How do you feel about American tourists?

  • indigo.

    indigo. (480)

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    Not always. Just sometimes. Hence the "when." lol. And I don't know about tourists from other countries, but when American tourists come over to Fiji and they're in a conversation or asking me something, I literally have to quicken my mind up to the pace because if I don't I'd be totally lost.

    When I encounter conversations with some American exchange students, I have to keep asking them to repeat themselves every other sentence 'cause they're either speaking too fast for me to understand or the way they're pronouncing words isn't the way I'm used to hearing them. I always think that they'll get mad but two times out of two, they say that a lot of other people (probably just in Fiji) ask them to speak slower because of their accents.
    June 13th, 2012 at 01:42am
  • Deer

    Deer (100)

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    They're easily fooled into paying more then they need to for rides around town..
    Pretty gullible is what we say.
    June 13th, 2012 at 08:01pm
  • amaranthine.

    amaranthine. (155)

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    American tourists have always seemed pretty polite in my experiences. I guess, though, because I live in London, the Americans don't have the language problems that other tourists may have.

    I'm more worried about British tourists, to be honest. I know we have a pretty bad reputation when it comes to travelling - typically, British people never bother learning the language, and seem to get drunk rather a lot. It annoys me particularly when we go to somewhere like France and, even though both my parents speak basic French (like, they can say 'please' and 'thank you,' and order food, and things like that) they still insist on talking in English. I try to learn at least a few phrases in the language, although it can be quite a hard thing to do at short notice.
    June 13th, 2012 at 10:50pm
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10125)

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    Helvius Cinna:
    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?
    I just recently went to Germany, Italy and Croatia and I didn't feel like I was being judged or stereotyped necessarily.

    I'm pretty fluent in German and I made basic attempts to speak Italian and Croatian (please, thank you, that stuff) and everyone was really nice to me. Every single person I encountered could speak English, but I would have felt rude just assuming that, and trying out a new language is half the fun of travelling.

    I felt like the entire beach was gawking at my huge thigh tattoo at one point. To be fair, people do that in the US too, it's just not as intimidating when you're being gossiped about in English.
    July 8th, 2012 at 01:02am
  • clint barton.

    clint barton. (115)

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    So... this thread has really gotten me worried. xD I'm planning on trying to study abroad for two different semesters next year, and, though I haven't narrowed down the countries yet, I do know that I'll be trying to see as many different countries as possible. The problem is, I only really speak English; I was just never exposed to anything else growing up, and our schools didn't really offer anything other than Latin, which I took but pretty much went in one ear and out the other for me. I'm learning, or at least attempting to learn, German now, but there's no way I'll really be fluent by next year. I'm a stickler on not traveling to a country without knowing some basic phrases in the native language(s), but I'm still worried about offending people if I need to switch to English, or even German. I so want to try and learn more languages, but I feel like I should stick to one at a time. xD

    So my question is: If you live in a country where the main language is one other than English, would you be irritated if a tourist came up to you, and in your language asked if you by chance knew English (or even a language that you don't yourself know), and if you can help them? Would that still be considered not trying to learn the language?
    November 3rd, 2012 at 08:06am
  • Kurtni

    Kurtni (10125)

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    @ addictedsevenfold.
    I don't live in a non-English speaking country, but I did go to Italy this summer without speaking a bit of Italian (aside from various pasta names xD) and it was fine. Everyone was polite to me and I got by fine, all I really used in Italy was 'grazie' . I will say I felt more at ease in Germany and eating out wasn't a hassle because I'm fluent in German, but I wouldn't let a language barrier keep me from experiencing another country.

    Honestly, I feel it would have been more awkward to try and string together some guidebook phrases. What do you do when the person replies back in their language and you have no idea what they said? Or, when they ask you "what?" because you butchered the language.
    November 11th, 2012 at 11:58pm
  • colibri

    colibri (150)

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    Well mostly, where I live, American tourists are a godsend. My city (well pretty much my entire island) survives on tourism. We're the #1 most beautiful island in the country, and #3 in the world (above all Hawaiian islands, which is pretty cool. tehe). We get A LOT of tourists here, even in the winter time. They mostly go to the historic sites and the old French villages, but a LOT of them go to the shops on our main street and buy a lot of merch. We don't mind them much at all, because they do a lot for our economy. We think of our island as a separate province, but it's a part of Nova Scotia. In reality they would never make us our own province because they rely too much on us for tourism and generally everything awesome. American tourists are alright. I've run into a few of them, and they seem so foreign for some reason. Just so different. They talk funny, you know? Just kind of... slow. I guess that's because I normally talk fast, and I'm French, and the accents of the people on my island are quite fast, too. I buy into a lot of the stereotypes, though, as most people do. But I was on a bus with an American tourist, and our bus broke down, and she let me use her cell phone to call my mum! Hospitality where I come from IS quite common, especially more so for a twelve year old child travelling alone on a bus, but it was strange seeing an American do something like that, because I was raised thinking they were all rude, and to pretty much stay away from them. I always thought they caused a lot of drama wherever they went, but that's just my experience.

