Author Topic: etiquette of visiting other countries  (Read 19554 times)

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petal

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etiquette of visiting other countries
« on: April 27, 2009, 06:58:39 AM »
1 - read about the country before you leave to make sure you dont break one
     of their customs
     (especially countries that have particular ways that women
     should be dressed)

2- dont mock the country you visit (or those that live there) because they sound
    different to you

3 - dont moan about how much better they do something in your home country

4 - try not to get offended if someone points out a custom that should be followed
     eg: while in Australia theres no need to tip at restaurants  but in America it is
     rude not to  (in most cases)

MadMadge43

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 07:18:59 AM »
5- try to keep you voice down. Loud people speaking in any language is annoying, let alone loud people speaking in a language you don't understand.

6- If you don't speak the language start with pardon my "insert language", do you speak "insert language". Don't just assume they speak your language.

7- It's ok to stand up for yourself when you're being jacked around because you're foreign.

8- Never be ashamed of you country of origin.


Mahdoumi

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2009, 11:55:12 AM »
9 - Try to learn greetings, "Do you speak English," and "thank you" in that country's language.  It's a gesture of good will, and in my limited experience, a good attempt at saying, "Good day," will be appreciated.

Asha

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2009, 12:14:08 PM »
10 - niceities (how do you spell that??) like "please, "thank you," "excuse me," and "I'm sorry / Forgive me" are a must, possible even moreso than at home.  This goes a LOOOOONG way towards expressing that any misteps you make are accidental.

JoanOfArc

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2009, 01:16:34 PM »
11.  A smile goes very far in smoothing over awkwardness. 

12.  If you have food allergies/special dietary requirements, consider getting some of those cards that explain what your requirements are in the local language and giving them to the waiter/waitress when dining.  They will make life easier for everyone. 

Joan 
Chicken-keeper, welder, artist, student and lover of all things literary.

TylerBelle

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2009, 01:17:10 PM »
9 - Try to learn greetings, "Do you speak English," and "thank you" in that country's language.  It's a gesture of good will, and in my limited experience, a good attempt at saying, "Good day," will be appreciated.

9a. Though it may be easy to fall into, using (what you think of as) an accent of the country's language while speaking your native tongue, isn't such a good idea. (ie., In a Spanish language country, speaking English with an attempt of a Spanish accent does not make people understand you better. In fact, it's more than likely worse.)
Always be on the lookout for wonder. --E.B. White

MadMadge43

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2009, 01:45:45 PM »
Quote
speaking English with an attempt of a Spanish accent does not make people understand you better. In fact, it's more than likely worse.)

That is not entirely true. I have had to pronounce chocolate, coca cola and aspirin with a Spanish accent to be understood. Oh, and Oil of Olay (who knew it was pronounced Ohligh?) Olay did not go over at all.

Black Delphinium

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2009, 02:58:03 PM »
Leave your desire to convert people to religion X/vegetarianism/carnivorism/whatever at home.(exceptions being made for Missionaries, I know it's your job)
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

RooRoo

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2009, 05:06:46 PM »
Be aware that many countries have no understanding of the American habit of laughing when one is embarrassed. It can seem very insulting to them. If you're laughing, and they're swelling with rage, it's time to stop laughing and apologize!
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Elle

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 02:29:23 AM »
Learn what gestures are unspeakably rude. (Displaying the bottom of your foot, reaching for food with your left hand, making the "ok" gesture" are all common gestures I can think of that are incredibly rude in various cultures)

Needless to say don't use those gestures  ;D

Be aware that the concept of personal space may be different.

Waltraud

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 04:24:02 AM »
A few Germany-specific suggestions, since it's the only country I can claim to know ;):

Don't ask random people personal questions about the Nazis or the Third Reich.

Behave respectfully while visiting memorials and concentration camp museums. To you, it might be a fascinating experience, or a story from far away and long ago, but many Germans still suffer deeply because of their past.

On a lighter note: Going out to dinner might take much more time than in the US. Waiting half an hour or more for the food to arrive is quite usual. On the other hand there is no need to tip exactly 20% or more. Waitstaff get halfway decent hourly wages. More than I make in any case.

And if you're from an English-speaking country: Many people speak at least a little English and just LOVE to put it into practise. If you just grin and bear it, you'd make many of us very happy. Including me. ;)

Waltraud


mechtilde

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2009, 05:24:10 AM »
Observe the body language of those around you. Personal space etc may vary.

Check out the country's obscene gestures. This may seem like a really stupid thing to suggest on an etiquette forum, but there are many gestures which are entirely innocent in one country and are obscene in another. Showing your open palms in Greece in an attempt to placate the person you are talking to will have the opposite effect. Making the US "OK" gesture in Germany would be the equivalent of flipping the bird. Ordering two of something with the fingers in a v shape and palm facing towards you in the UK would be an insult.

Your own government will often provide information to travellers. Check this before you go.

Read up about the history and culture of the country you intend to visit before you go. It may help you to avoid putting your foot in it.

Try to look at things from the perspective of the country you are visiting. Don't (for example) do what one lady did and refer to Denmark as "Such a cute little country" She may not have meant to be offensive, but she was.

Understand that other countries have different attitudes. Not only are there countries where people will wear more clothing, there are also some where people wear less, and naughty films are on sale in petrol stations.

This is possibly more of a practical than etiquette suggestion but always check out what insurance you will need before you go (in terms of health cover) and if you have a medical condition, try to ensure that you have it written down in the language of the country together with a complete list of any medication you are taking.

NE England

JaiJai

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2009, 09:33:31 AM »
Don't presume that just because someone is from a small country, they know everyone there! Sounds obvious I'm sure, but the amount of people who find out I'm British and ask 'Do you know the Queen / Tony Blair / a darling little couple I once met from Scotland'. It might be a fairly small country, but there are almost 61,000,000 people in the UK - suprisingly I don't know them all...
Jai
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GoldenGemini

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2009, 02:14:00 AM »
Don't presume that just because someone is from a small country, they know everyone there! Sounds obvious I'm sure, but the amount of people who find out I'm British and ask 'Do you know the Queen / Tony Blair / a darling little couple I once met from Scotland'. It might be a fairly small country, but there are almost 61,000,000 people in the UK - suprisingly I don't know them all...
Jai
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POD.  My country is physically as large as the US, but only has 21 million people.  I do not know everyone here. Although I have occasionally been surprised with someone I DO actually know!

Mechtilde - "Ordering two of something with the fingers in a v shape and palm facing towards you in the UK would be an insult"; that is also very rude here in Australia.  I didn't actually know there were places where that wasn't, so learning all the time!


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mechtilde

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Re: etiquette of visiting other countries
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 05:04:25 AM »
Making the "V" sign is pretty much only rude in the UK, or commonwealth countries which had a lot of settlers from the UK' who took the gesture with them. It can be quite a trap for visitors from other European countries to the UK, for example.
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