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Old 22.09.2006, 14:54
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Have you been here too long?

Anyone else shake hands instead of give hugs in England/home? whats the stuff you find your self doing thats a hang up of being here a long time?

I know when i'm in the South of England i speak Swissgerman cos i feel foreign there!
PS does anyone else find foreign a strange spelling?
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Old 22.09.2006, 15:03
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I have picked up the habits of using bad English as heard over here:

"I've been here since 7 years",
"I am not the boss of him"
"saying blah blah blah"
"Can I have two-times beer please"

additionally shaking hands in UK has shocked a few people, as its not that common outside business settings. Some people are just non-shakers

dave


Quote:
Anyone else shake hands instead of give hugs in England/home? whats the stuff you find your self doing thats a hang up of being here a long time?
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Old 22.09.2006, 15:11
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I made the mistake of kissing the wrong people in Australia. Very embarassing. I have to make an effort to tone down the hand shaking as well...
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Old 22.09.2006, 15:20
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Saying hello to shop assistants in the UK.
Although, it scares them 'coz they think you're a nutter...

And accidently asking for something in [bad] German e.g. "zwei cappucino"
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Old 22.09.2006, 15:21
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Kissing is a minefield which I try and avoid. I went to a fashion designer's party a few months ago and the air-kissing was awwwful dahling ! That's just the blokes.

Its probably better to appear stand-offish than to get accused of trying to suck someones face.

dave


Quote:
I made the mistake of kissing the wrong people in Australia. Very embarassing. I have to make an effort to tone down the hand shaking as well...
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Old 22.09.2006, 15:26
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Re: Have you been here too long?

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Kissing is a minefield which I try and avoid. I went to a fashion designer's party a few months ago and the air-kissing was awwwful dahling ! That's just the blokes.
In my case it was with friends of the family (but not really close to me), people who would have qualified for kisses in Switzerland, but in Australia almost nobody qualifies for kisses. As the Xenophobe's guide to the Aussies says "Usually the only time Aussies touch is when they are having sex"
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Old 22.09.2006, 16:55
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Hi Mark

When did you live in South Africa?Do you still have friends/relatives
there?We South Africans love hugs and kisses,handshakes are way too
formal!!:-))
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Old 22.09.2006, 17:14
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Hi Mary, been on and off in SA over the years, was last there for 6 months a couple of years ago. I wouldn't quite agree with the picture you are painting. I'm not talking about kisses and hugs between family members, I'm talking about the "Three kisses" routine, which is definitely not the same there as it is here. In fact, I found the South African approach to handshakes and kissing at about the same as in the UK and Australia (you shake hands with people after an absense and you kiss only your very close friends).

Yes I do have relatives in SA still, I kiss the females and give handshakes to the males, but I'm related to them.
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Old 22.09.2006, 17:41
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Re: Have you been here too long?

While I have been in England I sometimes found myself comparing some of the customs to those in Switzerland, instead of the U.S. which would make more sense. I also caught myself thinking in German a few times.
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Old 22.09.2006, 18:01
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I'm actually the opposite; my wife says that the way I talk changes, especially when I go home to the Northern Monkeys I call family
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Old 22.09.2006, 18:02
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I was in Amsterdam two weeks ago on a big boozy weekend. In my drunken haze, and upon hearing the almost-german being spoken around me, I started speaking German to the dutch. Big mistake - as a rule, they somewhat dislike Germans.

I got out of it by switching back to english, but there were a few angry peeps in the pub...
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Old 22.09.2006, 18:04
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Quote:
I was in Amsterdam two weeks ago on a big boozy weekend. In my drunken haze, and upon hearing the almost-german being spoken around me, I started speaking German to the dutch. Big mistake - as a rule, they somewhat dislike Germans.

I got out of it by switching back to english, but there were a few angry peeps in the pub...
Moffen. The Dutch love 'em enough to drive their caravans through their country

Strangely enough, I was drunk in England a couple of weeks back and started speaking Dutch to a couple of people from Holland and Belgium

<hic>
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Old 22.09.2006, 19:02
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Quote:
I have picked up the habits of using bad English as heard over here:

"I've been here since 7 years",
"I am not the boss of him"
"saying blah blah blah"
"Can I have two-times beer please"
dave
I can sooo identify with this... sometimes deliberately as a p*ss take amongst friends, but then it also creeps into normal speech

adding "...., or?" at the end of a statement, intended as a question to be confirmed (equivalent to the German "..., oder?" = isn't that right?)

saying "merci" to shop assistants and people generally when I'm back in the UK

wondering what to say at mealtimes - just feels like something's missing without the "en guete" or "bon appetit" that is obligatory over here

I have also caught myself asking for "large beers" rather than pints back home
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Old 22.09.2006, 19:15
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Re: Have you been here too long?

and maybe it's just me and I'm weird, but often when in a non German or English speaking foreign country where I can't speak a word of the lingo, I find myself automatically trying to communicate in German rather than English.

I guess it's habit just because I'm used to trying communicate in German in a foreign country... clear sign of being here too long!
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Old 22.09.2006, 19:22
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Quote:
I guess it's habit just because I'm used to trying communicate in German in a foreign country... clear sign of being here too long!
I know what you mean. I once caused great amusement in France by responding "Wie (Oui) bitte" when I meant "yes please". If you start to learn a third language and have become fluent in the second and use it all the time the second language can really start to break through into the third sometimes.

Interestingly enough in places like Ticino german will get you a lot further than English will!
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Old 22.09.2006, 19:47
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Re: Have you been here too long?

I have said gruetzi and danke so many bloody times in UK :-( People looked at me all confused
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Old 22.09.2006, 20:30
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Re: Have you been here too long?

My favourite is "that makes no sense" which must be a translation from German (shirley!!)
It's becoming a favourite as my company is doing things which "make no sense". Oh the joys of expat life!
But, on the positive side, I can have a reasonable conversation now in German (but do I want to....)
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Old 23.09.2006, 10:05
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Whenever we go back to Australia, we get accused of sounding rather stuck up/posh...we've had to tone down our Australian accents here in order for our German friends to understand our English, and when we then go back to Australia, our friends and family there just laugh at this 'neither here nor there' Australian English accent we've developed.
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Old 23.09.2006, 11:22
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Saying 'Ciao' in England... ooh, a no no!
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Old 23.09.2006, 11:31
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Re: Have you been here too long?

Quote:
While I have been in England I sometimes found myself comparing some of the customs to those in Switzerland, instead of the U.S. which would make more sense. I also caught myself thinking in German a few times.
When I'm in the UK, I sometimes think "why are "those people" (a group passing by, etc.) are speaking English and what they're doing...oh, wait, I'm in England..." It becomes a sensory overload for the first day or two.
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