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Manners and "politeness" in Spain

 

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  #1  
Old July 13, 2013, 02:05 PM
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Manners and "politeness" in Spain

I have never been to Spain nor any other Spanish speaking countries. Yet ,from my teacher and other sources, I have always had the impression that the Spanish people are more easily offended than South Americans, is this true?

For example, is it true that the Spanish don't like people who are too "polite" (i.e. A person who says please and thank you a lot)?

Is it true that South Americans are more extroverted and 'warm'? How do the Spanish treat foreigners?

I am of course talking generally as I know not everyone is the same. This is something that I've always found curious. What do you guys think?

----
Yo nunca he estado en España o en un otro pais hispanohablante. Sin enmbargo, yo siempre tuve la impresión de que los espanoles son más fácilmente ofendidos que los súdamericanos, ¿es esto verdad?

Por ejemplo, ¿es verdad que a los españoles no les gustan personas que son demasiadamente 'cortés' (Una persona que dice mucho por favores y gracias)

¿Es verdad que los sudamericanos son más extrovertidos y cariñosos? ¿Como es que los españoles tratan a los extranjeros?

Yo estoy hablando generalmente. Yo sé que todos no son iguales. ¿Qué piensan?

----
PS: And this reminds me of another thing. Regarding "Ustedes/Vosotros", I know ustedes is formal but in most situations I don't see the need for formalities. Is someone considered rude if he doesn't address a stranger as usted?
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  #2  
Old July 14, 2013, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alik View Post
I have never been to Spain nor any other Spanish speaking countries. Yet ,from my teacher and other sources, I have always had the impression that the Spanish people are more easily offended than South Americans, is this true?

For example, is it true that the Spanish don't like people who are too "polite" (i.e. A person who says please and thank you a lot)?

Is it true that South Americans are more extroverted and 'warm'? How do the Spanish treat foreigners?

I am of course talking generally as I know not everyone is the same. This is something that I've always found curious. What do you guys think?

----
Yo nunca he estado en España o en un otro pais hispanohablante. Sin enmbargo, yo siempre tuve la impresión de que los espanoles son más fácilmente ofendidos que los súdamericanos, ¿es esto verdad?

Por ejemplo, ¿es verdad que a los españoles no les gustan personas que son demasiadamente 'cortés' (Una persona que dice mucho por favores y gracias)

¿Es verdad que los sudamericanos son más extrovertidos y cariñosos? ¿Como es que los españoles tratan a los extranjeros?

Yo estoy hablando generalmente. Yo sé que todos no son iguales. ¿Qué piensan?

----
PS: And this reminds me of another thing. Regarding "Ustedes/Vosotros", I know ustedes is formal but in most situations I don't see the need for formalities. Is someone considered rude if he doesn't address a stranger as usted?
Vejo que a sua língua materna é o português. Você a de Portugal?

You have opened up a can of worms here mi amigo. So many stereotypes. No se donde comenzar amigo con tus comentarios. If the Spanish from Spain are less polite then why would they get offended?
South Americans are as varied as any other group of people. Generally speaking people from warmer climates seem to be more friendly and out going. I think this is true whether it's in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Africa, Ecuador or any other country. Speaking of the South American country of Ecuador(which I have had much experience with) for example the people on the coast where it is very warm/hot have the reputation of being very different and out going, friendly from the people in the high mountains in the capital of Quito. Colombia is the same way. People from Cuba all live in a warm climate and tend to be out going and friendly.
I just came back from Italy. People from southern Italy have stereotypes about the people of the north and visa versa.
I have been to the north and the south and there is a big difference. People from the south and the warm climates hug and kiss while the people in the north and mountainous areas are colder and touch less. This of course is some what of a stereotype but it's what I have experienced and read about. So South American from elevated cold places tend to be less gregarious than the South Americans from warm places along the coastal waters.

All Spanish speakers are polite and the words por favor y gracias are always heard from Spain to Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, Costa Rica, El Salvador or anyother Spanish speaking country.

Los españoles tratan bien a los extranjeros. Go to France if you want to be treated bad. jajajajajajaja... Have been to France 4 times and have been treated good and bad. The French sometimes seem to take it as an insult if you don't speak French. Much like Americans with English. I always say that the French make good Americans because of their attitude. jajajajajajaja... The Spanish in Spain don't seem to get upset if you don't speak Spanish and love it if you do speak Spanish. I have experience this in every Spanish speaking country I have been too. In Italy it is the same way. If you speak Italian the Italians really appreciate it. Mexico the same way.

Last edited by Villa; July 14, 2013 at 08:15 PM.
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  #3  
Old July 14, 2013, 09:02 PM
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I pretty much subscribe what Villa is saying here...

