Foreign culture in your country

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Stoggler

Senior Member
UK English
I've vaguely heard of them but I had no idea they were popular in the USA. Then again they're not really my type of music. Apart from Annie Lennox, Sweet Dreams and all that. None of them sing in a Scottish accent though as far as I know, their music is indistinguishable from American music to my ears, which is what I mean by not really 'Scottish'.
I don't know about singing with Scottish accents, but some of those bands listed do have a certain Scottish element to their music, with elements of Scottish folk in it. Mind you, Irish and Scottish folk music were big influences on American music, which in turn has influenced Scottish music... Bands like Big Country and Deacon Blue have a Scottish "sound" to them (in my opinion).

And then you get a few bands like Runrig and Mánran, or singers like Julie Fowlis, who sing in Gaelic (some of the time) and who are very Scottish! (although not quite so mass appeal, but they appeal to me!).
 
  • Ari RT

    Senior Member
    Português - Brasil
    I hope another Brazilian gives its opinion about it.
    The Americas make a subset of countries / cultures worth a separate look. Because (1) we are young countries - new world, remember? - and (2) some of the countries have very large territories.
    (1) means that foreign cultures were imposed upon ours sometime in history. In the 16th to 18th centuries, Portuguese, Spanish, English mainly, but lets not forget Dutch (Suriname and northwest of Brazil), French (French Guiana, Canada, Central America), just to begin with. And the African slaves, shame on us for bringing them here by force and for trying to obliterate their culture, but lets not forget the large amount of culture they brought and we could not manage to destroy. Then, by the end of the 19th and first decades of the 20th, we received immigrants, lot of them. Irish, Italian, German, Japanese, Spanish (another wave, a bit later) to name just the largest groups, but there are many many more.
    (2) means that there was plenty of room. All that diversity could make itself comfortable, frequently finding a climate more or less similar to their used ones, at home. And there was space for setting up new urban clusters, plenty of agricultural land to work at, isolated areas. Canada, USA, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina. Argentina, the smallest among the 5 I just cited, is as large as one half of the entire Europe. North America has almost three times Europe's area, shared among 3 countries only. Huge!

    (1) + (2) means that those "imported" cultures were not pushed towards a forced merger (exception made to the slaves). They did merge, eventually, but at a comfortable pace. Traditions were, most of the cases, preserved, as they were - and still are - valued as links to the former home. The interesting part of it is that culture does not evolve in the exile, it freezes, while the same songs, parties etc keep evolving in the old country. Some facts about Brazil:
    - I was born in an Italian town, 50km north of São Paulo. There is an Italian vice-consulate in a town in the countryside of Brazil, can you imagine that? It happened that Santos was the most important harbor in Brazil a hundred years ago and the railroad leaving Santos ended in my home town. The immigrants arrived in Santos, took the train to the last station, to then find new locations. More than a few remained there. We have traditional parties just like they were in Italy more than a century ago. The telephone directory remembers me of an Italian restaurant menu, every name ending in oni, ini, azi, eto...
    - Prince Naruhito came to São Paulo kind of 10 years ago for the festivities related to the 100th year of the Japanese immigration to Brazil. He said it was like traveling back one century in a time machine. He saw a - Japanese! - culture he only knew by the books.
    - There is a town in Rio Grande do Sul where German is spoken as official language, along with Portuguese. To be precise, they speak Pomeranian. Google "Pomerode". Several other towns in the same county also preserve German cultural features, mainly language and architecture. And "beerfests", God bless'em.
    - Likewise, my grandmother didn't speak Italian, but Venetian. By the way, a modern version of Venetian still survives and is recognized as a language, not a dialect, with two variants, the Venetian and the Brazilian, named "talian". Google "talian".
    - There's a swiss village not far from São Paulo. A whole finnish town in Rio (google "Penedo+Visconde+de+Mauá"). If you happen to come to the mall in Natal (Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, only 6 degrees south from the Equator line), you will find a helpdesk where they speak English, Spanish and... Norwich! No one told me, I saw it myself, first hand, and asked them "how come". They said they pick the languages based on demand...
    - They say (I have not checked) that the largest Japanese community outside of Japan is in São Paulo (I would like to cross check it against a couple of towns in USA). They also say that the second largest black city (in number of inhabitants of black skin) is Salvador, in Bahia, Brazil, second only to Lagos (Nigeria).

