Scandinavia and the World
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There's this "loud obnoxious American tourist" stereotype. Obnoxious? Rarely. Loud? Yes, every time. A lot of Americans who come to Scandinavia comment on how silent it is, while the Scandinavians around them are thinking "It's not silent. You're just talking so loudly you can't hear the crowd around you"

Luckily for American's there's always the Icelandic people. This isn't a stereotype as such, but anyone who has lived next to Icelandic people know how loud they can be (and I have lived next to MANY), so it's no wonder that Americans tend to love them. Icelandic people also tend to be more "walk up and talk to people" types which fits the American culture quite nicely.


19th January 2018

Tagged in Iceland Sweden Norway Finland Denmark America


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326 Comments:
 
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nully

60 M
3 months ago #9722698        
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We Americans believe that anyone can understand English if it is spoken loud enough.

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Noah0x81

23 M
3 months ago #9722699        
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HOW DARE YOU?!? I'M NOT LOUD!

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haddib

24 M
3 months ago #9723142        
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We have to talk loud to drown out the demons and volcanoes.

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3 months ago #9722869        
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It's not that we Americans are needlessly loud, we're just used to talking to eachother while separated by a personal space radius of 12 feet or so.

You people in your tiny countries all crowd around each other, practically talking into one another's mouths in comparison.

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3 months ago #9722676        
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Oh, I've MISSED the old America!

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3 months ago #9728502        
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Basic tip for any tourist to Scandinavia or northern Europe in general (I believe?) - be conscious of your surroundings.

If people give you a disapproving look when you speak (and it's not because you're saying something obviously offensive) - you're being too loud and they're disapproving.

Often people won't say anything though - but they will give you that disapproving look as a social cue that you're out of line.

And that goes for other social transgressions as well, so be aware of peoples reactions around you and moderate your behavior accordingly.

If you sense people disapproving but don't understand why - ask them in a friendly way if you're acting improperly in some way.

We're not big on telling others how they should react, because we're taught from childhood to show consideration to the people around us and be responsible for our own behavior.
Which also means that we'll often just write of people acting rudely or inconsiderately as disrespectful jerks not worth wasting one's time on as they should know better then to act that way and when they still do it's a sign they simply don't care.

Which, in turn, I suspect is the reason for at least some cases of foreigners believing us to be unfriendly.

It might well be that the persons believing this have broken social norms and have thus put people off without ever understanding it themselves.

I guess this observation can be true for many cultures, but at least in Sweden most people will never tell you openly if you've behaved badly, so it's up to you to be observant enough on the non-verbal social cues they give you.

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3 months ago #9724711        
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So, THIS is what you meant as far as things that would sound bad if Trump America said it.

3 months ago #9724673        
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I missed the fishing pole first time. But I tend to talk too loudly without a current excuse myself at times: too many years as teacher="classroom voice" 8-)

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3 months ago #9724111        
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I'm an American.
If I'm loud, it usually means I'm drunk.
If I'm in Sweden, it usually means I'm drunk.

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3 months ago #9723185        
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I know a lot of people like that but I know just as many Icelandics who are quiet it's just that loud people are heard moar....becaus they're loud.
Hence the Icelandic saying "hvernig geturðu sagt svo margt og enn svo lítið" witch translates to "how can you speak so much but say so little"

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