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robtest
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Posted on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 16:04

We were discussing this at work today and I found it interesting. Some words have different meaning depending on where you are. I grew up in east TN, watching Hee Haw in the 70's, with Mini Pearl and her famous greeting Howdie (her pronounciation was Hooowwwwddddeeeee!), but was quite surprised when I moved to the more culturally diverse area of Atlanta, GA. I greeted a black friend of mine with "Howdie!" and got back "pretty good, how are you?". It was then that I realized after decades that "Howdie" was actually short for "How are you doing?" As I began to travel for work, I went to MN. When I asked for tea, I was surprised to be asked "Hot or Cold?". In the south, the question is "Sweet or UnSweet". And for those who don't know, Tea takes sugar much better when it is added while boiling it up than it does after the fact. Even here on the forums, during one of those infamous fights, someone used the term "poof", which here in the US is typically used like a magic term of "poof, it was gone". One of the combatants was offended by the term, and we later learned that where they were from, "Poof" was a term for a homosexual male. What examples like this have you learned in your travels???


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Posted on Fri, Feb 15, 2008 22:29

Well, I found out the hard way that a picador in Spanish or at least Mexico does NOT mean toothpick!!! It seems that it is a request to be poked with a long object of the male persuasion! YIKES! I just wanted to get the meat out of my teeth...sheesh!


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Posted on Thu, Feb 14, 2008 07:10

I know an American couple who were B&Bing in the UK and on their last night the Landlord, knowing they needed to rise early asked the wife 'What time would you like to be knocked up' She blushed deeply and informed him ' I 'm not that kind of a women, making him totaly perplexed. I told one of my distributors back in the early 90's at an Expo in Dallas ,I'm just Popping out for a drag on a fag,' to which he rolled his eyes and said OMG I hope that doesnt mean what i think, I kept a straight face and explained I was going outside for a puff on a poof, before laughing and telling him i was just going out to light up a weed, God he said not into drugs as well. !!!!!I said Good God NO, lets go get a shandy and a chip buttie. Geez aint English wonderful. Have a great Valentines day, I am. Rob


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compatiblesoul
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Posted on Wed, Feb 13, 2008 18:49

Well, I'm from the east coast, and I just love pancakes in the morning. When I was on a trip in Portland, Oregon, as I was ordering breakfast, I noticed they didn't have any pancakes on the menu because they were called hot cakes. So I was glad to enjoy eating what I call pancakes!


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shazbot82
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Posted on Tue, Feb 12, 2008 06:16

Driving through Glasgow while on my Honeymoon ,,,this sign posted prominently along the road side " Join Us For Stories, Songs ,and Snatches"


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wwww12345
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Posted on Mon, Feb 11, 2008 19:56

Ok, here is what the Italian speaker said about Italians. That Italians like to argue. If you get in a car wreck in Italy, and the other driver gets out of his car and starts screaming at you, then you need to get out of your car and do the same. If you don't the other driver will think that you don't care about the accident. That their corporations are nowhere as near as efficient as (for instance) the German companies because if there is a disagreement in the company about the path the corporation should take, or a proposed product design, and management finally makes a decision, the people on the loosing side will refuse to cooperate. In contrast, he said, the German workers will all accept the decision and pitch in to make the product or decision a success. This lack of cooperation in the Italian companies drastically reduces their productivity.


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Posted on Sat, Feb 09, 2008 00:43

Knotted-up! How many different meanings are there? I could not find it in wikipedia.


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shazbot82
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Posted on Fri, Feb 08, 2008 16:38

cant wait to read the details, Wx4


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Auno
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Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 14:42

After eating we say we are stuffed, full, overflowing etc.. Stuffed in another culture means an unwed pregnant girl. You are so spoiled, most all knows what that means.. to some Spoiled means dead and stinking. They could not understand how a person could be both, alive and dead stinking. When I was working out our plant had many cultures and I felt like the dictionary in explaining what words meant..They learnt if they did not understand the context the would come to me and have me to explain. So I learned what the word meant to them and then try to explain the word usage for them to understand. Think of the words that have several different meanings depending how it is used in the sentence. Or the words that sound the same and are spelled different.


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wwww12345
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Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 11:14

Quoting: Originally posted by billzeke I heard that the Univ of Texas "Hookem Horns" sign. means do you want to have sex in one of the European countries. Also don't the Brittish refer to cigarrettes as fags???

