EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products PO Box Zone
Over The Network Custom Yacht Interiors

Author Topic: Language and cultural differences  (Read 12891 times)

Wendy

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12483
Language and cultural differences
« on: June 27, 2008, 08:24:04 PM »
Betty, I know you speak French but would you feel comfortable traveling in Quebec if you didn't have any French? I've got that area on my "places to go" list but don't want to run into problems .... I doubt my German and Russian would do me any good there and I'm hoping my English will satisfy but now I'm not so sure.

Wendy
no parlez vous French
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Marc L

  • ---
  • Posts: 2376
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2008, 09:06:17 PM »
Hi Wendy,

My name is not Betty, but I'll take a crack at it.  Being French, I have had a problem.   But since I live in SouthWest New Brunswick which is primarly English, I have lots of Friends that visited the province of Québec.  Some had very good experiences, and others not so much.  If you stick to tourist destination, they will make an effort to accommodate you.  While they will still be very nice and full of good intention, in rural areas you will come across some people that cannot speak English. 

I am sure it would help if you would learn the few basic greetings and common questions like bathrooms, etc.  I find anytime someone makes an effort to try to speak the language, the other person is always more receptive.  A good example was last night.  I live in a city that is 90% English.  I met a Friend at a conv. store while I was paying, so I started talking to her in French.  When the clerk handed me my change, he said "Merci et Bonne Soirée".  His accent was not all that good and I am not sure we could have had a conversation in French, but I very much appreciated the effort.  So trying a little to show you'd like to be able to speak it goes a long way.  Pretty much in the same way you will appreciate when he/she returns the favor and speaks back English to you.

Marc...

Marc...

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2008, 09:32:04 PM »
Thank you Marc, I very much appreciate your comments.

A number of folks here in the forum, including my wife and I, have had bad experiences visiting Quebec province. I used to hate doing business in France while I lived in the UK, but Quebec just seemed much more difficult to deal with. I had to dig deep into my school French (that was many years ago) in an attempt to communicate. I found some experiences to be as you described, where the other person responded well to my attempts to communicate, although je ne parlez Francais. Other people were quite hostile towards us.

The open hostility was so bad that we left Quebec prematurely and, when we arrived in New Brunswick, the contrast was quite remarkable; People came up to us in parking lots, because they saw the California license plates on our car, and were extremely cordial.

I truly hope that people in the US treat people from Quebec with respect and friendship when they visit here.

Meanwhile, I would really like to re-visit Quebec and tour areas that we didn't visit last trip. Next time I'll be more prepared with some French vocabulary and grammar.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 09:44:18 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Betty Brewer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 4586
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2008, 10:02:22 PM »
Meanwhile, I would really like to re-visit Quebec and tour areas that we didn't visit last trip. Next time I'll be more prepared with some French vocabulary and grammar.

Tom and Wendy,
A good litte English /French dictionary would have helped me. Make a note to bring one when you come to Quebec.  Being a tourist, I did not have any trouble with any of the basics like fuel, food or  RV Campsites.  My problem came in wanting to go into a deeper discussion with someone,  like to learn more about the parks and  naturalist  talks.  Or maybe blinking  road signs .

As Marc mentioned, when I gave my feeble attempts to speak French most could respond in better English than my French.  My trouble came from the one or two sentences I know  well (and with a very good accent)  that they assumed I knew more than I did and I could not understand their happy response as they  said more than I knew.  We were not too far off beaten path so we had no real trouble. I had always "heard" the  French Canadians were not friendly , but I did not find this to be true at all.   It is interesting how language binds us together.  I knew NO Spanish and we managed in Mexico  too.  Smiles help.  I am going to be more tolerant of other language visitors when I come upon them in my future.  Quebec was a good  time and  left good memories. 
Betty Brewer

see where we are

Marc L

  • ---
  • Posts: 2376
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 10:16:56 PM »
Betty,

Your comment about French Canadians not being friendly reminds me on how we hear Americans are arrogant.  Since I work with Americans on a daily basis, I know this is not true.

So on both sides of the border, we have some pre-made opinions about the other.  I strongly believe that people are generally nice everywhere.  However, bad experiences are often more memorable than the good ones, which is why those are the ones we hear the most.

Like they say about customer service.  You have good service, you tell one of your friends, but if you have bad service, you tell all of your friends.

Marc...
Marc...

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2008, 10:35:49 PM »
That's so true Marc. However, I find it inexcusable and downright ignorant when, if the first syllable out of my mouth was not French, storekeepers and checkout clerks would just turn their backs on me. It was especially hard to deal with a couple who shouted insults at me across a store simply because they had seen our California license plates in the parking lot. When I got outside, I found that the same couple had blocked my exit with their vehicle and had made derogatory remarks to my wife.

