to ask questions and seek answers that also may not come right away but in time, to understand our reality. (I have lived in the states for 15 years, I'm originally from Ukraine, then lived in Italy for a year and now here for almost 3 years.... It's hard to describe the volumes of thoughts and realizations and feelings and adjustments and paradigm shifting that I had made in this time...) I empathize with you and many of you of course.

To add to that, if you are interested and when you have time... one of the concepts that helped me understand the world around me even more everything that goes into and surrounds and comes out of "high context and low context culture." There are a few scholarly articles on this subject. It's really incredible. Here is simple start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-_a...ntext_cultures just to get an idea what it's about.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 09.04.2015 at 14:36. Reason: merging successive posts
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Old 08.04.2015, 12:50
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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To add to that, if you are interested and when you have time... one of the concepts that helped me understand the world around me even more everything that goes into and surrounds and comes out of "high context and low context culture." There are a few scholarly articles on this subject. It's really incredible. Here is simple start: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-_a...ntext_cultures just to get an idea what it's about.
Interesting thoughts.

But how do you know you're not mistaking a high context culture for a low context one by assuming the culture is simpler than it actually is?

I find it odd that the linked article lists "African" as a culture, surely doing little justice to the diversity of different cultures that are being lumped together there.
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Old 08.04.2015, 13:18
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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You can NOT avoid the chemtrails! They are everywhere!
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Old 08.04.2015, 13:41
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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Interesting thoughts.

But how do you know you're not mistaking a high context culture for a low context one by assuming the culture is simpler than it actually is?

I find it odd that the linked article lists "African" as a culture, surely doing little justice to the diversity of different cultures that are being lumped together there.
Its Wikipedia...a bit like relying on the Daily Mail for one's current events diet
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Old 08.04.2015, 13:59
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

Very interesting thread. My favourite cultural bias is the apochryphal British newspaper headline: "Thick fog in Channel. Continent cut off."
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Old 08.04.2015, 14:43
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

note about the high context/ low context culture: if you google this concept and do some research you will find articles that talk about this concept, you would study them and learn what they are about and how they relate to different cultures. It's not about just African culture, this link was just an example - the main paragraph up on top describes the gist of the concept.

To be able to be more fluid and gain understanding in this concept you would have to read a few articles.
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Old 08.04.2015, 22:34
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

I go abroad since 16 years old, 5 years, 3 countries too.
It is good for you can stay on your own culture background, I am getting loss. My value of life, value of love is formalized here, but my parents still live in China. What a clash it could be !! AND I am always look like a foreign, an outsider, cos I am an Asia.
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Old 09.04.2015, 12:30
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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I go abroad since 16 years old, 5 years, 3 countries too.
It is good for you can stay on your own culture background, I am getting loss. My value of life, value of love is formalized here, but my parents still live in China. What a clash it could be !! AND I am always look like a foreign, an outsider, cos I am an Asia.

look like and being treated like an outsider... I can empathize with that. living abroad can be a very eye-opening experience it's not easy, at times it gets really tough. and losing a bit of our background... now I probably speak more fluently in English than in my mother tongue. still, I feel blessed that I have had the opportunities to live abroad (11 years, 4 countries, hopefully more to come!)
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Old 09.04.2015, 14:44
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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...America (whatever the spelling) stands for North plus South Africa not only in German, but in many, many other languages too...
Wait, what? I was just trying to read the list posted by Sublime and now you're throwing RSA into the mix?

Back on topic: I don't think I'm exceptional or whatever as an expat (which I am not sure that label fits anyway). Like MathNut says, it's just my life and it works for me.

However, many people from "back home" have called me brave, courageous, adventurous, exceptional, weird, crazy and a host of other names when they talk about my marriage to a Swiss and the fact we live abroad. They cannot imagine how life works outside our little cow town, or how one could survive out there in the big world except perhaps on a Carnival Caribbean cruise. Sure the mindset is not the same as mine, but if it works for them I don't have a problem with it.
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Old 09.04.2015, 15:26
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

Pardon-me for being somewhat late in response and out of thread, but I think an answer is, well, not really necessary, but appropriate, given so much wrong knowledge.

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You really struggle with the English bit of englishforum.ch, don't you?

In English, American means citizen of the United States. That's all. Mexicans, Guatemalans, Argentinians or whatever are not, under any circumstances, considered to be Americans.

What speakers of Spanish, German and Swahili think or do is of no relevance here.

HTH
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Words have more than one meaning. In this case American means someone from the country of the United States of America and the other is someone from the continent(s) of (North/South) America. The second form is rarely used in English though you'll certainly find it in the dictionary.
Indeed I do (reading books), such as (one of) the probably most renowned excylopedia in the English-speaking world, namely Merriam-Webster.

Well let's see what they write:

Full Definition of AMERICAN

1: an American Indian of North America or South America

2: a native or inhabitant of North America or South America

3: a citizen of the United States

4: american english

... just for the protocols. – Take it as a fact that you are either too young, too undereducated, too ignorant, or then too (US-American) dogmatized, ... in order to feel to be stressed to über-emphasize it?

