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75 votes
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Girlfriend won't let me pay for her. How can I approach the situation?

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, ...
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  • 3,290
46 votes
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How do I say no to a stranger asking to borrow my bicycle for a minute?

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 ...
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37 votes
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Is there a Russian etiquette on declining offers of food when visiting someone?

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 ...
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30 votes

How do I say no to a stranger asking to borrow my bicycle for a minute?

"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 ...
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29 votes
Accepted

How do I respond to children slightly younger than me laughing at my accent?

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 ...
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  • 413
21 votes

How do I respond to children slightly younger than me laughing at my accent?

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 ...
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  • 954
20 votes

Is there a Russian etiquette on declining offers of food when visiting someone?

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-...
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17 votes

How do I communicate what I want to say in the language that the conversation is taking place in when I don't know the word?

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 ...
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  • 4,289
15 votes
Accepted

How do I communicate what I want to say in the language that the conversation is taking place in when I don't know the word?

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 ...
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13 votes

Girlfriend won't let me pay for her. How can I approach the situation?

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 ...
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  • 17.1k
13 votes

What should I do if I have a nosebleed in the middle of a meeting?

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 ...
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  • 10.2k
12 votes

How do I respond to children slightly younger than me laughing at my accent?

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 ...
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  • 10.2k
10 votes

How do I say no to a stranger asking to borrow my bicycle for a minute?

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 ...
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  • 7,793
9 votes

Is there a Russian etiquette on declining offers of food when visiting someone?

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....
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7 votes

Girlfriend won't let me pay for her. How can I approach the situation?

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....
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6 votes

How do I respond to children slightly younger than me laughing at my accent?

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, ...
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  • 191
6 votes

What should I do if I have a nosebleed in the middle of a meeting?

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. ...
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6 votes

Girlfriend won't let me pay for her. How can I approach the situation?

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. ...
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  • 239
6 votes
Accepted

How to treat a pompous person who scares away people?

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 ...
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  • 21.5k
6 votes

How can I get the point across that what people are saying are swear words in English and is therefore offensive to me?

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 ...
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  • 1,163
6 votes

Is there a Russian etiquette on declining offers of food when visiting someone?

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'...
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4 votes

Is there a Russian etiquette on declining offers of food when visiting someone?

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 ...
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3 votes

Girlfriend won't let me pay for her. How can I approach the situation?

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 ...
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3 votes

How do I say no to a stranger asking to borrow my bicycle for a minute?

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 ...
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  • 513
3 votes

What should I do if I have a nosebleed in the middle of a meeting?

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 ...
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  • 21.5k
3 votes

How do I communicate what I want to say in the language that the conversation is taking place in when I don't know the word?

You can always say "what's it called?" and follow up with words similar to what you want. Even native speakers do this, eventually everyone will forget a word or another. In some cultures, you can ...
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