How and what to talk about with Americans: a personal experience

Often, even knowing a foreign language when communicating with a foreigner have an awkward pause. Often these pauses are related to the fact that people do not know what to say to a person from another country. Specially for such cases the author of the blog “Elena in America” on “Yandex.Zen” talked about what they like to talk to Americans, and how to make the conversation pleasant and friendly.

Как и о чем говорить с американцами: личный опыт

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Hereinafter in the first person.

1. Americans like to say:

  • on the ground — don’t be surprised when you are asked, hearing the accent where you’re from. Repay them in the same coin — ask where they’re from. Continuing the theme tell me or ask anything, for example: “Oh, you’re from Chicago! We were there a couple of years ago. Amazing city!”;
  • about work — what work, where you work, how long you work there;
  • about sports, especially American football, baseball, basketball and hockey — I recommend to know at least the names of the local teams;
  • about the weather — will help out in any situation.

Don’t suggest to talk about race, religion, and, lately, politics.

2. May your face be relaxed or at least in a half-smile. Otherwise will think you have something bad to exasperate with a question: “Are you ok?”

3. The vast majority only speak English — that they have enough to travel around the country and abroad.

4. Some Americans, especially those in the age, may experience difficulty understanding the strong accent.

5. I love to shake hands with everyone. In a more informal setting like a hug. Kisses on the cheek (or touching cheek-to-cheek) is not very common.

6. Talking, look them in the eye — because you have nothing to hide.

7. In an informal situation referred to by name, and in a more formal sometimes too (for example, my doctor is sometimes called in office by the name of the Ilen, Elina, the Elen — on what imaginations will suffice); in a formal setting, you can hear “Mr. + surname” or “Miss + surname”.

8. Companionship often use abbreviations, phrasal verbs, slang and idioms — be sure to learn colloquial English.

9. Feel free of possible errors and the accent — usually the Americans are very polite and patient with foreigners.

10. What questions to expect: Where are you from? What are you doing in America, and for how long here? As you like in the US? Where is your family? etc.

The original column published in the blog “Elena in America” on “Yandex.Zen”.

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