Social Question

Arp's avatar

What do people in other countries think of Americans?

Asked by Arp (3516points) February 3rd, 2010

I may be going on a foreign exchange trip to Japan next year, and I would like to know what to expect when I get their. What do people think of Americans and the USA in general, not just you individually. What have you heard people in your country say about them? Will people look at me weird when they here my accent? Sorry for having so many questions, I hope I am not sounding rude :[

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43 Answers

erichw1504's avatar

“Lose some weight, you fatties.”

trailsillustrated's avatar

my husbands american and it he has never been treated badly, sort of ignored in france, a funny oddity in china, been asked to talk ‘sounds like john wayne’ or ‘effin yank’ in england and australia, he hasn’t had any really bad experiences, he told someone to ‘kiss his yankee ass’ somewhere but no, you should have a really good time oh and american slang is so funny when I first heard it I just loved it I still laugh at it, most people do

CMaz's avatar

@erichw1504 – I am an American and I say the same thing.

Arp's avatar

@erichw1504 Thats what I was afraid of! D:

ucme's avatar


Your_Majesty's avatar

I live in Indonesia. So it’s rare and unusual to see westerners around. Usually people will avoid you if you approach them. They’re not scare of you but adore you from distance.
Although not many people know about westerner’s friendliness.

In my country Americans are known for their power and richness.

Trillian's avatar

If they go by what they see in our commercials, I’m sure they’ve concluded that we’re a mindless bunch of idiots who are told what to do by our children, unable to cope with even the simplest household task, incapable of looking at each other without either wanting to mate or become sick at the others lack of the latest gadget. We’re shallow, consumer driven to the point of needing the lawyers assistance to get ourselves back out of debt, and we are so frail that we cannot suffer for a split second longer than the necessary time it takes for the pill to work, or abide the odor of another human even if we’re both doing the same strenuous activity like playing raquet ball.

bradleyphotography's avatar

im from london. I Loove the american accent we had a foreighn exchange student from california, aaah love it! Come to britain your most likely to be loved

Snarp's avatar

When I spent the most time over sees it was the middle of the Clinton administration and I was in a small town in Germany. Most people there loved us because we were American. As soon as they found out we were American they would get very excited, ask us lots of questions about America, and we never paid for beer or cigarettes because the locals would always buy for us. There were some misconceptions. Our Turkish friends assumed we were actual horseback riding cowboys. Many also had only really knew about four basic places in America: L.A., New York, Miami, and Disney World. And they tended to not really understand just how far apart those places really are.

On shorter trips to Europe where I had less interaction I was always treated nicely, people were friendly, no one showed any anti-American sentiment, even when I was in Italy for a while during the Bush years, people were all very friendly, even out of the touristy area. We made lots of friends.

I’ve never been to Japan and it may be another matter entirely because they have fewer cultural similarities with the U.S. than Europeans do, and unless you are of Japanese descent, they won’t have to wait to hear your accent to know you are foreign. I’ve never heard a complaint from anyone I knew who went to Japan about how they were treated though.

Snarp's avatar

@Trillian You obviously haven’t seen the state of advertising in Japan.

Arp's avatar

@Trillian Or basically any of the TV in Japan, that stuff is crazy :P

Trillian's avatar

@Snarp , not really, just what I see in the commercials. Hehehehe. No, I guess I’ve seen the inundation in a couple movies. I was more or less just giving my own social commentary on American consumerism and one of the end results which is generation of garbage.

Snarp's avatar

@Trillian You’ve got a point on American consumerism, it’s just that we’re not unique, and we can’t even hold a candle to Japan for consumerism.

Snarp's avatar

@Trillian And you wouldn’t believe what you can get in a Japanese vending machine.

the100thmonkey's avatar

You’ll find the Japanese largely very welcoming. Many will treat you like an honoured guest, particularly older adults. Very rarely, you’ll find some will treat you disrespectfully, but like I said – very rarely.

See my response to this question for more information on living in Japan, particularly the “what to expect” bit at the bottom – it applies as equally to Americans as Britons.

HTDC's avatar

Believe it or not Australia is the world’s fattest nation. So maybe we should give the American’s a little break. :P

Tenpinmaster's avatar

Well, they stereotype us as snooty, indulgent, and think that we are gods gift to the planet. We are superior and the rest of the world should follow by our example. Of course some of us are defiantly like that but I think others that travel abroad try their best to learn the culture of another country and keep an open mind that they are someone else’s guest and try to act accordingly.

Jude's avatar

Canucks that I’ve talked to find Americans to be rather egocentric.

Trillian's avatar

@Snarp Really? Do tell. I’m curious. I thought condoms and little sex toys were the height.

ragingloli's avatar

Used school girls’ panties.

Trillian's avatar

@ragingloli oh god, say it ain’t so. That, that’s just… Really? I’d say that now I’ve heard everything, but that would be inviting the fates to conspire against me. And I haven’t heard from @Snarp yet, so…..

Snarp's avatar

@Trillian @ragingloli‘s answer is probably the extreme, but basically if it will fit in a vending machine, you can get it from one as far as I can tell.

mattbrowne's avatar

Encourages people to think big. Greatest innovation machine in the world. Most optimistic country in the world except right now. But that’s temporary. Optimism will return. Europeans owe you big time. Now it’s our turn to cheer you up.

Trillian's avatar

@mattbrowne Awww. Thank you. Byw, you rock, did I tell you?

Dan_DeColumna's avatar

Most who don’t like Americans will avoid you anyway. If you’re that concerned about it, make sure you aren’t any of those things. Defy the steriotype.

mammal's avatar

great expounders of the `GODDAMMIT, I’M AN AMERICAN CITIZEN!’ technique when things don’t go their way in the backwater countries.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@HTDC very true—whenever I go home I think people that say america’s the fattest have never been here

HTDC's avatar

@trailsillustrated Haha, if only they knew…

oreo45's avatar

Ive been to japan, was treated very well. Aamericans need to understand that in some countries, wemon are not equal to men. In Japan, it is polite to alow the man to walk through a doorway frist.
so I would read up on the customs befor going abrod.

HTDC's avatar

@oreo45 Who knew sexism was a custom that should be respected.

oreo45's avatar

@HTDCSexism, is alive and well in some places(unfortunatly)

HTDC's avatar

Yeah, it’s disappointing to say the least. I just think it’s silly that people should be expected to obey such customs. Just because it is culture doesn’t mean it deserves to be respected. That’s my opinion anyway.

nebule's avatar

you are generally a very confident tribe

ragingloli's avatar

You are erratic, conflicted, disorganised. Every decision is debated, every action questioned. Every individual entitled to their own small opinion. You lack harmony, cohesion, greatness. It will be your undoing.

RAWRxRandy's avatar

I’ve lived in and visited many countries and from my experience they think Americans are fat, lazy, republican, and they think George Bush is a retard but they don’t know why.
Oh, and they love Obama.
But they hate America…

Trillian's avatar

Not respecting the customs of others is not recommended in a global economy. @oreo45 has a very good point, it really is best to learn about the customs of others so as not to inadvertently give offense. In the global marketplace, this is paramount, as different countries do business differently than Americans. Global corporations pay people for tis type of information and the companies that propser in other countries adhere to this practice.

bea2345's avatar

Go, and enjoy yourself. Pay your way, be polite to everybody and you will be OK.

Zyx's avatar

I just like to think to myself you’re all descended from criminals and beggars.
Which is true.

NaturallyMe's avatar

They seem to be more patriotic. They can also come across as real drama queens. And they can be really loud. This is only what i gather from TV (not movies) and the couple of Americans i’ve met/run across or heard (heh heh) in real life.

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