    Apart from numbers, there are other cultural features worth studying, but this post has got already too long. African influence on religion, music and food, for instance.
    The bottom line is: it looks like the notion of "other" culture is a bit less clear here. Sure we do admire foreign countries, but when we think of German, we don't tend to think of Berlin. Our minds look towards the neighbor on the left side. Italian is the neighbor across the street and so on. They're kind of "us".
     

    MrMuselk

    Senior Member
    English - South East England
    Back in Spain, everyone’s always droning on and on about “London! London! London is the place to be! I’ve gone to London, and I had tea, and fish and chips!” Everyone is obsessed with London where I live. The moment you mention tea, people say “that’s so English”. Quite annoying really. On the other hand, people are always making fun of Latino accents and expressions, and expressions that aren’t even of Latino origin, or even closely related, are taken as Latinoamerican; for example, the expression “Chidori” from the Japanese manga and anime Naruto, was used with a Mexican accent and made fun of, by saying: “Que pasa wey, eso es chidori.” This nonsense has been going on for ages in the region of Spain I live in.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    Here, it's the US. Many people are fascinated by it, and there are large numbers of Indians who go there every year to study or work or emigrate, or at least for a holiday. It's quite common for young people in large cities to address each other as Dude, and you often hear people saying things like Do it already!

    Cricket lovers are also interested in Australia because Australia has long been the team to beat at cricket. They prefer Mate to Dude. That's always struck me as being more forced than Dude.
     
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    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Here, it's the US. Many people are fascinated by it, and there are large numbers of Indians who go there every year to study or work or emigrate, or at least for a holiday. It's quite common for young people in large cities to address each other as Dude, and you often hear people saying things like Do it already!

    Cricket lovers are also interested in Australia because Australia has long been the team to beat at cricket. They prefer Mate to Dude.
    Is ''do it already'' supposed to be American for some reason?
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    I think it is. If so much American culture and so many AmE expressions have been adopted already, then I suppose that expression is taken as American.
    Sidewalk is an Americanism. But ''do it already''? The thought that only Americans say that never even occurred to me. We certainly say it in Ireland.
     

    Ari RT

    Senior Member
    Português - Brasil
    We say that in Brazil as well: - I need it done for yesterday (in Portuguese, of course).
     

    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    More specifically, the use of "already" to mean "immediately".

    I didn't say only Americans say that. But as far as I know it originated there and seems a typically American phrase.
    We'd need a specialist to decide this but if I hear an Irish granny yell ''just do it already, will you!" (and I have on many occasions), I find it hard to believe that it's originally due to American influence.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    All right. People here think it's typically American but perhaps they're wrong.
     
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    Oddmania

    Senior Member
    French
    Interesting. Dictionaries do have it down as American English, though:

    (North American English, informal) used after a word or phrase to show that you are annoyed
    Just stop already, no one feels sorry for you.
    - OLD
    (US) An intensifier used to emphasize impatience or express exasperation.
    I wish they'd finish already, so we can get going.
    Enough already!
    Be quiet already!

    - Wiktionary
    I've heard Irish speakers use the word like in a similar way (It's quite simple, like.)

    To go back on topic, I would say the most popular foreign cultures in France are definitely Japan's, South Korea's (especially since K-pop came around) and the U.S.
     
