Question to UK citizens
Guest, whilst you may be right to a certain extent, you should really read the other comments, there are some accents that people in the UK like and some we don't, generally people over here dislike the nasal sound of some of accents, and like some of the southern.
IT IS a stereotype that Americans talk louder than their UK counterparts, but it is still recognised this way, perhaps it is because accents draw attention towards you, and so it seems this way i.e. quiet Americans get overlooked in public simply because they are quiet, whilst obliviously the reverse is true.
Besides being loud is not a negative in itself, only if that speaker seems rude, abrupt etc. someone who is equally loud but friendly and jovial may make the environment around them seem happier.
You seem to be taking the comments as an insult, whilst other Americans have contested the fact, in addition Jasper requested honest opinions, and I believe this is by and large what has been obtained.
<<People that don't like American accents don't like Americans and most people in the UK don't like Americans. It's sad and based on bigotry, but it's true. Eventually, it will be reciprocated.>>
I don't agree with this at all.
I quite admire my UK cousins (the UK, after all, is our mother country), and have admired the culture, architecture, etc, for a long time.
But I cannot say I like all the accents; some of the lower-class accents, in particular, I perceive as unpleasant. On the other hand, RP is beautiful to me.
It has nothing to do with whether or not I like or dislike UK citizens--it's purely aesthetic.
To the poster who admired NHampshire accent--I agree; I've always considered the non-rhotic New England accent among our most pleasant.
The Irish sound like complete trash--even the educated ones. As for Brits, well the majority of them sound as if they are conceited, so full of themselves, as if each were the subjects of an Empire which died so long ago. Overall, though, I too can listen to the British accent for hours, although I can't say I'm privy to the sounds of the British lower class, as I don't encounter them often.
I read all of the comments and I didn't take any of them as insult. I have lived in the UK, however, unlike most of the Americans who inhabit this forum, I suspect. Americans are consistently negatively stereotyped and negative sentiment toward us is the rule, not the exception.
Perhaps there are some accents that are just plain ugly, but people are generally attracted to foreign accents. The fact that many people in the UK find American accents repulsive is testament to antipathy toward Americans in the UK. It's not just my opinion. There have been many studies about this subject.
Incidentally, do you really think that when people in the UK talk about loud Americans that they aren't speaking about a negative attribute?
Californians the most polite?
This has been quite different from my experience... Being from Dallas, I'd say that Californians are not very friendly at all... Though I'll admit they are not as bad as Northerners (I had typed 'Yankees' but for some reason that's problematic for some Europeans... Who view even Texans as Yankees..... ugh...)... Being from Texas, obviously, I'm biased that Texas is extremely friendly, but that's our stereotype throughout much of the East Coast and Midwest...
Aside from Texas though, my experience is that the smaller the town, the nicer people are going to be... Specifically in the South and throughout the Midwest... But in my 4 years in California I never found Californians to be generally pleasant (though there certainly are a handful ;-))
I disagree about the size of the town corresponding to the friendliness of the people, at least in the northeast, where I think that people are generally stereotyped as unfriendly erroneously. As a northeasterner, I don't think I know anyone who stereotypes Texans as nice. Excessively patriotic towards Texas and excessively socially conservative, but not friendly. People from all areas of the US are very friendly when compared to the UK, however. Amazing how people have their regional biases.
<<Anyway, the local guy had a pretty strong accent and maybe the Americans didn't have a clue what he said to them, or maybe they continued to talk so loudly together they didn't even hear him. Hee hee!>>
That might be true but there is another possibility -- they just tried to live up to the expectations. They just wanted to make themselves heard in Kirkcaldy as well! :-)
Anyway, lots of people on the bus make me feel like saying similar things to what this guy said but usually I wouldn't risk getting beaten up good and proper. :-)
Southerners probably make for the most mannerly and courteous Americans, if you're going by stereotypes. But you will find nice people everywhere.
In my experience Skippy, small towns are the worst as far as politeness goes. Being the "new people on the block" for five years is not fun. Feeling like you have a stamp on your forehead that says "outsider" is not fun. Worst of all is when people freak out because you painted your house or cut down that old tree "that's been there forever" (yeah, I'll say, since prehistoric times and no longer resembles a tree). Anyway, what part of CA were you in?
