Random Culture Thread

This forum is to learn about foreign cultures and habits, because language skills are not everything you need as a world citizen...

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Levike
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Random Culture Thread

Postby Levike » 2015-02-08, 15:32

As the name already suggests:

In this Thread you can post anything linked to Culture.

So if until now you had something to ask or to add
and didn't want to make a separate thread for it, then this is the place.
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Levike
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Levike » 2015-02-08, 15:41

So for starters.

One little difference that I've seen between some Europeans and Greeks/Arabs/Turks
is the way that they call you.

For example the Germans, Poles and Hungarians that I know always call me by my name.
So it's always Levi, Levente or Levante.

But my Arab or Spanish friends often address me with "my friend", even if they know my name.
And they do this with other people also even though they might not even know them well.

Do Arabs and Turks do this in their native language also?
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby md0 » 2015-02-08, 15:49

Evet, abi.

Turkish Cypriots use "my brother" a lot in English.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Levike » 2015-02-08, 16:00

I find it really funny that mostly Greeks/Spanish/Turks/Arabs do this.
Like if it were a Southern thing.

I just think it's weird that for many people friend=acquaintance.

Whilst I was in Greece we would often discuss with other colleagues
how funny it is when Greeks call you file mou. :silly:
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby IpseDixit » 2015-02-08, 16:15

Levike wrote:I find it really funny that mostly Greeks/Spanish/Turks/Arabs do this.


Do they? I remember having a talk with loqu where we basically agreed that the stereotype of Spaniards (but also Italians apparently) calling everyone amico/amigo is utterly false and a bit annoying because then you always have some foreigners calling you amico/amigo and personally the only thing I can think of is "OMG how creepy".

I don't even call amico my actual friends. In Italy people are called by their name, and actually over here in Tuscany (maybe in other regions of the country as well, but I don't know) guys often call other guys by their surname (or a shortened version of it).
Last edited by IpseDixit on 2015-02-08, 16:21, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Levike » 2015-02-08, 16:17

In my Polish class my Spanish classmates would often call each other that.
They are from Malaga.

I barely met two or three people from Italy, but they were okay in this sense.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Ludwig Whitby » 2015-02-08, 16:21

IpseDixit wrote:
Levike wrote:I find it really funny that mostly Greeks/Spanish/Turks/Arabs do this.


Do they? I remember having a talk with loqu where we basically agreed that the stereotype of Spaniards (but also Italians apparently) calling everyone amico/amigo is utterly false and a bit annoying because then you always have some foreigners calling you amico/amigo and personally the only thing I can think of is "OMG how creepy".

I don't even call amico my actual friends. In Italy people are called by their name, and actually over here in Tuscany (maybe in other region of the country as well, but I don't know) guys often call other guys by their surname (or a shortened version of it).

It's probably a Mideastern thing that was brought over to the Balkans by the Ottomans. In Serbia it's not uncommon to hear the young people calling their friends 'brothers' and acquaintances 'friends'.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Car » 2015-02-08, 17:17

IpseDixit wrote:I don't even call amico my actual friends. In Italy people are called by their name, and actually over here in Tuscany (maybe in other regions of the country as well, but I don't know) guys often call other guys by their surname (or a shortened version of it).

The guys calling other guys y their surname thing also exists in Germany.
Please correct my mistakes!

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Ciarán12 » 2015-02-08, 17:36

Car wrote:The guys calling other guys y their surname thing also exists in Germany.


And in Ireland. And not just guys.

We use "appellations" of one kind or another in greetings mainly (e.g. "Story head/horse?"). "Man" is used a lot, e.g "Hey man, what are you doing?", and "buddy" is only ever used sarcastically or in a hostile way, e. g. "Listen buddy, take your bullshit somewhere else."

