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Old 03-16-2016, 09:53 AM   #21
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A comment I would add about visiting France or any French territories, including any of the French islands in the Caribbean...

Walk into a restaurant anywhere in America and say "table for two, please," and everyone will think you are quite polite because you said "please." Do the same in France and they will think you are remarkably rude because you didn't start with "bonjour." The French always say hello first, and then get to business. Americans often get right to the business at hand. This is one of those seemingly small cultural differences that actually can cause quite a bit of friction, when the first words out of your mouth strike the person you are speaking to as being rude.

So, when in French speaking areas, remember, it is always "bonjour" first, and then on to business.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:15 AM   #22
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Is language a barrier? No. However, in most any country being able to speak the language will put you at an advantage. It will endear you to them and also it will let you understand all the conversations they are having in their native language. Our travel has been to Spanish speaking countries and we've always had at least one person who spoke Spanish.
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:21 PM   #23
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So far, the only "furrin'" country we have visited in the boat is Canada, and I can hardly understand a word they say up there!
Eh?
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Old 03-16-2016, 01:33 PM   #24
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Greetings,
As has been said...Hello, goodbye and THANK YOU go a long, long way when you don't speak the language.
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Old 03-16-2016, 03:21 PM   #25
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The Western Hemisphere has three languages, Spanish, English and French. For English speakers there are two books appropriately titled French for Cruisers and Spanish for Cruises. Recommend both. Europe is not much of a problem. Asia requires patience.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:23 PM   #26
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Apology Required !

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Traveled a bit in many places , and most anywhere they are $elling anything ,
English is the std.

The French are the biggest PIA , so use rotten French or speak jibberesh (tell them its Croatian) and English will suddenly be spoken.

The youth almost anywhere delight in speaking English , as they understand English is the key to their future.
Because of this post I know of one person ( at least ) that has quit this forum.

I am well aware that everyone has a right to an opinion but sometimes that opinion is a bit skewed; like suggesting all people of a certain nationality or culture are "this that or the other thing". In a international forum that has a huge following you display a lack of awareness that demonstrates a certain level of ignorance to what the purpose of this venue actually is designed to accomplish.
My very dear friend who happens to be a French citizen, an international businessman, regards this country as his role model of society. I'm sure he is not happy to be lumped into the "PIA' category simply because he happens to be French.
Maybe the poster could be categorized as an " Ugly American PIA " by a few French nationals.
As I said before, this forum should not be a place of venom or derision. It should, IMHO, be a place where like minded folks that enjoy a great lifestyle can share their experiences and wisdom without worrying what some "PIA - Ugly American's " opinion of another nationality happens to be. I, and hopefully we, really aren't interested!

Time for am apology Mr. FF - you can handle it I'm sure.

PS: if it was an attempt at humor, it didn't work
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:52 PM   #27
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Greetings,
Mr. BBoat. I fully agree. This serves to illustrate how the term "Ugly American" came about and survives to this day. Arrogance and ignorance are more of a barrier to foreign cruising than language.
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Old 03-16-2016, 04:58 PM   #28
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Wifey B: Well said, Binkley. I know people complain about calling for political correctness, but all one is really calling for is not insulting a group of people, not seeking humor at the expense of others. We're all part of one or more stereotyped groups. I think most blonde jokes are funny. However, I also know that as a result of them there are people out there who think all blondes must be dumb.

Now, I'm going to say something to the one who left. So you felt insulted. I think everyone on this site has felt that way one or more times, often far more personal than a general characterization. Ultimately, the only way we win is by showing the characterization isn't true and by standing up to it when we feel it's made. We say clearly that it's not representative of all French or blondes or wealthy people or business people or government employees or lawyers or even used car salesmen. Running doesn't get it done.

I'm going to say that I don't believe FF meant to be insulting to a group of people but it sure came across that way. Ultimately he'll have to say what he meant or why he said what he did. However, at some point we have to forgive and forget or we have to decide we don't like the attitude of someone else and we're not giving in to their prejudice.

It's a tough balance and I don't have the answer, other than that we all must keep working on it. Perhaps a simpler way would have been saying "I'm French and I don't appreciate your characterization." Then saying, "I apologize. I've had some bad experiences but I know all Frenchmen are not like that."

The humor section has every group insulted but in humor. In the regular forum, we all need to just be aware and considerate. Think the next time you say all lawyers are crooked that there are lawyers here and I'm betting they are not crooked. The next time you characterize the poor as freeloaders or the wealthy as not caring. We've got both groups represented here. And when you find insults being made, just remind yourself that it says more about the person making them than it does about you.

Now, how about a group hug and back to boats. Please. Pretty please.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:10 PM   #29
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Wifey B, you are wise beyond your years. You said what I wanted to say but was to angry to put it into words.