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You really struggle with the English bit of englishforum.ch, don't you?

What speakers of Spanish, German and Swahili think or do is of no relevance here.
Well what does Merriam-Webster say about ignorance and arrogance?
Full Definition of IGNORANCE

: the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness


Full Definition of ARROGANCE

: an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions




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First, those are not Anglophone Americans (except Jamicans) as Wollie was discussing.
Correct! And Anglophone is a specification (of the term American)! Vice versa a generalisation!

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Secondly, I've met many people from those countries and none has ever refered to themselves as "American". Ever. Unless they were actually American from the United States.
How many times did you meet a Swiss person talking the "whole" time being an European? Very seldon I suppose. Nevertheless, we are Europeans, proudly. – Imagine that!

BTW: Try to read not only your own self-fulfilling prophecies, but also other sources. For example:

- To what do Spanish speakers refer if they speak about Americana?
- To what do Spanish speakers refer if they speak about America?

E.g why do they call one TV channel América TV in Argentina, and América Televisión in Peru ... but without US-american owners and without any US-american-particulair subject .... oh no! It is NOT referring to anything US-american!

- To what do Portuguese speakers refer if they speak about América?

And, for another particular example, why is the championship among South-American nationalities (obviously excluding USA) of the most prestiged sport outside of USA, and therefore on the whole world, namely football (soccer!), called Copa Libertadores de América ... or the Copa América ... or ....

.... and there a thousands of other evidences lying around. But in order to be able to recognize it you need open up your mind and you need at least to try to be curious!!!


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You've even listed them by their nationality but I see you didn't actually list them as.... American! Amazing isn't it?
No. – But just simply narrow-mindedly ignorant, and stupidly arrogant to argue that way.

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Words have more than one meaning. In this case American means someone from the country of the United States of America and the other is someone from the continent(s) of (North/South) America. The second form is rarely used in English though you'll certainly find it in the dictionary.
Wow, imagine that! ... And even imagine that some speakers are not even aware of this potential disambiguation when they use a simplified/abbreviated term in their own context without thinking it could have another meaning in another context!?! How shocking would that be!


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das bin ich!!!
I am very much aware of this fact. Imagine! – LOL



And finally, one quiz question: Why do US-American call the whole continent and all their nations as a whole Americas which is a latin-derived term, by the way, since America became already occupied by another, chauvinist meaning?!? Even though it seems to have a plural form but referring to a single object?
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Last edited by Sublime; 09.04.2015 at 15:44.
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Old 09.04.2015, 15:36
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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So, let's start using European-Non-EU-Swiss. It's more precise.

Personally I think we need more ChemTrails threads but the mods keep closing them. So I'm left to b!tch about the ridiculousness that is "US Americans". I'm sure you have your bugaboos and I let you get one with them.
Well, pardon-me, but this is just a stupid wrong statement.

For your own protocol: We do not call us "the United Cantons of Europe"! ... Checksch dä Pögg?
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  #98  
Old 09.04.2015, 17:38
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

You don't half write some utter shit, Sublime.

I won't be lectured on the use of my own language by a foreigner, so you might as well give your paws a rest.
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Old 09.04.2015, 19:47
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

None of my business, plus I don't fully understand what the discussion is about,
but who exactly would be that foreigner?


What I think to get out of the conversation is that the US-Folks don't consider Americans other people from the Americas?
Would be typically fit into those stereotypes the world has about the Americans


Anyhow, "Amerikaner" in German are those black and white cookies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_and_white_Cookie


Actually they are very good.
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Old 09.04.2015, 20:29
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Re: Expat life, culture clash and cognitive biases

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None of my business, plus I don't fully understand what the discussion is about,
but who exactly would be that foreigner?


What I think to get out of the conversation is that the US-Folks don't consider Americans other people from the Americas?
Would be typically fit into those stereotypes the world has about the Americans


Anyhow, "Amerikaner" in German are those black and white cookies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_and_white_Cookie


Actually they are very good.
The "thank" for the cookies The link did not work but I googled "Amerikaner" and yes, these cookies are delicious!

I think the discussion started off with the OP's blog about expats, then took a tour around the world, and landed on the American-US American-the whole continent thing.

I don't think it's so much an issue of the US-folks not wanting to call others "Americans", rather, it's just the way it is in several languages (including my mother tongue, which is not English), so naturally, a lot of people are used to call US-folks Americans. I, for one, never in my life heard any of my friends from anywhere in the continent but the USA call themselves American- they call themselves Mexicans, Argentinians, Brazilians, Canadians, etc.

I also don't see what the issue is with calling US-folks Americans. Can someone explain to me what's the harm? Personally, if someone lectured me about the non-correctness of calling Americans Americans, I'd tell them to chill out and come get a drink/cup of tea with me because they clearly need one (and have nothing better to do with their lives).
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