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Vlürch » 2015-02-08, 18:00

Funny you mention the "friend" thing. The owner of a kiosk/small grocery store I go to regularly calls me friend all the time when I go there and he's Turkish. :P He's really nice so I thought it's just that but maybe it is a cultural thing.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Levike » 2015-02-08, 18:25

Vlürch wrote:He's really nice so I thought it's just that but maybe it is a cultural thing.
I heard of this stereotype before coming here just to find out that it's true. :twisted:
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-02-08, 18:30

It's completely inappropriate in Malayalam to use the second person informal (singular) pronoun to address anyone who's older than you (even if they're only slightly older, and even if they're lower in social status). Instead, what Malayalam-speakers normally do is to address them by title (e.g. 'elder brother'), or by their name combined with a title (e.g. 'elder brother' + name), insomuch as this is possible. You can do this with younger people if you want to convey respect towards them, too, but you definitely don't have to, and it's usually not done.

This doesn't really carry over into English (or other languages) among Malayalees, but it can have consequences. For example, my brother is only a few years older than me, but I would never call him by name, or even refer to him in third person by name, in any language (as long as it was possible for me to avoid doing this). To use his name would be inappropriate for me in Malayalam, so I've never called him anything other than the equivalent of 'elder brother'. For that reason, it would feel weird for me to use his name at all in other languages except to answer the question "what's your brother's name?" :P Even in English, for example, I always refer to him as something like "my older brother" or "my brother," never by name.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Levike » 2015-02-08, 18:42

But is it just a habit of yours calling him "elder brother"
or do you really feel that you're doing this to convey respect?

Couldn't you just call him "bro"? :whistle:
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-02-08, 18:53

Levike wrote:But is it just a habit of yours calling him "elder brother"

Yes. It's a habit of mine to call him the Malayalam equivalent of that. (Okay, that's a misleading statement because every Malayalee family has its own set of kinship terms, so the word for 'elder brother' used in one family is not necessarily the one that another family uses. To clarify: I mean that I call him the word for 'elder brother' that's used in my family).

EDIT: Actually, you know what? That's misleading, too. Because I call him my own modified version of the word for 'elder brother' used in our family. :oops: OK, sorry. I'll stop talking now. At least until my next post :lol:

Couldn't you just call him "bro"? :whistle:

No, that would be really weird! :lol: Well, okay, it would be weird in English. There's no such word in Malayalam. :P

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Koko » 2015-02-08, 19:50

IpseDixit wrote:I don't even call amico my actual friends. In Italy people are called by their name, and actually over here in Tuscany (maybe in other regions of the country as well, but I don't know) guys often call other guys by their surname (or a shortened version of it).

We call one of my friends by a mispronunciation of his last name. Partly because his first name would cause confusion (2 people with it).

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby linguoboy » 2015-02-09, 5:22

Car wrote:
IpseDixit wrote:I don't even call amico my actual friends. In Italy people are called by their name, and actually over here in Tuscany (maybe in other regions of the country as well, but I don't know) guys often call other guys by their surname (or a shortened version of it).

The guys calling other guys y their surname thing also exists in Germany.
To me, this sort of implies you are friends from school, since (in my high school at least) it was common to address students by their bare surnames. There are classmates I remember from back then and don't have a clue what their given names were.

I think this is also the practice with workmates at some workplaces. I really can't recall ever hearing it from women.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-02-09, 6:15

I don't think I've ever called anybody by their bare surname before. Bare middle names, sure, but never bare surnames FWIR. :hmm:

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Luís » 2015-02-09, 8:31

At work people call me by my last name only, because there are 2 other people called Luís in my department. Unless you don't have a very common name, I'd say most people here prefer to call you by your surname in such situations in order to avoid the ambiguity.
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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby Lietmotiv » 2015-02-09, 21:19

In Russian one can call another "brother(брат, братан, братyxa)", but this happens if the person is a close friend. Teens use "dude (чувак)" instead.

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Re: Random Culture Thread

Postby voron » 2015-02-11, 18:12

Just for the record: in Turkey, addressing strangers with "brother" or "friend" (abi, kardeş) and the like terms is mostly used among the working class. Middle class starts with "excuse me, can you please...", just like we do.
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