    In reality, people will appreciate you anywhere if you have the money. We all like to see our economies better. c:
    November 12th, 2012 at 01:51am
  • hazuki.

    hazuki. (175)

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    addictedsevenfold.:
    So my question is: If you live in a country where the main language is one other than English, would you be irritated if a tourist came up to you, and in your language asked if you by chance knew English (or even a language that you don't yourself know), and if you can help them? Would that still be considered not trying to learn the language?
    No, I wouldn't be irritated.
    Normally I switch to English myself when I notice someone is American and stumbling with the language, even when the person doesn't ask me to; it doesn't bother me at all. It'll make everybody's life easier, so why not? I just don't appreciate that "why-learn-another-language-English-will-take-me-everywhere" sort of attitude. It's more about the attitude than the amount of knowledge in my language, to be honest.
    November 12th, 2012 at 12:47pm
  • clint barton.

    clint barton. (115)

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    @ Kurtni
    I agree; I didn't mean to try and pretend to know more than you did--that would cause a whole slew of additional problems. I simply meant to learn enough of the essential phrases in case of emergency or at least learn how to ask if someone spoke a language you know.
    Thank you for the input!

    @ berghain sunrise
    No, that attitude is probably one of the worst attitudes in the world; I absolutely despise it myself. And, for the amount of people whining and throwing tantrums here about people needing to learn English to be in the country, there's a surprising amount of individuals with that attitude.
    Thank you so much for the input, by the way!
    November 12th, 2012 at 05:52pm
  • HangMeFromTheHeavens

    HangMeFromTheHeavens (150)

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    I finally got out of the U.S. last summer and went to England, Germany, and Austria. My whole family is from England and I was raised in a very English household even though I was born in America so I had virtually no problem with accents and dialects and "blending in". I can pick up an accent very easily because of my grandmum and actually cringed when I heard another American talking in London. "What is that God-awful accent?" Whoops. Ha ha. :) The English are absolutely lovely people and so helpful!! Even though the only time I really got called out as an American was when I was trying to pay for something and took ages to count out the money.

    Germany was a bit different. I'm about fluent in German, but my mum only knows a couple of words. For some reason she took it upon herself to demand people speak English when we needed help or to order food even though I was standing right beside her. It's not like I studied German for four years or anything... We got mixed reactions though. Some Germans were very polite and switched to English, but a few got kinda pissed off. I don't blame them. I plan on living in Germany this summer, so we shall see how that goes. I'm sure everything be fine.

    I know that a lot of Americans do not prepare themselves before leaving the country. While I was in Munich this family sat down at a table with us in a Biergarten and they were the epitome of the stereotypical American family. Hunting camouflage, cowboy boots, Southern accent. They didn't speak a lick of German, but wanted to take a family vacation all the way to Munich because they have "German blood" and really wanted to try the beer.......... Yeah, I'm not a huge fan of people who don't do some preparation. I wouldn't set a toe in another country if I didn't know some of the language.
    November 18th, 2012 at 01:47am
  • j.lynn

    j.lynn (100)

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    I have just moved from America to England and I was told the English would be cold, rude and annoyed by my presence.. But now one of my closest friends is a Brit.. I think it depends on your attitude and how you conduct yourself. That being said you want to REPRESENT your country and not shame it :)
    November 20th, 2012 at 12:13am
  • Racoons

    Racoons (100)

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    I live in the States now but I grew up in Mexico and still go to visit friends and family pretty often. It's actually pretty fun seeing Americans out of their element and trying to go for the most "authentic" restaurants or beaches or w/e. I'm just embarrassed when they treat my friends and I like retards when it comes for asking simple things (not all but some). Then we have to point out that most young people know basic English at the very least.
    November 9th, 2013 at 10:02am
  • the 1975

    the 1975 (200)

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    I've traveled quite a bit and have never had a particularly negative experience as an American tourist. Some of the people in London were snippy and standoffish, but that was it. I spent a few weeks in China a few years ago and we were lucky enough to visit a middle school in Shanghai. The kids there were so excited to meet us and talk to us about "American culture," which, to them, started and stopped with Justin Bieber.

    On the contrary, the way I've seen people in my area handle non-Americans leaves a lot to be desired. I work for a professional sports team and we get a lot of tourists that want to check out an American football game. If they need help finding their seats, they'll ask a co-worker and my co-workers get so flustered and frustrated and just give up speaking to them. I have a decent grasp on a few languages so I'll try to find common ground with the tourist rather than just ignore them, which I find so hypocritical about Americans. A lot of us don't bother trying to learn the language of the country we're visiting, yet expect tourists here to speak perfect English.
    November 15th, 2013 at 07:21pm
  • dear avery

    dear avery (660)

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    I'm a culture geek myself, so tourists and languages and accents and clothes and slang, it's all wonderful to me. I'm looking at visiting Sweden and Norway eventually, so, I'm learning Swedish. I play video games in Swedish; it's easy enough.
    December 8th, 2013 at 12:44am
  • Valerie.

    Valerie. (115)

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    I live in one of the most boring cities in the country so I rarely come across any tourist, let alone ones from America but I'm fairly certain people here don't have a problem with American visitors as long as they're polite people.
    September 17th, 2014 at 03:02pm