But... all generalities are false... including this one... (Mark Twain)
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Old July 15, 2013, 02:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alik View Post
For example, is it true that the Spanish don't like people who are too "polite" (i.e. A person who says please and thank you a lot)?
I think this is getting the wrong end of the stick, and it would be more accurate to say that many Spaniards think that people from certain cultures are very rude because said people think that politeness consists of saying please and thank you a lot.
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  #5  
Old July 15, 2013, 03:31 AM
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Thanks for info guys!

Yes, I do understand it's rather stereotypical and I didn't mean to lump all South American people in one group!

Having never been to any of the countries, and having heard this more than once from different sources, made me want to make sure with people who have had actual experiences.

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Vejo que a sua língua materna é o português. Você a de Portugal?
Soy de Mozambique, pero estudié en una escuela sudafricana por eso prefiero el inglés.
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  #6  
Old July 16, 2013, 04:19 AM
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Malik, créeme, nadie es nunca excesivamente educado. Lo que si es cierto, es que, como en todo el mundo, existen también en España distintos ámbitos de confianza, en los que uno se puede mostrar más informal, mientras que en otros, debemos ser más formales. Es la primera vez que oigo que los españoles somos más susceptibles que los sudamericanos. Lo que sí había oído, es que nuestro tono de voz monocorde hace pensar a algunos hispanohablantes americanos que estamos enfadados mientras que a nosotros su entonación nos parece, en general, demasiado "dulzona".
Lo normal, al menos hasta hace poco, ha venido siendo que los turistas europeos encontrasen a los españoles amables y divertidos, mientras que los que venían de américa nos considerasen muy serios.

Por cierto, antes en caso de duda lo mejor era tratar de usted, hoy es justo al revés, si dudas trata de tú (a no ser que estés en el Ejercito). En general el usted establece barreras generacionales o de clase y jerarquía, mientras que el tú acerca. Con todo si estás en Andalucía, el uso del tú y el usted es absolutamente anárquico y divertido. Hay sitios donde siempre se utiliza ustedes incluso para dirigirse a los niños, lo cual no es nada habitual en el resto de España, en otras zonas se intercala con el tú sin aparente cambio de sentido, en fin se trata de detectar diferencias muy sutiles en las situaciones de comunicación. En general suelo decir a los angloparlantes que utilicen usted en las mismas ocasiones en que usarían Mr. en su idioma.

Last edited by explorator; July 16, 2013 at 04:51 AM.
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  #7  
Old July 16, 2013, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explorator View Post
Malik, créeme, nadie es nunca excesivamente educado. Lo que si es cierto, es que, como en todo el mundo, existen también en España distintos ámbitos de confianza, en los que uno se puede mostrar más informal, mientras que en otros, debemos ser más formales. Es la primera vez que oigo que los españoles somos más susceptibles que los sudamericanos. Lo que sí había oído, es que nuestro tono de voz monocorde hace pensar a algunos hispanohablantes americanos que estamos enfadados mientras que a nosotros su entonación nos parece, en general, demasiado "dulzona".
Lo normal, al menos hasta hace poco, ha venido siendo que los turistas europeos encontrasen a los españoles amables y divertidos, mientras que los que venían de américa nos considerasen muy serios.

Por cierto, antes en caso de duda lo mejor era tratar de usted, hoy es justo al revés, si dudas trata de tú (a no ser que estés en el Ejercito). En general el usted establece barreras generacionales o de clase y jerarquía, mientras que el tú acerca. Con todo si estás en Andalucía, el uso del tú y el usted es absolutamente anárquico y divertido. Hay sitios donde siempre se utiliza ustedes incluso para dirigirse a los niños, lo cual no es nada habitual en el resto de España, en otras zonas se intercala con el tú sin aparente cambio de sentido, en fin se trata de detectar diferencias muy sutiles en las situaciones de comunicación. En general suelo decir a los angloparlantes que utilicen usted en las mismas ocasiones en que usarían Mr. en su idioma.
Gracias por la respuesta. It was very helpful and cleared up a lot of doubts.
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Old July 16, 2013, 03:34 PM
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From personal experience, I have never met a person from Spain who inquired where I was from at first acqaintance.

Some may see this a unfriendly, but it can also be seen a being respectful of the other's privacy.
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Old July 22, 2013, 07:43 AM
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I'm from Spain and in Spain people is a bit different depends on the area you come from. In the South people are more extrovert than people from the North, but in general all the people are quite polite. Always we usually say 'please' and 'thanks' for everything. In my opinion is not a question about politeness but also character, more extrovert or more shy.
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Old July 22, 2013, 08:23 AM
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I like Spain and the Spanish people I have met, and like a lot of Spanish people, I don't usually ask a foreigner where they are from until I am comfortable with with them. A lot of times I can figure it out anyway.
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