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    Pedro y La Torre

    Senior Member
    English (Ireland)
    Irish English often shares traits with American English which developed independently, for instance the use of ''gotten'' instead of ''got''. This is possibly a shared independent development too, or perhaps there was an original American influence at some point. In any event, that's as far as my knowledge extends. :)
     

    Red Arrow

    Senior Member
    Dutch - Belgium
    Back in Spain, everyone’s always droning on and on about “London! London! London is the place to be! I’ve gone to London, and I had tea, and fish and chips!” Everyone is obsessed with London where I live. The moment you mention tea, people say “that’s so English”. Quite annoying really.
    I thought Flanders was the only place where people are obsessed about London :eek: London and Japan, the only two great places in the world :thumbsdown: Maybe it's because of American media, they never say anything bad about London, as far as I know, so we grow up thinking it's paradise.
     

    MrMuselk

    Senior Member
    English - South East England
    I thought Flanders was the only place where people are obsessed about London :eek: London and Japan, the only two great places in the world :thumbsdown: Maybe it's because of American media, they never say anything bad about London, as far as I know, so we grow up thinking it's paradise.
    Well I can tell you, London can have it’s good things, but also it’s bad things (and plenty of those at that). But it is nice if you know you’re way around. It might not be paradise, but it sometimes seems like it. And know that I think of it, Japan is quite idealised here in Spain as well. I’ve never heard one bad thing about it. But at least nobody’s obsessed with it.
     

    Circunflejo

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Castilla
    They also say that the second largest black city (in number of inhabitants of black skin) is Salvador, in Bahia, Brazil, second only to Lagos (Nigeria).
    That's just a legend. Facts don't support it. Kinshasa is way bigger, Nairobi, Adidjan...

    Japan is quite idealised here in Spain as well. I’ve never heard one bad thing about it.
    Did you know a TV program called Humor amarillo?
    By the way, talking about Japan and Spain: Japón (apellido) - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    (1) No self-respecting Britishperson would ever say Do it already!:thumbsdown:
    (2) Use of gotten didn't 'develop' in the US or Ireland: rather it died out in (most of / generally) the UK.:)
     

    MrMuselk

    Senior Member
    English - South East England
    Or
    Press ahead now.
    Crack on.
    I wouldn’t say those for this example. But to be truthful I’ve never used them much. I would use them for helping on a difficult traversal: “This ridge is too slippery to climb!” “Never mind, let’s crack on and look for another ridge to climb!”
     
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    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I suspect that many or most British people don’t really recognize the culture of other English-speaking countries as “foreign”. I remember a flat-mate long ago complaining that I was always watching foreign films. He was thinking of films that were in a foreign language, arty, and requiring a certain level of concentration to understand. It didn’t occur to him that Hollywood was in a foreign country.
     

    Angelo di fuoco

    Senior Member
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    Back in Spain, everyone’s always droning on and on about “London! London! London is the place to be! I’ve gone to London, and I had tea, and fish and chips!” Everyone is obsessed with London where I live. The moment you mention tea, people say “that’s so English”. Quite annoying really. On the other hand, people are always making fun of Latino accents and expressions, and expressions that aren’t even of Latino origin, or even closely related, are taken as Latinoamerican; for example, the expression “Chidori” from the Japanese manga and anime Naruto, was used with a Mexican accent and made fun of, by saying: “Que pasa wey, eso es chidori.” This nonsense has been going on for ages in the region of Spain I live in.
    This is an obvious pun on "chido", which is Mexican slang for "cool".
     

    MrMuselk

    Senior Member
    English - South East England
    I've been in love with Scotland since I was around seven years old....
    Makes sense; Scotland is a beautiful place. I’ve felt the same about Ireland from a similar age. (On a side note, the closest I’ve been to Scotland is Hadrian’s wall. Does leaning over Hadrian’s wall count as being in both Scotland and England? Just kidding. :D) Laso, the accent and some of the words are brilliant. Does anyone know what “Hoots mon” means?:p
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Back in the 1960s and 1970s, Americans loved anything French: the language, the fashions, the food, the culture, everything! There were countless products in the US with French names, or French slogans on them. Years later that French fixation grew less.

    There was some interest in Japanese things for a while, but nowadays I think it's spread out. Anything from a different culture is interesting, especially in food.
     
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