10 American habits that others find offensive

10 American habits that others find offensive

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10 amerikai szokás, amit mások sértőnek tartanak. Ki tudja, hogy mik ezek? :)

Decide whether the following statements are true or false.

Every country has habits and social norms that may not translate well to other cultures. Here are 10 American behaviors found offensive by those outside of the US.

Number 10. Calling the United States ‘America.’ The Americas are a very big place, as they are comprised of 2 large continents. People outside of the US, and particularly in South America, often take offense to one nation claiming, albeit inadvertently, rights to the whole, enormous land mass.    

Number 9. Being in public when wearing sweatpants and flip-flops. Though the comfy garments are a big part of many wardrobes here in the United States, there are places, like most of Europe and all of Japan, where that particular level of casual is deemed disrespectful.

Number 8. Accepting gifts too willingly. In China, it’s established that one should humbly decline 3 times before grabbing the goods. Many other places aren’t necessarily that specific about the etiquette, but do generally encourage at least some resistance be expressed.

Number 7. Opening gifts in front of the giver. Americans plan entire events around opening newly received presents, but in both China and India it’s customary to wait until later. When you’re alone is preferred, but, at minimum, one should contain themselves until the person who did the giving has left.

Number 6. Giving someone or something a thumbs up. In numerous regions, including West Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Europe, the gesture is the equivalent of flipping the bird. In other places, it’s simply considered crude and adolescent.

Number 5. Asking people what they do. Really, not the best conversation starter anywhere, as it implies questions concerning income, status, and relative importance, but seriously not appreciated in nations with more holistic views on society.

Number 4. Assuming everyone in the world speaks English. Clearly, many countries have common, and sometimes official, languages of their own. Further, while a number of non-native English speakers do learn the language, their skills may not be perfect. Some are reluctant to use it for fear of being judged.

Number 3. Chatting up a storm. There are places and situations where keeping quiet is the appropriate action. Among them are Sweden and Finland’s saunas and some dinner tables in Japan, China, Thailand, and parts of Africa.

Number 2. Public nose blowing. This is a huge ‘don’t’ in France, Japan, China, and Saudi Arabia. It’s deemed disgusting in general, and even more so in Japan if one employs a handkerchief rather than a single-use tissue.

Number 1. Tipping. Restaurants abroad often include the gratuity in the check or pay their servers’ salaries themselves. While waiters in Europe may be touched by tourists’ thoughtfulness, those in Japan are decidedly less likely to see things that way. There, leaving additional money can be considered an insult.

Which potentially offensive American behaviors are you most surprised by?

Vocabulary

habit

szokás

may not translate well

nem érthető, nem értelmezhető, nem vihető át

offensive

sértő

to comprise of

magába foglal

to take offense

megsértődni

albeit

ugyan, habár, jóllehet

inadvertently

akaratlanul, figyelmetlenségből

enormous

hatalmas

sweatpants

tréningnadrág

comfy

kényelmes

garment

ruházat

casual

köznapi, lezser

to be deemed to

tart/ítél valamilyennek

disrespectful

tiszteletlen

humbly

alázatosan

to decline

el-/visszautasítani

to grab

megragadni

entire

teljes

customary

szokásos

to contain oneself

türtőztetni magát

Thumbs up!

Remek!

to flip the bird

“bemutatni” valakinek (méregből)

crude

durva

adolescent

éretlen

income

jövedelem

to assume

feltenni, feltételezni

reluctant

vonakodó

for fear of sg

attól tartva, hogy...

to chat up a storm

nagy elánnal, hangosan beszélni

appropriate

megfelelő

public

nyilvános

nose blowing

orrfújás

disgusting

undorító

handkerchief

zsebkendő

single-use tissue

eldobható papírzsebkendő

tipping

borravaló adása

gratuity

borravaló

thoughtfulness

figyelmesség

decidedly

határozottan

insult

inzultus, sértés

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