How do you feel about American tourists?

  • Helvius Cinna

    Helvius Cinna (100)

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    Hello other countries Bye

    So as an American I've always been curious and for other Americans planning to travel: Is there any stigma about being American where you live?
    December 14th, 2011 at 04:14am
  • Racoon

    Racoon (100)

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    ^^^^^^^
    January 8th, 2012 at 10:07am
  • hazuki.

    hazuki. (175)

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    ^^

    Never had this problem haha. Personally, I don't have much problems with american people, when they come to ask for directions, or any sort of tourist information they're always polite and no, luckily none of them ever treated me like I was a retarded tehe

    And there's this language thing. Americans never seem to worry too much in learning the language of the country they're visiting, and a lot of people here, especially the older guys got pissed when they're adressed in English. It doesn't really bother me, though I found it the ultimate cortesy when a lost couple came to me on the street one of these days, and asked me first in German if I could help them, and then if it was ok if we talked in English. I was like OMGYES

    So, what bothers me in american tourists: they don't even try to blend in, when there's a group of them on the street, you KNOW where they come from. They're SUPER loud and when they find where the pubs are in town, they drink their *sses off like they never had seen a beer in life. Drunk And in clubs they go all nuts, I think that's where I saw them in their worst shape Crazy And if for some reason they don't make through the bouncers, then you'll be able to watch lots of drama for free.

    I'm not here stating that all americans are like that, but that's the kind of american tourist that will outstand. I know for a fact that there's a lot of them out there who actually behave very well, but they just don't show up that much like those who end up annoying the hell out of everybody else around them.
    January 15th, 2012 at 06:10pm
  • Helvius Cinna

    Helvius Cinna (100)

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    Ha, I'm so sorry!

    And (sorry I only speak German, currently learning Dutch) Tut mir leid! I'm an exchange student at the moment and no matter where I go I stick out, I try not to do it on purpose....I'm really bad at riding bikes and when people ask me questions I stare at them blankly and then try to respond in German or this weird Neder-Deutsches language I've seemed to have made up. It's bad and I feel bad...and I also feel bad that you guys have to deal with the dumb people :C
    January 25th, 2012 at 06:56pm
  • Flu Rescent.

    Flu Rescent. (100)

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    I've travelled with quite a few Americans around Europe recently and I've found them to be really fun & cheerful, easy to talk to and always seem keen to experience different cultures. However, I will agree with Ring Frei! that many of them never really worried about learning to speak the language of the countries they visited and were quite happy to converse in English.

    But yeah... I don't think I've ever met an American yet who wasn't polite and friendly. (:
    May 29th, 2012 at 10:30pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    Ring Frei!:
    So, what bothers me in american tourists: they don't even try to blend in, when there's a group of them on the street, you KNOW where they come from.
    Is there something wrong with not blending in? I know personally when I go for a short vacation, I try to have fun, not immerse myself so deeply in the culture that you can't tell where I came from. If the individual were relocating, I can certainly see trying to blend in more, but I don't see why it's wrong for tourists not to blend as long as they're being polite and shit.
    May 30th, 2012 at 04:37pm
  • hazuki.

    hazuki. (175)

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    As a tourist myself, I'm aware that I'll fatally be recognized as one as soon as I open my mouth -doesn't matter how well I speak the local language, people will always notice. So, in practical terms, I don't think it's possible to blend in to the point of people not realizing you're a foreigner.

    What I mean by "blending in" doesn't equal "hiding your nationality at all costs". It's simply not to be recognized as a tourist a mile off, or at the first glance; this is not that hard, you don't need to immerse deeply -a little research about the culture and history of the place you're visiting and learning a bit about the local dressing code will sufice. And of course, avoid being loud when in big groups.

    I wouldn't say that not blending is wrong. Personally, I think it's a sort of commom sense and a sign of politeness and courtesy (when in Rome... Wink), the same way you adapt when visiting someone who has different habits than you and your family. Of course, if you don't mind contacting locals and your plan is following your travel guide and go back home, then blending in doesn't sound like a must-do, but still.

