Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Subtle culture differences.... B2 +

Subtle culture differences... 

Comparing Spanish and English customs and cultures 

I've lived in both countries throughout my childhood and adult life. You could say that I have adopted both culture and customs alike. I believe I have kept the best of both... But have I? Why don't you be the judge of that? 

I like to have a cup of tea and a biscuit at around 5 pm (tea time). Friends laugh at me and say "ooh Lisa, you're so English." or "You can take the girl out of England, but you can't take England out of the girl." I have met and worked with people who have lived in Spain for over 20 years, and have remained British to the core! Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a bad thing. Why should people change just because they move to another country? This is a good question, and I shall address this in my next blog.

I'm so terribly polite all the time... "Would you mind passing me the salt, please." "Thank you, your so kind..." ok well, maybe I don't bother with the  "your so kind" bit. 
In Spanish I would simply say "pass the salt" or even "the salt" accompanied by a small hand gesture to indicate the salt. Obviously it would be said in a polite tone, but without the need for any airs or graces. And I do accept this. However, the only thing that makes me feel a little uncomfortable is when someone says "give me!" (dame) in English, this sounds somewhat rude to me.

Another thing which baffles me is why can't we say a flat "No" in Britain. We say, "not really" or "maybe not, eh" or we come up with a million excuses why it's not convenient to do something. Here in Spain I can just say "no" without the need to excuse myself. I have said this many times, Spain has taught me to say no. And I'm grateful for it. As I feel less pressured, less stressed as a result. 

There are many more culture differences to explore... I'll keep you posted.

What differences have you found when travelling abroad?
Do you have an experiences to share?

For more information about online classes, contact Lisa by email lis.j.grant@gmail.com or skype friendlyteacher14. 

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