Why are people from other countries constantly offended when (North) Americans don't know much about their country, history, etc.?

Answer #1

Because they know a lot about the USA and UK (since those countries played an important international role, UK in the 19th-early 20th century, USA for a long time of the 20th century).

Answer #2

This is usually by default - because they are constantly watching tv shows, movies, and news from the usa. NOT because they spend a ton of time learning about it in school - as they would have you believe. It seems that every country wants Americans to speak their language fluently, know their history, and deeply understand their culture, and I have always found it a bit ridiculous!

Answer #3

I guess it just seems as though a lot of countries know heaps about the US yet the US doesn’t know much about the rest of the world (sometimes they hardly know much about their own country). Not stereotyping or having a go at them, it just seems like that when you talk to people from other countries on the Internet.

Answer #4

It’s not like that, for example, I’ve answered American history questions on here asked by Americans. The reason I knew the answer was not because I’d seen it on TV, I’d actually learnt it in history at school.

Answer #5

I appreciate your answer. However, after travelling through and living in Europe for 3 years, I disagree with that. Most of their “knowledge”about the usa does come from movies and tv shows. However, they do not like the brutal truth - that knowing about other countires is not viewed as a NECESSITY for (north) Americans. Only an option that they can choose or not choose.

Answer #6

But could you in equal parts answer the same questions about russia, india, indonesia, china, south korea, maurutius, findland,australia, the philipines, and sweden? do you know the detailed history of all those countries? do you speak their languages? do you care about what is happening in them on a daily basis? do they effect your everyday life? This is what is being asked of Americans, but it is not being asked of the rest of the world.

Answer #7

It is because Americans tend to be arrogant, condescending, and dismissive. We usually believe we are the greatest country that ever existed and that anything about other countries is trivia. I found that people from other nations quickly warmed up to me when they learned that I wasn’t a typical “ugly American” and had interest and appreciation for their nation, history, traditions, etc.

Answer #8

what the actual fu.ck. australians speak English! I mean, hello!? And Americans wonder why the rest of the world doesn’t like them, way too self absorbed to know what’s going on in the rest of the world.

Answer #9

and by the way, I’m going to have to say youre completely incorrect. America is a large nation in which it has changed the world in multiple ways. Countries such as Albania or Malta arent that well known because they’re history may not seem as ‘appealing’ and may be of lesser importance as to countries. I have been overseas and im certainly not from anywhere near the us, and my country does not expect Americans to know in full detail about our country, neither do the people in the European countries ive visited. I’ve spoken to some americans, and I’ve realised that the knowledge they have about other countries is embarrassing. I mean, some of them cannot even mark Australia on the map. It would be good if Americans had some background knowledge on other countries, but were not asking you to know in full detail.

Answer #10

I agree with that. I find that Americans in general assume that South African’s are dumber and treat us like idiots even though we are just as well or better qualified. Also I don’t like the fact that they assume that people from other countries are more barbaric and don’t attempt to understand why someone has a different culture.

Answer #11

In a US class, the majority of things learned are only things concerning the US, making our US citizens citizen-like. They wouldn’t teach the way of Muslims or Africans cause it has nothing to do with the American way.

Answer #12

well first off this is quite an American question…. what makes you think they are offended? do you think Europeans actually care? Unless you’ve been speaking to 14 year old children i don’t believe the US is anything more than a joke… we make fun of your presidents, your health insurance, your cars, listen i see your an all american hidden agenda type Gal, so you keep saying to yourself “USA USA USA!” while we sip our tea and see you continuously getting fatter :P

Answer #13

@fileofspam - i disagree that americans tend to be “arrogant” but rather “ignorant”. and those of us who take the time to travel to other countries ALL seem to fit the profile that you have attributed only to yourself. on the other hand, americans who do not leave america tend not to care at all about what is happening in other countries.those who do care a little tend to form their opinions based upon what they see in the on the movies, on the news media, and increasingly, from the internet.

@irenekruger -much of the american mentality toward “foreigners” has to do with the fact that they are often less qualified for things in america. they often do require a lot of extra training - depending on where they are from, do to the lack of similar technology or work environment. they do not assume that foreigners are idiots, often, they ARE less qualified.

Answer #14

well. because in the 3 years that i lived across the pond, it was the hottest topic of conversation amongst the english,irish,french,finnish,and swedish. people from the poorer eastern european countries were the ones who didn’t give a fck as they were just trying to make ends meet. and germans didn’t really care because they generally felt good about themselves culturally and as a country with a strong economy. and you are right, you guys do make a lot of fun of america (which is part of why i asked the question, because the average american really does not give a fck about you). i am not necessarily “all american” - just curious about this particular topic.