    I like to keep in mind that no country is obligued to let me into their territory, they can turn me down upon my arrival at the airport just because -and still I was alowed to be there. It may sound a bit naïve, but well, as for myself, I think being nice is the right thing to be done.

    Either way, in the particular case of American tourists, in Europe at least, they are sometimes seen as quite the brash people, so being loud and too outstanding may come across as rude, even offensive. Sometimes, blending in is even a question of safety, it will at least spare you from becoming an easy target to thieves in big cities -and maybe even to terrorists.
    May 31st, 2012 at 01:36am
  • kafka.

    kafka. (150)

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    People in foreign countries are very sensitive to the way their culture have been exploited / romanticized / denatured / kitschified by Anglophone culture so they'll be suspicious of Anglophones who make no attempt to understand their culture because they'll assume the Anglophone tourists will go home and perpetuate the stereotypical ideas about their culture. There's also the case of tourists expecting the culture they visit to accommodate for them instead of their accommodating for it. This is especially the case with Anglophone tourists who visit non-Anglophone countries but can't even be bothered to learn how to say simple phrases in that country's language (e.g. thank you, please, etc), instead expecting everybody to speak English. It's the not wanting to make the effort rather than not being able to learn a foreign language - people know that learning new languages is difficult and they'll forget your bad pronunciation and bad grammar if they see you're making an effort and they'll be a lot warmer and more welcoming towards you.
    May 31st, 2012 at 11:01am
  • Wuthering Heights.

    Wuthering Heights. (100)

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    I can understand being a foreigner in a country and not knowing the language - I went to Kenya for a month last summer and while my Swahili was really awful, like I could only just point out animals and make friends with the younger kids, they're English was really good. However, it was a working holiday, so I was building school rooms and stuff, so I guess I picked it up.

    But then again, when I've been to European countries I make an effort to blend in and speak the language, even if it's ordering ice cream in Italian in Rome with a horrendous London accent.

    I find in London, since it's my home town, I can be quite negative about American tourists, and tourists in general. While I can understand that seeing the sights of our historical city and now Capital is part and parcel of visiting, it can be irritating when I'm trying to get buses/tubes/walk anywhere in the inner city.

    And very occasionally I've been in situations like this:

    Casually sitting on the London Eye with my friends discussing going for tea at someone's house and what film we would watch and the quickest route back etc etc

    American Tourist Kid 1: "Oh my gawwwwd, look! Actual British people!"

    All of us awkwardly trying to ignore this comment.

    American Tourist Kid 2: "Mom! Listen to their accent! How cute! They call movies films!"

    Still trying to awkwardly ignore it, one of us valiantly attempting to point out Big Ben and move a little bit away.

    American Tourist Kid 1: "Listen to them speak! If we ask them about the President will they know who he is? Who's the British President?

    American Tourist Kid 2 walks over with friend/sibling in toe and for the remaining 10 or 15 minutes in the capsule they ask us to talk about stuff, ask us for pictures, and then go back to their parents to tell them all about 'the cute British people'

    Like, I know it's appreciating British people/culture and stuff, but we were having a private conversation that they eaves dropped on and then commented on what were discussing, plus it was a bit weird having all that attention.

    I don't man, I don't mind American tourists too much. You can't judge a whole nation by one family who couldn't keep their kids under control.
    June 1st, 2012 at 07:02pm
  • cannibal.

    cannibal. (145)

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    ^ That's the type of tourist that would make me embarrassed in another country. The tourists my state gets (American or otherwise) act like that. I have yet to see tourists that act politely. It's understandable if you don't want to blend in but you could at least be polite. Irritating people like that doesn't always end well.
    June 3rd, 2012 at 12:37am
  • Masha Mikhailovna

    Masha Mikhailovna (100)

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    I actually really really love American tourists. I love having someone to speak English with. Those I've met were always really nice.
    June 6th, 2012 at 11:19pm
  • Monroe;

    Monroe; (615)