Had I not been visiting another country, I would have been inclined to re-enter the store and have words with the ignorant people. But I thought better of it. When we arrived in NB, another couple camped next to us, who were NB residents living close to the provincial line/border, explained that they have to put up with this nonsense on a daily basis.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2008, 01:08:32 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Marc L

  • ---
  • Posts: 2376
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2008, 10:49:42 PM »
Totally agree with you, there is no excuse for that type of behaviour regardless who you are and who they are.  You're story is not the first one I hear like that.  It is not the norm, but it is still more frequent then it should be. 

[Edit to add] Oh, and you can't generalize the province, it is so big that you will get some regional differences too, even from one village to the next.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 10:52:13 PM by 56kz2slow »
Marc...

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 18087
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2008, 10:51:09 PM »
That's so true Marc. However, I find it inexcusable and downright ignorant when, if the first syllable out of my mouth was not French, storekeepers and checkout clerks would just turn their backs on me. It was especially hard to deal with a couple who shouted insults at me across a store simply because they had seen our California license plates in the parking lot. When I got outside, I found that the same couple had blocked my exit with their vehicle and had made derogatory remarks to my wife.

Had I not been visiting another country, I would have been inclined to re-enter the store and have words with the ignorant people. But I thought better of it. When we arrived in NB, the couple camped next to us, who were NB residents living close to the provincial line/border, explained that they have to put up with this nonsense on a daily basis.

These type actions didn't get any better after living there for three years.  I always welcomed business trips to Ottawa where folks were friendly.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2008, 10:57:17 PM »
Thanks Marc.

Quote
... you will get some regional differences too, even from one village to the next.

I believe we saw such differences and you're right, I shouldn't generalize across a province. Apologies.

My wife and I have fond memories of a "discussion" we had with the post mistress in a small village. She spoke no English and I was struggling with French. She was a very sweet lady and we managed to communicate quite well under the circumstances.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2008, 11:01:55 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

Marc L

  • ---
  • Posts: 2376
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2008, 11:01:50 PM »
Thanks Marc.

I believe we saw such differences and you're right, I shouldn't generalize across a province. Apologies.

No apologies necessary.  I did not mean you personally, I just wanted to note the regional differences even if within the same province.
Marc...

stuff2447

  • ---
  • Posts: 5
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2008, 11:27:15 AM »
I will throw my 2 cents in now as well.  I am a Newfoundlander by birth, now living in Hollywood, FL for the past 12 years. As many of you may or may not know, the Hollywood/Ft. Lauderdale area is packed with French Canadians during the winter months. The GENERAL concensus of us Hollywood residents is that many of them are indeed perceived as rude. I speak fluent French and have on many occasions listened in on their conversations, with them not knowing that I understand every word being said. Suffice to say, they don't always share a high opinion of us either! The other common perception of French Canadians is that they are very poor tippers. I have heard horror stories from wait staff who were rewarded with a 50cent tip for serving a table of 6. There are many waiters/waitresses who will absolutely refuse to wait on French Canadians.

That being said, it is not fair to generalize a whole provice like this, and I have indeed met many, many French Canadians who are warm and friendly. It just seems that a very large percentage of those of travel here for the winter are not.

Scott

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2008, 11:31:55 AM »
Thanks for the observations Scott.

Quote
... it is not fair to generalize a whole provice ...

Agreed.
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9658
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2008, 03:23:06 PM »
I have very mixed feelings about the language subject because we've had both positive and negative feedback from the French-speaking people in Quebec and we've been there numerous times.  On the last trip in 2006 we were told that it was actually illegal - at least for a time and I don't know about now - for people whose background was French to even teach their children English.  We were told this by a couple who were of French background but who had lived in the U.S. for a number of years before having children.  After returning to Quebec and having children, their children wanted to learn English and they wanted them to learn it but were forbidden to do so.  They taught them surreptitiously at home.  Even as the person was telling us all this in a lowered voice, she was looking around to see who might overhear the conversation because there still was so much social stigma attached to learning English.  The result of this was that a whole generation of young people in Quebec have never learned English.  I'm not sure if this was during the time of the Separatist movement or not, but it might have been.  At Gaspe we were very surprised that the National Park people could not communicate with us in English and did not even have brochures in English.  Canada is, after all, officially a bilingual country and every other province covers both languages by law.  But the people of Quebec apparently don't feel they have to abide by this law.  We didn't even bother to go into the museum at Perce/Gaspe because we knew it would be too frustrating to not know what we were looking at.  That's one reason we appreciated the owner of the Indian Head Campground there telling us who would communicate with us in English and who refused to do so.  Actually, and Betty you will appreciate this as a teacher, I feel sorry for the young people who are so limited by a commerical world that speaks English.  It's like our young people here who are Spanish-speaking and don't want to learn English.  With this attitude they have no hope of ever progressing economically.

