Page 1 of 1

Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from us?

Unread postPosted: 18 September 2021, 14:58
by poolerboy0077
I’m sure you’ve all noticed that lots of people from various non-English-speaking counties often sign off a comment online with “greetings from [insert country here].” Why is that? I’ve never seen a Canadian, Australian or Brit do this, but I have seen Polish, Filipinos and Paraguayans do this, just to list a few examples. Is it because they feel distant in online spaces relative to English speakers or is there some other reason for this? Maybe they feel small and irrelevant on the world stage?

On Reddit I recently saw a thread that discussed the opposite problem when it comes to Americans, namely we respond with our city or state when asked where we are from whereas everyone else says their country. I never thought about it but it’s sort of true. Has anyone else come across this or is guilty of this?

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 18 September 2021, 17:06
by erti
I think the reason Americans tell them that their location is their state and city is because the US massive. Each state has their own culture and personality… also it’s easier to find someone online who speaks English so knowing English is probably essential.

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 20 September 2021, 18:42
by Eryx
You're participating in the English internet, as are we, so the assumption is that you're going to be from anglophone countries and thus, I introduce myself as someone from a different country.

Surefire, same way, when Americans who learn Portuguese for a variety of reasons show up on the Lusophone internet, they start with "Hey, sorry for my Portuguese, I'm from Ohio!" (Or something.)

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 21 September 2021, 13:18
by poolerboy0077
Eryx wrote:Surefire, same way, when Americans who learn Portuguese for a variety of reasons show up on the Lusophone internet, they start with "Hey, sorry for my Portuguese, I'm from Ohio!" (Or something.)

Ha! So they do respond by naming their state. I also learned recently that many people in Latin America hate when Americans call themselves American because they think we’re appropriating the entire continent (despite Americans not adopting a continent model that combines north and south). :glasses:

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 21 September 2021, 20:03
by pozzie
Wanna have some fun? Assemble a group of friends who have been educated in different countries, preferably with different languages. Ask them how many continents there are and to name them.

I guarantee an argument - or at least that's been my experience. It even got pretty heated in the uni dining room, back in the 80s, with claims the like of cultural imperialsm.

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 22 September 2021, 03:37
by Derek
Eryx wrote:You're participating in the English internet, as are we, so the assumption is that you're going to be from anglophone countries and thus, I introduce myself as someone from a different country.

Surefire, same way, when Americans who learn Portuguese for a variety of reasons show up on the Lusophone internet, they start with "Hey, sorry for my Portuguese, I'm from Ohio!" (Or something.)

I never heard the word "Lusophone" before. I guess it comes from Lusitania the Roman province.

Anyway I imagine people from other countries don't particularly care what state you're from, but America is big enough I think the distinction matters. From my understanding most foreigners only really know New York, California, Texas, and maybe Florida.

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 22 September 2021, 07:04
by pozzie
Derek wrote:I never heard the word "Lusophone" before.


me neither, but that's neither here nor there - always love new words, even neologisms

As for people from the USA (notice I didn't write Americans) introducing themselves with their state, I've often wondered if there isn't some longer term thing at play. After all, being from Georgia carries a certain meaning than being from New York - doesn't entirely matter that it's not 1860 any longer. I also think that on some level the connection to the state is often as strong or stronger than the national identity. Last, how many people meet people from other countries at the gym, office, country club, etc? Generally we meet other people from the USA and so, if needed, we identify ourselves by city or if it's something like Springfield, city and state. Hometowns are important. People like to know, "Where are you from?"

Accents are also a giveaway. Clearly there are distinct accents in the UK and someone probably recognizes the difference between Scottish, (Northern) Irish and Cornish - but are such accents pinpointable? I think accents in the US are more regional so it's not unusual that it leads to something like - your accent, you weren't born here right? No, I'm originally from ...

Trust me, I've been dealing with this - why do people from the USA always say their state - thing all my life. Before online, when I was living overseas.

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 25 September 2021, 22:33
by Eryx
Derek wrote:
Eryx wrote:You're participating in the English internet, as are we, so the assumption is that you're going to be from anglophone countries and thus, I introduce myself as someone from a different country.

Surefire, same way, when Americans who learn Portuguese for a variety of reasons show up on the Lusophone internet, they start with "Hey, sorry for my Portuguese, I'm from Ohio!" (Or something.)

I never heard the word "Lusophone" before. I guess it comes from Lusitania the Roman province.

Anyway I imagine people from other countries don't particularly care what state you're from, but America is big enough I think the distinction matters. From my understanding most foreigners only really know New York, California, Texas, and maybe Florida.
Can't speak for all Brazilians (after all it's almost the same as comparing a New Yorker to someone from Alaska), but at least my social circle knows a few more states in the US. Hollywood does a great job educating the masses about US states hahaha

The Lusophone community is the group of Portuguese-speaking countries, most prominently, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Portugal... but there's also Macau, Timor-Leste, Goa and a few other regions.

And yep, comes from Lusitania :)

Re: Do people from Non-English-speaking countries feel far away from u

Unread postPosted: 25 September 2021, 22:46
by poolerboy0077
Greetings from WeHo!