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    kafka.:
    People in foreign countries are very sensitive to the way their culture have been exploited / romanticized / denatured / kitschified by Anglophone culture so they'll be suspicious of Anglophones who make no attempt to understand their culture because they'll assume the Anglophone tourists will go home and perpetuate the stereotypical ideas about their culture. There's also the case of tourists expecting the culture they visit to accommodate for them instead of their accommodating for it. This is especially the case with Anglophone tourists who visit non-Anglophone countries but can't even be bothered to learn how to say simple phrases in that country's language (e.g. thank you, please, etc), instead expecting everybody to speak English. It's the not wanting to make the effort rather than not being able to learn a foreign language - people know that learning new languages is difficult and they'll forget your bad pronunciation and bad grammar if they see you're making an effort and they'll be a lot warmer and more welcoming towards you.
    American tourists are notorious around my area for trying stereotyping. It's irritating but I guess it's the excitement of it all.
    June 7th, 2012 at 12:38pm
  • GreatUnknown

    GreatUnknown (150)

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    I'm American, I've always heard good things from foreigners about American tourists. I do know though that we don't bother to learn the language of the country that we travel to. I personally think that Americans are a bit lazy or just don't really want to bother with a new language. Something I've always wonder is how our accents sound to other countries?
    June 8th, 2012 at 12:03pm
  • folie a dru.

    folie a dru. (1270)

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    @ kafka.
    That makes sense. My boyfriend and his family had a list they of Spanish words/phrases they learned before they went to Mexico. Please, thank you, where is the bathroom, can I get directions, do you speak English, etc etc. I always thought you should know enough to be able to find someone to help you if you need it, at the least.

    I, personally, have major difficulties with pronunciation, not remembering the word.
    June 8th, 2012 at 06:03pm
  • sainted swan

    sainted swan (100)

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    Vicious.:
    I went to New York in February and oh my god, I was so embarrassed to be an American (I kinda mean that in a funny/kind way). The people in my group were doing the exact same thing, but in a flirty "I want you to be my boyfriend" kind of way. There wasn't siblings/parents there expect the parent-chaperone. I was the only boy in the group and they were all like "Hey, isn't that guy/guys cute. I love their accents. Awww ~" Facepalm Stoppppppppppp.

    I have English blood in me and I knew a lot so I was like "Guys, they're in college because England has a different system." I felt even more awkward than the actual people getting flirted with. lmfao
    June 8th, 2012 at 10:11pm
  • Wuthering Heights.

    Wuthering Heights. (100)

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    @ sainted swan

    I get confused when Americans in London talk about accents, cause obviously I don't think I have an accent.

    But when I go to Camden (like every weekend Facepalm) and there's a million tourists, not just Americans, and they're taking pictures. I'm not being cruel but the pavements are narrow as, and the road is a busy main road through London and I end up pushing people a bit to get through, so I guess some tourists mustn't like that...

    It's a two-way thing I guess between tourists and natives.
    June 9th, 2012 at 06:47pm
  • Saint.

    Saint. (450)

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    Americans are actually one of the only groups of tourists that I don't get annoyed by. I think it's because they speak English and (well, the ones I've encountered anyway) are always polite and just generally nice. If I'm honest, the reason they don't annoy me is because they don't come in packs. The worst kind of tourists are the ones that come in packs and take over the transport and the pavements and the shops and everything. It makes it so difficult for us to get to work/wherever we need to get. I think it's because Americans speak English and don't feel the need to come in large groups because they know they'll be able to communicate without any problems, whereas other groups of tourists aren't maybe as fluent and come in packs for safety or whatever /rant.
    June 10th, 2012 at 11:15am
  • Monroe;

    Monroe; (615)

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    @ GreatUnknown
    Irritating xD I just cannot stand the American Accent. For the Titanic anniversary a huge pile of them landed in Ireland and oh my... it was just obnoxious xD
    June 10th, 2012 at 12:23pm
  • indigo.

    indigo. (480)

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    GreatUnknown:
    Something I've always wonder is how our accents sound to other countries?
    I cannot for the life of me, stand the American accent - to the point of not understanding Americans when they speak too fast, or something like that.
    June 12th, 2012 at 04:02pm
  • cannibal.

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    @ exo sneakers.

    We talk fast? I always thought most of us talked kind of slow. When I talk to tourists that aren't from the U.S. I feel like they believe the conversation is a marathon. Whoever talks the fastest will win. :/
    June 13th, 2012 at 12:05am