Skippy, my dad had spent one whole year in CA. He visited many places from mexico border to laguna beach to Las Vegas and so many other things. He also had spent some time in Houston, Dallas and Florida. Truth to be told, my parents did not like the thing that was called Texas. No jokes! They also spent 6 months in NY/NJ area and had contracted many skin diseases! horrible weather! In every aspect, from weather to local people to everything, they had termed CA the best. If given a choice, they will def choose CA to settle there.
They considered californianas the most helpful and co-operative people in the usa.
I'm English I love Americans, hate your government, big businesses and media, feel the same towards my own country's too.
The media is consistently negatively stereotyping the US, and have heard the same from American teachers about the English on British Expat forums, one example was an American girl being bullied because her mother was an evil Brit, another was constant jibes about bad teeth, being pale etc.
The fact that many people in the UK find American accents repulsive is testament to antipathy toward Americans in the UK. I don't care about the studies, they always are inherentially biased, besides this may be a side effect of the Bush Government, never heard as much anti-Americanisms under Bill Clinton. Don't forget there is a large Muslim population in the UK as well, and I don't think this group is largely impartial.
Again when I think of loud Americans I don't associate it with a negative attribute. I sometimes think that Americans can't differentiate between criticism towards their government and its people, not really surprising when the Brits can't do it either.
As I said I love American's and have defended them, against unfair attack in other message boards. Perhaps you have had a negative experience in the UK, and are basing your perception upon this, sad fact of life is that if your are a immigrant you have to expect racism.
Besides it could have been worse you could have been French in the UK, with the amount of jokes they have to put up with, even coming from the Celts, their historical allies.
<<The media is consistently negatively stereotyping the US, and have heard the same from American teachers about the English on British Expat forums, one example was an American girl being bullied because her mother was an evil Brit, another was constant jibes about bad teeth, being pale etc. >>
I'd never thought about this, Mark.
Our perceptions of Brits aren't really negative apropos hatred, though; they're negative more in terms of mockery. Like you said, we do have this idea that Brits don't take care of their teeth, and are pale (aren't they, though? I've heard that the UK only gets 30 full days of sun a year). Mostly, we think of Brits as being cold fish. Put another way, you could say that Brits are very reserved. I think that's a fair stereotype.
But you just don't hear very often--if ever--"I hate the English". That just doesn't happen. You hear Scottish- or Irish-Americans say that--but not native-born Americans.
It's sad that there's a lot of anti-American sentiment in your press. Mark, most of us are nice people. The trouble is that people rich enough to travel to the UK are aggressive types who've succeeded in business by being aggressive; the nice, passive ones don't get ahead much in our culture of the survival-of-the fittest economics, so you UK citizens don't get much exposure to us. As for me personally, I--and most of my class-- cannot afford a trip to the UK except once in a blue moon.
I was really talking about the aesthetics of the American accent; it's rather disappointing to hear that the UK citizens associate the accent with the stereotypical rude American...
Brits are the most arrogant people on earth. They can't handle being irrelevant, so they mock others and find fault in everything. Hitler should've forgotten France and sallied straight to London. Things would've been much better, and the 3rd world would've industralised (ha, ha, you and your stupid s').
We have a muslim population, too, you know. And they have pretty much stayed staunchly pro-American.
I think there has always been a tendency in Europe to regard Americans as inexplicably wealthy overseas hicks, sort of a collective Jethro who happened to win the lottery. (God forbid it should have been through hard work and ingenuity, right? ;p)
And the rise of American influence post-WWII coincided with the decline of European influence -- probably a little bit of a bitter pill, too. Lately, there has been a lot more antipathy toward Americans due to current events -- and just as Mark says Americans are guilty of not being able to distinguish between criticism of their citizenry and criticism of their government, well, others are just as guilty of not making that distinction while handing OUT that criticism. But it'll pass at some point. But the basic sense of rivalry will probably always remain as an undercurrent, just as it does between the British and the French, or Norwegians and Swedes, or Australians and New Zealanders. No pint in getting all hurt over it!
Europeans are scum. Why do they allow NATO to occupy their soil? I've never understood that. Europeans ought to regain their sense of pride, arrogance even, if they want the right to criticize Americans (even though we deserve plenty of criticism).