Europe and the USA

General discussions about current events, culture, politics, etc.
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Xezlec
Novice
Posts: 2
Joined: 01 Jun 2013, 06:14

Europe and the USA

Post by Xezlec » 20 Jul 2013, 02:42

To me, an American, it's pretty impressive for a German webcomic to be written in perfectly natural English. I know, in Europe, that might not be considered impressive, as the rate of multilingualism is so high over there. But to me, it's something interesting. That gets me thinking about other cultural differences, and this might be a good place to discuss them.

For one thing, I hear that American popular music, TV, and movies are very popular in Europe, but that is a surprise to me, and to some other Americans, because those are some of the aspects of our culture we complain about the most! A lot of the time, you'll find Americans whose attitude is that "obviously" all American TV and movies are "crap" and "rot your brain", and that intelligent people watch foreign films and TV or don't even have a TV at all. Even I am a little bit this way. I watch very little American TV. Most of the shows I like are Korean or Japanese. Popular music also has a bad reputation among much of the population. People seek out foreign or underground music. As for me, virtually every band I like is either European or Israeli.

On the other hand, American food has a bad reputation in Europe, while I don't see anything terribly wrong with it. Maybe Europeans think McDonald's is American food? Most Americans I know wouldn't call that "food" at all. That is not what a hamburger looks like. Real American cuisine (at least here in Texas) revolves around the following equation:

meat + fire = food

Outdoor grilling on a summer day is a big thing down here. People gather at someone's home, and somebody grills and passes out meat to everyone's paper plates. Well, it's a little more than just that, but my point is that it isn't anything awful enough to warrant the terrible image that our food seems to have. Some people think Texan barbecue is "burnt", but it's actually not a mistake. We think a little gentle blackening at the edges adds a nice zip to the flavor of the meat, and maybe makes it less greasy.

Of course, I like foreign food too, so maybe it's just a matter of my having a biased perspective, and maybe foreign food really *is* better.

I'm interested to hear anyone else's thoughts. Just hoping to start a conversation to liven up this forum a little.
Arent
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Posts: 5
Joined: 15 Dec 2014, 14:24

Re: Europe and the USA

Post by Arent » 15 Dec 2014, 14:46

"To me, an American, it's pretty impressive for a German webcomic to be written in perfectly natural English. I know, in Europe, that might not be considered impressive, as the rate of multilingualism is so high over there. But to me, it's something interesting."

It is impressive, also 'over here'. Maybe Novil has native english friends that proofread the text? I started writing a book in english and according to my english friends my english is good, however I later on still switched the story to german because I noticed that I have a better 'feel' for writing and how the get the right 'flow' into a text, using fitting idioms etc. in german. This is not even about the amount of vocabulary or whether the english 'sounds' natural but whether I am able to invoke the right 'images' and 'feelings' in the reader, which I, sadly, found a little more difficult in a foreign language.

"For one thing, I hear that American popular music, TV, and movies are very popular in Europe, but that is a surprise to me, and to some other Americans, because those are some of the aspects of our culture we complain about the most! A lot of the time, you'll find Americans whose attitude is that "obviously" all American TV and movies are "crap" and "rot your brain", and that intelligent people watch foreign films and TV or don't even have a TV at all. Even I am a little bit this way. I watch very little American TV. Most of the shows I like are Korean or Japanese. Popular music also has a bad reputation among much of the population. People seek out foreign or underground music. As for me, virtually every band I like is either European or Israeli."

Well, I think we all watch game of thrones, navi cis, or the latest 'pirates of the carribean' ;) (You notice maybe that I consider game of thrones/england as american, that might count as 'cultural difference').

"On the other hand, American food has a bad reputation in Europe, while I don't see anything terribly wrong with it. Maybe Europeans think McDonald's is American food?"