Kudo's to you and thank you.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:10 PM   #30
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Hubby B: Actually this latest part of the discussion has a lot of relevance to the OP's question. It's not language that will ultimately cause the problem, it's attitude. I know one person who I kept hearing all these war stories about problems with customs and immigration in every country he visited and how rude and ugly they were, how they acted so arrogant. Yet, we've never had an issue with any of them. The common thread on the other persons problems was him. Many reasons probably that we have no issues. Yes, we tip, but that's after meeting and asking for their help. It's really simple. We show respect for their position and for them. I apologize for not speaking their language. I compliment their English. Of any place we've been, we may have been treated best at the marina and resort in Nicaragua. That's the impression we left with, how nice and friendly the people there were.

Basically, we love mankind, we love people. We don't hold various governments in that same regard or some radical groups, although even with those groups we wonder what happened to make people so filled with hate and ugliness and what society can do, the good people of the world can do, to change that for the future.

Simply said, if you show respect and kindness on your travels, you'll never have a problem because of language.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:33 PM   #31
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Wifey B, you are wise beyond your years. You said what I wanted to say but was to angry to put it into words.

Kudo's to you and thank you.
Wifey B: Well, thank you. However, don't ignore the part addressed to your friend. If he leaves every forum, every group, every place that the French get insulted, he's going to get lonely. Probably not a day here, some post doesn't make me feel a bit insulted but I'm sure not leaving and giving in to it. I'm secure in myself and not letting a few ugly words run me away. If your friend had an issue with what was said, he should have said so. Perhaps initially by a PM. It really was a throw away line. Ugly, inappropriate. But damn, you gotta get thicker skin to survive in the faceless forum world.
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Old 03-16-2016, 05:37 PM   #32
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FRANCE!
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:02 PM   #33
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Spot on RT.
Don't forget, we would have lost the reveloution if the French did not take a stand.
And, wifey B, you are right, but some folks do not always wish to make a stand so then the bullies rule. In my experience, Bully's or obnoxious people usually back down when confronted and as a group we all need to stand together.
I would prefer that people think about and be responsible for their actions and this kinda stuff would not happen. But when it does, we ALL need to call it out.
Then my friend would have seen that this was not acceptable in this venue and that it would provoke a response. That did not happen in what I saw and I could not let it pass. We are all responsible for the character of this forum and to keep it civil we all need to participate; like you and Hubby B and RT.
BTW, that would be a huge group hug, but I'm game.

BB.
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:25 PM   #34
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Wifey B: Then your friend will never change the perception of others. His choice, but sad.

If we responded with what we wanted to say to every post we don't like for whatever reason then we'd have a full time job. We generally ignore it in here, knowing that most don't share the views. We don't come here to change the world, just to talk boats.

If you won't even stand up for yourself, don't expect others to carry the torch for you. Then decide carefully what battles to fight.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:05 PM   #35
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When I was young we had jokes for everything and everyone. Poles, Irish, Black, Redneck, disabled, blonde, even pink elephants. You name it there was a joke about it. Not all were funny but if you heard them you learned not to get your panties all in a bunch and move on. Now days there are no more jokes like that and everyone needs to find a safe place. I am sorry your friend could not find his safe place on here.
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Old 03-16-2016, 07:48 PM   #36
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Wifey B: Then your friend will never change the perception of others. His choice, but sad.

If we responded with what we wanted to say to every post we don't like for whatever reason then we'd have a full time job. We generally ignore it in here, knowing that most don't share the views. We don't come here to change the world, just to talk boats.

If you won't even stand up for yourself, don't expect others to carry the torch for you. Then decide carefully what battles to fight.
I agree wholeheartly, however the issue is partly a result of the cultural differences. Certain cultures do not respond to enthinic or cultural insults because it not an acceptable response within that culture. Think about it. We are Americans and are known to voice our displeasure, that is a fact. But, if you insult someone of a different nationality you cannot expect them to respond the same way you or another American may respond.
I spent 6 years working in Europe and I can assure you this is indeed a fact. Acceptable behavior there is much more subtle than you may think and I have personally seen the exact same response to similar situations. The offended would just walk away and in fact would consider it rude to respond in kind.

My last post, I promise.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:12 PM   #37
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:35 PM   #38
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LOTS of folks in Norway are fluent in English. Many went to college in the USA.
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:42 PM   #39
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Greetings,
Mr. MN. Funny thing about Norway and Scandinavia, in general, I observed when we were there 20 years ago. The younger folks (<40) spoke English with no accent whereas the older folks had a noticeable, Scandinavian, I guess, accent. All understandable but...
Holy crap Mr. mp! Is that 1/4 of a pie in front of you? Well. NOW we know what YOU like to do...
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Old 03-16-2016, 10:01 PM   #40
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For English speakers there are two books appropriately titled French for Boaters and Spanish for Boaters.
Wow, that's fantastic, who'd have thunk.
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