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Why do Russians seem rude in dealing with Americans: personal experience

When our people come to the United States, even with knowledge of the language, they sometimes experience situations where Americans cannot understand what Russians mean. Sometimes foreigners even perceive some phrases as rudeness. Blog author "Trips on the shelves" on Yandex.Zen told why this happens and how to avoid such situations.

Фото: Depositphotos

Next - from the first person.

It turns out that Russians are considered unfriendly, not only because we supposedly smile a little, but also because of how we speak English. And we are not talking now about those who do not know the language well and because of this it looks rude. In fact, even when I was studying at the faculty of linguistics, I made these mistakes until I found out about them in the USA.

1. What?

In Russian, when we have not heard something, we always ask again: “What? What? " Therefore, in English, we also translate this word in the same way. As a result, the following dialogue occurs:

  • Wanna go to the cinema?
  • What?

Surely the face of your interlocutor will change, since in his worldview the dialogue will sound like this:

  • Do you want to go to the cinema?
  • What?? What did you say?

Questioning with the word what means that the person you are talking to is negative and can even get into a fight.

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2. Yes, of course

I don’t know about you, but the phrase Yes, of course stuck in my memory forever. I remember how we were taught: if you are offered something, answer for courtesy: “Yes, of course”. For example:

  • Wanna some tea?
  • Yes, of course

In fact, this dialogue for an American sounds something like this:

  • Want some tea?
  • Well, yes, what?

Your answer sounds as if you are not at all a cute girl or boy, but such a gopnik who does not put a finger in his mouth.

3. Imperative

In Russian speech, we use it quite often: listen, open, look, and so on. In English, you can’t just use the imperative. For example, if we want something to be passed on to us, we can say:

  • Pass me that spoon

In the head of an American, it sounds something like this:

  • Give me that spoon fast

Therefore, it is better to add as many polite words as possible, for example:

  • Pass me that spoon, please
  • Could you pass me that spoon?
  • Would you be so kind to pass me that spoon?

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4.No, thanks

Usually this expression is used when we refuse something. For instance:

  • Wanna some tea?
  • No, thanks

Surprisingly, even the word “thanks” will not make a native Russian speaker more polite in this case. The interlocutor would expect you to hear the following phrases:

  • No, I'm good. Thanks
  • Oh, no, that's fine. Thank you

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