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View Poll Results: Americans: How do you feel when foreigners want to discuss politics with you?
It's nice that they are interested, and I welcome the opportunity to talk about my country. 29 42.65%
I find it ill-mannered and annoying. 5 7.35%
I find it amusing, and rather enjoy baiting them. 9 13.24%
I tolerate it with good humour, although I'd rather talk about other things. 25 36.76%
Voters: 68. You may not vote on this poll

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  #141  
Old 12.06.2011, 10:32
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

Thank you all for reminding me why I don't like to talk politics with "americans" sometimes. Whew.
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  #142  
Old 12.06.2011, 10:49
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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Mortgage industry collapse came about as a result of a law introduced
during the Clinton administration. The banks/mortgage banks then
allowed people to buy houses that they could not afford....
(...)
Check the US dept. of Treasury monthly statement on where taxmoney is spent: mainly Medicare, Military and Social security spending. Your statement that spanish speakers are causing a lot of tax money expenses is more than exaggerated.
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  #143  
Old 12.06.2011, 11:15
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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Most of the time, the discussion is a one-way critic of American policies.

Most of the people have no clue as to how the American society
and politics play a role in the lives of the average American.

Very true. I generally avoid it or 'uh, huh' while looking repeatedly at my watch.
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  #144  
Old 12.06.2011, 12:00
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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Most of the time, the discussion is a one-way critic of American policies.

Most of the people have no clue as to how the American society
and politics play a role in the lives of the average American.
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Very true. I generally avoid it or 'uh, huh' while looking repeatedly at my watch.
should we assume that we have average American here in EF & Switzerland?
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  #145  
Old 12.06.2011, 12:24
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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...
Sure. There is no reason to deny the heritage of whichever language speakers. They should learn to speak English as well. This often not
the case.

Not necessarily, many people learn a language in school, but they
really never have the chance to use it.
Languages are no longer a requirement for graduation in many (most?) places. If required, it is taught for a year or two, that's all. That's not enough to become proficient in the language.
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  #146  
Old 12.06.2011, 12:25
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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As a US citizen, do you find yourself constantly being invited to talk about politics when you'd much rather enjoy a quiet beer and talk about cooking? How do you react when you are approached by foreigners who wish to discuss US foreign policy with you? Are you grateful for their interest? Do you find them amusing? Do you find them irritating? How often does this happen to you?
Absolutely, it's maddening at times. Moreover, others "discussing" the US is usually really just them bashing on the US, based sometimes on fact, mostly on anecdote, lore, and stereotypes. So as an American, you end up taking an adversarial stance.

(Then again, many Swiss love an argument just for the sake of argument, so no matter what viewpoint you represent, they'll argue you on it. Even if you change your mind and say "hm, yes, I agree with you!" they'll take a 180 and start arguing the opposite… )

I try to avoid discussing US politics, just because I'm tired of being told how bad the US is, how stupid I am for not seeing it, etc.
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  #147  
Old 12.06.2011, 12:25
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

Blimey! Wish I was American, as I am extremely jealous of all the thanks they got here for their comments!!
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  #148  
Old 12.06.2011, 12:30
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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I feel the same way...
It seems that now, whenever I go back to visit the States, I feel like I am a foreigner, "on the outside, looking in." I see so much about the US so differently now than I did while I was living there. Things I use to think were "normal" I now realize aren't necessarily "normal." Even just simple things like how strange it is to me now... to see 3 gas stations and/or fast food restaurants per intersection, etc. I actually do see now what an incredibly capitalist-driven society it really is.
I dunno, I think Switzerland is also riiiiight up at the top of the pro-capitalist countries, on the grand scale of things. It's in good company with the US and China.
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  #149  
Old 12.06.2011, 12:40
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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I dunno, I think Switzerland is also riiiiight up at the top of the pro-capitalist countries, on the grand scale of things. It's in good company with the US and China.
USA is a real consumer society (gas station & fast food examples); switzerland is a capitalist country but not a consumer society. The list of rants in EF on shopping centers opening hours/days is a small example.
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  #150  
Old 12.06.2011, 12:48
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

It's all about who's the president at the time:

During the Clinton administration:

Swiss: You're American? I like your President.
Me: Yes, so do I. But many don't.
Swiss: We feel a bit sorry for him for all the bad publicity he's getting.

During the Bush administation:

Swiss: You're American? I hate your President.
Me: Yes, so do I.
Swiss: So, why don't you get rid of him? He's going to ruin your country's reputation. Oh wait, he already did.

