07 August 2005

Estereotipos o stereotypes in English

The last week we have had to do self study at home by ourselves as Profesora G is on vacation. Can I just say that learning a foreign language single handedly with books stinks? Not my forte. I am learning; I understand the two units but there's a lacking sensation in my learning. One week left to go.

So for one of the exercises (ejercicios) I had to read an article about stereotypes of espanoles, Spanish people. They say they have a reputation for being passionate, lazy, a bit disorganized, friendly, and talkative, a bit dramatic. Also noisy, sensual, vitalistic (I'm not sure what that means really and that WAS the English word), and they don't have a capacity to listen for very long. Some of this I can see from being here a month and some I don't know yet. (Has it only been a month?!)

I had to write a tiny essay version for our country. I couldn't think of what our stereotypes would be much. I said, loud, self indulgent, and informal. I said these because in northern Europe you could hear the US visitors a mile away talking loud and demanding something like ice in their drinks and complaining. You don't notice that as much here, not as many US folk or everyone else is loud, I don't know. Informal I said because we don't dress up. That's sort of an outsider look at "us." What are your stereotypes for estadounidenses (US Citizens)? (You're not suppose to say americano/a because that technically covers all of North and South America.)


  1. The stereotype for estadounidenses that keeps recurring in my head is the self-indulgence, which you already mentioned. Everything I read seems to point to the idea that Americans (sorry, I'm in the US, so I use the terminology :)... ) are willing to charge up the cards for a little instant gratification.

    Don't understand the mindset, but I have seen it in action.

  2. I think U.S. citizens are more time conscious and uptight. Our lifestyle is very fast paced. We tend to worry more about everything.

  3. Funny, I was totally expecting to see the "ugly american" on our European trips, but I really didn't. What I did notice is that teenagers are teenagers. We would come across loud noisy groups, but they were british or german teenagers.

    My theory (which is not a hundred percent accurate) is that Americans who travel to Europe tend to be more polite and respectful of other cultures, and those who are not go to Cancun for Spring Break gone Wild.

    America - many cultures, no culture, innovative, spoon fed, industrious, lazy, inventive, hopeless, creative, cable TV, fun, stiff, easy going, mean, caring, selfish, united, divided, Christian, atheist, rich, poor, smart, dumb, male, female, fans, enemies, pull together, split apart, Urban, suburban, rurual, atheletic, overweight, gracious, non-appreciative, I can do it, can someone do it for me, right, left, AM, FM, Hot, Cold, BBQ, Cheesesteak, East coast, West Coast, on time, late, organized,laid back, on-time, late, families, broken homes, macdonalds, town topic, Books, satilite television, rock music, country music, folk music, rap music, crap music and michael bolton music, TV evangelist, inner-city mission.

    America, you chose who you want to be.

  4. The word that came to mind is rich. We have a lifestyle that even when poor here in the US it appears to the outside world as rich. We certainly know how to spend money. Even in a small farm community where a lot of people live in trailors, the kids all have x box or sega and four wheelers and stuff. I know that this is just repeating dust, but it bears repeating!

  5. I try to leave the cultural analysis to the Experts

  6. Interesting! I have to agree on the time conscious. In airports, the most upset about time changes are usually the US folks or people trying to get to a wedding, ha. Here, we're told, it's acceptable to be 20 minutes late because you ran into someone you know on the street. The money thing too. Here a lot of people don't have dryers - not sure if they're seen as luxury or just won't fit in the apartment. All the Americans manage to fit one in! Forrest, you'll just have to trust me that in two years of living in Belgium, you got where you almost wanted to run when certain Americans were nearby.

  7. I wasn't doubting you;I know the ugly americans exist. I was just pointing out that other people can be loud and obnoxious too!

    On Rick Steve's website there is a message board devoted to telling ugly american travel stories. There are some good ones on there.

    I just believe for every ugly american you hear or see there have got to be some good ones that go unnoticed and that is a good thing.

    The best compliment you can receive is when a native ask you a question in their own language.

    Vernal was totally mistaken for an Itailian several times.

  8. American church culture! No hissing ushers, and American ushers wear suits!

  9. sorry, the link was supposed to be: http://www.beadsland.com/nacirema/