I can just see Bill, traveling all over europe, waving the "hookem horn" sign, can't you? I don't know about that sign, but I do know that the V for victory finger sign means the same as the middle finger if you hold the hand in the reversed direction. Margaret Thatcher held it the wrong way in one famous picture, which used by the cross cultural trainers as a example of what not to do.


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wwww12345
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Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 11:03

Years ago I consulted for a few months to a small cross cultural training firm which was developing a course to be taught to engineers and managers who were going to be working with the space station partners. It seems that there were many cultural mistakes being made due to the lack of understanding of the different cultures. This course was developed because a friendly, extroverted american manager sat on the arm of a couch while he was chatting to some Japanese managers. Apparently most Japanese people have a rather large zone in which you are considered to be invading their "space". The manager was smart enough to notice the anxiety that he was creating, found out why, and then decided to fund the cross cultural training course before more serious mistakes were made. I will post a few of the cultural differences that I remember in future posts. One of the founders of the training firm was a psychologist who studied cultural differences, and the other was a diplomats wife, who had extensive experience dealing with people from hundreds of different cultures. Listening to, and talking to the diplomats wife alone was worth the price of a ticket. In addition, guest speakers were brought in from each of the countries involved to explain cultural differences. It really was a eye opening experience for me, and I wish the course was available to the public via public TV or something similar. I will post some of the information the guest "experts" talked about as time permits. The most memorial ones were: German, French Canadian, Russian, Japanese,and Italian.


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billzeke
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Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 08:28

I heard that the Univ of Texas "Hookem Horns" sign. means do you want to have sex in one of the European countries. Also don't the Brittish refer to cigarrettes as fags???


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Phantomea
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Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 08:05

Here in West Virginia the word ill means an illness. In North Carolina it means angry as in ill tempered.


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Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 02:54

Chicago/New York = you's guys Indiana = you guys Tennessee = ya'll Tennessee = How much do you "like"? Indiana = "How much do you have left to do?" or better "Are you finished yet"? Chicago = Sure Indiana = Sure Massachusettes = SHORE???? Tennessee = Steak sandwhich = chopped thing that is breaded and could potentially be covered in gravy Indiana = Philly steak meat (repeat) Indiana/Chicago/ Northish = Coke Regional = soda, pop, (south = pepsi though they are really asking for pepsi) NOrth Tea = unsweetened Tea = tea + bag of sugar US = windshield England = windscreen US = trunk Austrailia = boot


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BlueEyz2006
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Posted on Thu, Feb 07, 2008 00:10

Rob, cool blog. I took a class called "Law, Language, and Culture" where I learned that an attorney flashing the "OK" sign to a nervous Asian witness he called after her excellent testimony was shocked when she broke into tears on the stand until he discovered that is their sign for a**hole. Another interesting case involved a Japonese witness who was sitting just feet away from a relevant conversation who responded "yes" when asked if she could hear the conversation but who could not relate the content because she explained she did not listen. The attorney learned that the reason paper screens are used in Japonese restaurants is because Tokyo is so crowded they create privacy zones which means that although you could hear, you are not to listen unless you are invited into the conversation. Since I have moved 17 times and lived in many states, I know that hoagies, subs and heroes are the same, as are soda, Cokes (referring to anything including 7-Up), pop, tonic and soft drinks.


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wwww12345
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Posted on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 23:27

My daughter, who was selling for a new home builder, was almost fired once for asking a construction worker why was he being such a "bi_tch". The construction worker was highly offended and complained to management. Turns out, "bi_tch" is used to describe 1/2 of a homosexual couple in prison, which is where the construction workers previous employment had been.


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shazbot82
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Posted on Wed, Feb 06, 2008 22:34

LOL rob I have MANY examples ! one really "funny" one .. I was in Byron Bay, Australia on holiday with my boyfriend. We had gone back to the hotel to watch a championship Rugby Match. We were having some drinks and he was telling me the rules,,,again... when i asked him which team he was rooting for. He turned about ten shades of red and asked me if I knew what I had just said. Clueless, I said "what are you talking about ? I just asked you who you were rooting for." WELL ,turns out the word "root" in australian english is a much worse than "F**K" Its about the rudest thing you can say to an aussie ! He had never heard me cuss, as I normally dont..and he was shocked to hear me say that. He then told me I must NEVER say that word ! hmmmmm...and one would not go out side looking for your cat calling...here kitty , here kitty. OR use the word "kitty" unless you INTEND to be rude and insulting !


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