Count like a Brit or get a Punch on the nose.

In a recent post I wrote about cider as well as giving you the ‘speak like a native add-on’ – how to order a pint of cider. This immediately reminded me of a cultural faux pas.

Did you know that when a Brit, generally speaking!!!!!, counts and he shows his fingers to gesture he would start with the thumb (1) and then point with the index finger to represent – you’ve guessed it 2. Hence, ordering two ciders is done by showing the outstretched thumb and index finger closely followed by ‘Two pints of cider, please mate”.

Get to the point man! Well, I most often see Germans ordering two beers by using the outstretched index and second finger aka flicking the ‘V(ictory)’ sign. This is important because this hand gesture/sign means ‘get lost’ ‘piss off’ to a Brit – need I say more! For more details about rude hand gestures, why not check out the following site & watch the short vid.

http://www.stgeorges.co.uk/blog/rude-hand-gestures-in-the-uk-flicking-the-vs

What cultural faux pas have you come across in other countries? faux pas (Fehltritt), to gesture (gestikulieren), index finger (Zeigfinger), hence (deshalb), outstretched (ausgestreckt), mate (Kumpel), to get to the point (komm endlich zur Sache), ‘get lost’ (hau ab) ‘piss off’ (verpiss dich), rude (unhöflich), hand gesture (Handzeichen), to come across (auf etwas stoßen)

5 thoughts on “Count like a Brit or get a Punch on the nose.

Honestly, nothing I’m aware of. I’m always well prepared and while I’m abroad I strictly stick to my rule “never speak German”. Moreover, I try to learn a few words of the language that is spoken at my destination, English is a lingua franca and if nothing helps at all I communicate with gestures. Besides, I inform myself about dos and don’ts. Traveling means exploring new cultures and being a guest, not that others have to be thankful for me coming to them.

Nevertheless, I think my worst cultural faux pas was when I dared to talk to some Arabic taxi drivers although I had male company (that didn’t want to speak btw). The guys had ranted in Arabic about this before I got my answer in English. Too bad: I do understand a bit Arabic… so, which faux pas was worse: a woman talking to strangers or offending a prospective client? 😉

Or in my case: in Israel which is Jewish, Arab, cosmopolitan, open-minded and ultra-orthodox at the same time. But that’s what makes traveling so interesting and exciting.

You ought to go there! Such a versatile country with amazing culture and people. I’m glad I’ve already had the opportunity to visit Israel as working off my bucket list is limited now.

Leave a Reply