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Old 16-07-2009, 19:04   #196
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Variations.

My puppies are barking.
My puppies is barking.
My puppies be barkin'
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Old 16-07-2009, 19:09   #197
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Come to think of it, that AD always said, "My dogs are barkin' at me." He must have had big feet.

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Old 30-09-2020, 18:25   #198
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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The Latin for left is sinister

not for good reason i fear. Its been noted that there are an above average proportion of straight people who are right handed, and i shall leave your imagaination to work out the opposite connotation.

Left handers the world over are viewed with suspicion.

I am of course, right handed
**********
Interesting... I grew up in Luxemburg, and the local term for someone who is not "straight" is "A lenksen" , literally "a left hander". It also could be called a 175'er, referring to the penal code article which long ago made it illegal in the time when two men (or women) could be arrested for as little as holding hands in public.
Things have come a far way from the days when women were considered adults at 18 (or was it 15?) until they got married and were considered minors again and could not vote any more regardless of age.
Until recently Xenophobia also ran rampant there to the extent that many of the small villages of as little as 30 or 50 families had a disturbing rate of retardation and mongoloidism because of many generations of inbreeding. They were all related to each other, because marrying a "foreigner" from the next town 3 miles away was just not done.
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Old 30-09-2020, 22:24   #199
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

Another necropost? This thread was dead for over 11 years and suddeny we get a response to one post buried right in the middle of almost 200 posts in the thread. How do people find them?
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:41   #200
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

Why not? It's pandemic idle time for some and this thread is a cute one to resurrect since most of us aren't traveling anymore.

I'll contribute one. I'd been told the OK sign with thumb and forefinger was considered a crude reference in Brazil. I used to use it all the time instead of the thumb up because that was always the signal for a diver ascending and not for "everything is OK." I was standing on a stage in Paraty about to give a presentation when the translator asked if everything was good to go. I almost shot her the wrong hand signal. I think I reconfigured my fingers just at the last moment. Now I always use thumb up for OK whenever I'm on land.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:47   #201
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

Nice one!

Yes, the thumb and forefinger one means a*****e in German, if translated. Funny how such voluble people create all their varied hand signals of anger, disagreement, dispute, and judgment!

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Old 01-10-2020, 05:23   #202
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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haha. I'm also on a linguistics forum and we just happened to be having a conversation this past week about how the dialects of the upper Midwest (Milwaukee, Chicago, etc) are among the least documented. Our final reasoning was that the reason there is so little research there is because almost every midwesterner seems to believe that he doesn't have an accent, rather everyone else in the entire English speaking world has one!
Actually, if you look at news casting, midwest is the standard preferred accent across the country and this bleeds over into other media and other countries...so it is often considered the baseline which other accents are compared to....ie: they have no accent (even thought that's technically not true).
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:07   #203
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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Actually, I heard those terms all the time living in the San Diego area. All those transplanted Okies, I suppose. (I am an Oklahoman by birth; Okie is not a term of derision.)

What I have NEVER heard is anyone refer to California as being part of "the Southwest."

Mike
West in the context of the USA was a moving target.
- Early on, basically anything more than a few miles from the coast was west.
- Then anything beyond the Appalachians was west.
- Then anything beyond the Mississippi River was west.
- Finally beyond the Rockies became the west.

Though many areas maintained their west status...Ever wonder why the MidWest is solidly in the eastern part of the USA, it's because of the way the country developed.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:18   #204
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

Two guys were working at the airport, when a foreigner walked up to them. He asked them in Spanish, where the luggage pick up was. Neither could understand him, so they raised their hands and shook their heads that they don't understand...

He asked again, in German.

Again, the two workers did not understand him.

He tried in Polish and then again in French, but both times, the employees couldn't understand him.

He walked away trying to find someone else who could help him.

One guy turned to the other guy and said, "You know, maybe we should learn a second language."

"Why would you want to do that?" replied the other guy.

"It would help out in situations like the one we just had."

"What good would knowing a second language be?

That guy knew 4 and it didn't help him any."
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:25   #205
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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Another necropost? This thread was dead for over 11 years and suddeny we get a response to one post buried right in the middle of almost 200 posts in the thread. How do people find them?
because "Foreigners" read old threads
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:42   #206
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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Since we're back on traffic issues, here's something I just remembered:

In the US when you have a traffic circle (roundabout) the traffic already in the circle always has the right of way with those wishing to enter the circle having to yield to anyone already in it.

In many parts of Germany the traffic entering the circle has the right of way and those already in the circle must stop for them to let them in.

I realize everywhere is different, but in all my years driving in Germany I never could see the logic in that setup.
Actually, Traffic Circles are an older intersection treatment where traffic entering had right of way. You found them in some US states also. In low volume situations, this can work or you often saw huge circles, sometimes a quarter mile wide.

Roundabouts are a more modern treatment and among other things, traffic in the circle has right of way. This avoids a situation where the circle comes to a stop if there is a busy approach and eventually, once the circle if full and stopped, no one moves.