Answer #15

so what you are saying is all the other countries dont feel culturally well so they offend the US? see this is what i meant by hidden agenda, this is why when i read your replies i already knew where you were getting at… you get a /b/ rating of 2/10, failed to troll

Answer #16

Are they really offended? Many people carry the stereotype that Americans know zero about the rest of the world. And I think they mock you when they find that some of their steretoypes are true about you.

Answer #17

your response is somewhat incoherent so i can’t really respond to it.i am not “getting at”anything. just asking a question based upon personal experience.

Answer #18

your personal experience does not qualify as “general”experience. also, in case you hadn’t noticed, austrailia is no more the center of the universe than america is. i know that australians speak english, but my questions were about more than the language australians speak. it was more about the tendancy for people (europeans) to be offended when americans don’t know as much about them as they know about americans. also, if you are australian, then you cannot speak intellegently about the experiences of an american visiting other countries or about what is often expected of them when they visit.

Answer #19

many are offended. and i have found that the mockery is more of a manifestation of being hurt or offended by the fact that americans often do not know much about them. and i’d say that ALL stereotypes are true abouteveryone (in that you will always find someone within a particular group that fits a stereotype). but i find the tendency of non-americans (and more specifically, many europeans) to whine about the fact that americans don’t care enough about them.

Answer #20

The ones I have met do assume that we are idiots. Just like you know assumed that foreigners often require more training which isn’t correct in most cases. Proves my point perfectly. Also every time I meet an American who comes to South Africa (and believe me this never fails) they are surprised that we have electricity and do not have wild animals roaming the streets, so what you are perceiving as being offensive to you is just our frustration with the lack of common sense that we find so often.

Answer #21

americans do learn about world history and geography, but they are not seen as being as important as, say, math or science to the life of a north american or his ability to earn more money. they do teach history of other places as it relates to american history, but i don’t really see a reason for american schools to spend a lot of time teaching the individual history of every other country on the planet (which, again, is what is theoretically being asked of america).also, other countries learn about america because, like it or not, what is happening in america DOES tend to have an impact on the whole world - even if it is something as simple as a tv show, a movie, a piece of music, or a new piece of tech.

Answer #22

it depends on what area you are talking about. for example (i am a nurse), foreigners from china,india, and the philiipines (never met any s. africans) who wish to practice medicine and nursing in the usa DO need a significant amount of additional training. but we don’t think they are idiots because of this. i cannot speak intelligently about other areas, though, as i don’t know much about them. what specific areas are you talking about? fast food?computer science and technology? hairdressing?lab work?

Answer #23

Accounting for one, computer programming and engineering are the three that comes to mind. Medicine I can understand why as the laws are much different in various countries. However when an accountant goes to America we are assumed stupid and get treated like children. They are the only nation that many of the accountant complain about.

Answer #24

so what you are saying is all the other countries dont feel culturally well so they offend the US?

incoherent? ma’am you are just avoiding the question

Answer #25

i cannot speak about your personal experience or what kind of specific accountant you are. however, i do know that america has a vast array of taxation laws that may differ, and i also know that usually you are treated nicely in north america if you are new and are entering a company. however, i know that americans do not take kindly to folks who are resistant to the idea that perhaps, americans do things differently than they were done in the person’s native country. but i also know that if you are an engineering or tech hotshot, you are treated like a king in america if you really know what you are talking about! so maybe it is just the area of accounting where americans are rude to non-(north)americans.

Answer #26

Chartered accounting and all the procedures of the firm I work for are internationally standardized. It’s a culture of looking down on us and other foreigners and I think that is where the defensiveness comes from.

Answer #27

i was not avoiding a question. you did not express yourself clearly, so i couldn’t really understand what you were talking about. another thing americans are not is mind readers :-) also, i cannot say that they do not feel “culturally well”as you put it - only that many (mostly folks from the richer european countries) tend to be offended by north americans’lack of knowledge about the details of their country. also, foreigners who live outside of america typically do not offend the average american, because, honestly, the average american does not really care about them.

Answer #28

Can you be more clear kal as your question does not make sense.

Answer #29

or it could be the way that you proceed with things. americans tend to be more perfectionistic and time conscious than other places i have lived or worked in (such as england, ireland, eritrea, and brazil). i thought the medicine was behind in all the countries (which i expected), but i also felt that they were unnecessarily slow. i know that cultural differences can come into play in any area. also, attitude comes into play. i often had to bite my tounge working as an icu nurse in europe, because if felt that the healthcare in those places were surprisingly archaeic and slow, and the nurses were generally nasty people when compared to america/americans. perhaps it is you (and not the people you work with) who are being defensive.

Answer #30

Well I’m not European and I don’t think that. I also think you’ve just had a bad experience with this subject because I’ve never spoken to anyone who feels that way.