Wendy, to get back to your original question, the biggest problem in Quebec is road signs.  As mentioned above, Canada is bilingual and in every other province the signs are in both languages, but not Quebec.  Familiarize yourself with signage and that will help a lot.  Having the GPS also helps because it will steer you on routes in English.  I had forgotten about that low clearance bridge Betty mentioned, but if you set the GPS for truck routing that helps a lot in getting you around the language problem with road signs.

You know, these language problems come up in many places.  In both Madrid and Paris we were told that the residents of those cities look down on anyone (visitors) who doesn't have what they consider the proper accents.  But we also found people in those cities to very accomodating in putting up with our attempts at their language.  I always carry one of those little Berlitz language books when I go to other countries so people at least see that I'm trying - and more often than not they respond accordingly.  I would say go to Quebec but know ahead of time that there will be some people who aren't very cooperative, just as there are some here who are not.

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 18087
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2008, 03:34:35 PM »
Ardra having had the unfortunate opportunity to live in Montreal I can tell you that the law forbidding teaching English is true.  My colleague had two kids and this was a real issue for them.  They even have language police.  I understand that when the first graduates that were under the teach nothing but French rule hit the job market they found they had a real problem getting jobs because they couldn't speak English.  I read while we were there that Quebec was cited by the UN for human rights violations in the area of language.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9658
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2008, 03:47:17 PM »
Quote
Quebec was cited by the UN for human rights violations in the area of language.

Oh wow!  It was even worse than I thought....

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

JerArdra

  • ---
  • Posts: 1812
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2008, 03:53:47 PM »
BTW,  During my consulting years when I belonged to the "working class" I have talked with French folks that were born, educated, and live in the country of France and they said that the French Canadians don't speak French anyhow.  They said it's a foreign dialect of French but not French.

JerryF
JerryF  ;D  ;D

Wendy

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12483
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2008, 03:56:13 PM »
I feel sorry for anyone who speaks only one language whether it's French or English or Swahili.

Wendy
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Marc L

  • ---
  • Posts: 2376
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2008, 04:13:18 PM »
BTW,  During my consulting years when I belonged to the "working class" I have talked with French folks that were born, educated, and live in the country of France and they said that the French Canadians don't speak French anyhow.  They said it's a foreign dialect of French but not French.

JerryF

Well, if you ask somebody from UK, they will say the same thing about US and Canadian English too.  Whether it is French or English, the language sounds completely different depending on which side of the Atlantic you are.
Marc...

BernieD

  • ---
  • Posts: 5813
    • PressurePro
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2008, 04:40:00 PM »
BTW,  During my consulting years when I belonged to the "working class" I have talked with French folks that were born, educated, and live in the country of France and they said that the French Canadians don't speak French anyhow.  They said it's a foreign dialect of French but not French.


Liliane Nathan, who speaks impeccable French, finds the Quebec French completely unimpeccable ;)
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • Posts: 18087
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2008, 06:52:13 PM »
BTW,  During my consulting years when I belonged to the "working class" I have talked with French folks that were born, educated, and live in the country of France and they said that the French Canadians don't speak French anyhow.  They said it's a foreign dialect of French but not French.

JerryF

A couple of the Engineers at the airline that was from FRANCE refered to Quebec French as pig french because it was so butchered up.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

JerArdra

  • ---
  • Posts: 1812
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2008, 07:23:40 PM »
56kz2slow,

It's totally different between the British, American, Australian, and Canadian English speaking blokes.  We all say it's different but not with the attitude found in Quebec.  We laugh at the differences, joke about them, and try to learn the other's word meanings and pronunciations.  We don't refuse to speak to each other!
JerryF
JerryF  ;D  ;D

Hfx_Cdn

  • ---
  • Posts: 3156
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2008, 07:29:09 PM »
The history of French in North America is long and involved.  Much as the Cajuns have created their own dialect, so have the Quebecers.  It really is no different than hearing all the American accents, many of which are close to impossible to understand even to most Americans.  We have good friends at the site in Florida who grew up in TN, and even after 3 years, we still ned to ask them to slow down and translate.  You'll really see that when you get to NF, where the English has a lot of varients that go back over 200 years.  As Mark will tell you, we grew up in New Brunswick, and while there is a lot more English that has found its way into the French, the accent is much closer to that of today's Paris, yet the Acadians were even further cut off from France.  None of that speaks to the intolerence you find in Quebec to the English language.  It has gotten so bad over the past couple of decades that I refuse to try and use my French, which I was 100% fluent in. and ensured my kids were educated in both languages.
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Language and cultural differences
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2008, 07:43:46 PM »
Quote
We all say it's different but not with the attitude found in Quebec.