During the Obama administration:

Swiss: You're American? What do you think of Obama?
Me: It's a tough clean-up job. Many Americans expect a quick turn around which isn't going to happen.
Swiss: America is in deep sh*t.
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  #151  
Old 12.06.2011, 13:00
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

A totally off-topic comment on this thread: some of y'all (or "youse" or "you'uns", depending on which dialect you use) are such good writers, you should quit whatever jobs you do now and become columnists instead.

That is all.
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Old 12.06.2011, 13:27
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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Check the US dept. of Treasury monthly statement on where taxmoney is spent: mainly Medicare, Military and Social security spending. Your statement that spanish speakers are causing a lot of tax money expenses is more than exaggerated.
This money comes more at the state level not the national level. Taxes have increased immensely to cover these costs.
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  #153  
Old 12.06.2011, 13:28
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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This is true. And I am not even Yank, the minute people hear my accent actually, they start with this long memorized list of all that US has done wrong, all the presidents, the distant past included. Very annoying and a very weird European sport, when you ask questions they often don't really know much about it. Seems to be trendy.
Yes absolutely! it does seem to be the trend here in Europe.
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  #154  
Old 12.06.2011, 13:28
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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America..where is America? Is that a country between Russia and Cuba? Are they a former colony of Spain, right?

In reality most of people are indifferent towards Americans. The only bothering thing is they are too loud.
louder than drunk Brits?
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  #155  
Old 12.06.2011, 13:39
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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This money comes more at the state level not the national level. Taxes have increased immensely to cover these costs.
That's because they are going at it wrong.

Educate more of the already Spanish speaking folks to teach and have classes taught in both English and Spanish starting from kindergarten to ALL of the students. Help the entire community become bilingual and everyone wins. It may involve some more cost to begin with but in the end, the profit on every level will show it to be a worthwhile investment.

Even the bare smattering of Spanish I picked up along the way + the French I failed in high school help me communicate with people here in Switzerland, there is no loss suffered by making sure that all of the children can speak more than one language. Making it part of every day life will make it easier to learn and remember as they go, not to mention removing the divisions within the communities (or at least making the divide something other than language).

There really is no reason why that can't happen in those states I mentioned earlier, although some of the other states may benefit from something other than Spanish being the second language taught from the start.
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  #156  
Old 12.06.2011, 13:52
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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louder than drunk Brits?
A group of sober Americans would do honorable battle in the loudness area against a group of drunk Brits. Especially on public transport.
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Old 12.06.2011, 14:25
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

definitely not louder than Italians or northern Germans...
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Old 12.06.2011, 14:28
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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That's because they are going at it wrong.

Educate more of the already Spanish speaking folks to teach and have classes taught in both English and Spanish starting from kindergarten to ALL of the students. Help the entire community become bilingual and everyone wins. It may involve some more cost to begin with but in the end, the profit on every level will show it to be a worthwhile investment.

Even the bare smattering of Spanish I picked up along the way + the French I failed in high school help me communicate with people here in Switzerland, there is no loss suffered by making sure that all of the children can speak more than one language. Making it part of every day life will make it easier to learn and remember as they go, not to mention removing the divisions within the communities (or at least making the divide something other than language).

There really is no reason why that can't happen in those states I mentioned earlier, although some of the other states may benefit from something other than Spanish being the second language taught from the start.
well said peg. actually it happens in more states than we know. there are both dual language and bilingual classes going on. right now dual language classes are definitely gaining more popularity- half the class native spanish(let's say for this instance) and half the class native english. starting at kindergarten classes are taught (and ALL subject areas) in both languages, having A days and B days. these kinds of classes are very popular now, because english native speaking parents are so intent on having their kids learn spanish from the beginning that they demand it from the district. i have taught in one for a few years and it was very rewarding.

people are quite ignorant when it comes to figuring out solutions to these kinds of things, when it's really quite simple and obvious. why wouldn't you want to educate children in the language of the land, especially when you get the benefit of having bilingual so to be adults? anyway creating an environment where you put people down and call them names because of where they are from or what they speak will not create an environment where people want to learn the language or feel comfortable doing so...
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Old 12.06.2011, 14:32
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

Seems to me that we always stick out in a crowd.
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Old 12.06.2011, 14:47
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Re: Americans: Foreigners who want to talk politics - boring, annoying or harmless?

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definitely not louder than Italians or northern Germans...
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Seems to me that we always stick out in a crowd.
That's it, Sky. A friend of mine was in a serious summer opera school in Rome, mostly with other Americans. They were told off numerous times for being too loud on public transport and other places. These weren't teenagers, but people in their late 20s or early 30s.

I always thought I just heard Americans more because they are my heritage and my ear must be tuned to them, but non-Americans have mentioned it too.
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