Answer #31

What do you mean? Like our slang? Because frankly, we don’t expect anyone to understand it. It even confuses us! And yes I could probably answer the same questions about those other countries. It’s not about what country it is, it’s the fact that I’ve learnt some of the history about a lot of countries and that’s where I’ve built my knowledge, not from TV.

Answer #32

I agree with filetofspam. Along with that, I do understand why Canadians (I know we’re part of North America) tend to dislike Americans from the US. Canada and US are pretty much brothering countries. In Canada, we learn about the States, we have history classes about the States, however, much of the people from the states know absolutely nothing about us and are pretty much ignorant about Canada and Canadians. I’ve met people in the States who actually believed we lived in igloos, and met plenty of people who didn’t know we have a Prime Minister instead of President, whereas we learn all about the US government.

Answer #33

@Gabby -i am generalizing, as it is impossible for me to know the individual experience of every north american.

Answer #34

again, if you are considered “the most powerful country in the free world” , then of course you must spend time learning about that country. canada has not been burdened with that title.north america has. also, north americans do not consider canada as being part of north america (we feel similarly about mexico, though it is also connected to the north american continent). t

Answer #35

north americans do not consider canada to be a part of north america, in the same way that it does not consider mexico to be part of north america, though both share the same continent as north america. also, canada has not been burdened with the title “most powerful country in the fee world” as north america has. people from the us do not NEED to know about canada. it is simply an option, as we don’t seem to have that much of a relationship with canada other than being it’s neighbor. on the other hand, because there are a lot of spanish speaking mexicans now living in north america, the country has begun to see spaeaking spanish and learning about mexico to be a NECESSITY, can u see the difference?

Answer #36

no, you probably could not answer the same questions about the other countries off the top of your head. but i know that you will claim to be able to just so that you can stay in the discussion. also, based on the way you write, i seriously doubt that you spend a lot of time reading much of anything. but i have been wrong before, and perhaps i am wrong about you.

Answer #37

Canada may not like the US, but our military protects them because they don’t invest much into their own military. I’m not saying that to be rude, but it is a fact. I don’t dislike Canada, I have family there.

Answer #38

Except Canada has joined forces with the US in many matters such as the war on Terrorism, during 911, or Korea, Afghanistan. They defend the .. North American Aerospace - something, cannot remember entire name, they both belong in NATO. They rely on each other a lot when it comes to import and exports, they have the free trade agreements. You’d think the country would know a tiny bit more about a country who’s fought side by side with the States. Along with that, personally, I tire a little from hearing from Americans about how great their country is, there are plenty of problems in their country, what country doesn’t? But there’s patriotism and then there’s arrogance.

Answer #39

it is true that partnerships are in place. but do not act as though canada has a strong alliance with the usa because of its good nature my friend. let us not forget what happened to cuba. the usa may not always be as powerful as it is now, but we must acknowledge its current status, although the strong alliance is beneficial to both countries. on the basis of livlihood, because most citizens of the usa have everything they need for an excellent life in the usa (because lets face it, interest in other countries usually begins with a desire to visit that country one day). you must remember that the things that motivate most non-(north) americans to explore new places (such as economy, climate, cultural diversity, desire to move forward in life) are readily available within north america in a way that is unique only to it. it is definitely not a perfect place, but rather, a place (once you live there) that you very often are not interested in leaving. do not forget that the usa has the largest rate of immigration (both legal and illigal) over any other country. americans are taught to be proud of their country and one only needs to walk out his front door to understand that it is preferable to most other countries. is this arrogance, or is it the simple acknowledgement of the obvious?

Answer #40

Wow. Why can’t you just accept the fact that people have different opinions and experiences than you? Honestly, that attitude won’t get you far on this site. And for your information, I actually know more European history than American history because that’s mostly what I learn in school. Also, you are the one with hardly any capitalization or proper grammar in your answers. So yeah, I think you’re wrong about this one. :)

Answer #41

yes, i can accept that other people have different opinions. that is precisely why i asked the question. also, i am clearly choosing not to capitalize, and my grammar is correct (although, if you don’t read very often, i could see how you would miss that). also, this discussion really isn’t about “you”per se, but thanks for your input.

Answer #42

HAHAHAHAH ok mate! ;)

Answer #43

Wow. I cant believe how ridiculously ignorant youy are. How can you tell Gabby she couldnt answer questions about the history of other counties? You dont even know her. You are making assumptions about her because you are rude and arrogant, and in doing so, you have answered your own question. If you took a few minutes to get over yourself and have an open mind rather than just assuming you know everything you may see that Gabby answers many questions on this site with thoughtful, mature and intelligent answers, despite being half your age.