On the flip side are the rich English coal mine owners who controlled even the schools in Wales, where kids were beaten for speaking their native Welsh language. Now that's attitude!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 05:02:12 AM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

JerArdra

  • ---
  • Posts: 1812
Re: Language and cultural differences
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2008, 10:14:12 AM »
It is amazing how intolerant people can be over things like language.  Before he departed this earth, from old age, I met Senator Hayakawa from the state of California. He was a University Professor and world famous expert on language.  The warning he gave us was to keep the US English only because if you allow the country to become multi language you will loose the fabric and glue that holds the country together.  When all-the-people cannot understand each other you are no longer a homogeneous society.

As an example of his warning look at Canada, twice now Quebec has tried to divide Canada into two countries.

JerryF
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 10:18:04 AM by JerArdra »
JerryF  ;D  ;D

Marc L

  • ---
  • Posts: 2376
Re: Language and cultural differences
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2008, 11:03:11 AM »
Yes, but you have to remember the history of Canada, it dates back to 1604 when the first French settlers arrived St-Croix Island, ME.

It is much more complex than implementing one language or another.  The British tried several times to abolish the French language with various wars and even deportation.  Various treaties after each war divided the territory several times to form what we know now as US with its States and Canada with its Provinces.

Whether it is language, religion or culture, tolerance is the key to a good relationship.  It's like a wedding, it takes some give and take from both sides.  Regardless of the differences, if one imposes it's way on the other, it will never work in the long term.  And if it does work, it will create resentment for generations and that is in part what we see in Québec because of previous attempts to abolish them dating back to the 17th Century.

So it did not start yesterday and it will certainly not end tomorrow.

One thing we have to remember is that it is normally a minority that are intolerant.  We always remember bad experiences, so we talk more about them. 

Due to the need for immigration to replace the aging workforce which is not being replaced due to lowest birth rates in the history of the country, I suspect the problem to compound over the years.  While it is true that a common language between all makes communication easier, there is not one group that is willing to give up their language, which brings us back to tolerance and give and take.

I am 38 years old and expect that debate to still be ongoing long after I am dead.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 11:06:25 AM by 56kz2slow »
Marc...

Hfx_Cdn

  • ---
  • Posts: 3156
Re: Language and cultural differences
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2008, 11:45:09 AM »
It will be very interesting to see what actually happens in the US when Spanish overtakes English as the majority language spoken in the US.  I can't remember, but it is project to occur within the next 15 to 20 years.  It is all fine to say that a language Professor says don't make anything but English official, that's somewhat akin to trying to stop the tide from coming in with a pitchfork, it won't happen.
As Marc said, the only way of dealing with it is through tolerance on all sides, as we have learned in Canada.  Franco Quebecers were oppressed for generations, so they now feel the need through "reverse discrimination" to make up for all the slights.  Although the Acadians had some problems, by and large, they were not as badly oppressed, and received help in the 1960's to blossom culturally and economically.  So, New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual Province, and within the next 20 years virtually every New Brunswicker will speak both fluently.  When I was a kid growing up. there was not a public Francophone High School anywhere in NB  Fortunately. that's now changed

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

islandmomma

  • ---
  • Posts: 10
Re: Language and cultural differences
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2008, 12:07:35 PM »
Just wanted to add a couple of comments as I am an English-speaking Canadian who lived in Province Quebec for more than two years, while attending McGill, and studied French for over 13 years, even minoring in it in university, years ago.

Many of you have commented on Francophones being rude and unreceptive to many travellers. Many have also mentioned that any effort to converse with them in their own tongue usually creates more willingness to engage. There is a good reason for that. French-speaking citizens in this country have been downtrodden and ignored historically for centuries, since the battle on the Plains of Abraham when Montcalm was defeated. Their Province was on the end of the receiving list for political and other goodies until perhaps just the last three decades since the FLQ crisis. Compared with English-speaking citizens, they have been impoverished in too many ways to count. The French population has stored considerable anger over the generations. They are used to being maligned and trivialized and treated as if they have little value.