What baffles me as a traffic engineer, is when some countries try to incorporate traffic signals into a roundabout...usually just mucks things up.
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Old 01-10-2020, 06:59   #207
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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In some cultures looking at someone that directly is regarded as aggression. I tend to feel a bit that way myself. Especially if they are sales persons
It's not a cultural thing...it's built in our genes.

Ever stare down a dog. In just about any animal where there is a pecking order, before they resort to physical violence to assert dominance, they use visual clues and one of the common ones is to stare down those you believe are weaker than you. If they agree that you are stronger, they will look down or away to signal they aren't ready to take it to the next level.

Where this bleeds into culture is those willing to "look you in the eye" are seen as higher on the pecking order (ie: more powerful and leaders). Those who look down or away are seen as lower on the pecking order and are followers or weak.

Recognizing this, parents will often instill in their children to "look'em in the eye" with the idea that position them as being higher status or if they really believe they are in the weaker position, they may teach them not to do so as it could backfire. Particularly in 3rd world countries, it will vary by class which approach they take.
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Old 01-10-2020, 07:21   #208
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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Putting up poles is cheaper installation, but higher lifecycle costs. So the American are being expedient and the Europeans are investing.
Hard to bury wires in rock. In some Caribbean islands water and electric run along the side of the road on the ground. Utility poles in Dominica may have a thousand wires and look like a steel wool pad. After a hurricane the downed wires may lie on the street for over a year.
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:05   #209
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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Hard to bury wires in rock. In some Caribbean islands water and electric run along the side of the road on the ground. Utility poles in Dominica may have a thousand wires and look like a steel wool pad. After a hurricane the downed wires may lie on the street for over a year.
Most built up urban areas in the states have long since gone to underground and even a lot of suburbs.

It takes time and money to convert. Underground installations are a lot more expensive, so if you have viable above ground installations, it's tough to justify the cost until it's time for replacement.

Also, it depends on where you are...Similar but slightly different situation...In Michigan, we hang our traffic signals mostly on span wires. It's typical to get 30yrs with no issues. In Florida they use mast arms because every hurricane that comes thru all the span wire installations are on the ground but the mast arms are still up.

Interesting, in Nepal, they still mostly use a police officer in a crows nest stand in the major intersections to direct traffic. This spring while there, our driver wanted to show us the new traffic signal in Kathmandu. The signal was running but the officer was still in his stand directing traffic...often in conflict with the signal indications.

Another one is pedestrian crossings in Rome. I'm not suggesting it's the safest approach but when you cross, you should continue without pause to enter the road, regardless of traffic. Don't make eye contact with drivers and for god sake, don't stutter step like you might stop. Walk right out in front of a car and they have to lock up the brakes...no problem. Stutter step and the drivers get ticked because they don't know what you are going to do. After a while, you just walk out into a 5-8 lane road busy with traffic and just expect them to deal with you...then you have to relearn once you are in another country.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:06   #210
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Re: Funny Things that 'Foreigners' Do -

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...
Another one is pedestrian crossings in Rome. I'm not suggesting it's the safest approach but when you cross, you should continue without pause to enter the road, regardless of traffic. Don't make eye contact with drivers and for god sake, don't stutter step like you might stop. Walk right out in front of a car and they have to lock up the brakes...no problem. Stutter step and the drivers get ticked because they don't know what you are going to do. After a while, you just walk out into a 5-8 lane road busy with traffic and just expect them to deal with you...then you have to relearn once you are in another country.
The same thing is true in the area of China we visited.

If you *** looked *** at ongoing traffic *** they *** had the right of way.

Soooo, to cross a street, you needed to look, but you had to look like you were not looking.

This was made even more fun at night because much of the traffic was on scooters. To save gas, the people on the scooters would turn off the head lights.

Soooooooo, to cross a street at night, you had to look, but not be seen looking, to try to see the oncoming scooters, in the dark with no street lights, who were driving without headlights, so they could save on gas.

The other thing they had to do, though I heard that the mayor, or some other Person In Charge said to stop, was honk the horn when changing lanes. So there was honking going on all of the time. To make even more honking, people on scooters would honk at pedestrians to see if they wanted a ride. A low tech Uber if you will.

Sooooooooooooooo, when you were trying to cross the road, day or night, without looking, but of course you did look, but you did not look like you looked, if you heard a vehicle honking was it because they were changing lanes, asking if you wanted a ride, or where about to run you over?

Fun Times. Fun Times.

This "system" applies to vehicles too apparently...

We were on a bus on a four lane road. A lady pulled up at an intersection in a car, carefully did not look at the bus but did look at the bus without moving her head, and pulled out right in front of the bus.

I was obviously watching and thinking she certainly will not pull out in front of a bus.

But she did. The bus driver pulled into the left lane after dutifully honking his horn.

Not sure what would have happened if he could NOT pull into the left lane.

Seems crazy crazy to me but it seems to work just fine for them.

Later,
Dan
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