Answer #44

yes, i am making an educated guess about the actual knowledge of a 16 year girl. and yes, her answers are thoughtful, mature, and intelligent..err…..for a 16 year old.

Answer #45

and yet they are a hell of a lot better than what I have seen thus far of your answers…

Answer #46

OH SNAP! ^^^

Answer #47

if you are also 16 (or younger than say 25) and not american, it would explain why you think her answers are better than mine. you probably have the same level of education and (lack of) life experience as her. my answers are probably either over your head or they provoke too much negative emotion in you for you to be able to read them clearly or provide me with any intelligent dialogue. that is ok. you are young. thanks for you participation anyway.

Answer #48

Oh, and by the way, making unfounded assumptions about someone you dont even know is NOT an “educated guess.” Its ignorant and stupid.

Answer #49

Why do you assume that everyone here is less educated than you are? If anything, youre the one who is stupid.

Answer #50

oh they are pretty “founded”based upon the evidence she has provided me with in this dialogue. when you get older, you learn more about educated guesses, deductive reasoning, and the application of occam’s razor 99% of conversations you will have with people with less than 1/3 of your life experience.

Answer #51

@lowfatdonuts - because you have nothing substantial to add to the conversation. just for the record, though, i do not assume that everyone here is less educated than me. only some of you.

Answer #52

You make out that your some guru at life. I truly feel sorry for you because I believe you live a sad, sad life. I can’t wait for the day that truth bi.tch-slaps you in the face and finally knocks some sense into you. Youre no better than anyone else.

Answer #53

I am 24, have a masters degree in science, and am studying towards my PhD. And you know absolutely NOTHING about my life experience.

Answer #54

you are entitled to your opinion.

Answer #55

Coming from you

Answer #56

@Danielle- well, i assumed that i was smarter than you. but now that you have posed the question, the answer is “yes”.

Answer #57

@Danielle - i see you retracted you “still think you are smarter than me” question, as the answer was too obvious. good choice on your part.

Answer #58

And yet if I have the misfortune to talk to you in a couple of years, I will insist you call me by the title “Doctor.” Oh, and on another note, grow up and get over yourself.

Answer #59

(if you even graduate with your ph.d in “science”).i call real doctors “doctor”everyday, so you’d have to get in line. also, perhaps it is you who needs to grow up and get over yourself. and i am quite sure that you and i will never meet. so you can sleep peacefully tonight.

Answer #60

I totally agree with Filletofspam he is right . It sucks when someone doesn’t know your country but you have to know theirs. It is selfish and egoistic to know only about your country and not to care about others.

Answer #61

And what about Australia? America and Australia are “best friends” and are in a strong allience. Care to learn about the history of australia for once?

Answer #62

By the way, I don’t see how you call this a discussion when you are just saying that everyone who has an input is wrong. Tsk tsk

Answer #63

at the moment, taking time out of my busy schedule to learn about australia, outside of what i already know about it, is of no interest or benefit to me. however, if it sparks an interest in me or benefits me in some way, i will surely try to learn something outside of what i already know about it (same as all the other countries i have no particular connection to or interest in).

Answer #64

i am not saying anyone is wrong. i am merely presenting counterpoints because i like debate.

Answer #65

US public education largely serves to socialize students; that is, to make each individual more like the whole. It is set up to forge our kids into productive members of society who work, pay taxes, consume, and fight wars so they can continue working, paying taxes, and consuming. Public education teaches what the elite believe the common American should know. The reason US history is a graduation requirement is because politicians were dismayed that our soldiers surrendered in hopeless situations rather than fighting “to the last drop of blood.” Politicians figured that our soldiers were not eager to die for their country because they obviously did not understand what they were fighting for. World history does not directly make Americans into better factory workers, rule followers, or soldiers so it is not considered necessary. Most Americans are not aware that the Roman, Portuguese, Dutch, French, and British Empires all had their day in the Sun as the dominant world Empire and like the others the US will one day be eclipsed. This perspective is not productive in the indoctrination of our youth.

Answer #66

I know a lot of people who feel the same way. It’s a general consensus in the company I work for that that is how Americans treat people. And once again you assume that other countries are not as perfectionistic. Sigh. It just proves my point. It’s your attitude which puts people off. It assumes things which aren’t necessarily true, that same presumption is what causes you to now “know” other people’s cultures.

Answer #67

and i know a lot of americans who feel the same way as i. perhaps its your attitude that puts people off. perhaps you are one of the few who have had that experience and do not represent a majority (and mind you “others i talk to” also does not connote a majority). perhaps i am the only american in the world to have had my experience. we may never know :-)

Answer #68

yeah, all the public education systems in the rest of the world are different! rrriiigghhtt! i bet you home school :-)!

Answer #69

Sweden actually is a US culture (not in politics, but entertainment-wise). Just the fact.

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