Expat

Why are Americans so loud?

I remember when Bush Light was President and my friends went on holiday to SE Asia. They told everyone they were Canadians. And I remember, seeing the Canadian flag sewed on to backpacks, bouncing on sweaty backs whenever I was in touristic quarters. Yes, Canadians are proud, and they also don’t want to be mistaken for “Americans”.

I remember being surprised to learn that many of my Thai students had no desire to go to the United States. They’d rather go to Western Europe. I wondered. I mean, I thought the US was a coveted country. Our culture is EVERYWHERE. Later I learned that some Thais believe the US is dangerous, after watching Hollywood movies that is…

It’s funny because what Americans think what the world thinks of them is wrong. Maybe this too can be said about the Chinese or the Germans, etc. We know we are hated or disliked but we figure it’s because we be uneducated and rotund. But the real reason is: Americans are LOUD.

Hanging out with expats from other countries, you get to hear what’s annoying about other cultures. You hear the stereotypes, and you smirk, and maybe add in your own observations. And if you’ve ever been traveling outside of your passport country, just chilaxing in a cafe or restaurant, you will notice the loudest group of people are from these United States.

My friend Pierre vented over his last trip to Paris, on how Americans were completely unaware of how loud they were, how they were the only voices in an otherwise quiet train, and lastly how embarrassed he was for them as more Frenchies understand English than these people probably realized.

This timeless discussion came after a disruption at the Irish Pub on Quiz Night. Yeah, it gets loudish but generally folks upstairs are enjoying the game, and folks are respectful. But that night some kids were being particularly obnoxious, and then one of them announced, “Hey, what do you expect? I’m an American.”

I groaned and sunk low in my chair. I might have uttered, “Shut up.” Hey, I’m not a flag waver but I’m not ashamed either, but when an American abroad acts up, I really feel slithery and sorry and sad.

“Why are Americans so loud?” Pierre asked.

My fellow countryman and I looked at one another.  “I don’t know,” I said. “I really don’t know.” It’s a big country? We’re raised to be independent, so that makes us speak at a higher volume? We like to be heard? I mean, it’s no Cairo Egypt, it’s not necessarily a loud place, and so we don’t have to shout all the time in order to be heard.

So I decided to google this and lo and behold it’s a hot topic! The best answer yet at yahoo.

Which led me to this video by comedian Lewis Black, and so Pierre, I give you your answer:

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8 thoughts on “Why are Americans so loud?

  1. thanks Lani. would be interesting to hear about other Americans…good article. yeah, this article is, like, oh my gaaawd, so AWESOOOOOME : )

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  2. I enjoyed your post. It was pretty funny and as an American, I can appreciate how we are perceived in other countries. However, after reading your post, it is obvious that you have never ridden the Dublin Bus. The three most annoying sounds in the world are, Gilbert Gottfried, fingernails on a chalkboard, and the Dublin accent. Imagine Donald Duck with an impossible head cold, trying to sound like a hooker from Liverpool. There you have something close to the Dunlin accent sound. There are certain people, (lets just say they live in Crumlin, wear lots of athletic gear and more jewellery than a New Jersey mobster), who ride the bus regularly and talk at full volume. I'm talking 3-to-5 times as loud as your typical American tourist. I have to say I much appreciate the din of my American compatriots over the locals asking, “Wots tha storey Bud?”

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  3. Thanks Hitchhiker42 for the reality check :PYes, I've never ridden a Dublin bus so I can only imagine and thanks to your description, I have a clearer idea. And honestly, Aussies can be rather loud too. And drunk people, but I better stop there 🙂

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  4. Lani, I've really enjoyed flipping through your blog. Very entertaining stories and a great blog. I found myself nodding to this post. 🙂 On a somewhat related note, this article came to my attention that may or may not be of interest to you. I enjoyed it! http://postmasculine.com/americaBest, Andrea from TEFL Bloggers/ Stories from the East

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  5. Terrific Lewis Black video. Thank you.

    A thing I noticed in CM is that many of the long term expats are very loud and almost obnoxious in how they speak to Thais. I decided that they have discovered this improves communications. I never wanted to be one of these people and since it seemed to be the norm for long term expats that was a discouraging to me.

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