The problem here is that Europeans simply have no idea about what *is* typical American food. Noodles and pizza are Italian, Wine is french, england has no (good) food, Germans have good bread and sausages. Of course that is not true, but that is the idea people have about the 'definition' of french/german/english food. And now, what is American food? *ponders* I have no idea.

"Some people think Texan barbecue is "burnt", but it's actually not a mistake. We think a little gentle blackening at the edges adds a nice zip to the flavor of the meat, and maybe makes it less greasy."

Actually I didn't understand that comic strip at first and had to switch to the german version to get the point. That is in fact something that happens once in a while - that a subtle point doesn't come across as well in english as it does in german because certain words *do* have a 'shifted' meaning in a, admittedly closely related, language like english.
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Neveko
Editor
Posts: 1295
Joined: 06 Apr 2009, 04:40

Re: Europe and the USA

Post by Neveko » 17 Dec 2014, 14:54

Arent wrote:"To me, an American, it's pretty impressive for a German webcomic to be written in perfectly natural English. I know, in Europe, that might not be considered impressive, as the rate of multilingualism is so high over there. But to me, it's something interesting."

It is impressive, also 'over here'. Maybe Novil has native english friends that proofread the text? I started writing a book in english and according to my english friends my english is good, however I later on still switched the story to german because I noticed that I have a better 'feel' for writing and how the get the right 'flow' into a text, using fitting idioms etc. in german.
I'm one of the editors of the comics. I've been here since early 2009, so that's why the earlier comics read slightly differently. Also, as an editor of the scripts, I can vouch that Novil does have a very good grasp of English, and the edits we make are usually pretty minor.
Klyaaleksej
Member
Posts: 20
Joined: 28 Mar 2015, 19:52

Re: Europe and the USA

Post by Klyaaleksej » 28 Oct 2016, 13:02

Xezlec wrote:To me, an American, it's pretty impressive for a German webcomic to be written in perfectly natural English. I know, in Europe, that might not be considered impressive, as the rate of multilingualism is so high over there. But to me, it's something interesting. That gets me thinking about other cultural differences, and this might be a good place to discuss them.

For one thing, I hear that American popular music, TV, and movies are very popular in Europe, but that is a surprise to me, and to some other Americans, because those are some of the aspects of our culture we complain about the most! A lot of the time, you'll find Americans whose attitude is that "obviously" all American TV and movies are "crap" and "rot your brain", and that intelligent people watch foreign films and TV or don't even have a TV at all. Even I am a little bit this way. I watch very little American TV. Most of the shows I like are Korean or Japanese. Popular music also has a bad reputation among much of the population. People seek out foreign or underground music. As for me, virtually every band I like is either European or Israeli.

On the other hand, American food has a bad reputation in Europe, while I don't see anything terribly wrong with it. Maybe Europeans think McDonald's is American food? Most Americans I know wouldn't call that "food" at all. That is not what a hamburger looks like. Real American cuisine (at least here in Texas) revolves around the following equation:

meat + fire = food

Outdoor grilling on a summer day is a big thing down here. People gather at someone's home, and somebody grills and passes out meat to everyone's paper plates. Well, it's a little more than just that, but my point is that it isn't anything awful enough to warrant the terrible image that our food seems to have. Some people think Texan barbecue is "burnt", but it's actually not a mistake. We think a little gentle blackening at the edges adds a nice zip to the flavor of the meat, and maybe makes it less greasy.

Of course, I like foreign food too, so maybe it's just a matter of my having a biased perspective, and maybe foreign food really *is* better.

I'm interested to hear anyone else's thoughts. Just hoping to start a conversation to liven up this forum a little.
Well, if we are talking about the revival of the forum, I fully agree with this proposal.Especially interesting topic for me as a fan of the American way of life. Although I myself am from the Ukraine and in the United States never fiction. But the prospect is. The other day I go to Germany, and then, perhaps, to the United States. Already https://ex-rate.com/convert/usd/1000-to-eur.html Converter chose something to watch the dollar against the euro. If this trip I will, be sure to present their impression.
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