Hot answers tagged

75

People of low financial means often take money issues much more seriously than those who have money. Take it from me; I grew up in a very low income household and accepting money from people, especially friends or family, has always been incredibly difficult, or at least noteworthy. To your girlfriend, your offer is much more serious than it is to you. If ...


46

Stranger: Can I borrow your bike for a minute? You don't know them or have any mutual friends. You have no guarantee that they will return it in time and in good condition. They have not mentioned any emergencies. Then it is up to you. Sharing bike can be a starting point for a new friendship. Or sharing it will be the last time you see your bike. You ...


37

Since I'm from Ukraine, the Russians are quite similar in offering food to guests. Ukrainians are even more persistent. For me, when I visiting someone, especially grannies, and I don't want to eat there, there is no special way to say it. I'd say it this way: Thank you greatly for your hospitality, it’s surely very tasty, but I am not really hungry/in ...


31

"No" is a complete sentence. It does not require justification or explanation. In this case, it certainly should be enough. You can soften it a bit by saying "no, I'm sorry". He asked, he should expect both "yes" and "no" as possible answers. Even in a group where it's common to borrow each other's things, it's still a valid option to decline, for whatever ...


30

Just be proud of the fact you're putting in the effort to try and improve your accent. If anything it'll be a great way for you to know when you've successfully gotten rid of your accent. Having been in the same situation as you in a country where no one spoke my mother-tongue. When anyone thought to laugh I let them. I sometimes do the same when I hear ...


21

I just want to raise a perspective that wasn't necessarily brought up by Edlothiad. For many of these kids, hearing someone with an accent in their language is very different. They may be looking at the pronunciation of your words, your grammar and so on. They're not doing it to be mean, it's because they genuinely think that it's funny. Behaviours like ...


20

I am an American with multiple friends in Israel. I have been on the other side of this debate a great many times (actually almost got kicked out of a VERY nice hotel in Jerusalem for ordering non-kosher pizza while visiting) ... here is my take: Do NOT lie Saying you are not hungry, or you don't feel good, or any other excuse is lying ... which is also ...


17

There is always just saying the word in the language you know, and coupling it with other cues such as gesturing. But don't make the thread of the conversation pause for too long. There will be the inevitable pause as you get to the word you don't know. Once you are there, people will surmise that you are looking for a word. In this case, say the word in ...


14

Gesturing and paraphrasing, as suggested here, are good approaches. (In your case you probably know the words for "up", "down", and "move", which should help you get your point across.) Another technique is one I've seen my non-native-English-speaking coworkers use. When one of them is speaking and gets stuck, he pauses, holds up a finger (the "wait a ...


13

Your girlfriend's family issues are not something you should get involved with unless your relationship is very serious, and with her express permission. If her relationship with her parents is unhealthy (and it sounds like it might be), then that's something that she needs to tackle. For example, if she knows that her mother is a shopping addict who ...


13

I would say it depends on the situation. It'd be fine to hold a tissue to it for a minute or two. Holding it for an hour would be distracting. If it's in any way a distraction to others in the meeting, taking it elsewhere seems like the better option. You may excuse yourself from the meeting. If some people might be shocked at the sight of blood, just ...


12

Kids laugh at almost anything they find unusual. Your accent is just that. Unusual. Perhaps like the others said, it'll be an indication for you that you've improved your accent when they stop laughing. Take it as a positive thing. It's not like they're bullying you for this. I've seen people laugh at Indians' accents when they speak English. But it's not ...


10

Israeli culture teens will often borrow other people's bikes, and that it's considered perfectly acceptable. Since it's really acceptable in your culture, it's like some known person is asking for a favor. Since you shook your head a couple times, it sent a clear message that you don't want to give your bike and that is acceptable. In case you don't want to ...


9

That’s not an easy one since, as it’s already been said, most Russian hosts could be very persistent in offering you food even on a casual visit, more so if it is some meaningful event like a birthday. I googled this question in Russian and actually most popular etiquette suggestions were to put at least something at your plate and make an impression that ...


7

I see you already have an answer, and I completely agree with BlackThorn, but let me add something as a fellow Israeli. Your GF is 17, that means 11th grade? In two years she will be in the army. Free. Making her own choices, financially and otherwise. What she does with her military service is her choice - her parents can't affect what she writes in her ...


6

In Switzerland,we have the same thing with different dialects of swiss german. Everyone laughs about everyone (especially about the guys from zurich and st. gallen). As I moved to a different region, I had to hear a lot of silly comments about my dialect too. On the other hand, I myself laugh and crack jokes about other swiss dialects. It's just something ...


6

I have the same issues you do from a dilated blood vessel in my nose. Dry buildings during winter are my biggest enemy and as a result I can have anywhere from 1 to 3 bloody nose incidents a day. From my experience, if you are having them as frequently as I do, people are going to inevitably discover that you deal with frequent nose bleeding so no sense in ...


6

Pulling out some key parts of your question (in order): Her parents are really strict. They have a specific idea about her career (being a doctor) and anything that is not connected with that (e.g. singing, acting) is a privilege. Also, they really discourage her from doing stuff she likes and that is not what they like (e.g. singing, acting, dancing). She.....


6

I'm teaching to (roughly) 15 to 25 years old persons, so it's based on my experience that a teacher should always think of and do what's best for the student. Having said that, and as you have a policy and some guidelines in your organization, I would use them in order to not put the blame on anyone, at least at the beginning, and only if needed, and that ...


6

You really can't change an entire community that simply is not possible. Especially if swearing is acceptable to some degree in the community then you are really out of luck. If your problem is getting people you interact with to understand, then I might have a solution. The problem is that you are telling them it is the worse swear word in English but ...


6

Russian-Israeli here. Refusing an offer of food is complicated. Elderly Russians feel absolutely compelled to feed a guest. If you refuse, they'll offer again five minutes later, hoping that maybe you're hungry now. Hospitality is really important in Russian culture, and food is how you offer hospitality. If you're visiting a person once, and not likely to ...


4

Older Russians are often overbearing in their hospitality and would annoy you with multiple offerings to partake a dish. Reminds me of a funny phrase from "Oblomov" (1858) by Ivan Goncharov: Local manners required that, what though twice or thrice invited to partake of a given dish or a given bottle of wine, the guest should not do so, since he was ...


3

Proceeding this question with rule-book like approach: Please take no hard feelings if I sound blunt. I am assuming that you are very serious on your side of relationship and there might be two reasons for why she is not feeling comfortable using your help: She does not feel that the relationship is at the level where she can ask or accept these favours. ...


3

You're obviously not happy letting anyone ride off on your bike, and there's no reason on earth why you should be. You may never see it again, or it may come back damaged - and 'sorry mate' doesn't mend it. 'If you won't take offence at me saying no, I won't take offence at you asking.' Firmly and politely said, should do it. I used to have lots of 'friends'...


3

Should I attempt to stop the bleeding while at the meeting or leave the room to take care of it? If you can choose where you sit, I'd carefully pick a seat next to someone you know that won't be bothered with your temporary impediment. If possible, a seat close to the door, just in case you need to step out because it becomes more important. If you want/...


3

What will sometimes work is to ask for something else. The best thing is something which you know you can have, and which is quite certain to be available. The easiest thing is a glass of water. Or a cup of tea. Thank you, but I really cannot eat that much right now. Could I just have a glass of water/cup of tea, please? The reason why this can work is ...


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