Quebequois citzens, by and large, see Americans as even more arrogant and privileged, and yet crass and without esthetic taste, than English-speaking Canadians (and we are also often subject to the kind of conduct you report). The real trick is to let them know you admire and respect their world and their customs and their language. They need to sense this from you as visitors because that Nationalist pride, though fierce, has not been shared or shown by others in their own country.

By all means, take a dictionary or get a foreign language calculator. Try not to wear things or act in ways that may seem to  loudly proclaim "We are Americans and that means we are better". I think you will find that the French people both here and abroad are engaging and quick and funny and very outgoing. One must get past that core mistrust, however.

JMO

jan

PS And do NOT make comments to them about the differences between French as spoken abroad and the French that has evolved in this country. The Francophone population has heard enough disparaging remarks in that regard as well, I assure you.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 01:05:45 PM by islandmomma »

Luca1369

  • ---
  • Posts: 1410
    • Seaworthy.com, Your Bahamas and Caribbean Cruising Advisory
Re: Language and cultural differences
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2008, 03:08:38 PM »
I feel sorry for anyone who speaks only one language whether it's French or English or Swahili.

Wendy


   This reminds me of an old joke. 

What do you call someone who speaks 3 languages?  Trilingual.

What do you call someone who speaks 2 languages?  Bilinual.

What do you call someone who only speaks one language?  An American.

But laying all seriousness aside for a moment, there are two sentence that I will learn first when entering a region where I'm not familiar with the language.  First is:  "Does anybody speak English?"  And second: "Where is the bathroom?"  Both vitally important for the intrepid traveller.

Steve
An American who speaks a bit of Spanish and can't pronounce French words the way he reads them.
Steve
1990 Fleetwood Southwind 36'
http://seaworthy.com

For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.
Lao Tsu (570-490 BC)

ArdraF

  • ---
  • Posts: 9658
Re: Language and cultural differences
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2008, 04:03:06 PM »
This has been a very interesting thread.  Thanks to all who have contributed!

I might mention one difference between the U.S. usage of English and the Canadian bilingual situation.  Whereas Canada was settled by both the French and the English which resulted in two languages being used, the U.S. was settled primarily by the English and, as such, was more homogeneous from the beginning.  I believe that is what Senator Hayakawa was alluding to when he said we needed to formally make English our national language to maintain that homogeneity.  Yes, there have been pockets of people speaking other languages but, until quite recently, everyone learned English when they came to our shores and that is one factor that has made the U.S. such a unique and dynamic country.  Each ethnic group has been free to maintain its own ethnic heritage at home, but we've all wanted to communicate in the commercial arena and have used the predominate language which happens to be English.

By the way, I appreciate the comment about our regional speech differences (so true!) but, as we all move around the country more, many of those differences are either disappearing or people take on other accents as they assimilate in another region.  My own childhood experience exemplifies this.  I was born in Pennsylvania and learned "western Pennsylvania" speech, then we moved to the South where I started school in Nashville, then we returned to western Pennsylvania.  When we went south the other kids used to say, "Ardra, you talk funny."  Then when we returned to Pennsylvania, the other kids would say, "Ardra, you talk funny."  I had speech patterns from both north and south, which made me stand out from the other kids.  Now that I've lived in the west most of my adult life, I tend to think I've lost most of my eastern accents, but every once in a while someone will ask me where I'm from in Pennsylvania so I know it's still there for someone with a "good" ear to distinguish.

ArdraF
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 04:04:52 PM by ArdraF »
ArdraF
:D :D

Tom

  • Administrator
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 44396
    • RV Forum web site
Re: Language and cultural differences
« Reply #29 on: June 29, 2008, 04:23:55 PM »
Quote
When we went south the other kids used to say, "Ardra, you talk funny."  Then when we returned to Pennsylvania, the other kids would say, "Ardra, you talk funny."

LOL Ardra, I resemble that remark. When we first moved to California from the UK (and when I used to visit during the years prior to moving), folks would whisper "what did he say?"  If we had UK visitors at home or at work, the whispers changed to "he's speaking Welsh", whereas I was speaking English, or maybe Wenglish.

Whenever we or any of the kids return to the UK, we're told "you speak funny".

Our daughter entered the CA school system at 8th grade. Every day, the teacher had different kids read something to the class. When our daughter read aloud, the teacher realized that all the kids sat very quietly, so she thought it would be a good idea for our daughter to read to the class every day. It didn't take our daughter long to change her accent, and for people to refuse to believe she was related to us.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2008, 04:40:38 PM by Tom »
Tom.  Need help? Click the Help button in the toolbar above.

 

Hosted by Over The Network