Sunday, June 14, 2015

Stereotypes of Americans (among international students in Japan) ~~~so funny!

America is a pretty diverse country (diverse - many different types of people), but people around the world seem to have stereotypes as to what an average American might look like and how an American might behave. (A stereotype is a common image or impression that comes to mind when you think of a 'type' of person.)

In this article in London's Daily Mail, international students in Japan think Americans are 'white, fat and they eat a lot of hamburgers.' Actually, if you came to NY City, you would be surprised by how diverse (different) the people here are. 

The article:

Vocabulary to help you understand the article:

to reveal - in this case, to tell

comical - funny

interviewees - people being interviewed

to distinguish _____ from ______ - to be able to tell the difference between, to notice differences between one group or thing and another

abroad - away from your home country

tell-tale signs - little things that can be noticed about someone that reveal knowledge about that person

it's a cinch - it's a sure thing, it's certain.  i.e.  Do you think you will pass the test tomorrow?  Yes, it's a cinch! (Or - It will be a cinch.)

to run the gamut from - to fall into a range of possibilities from, to be among these possibilities

personality - the basic features of the way a person is or acts make up a person's personality. i.e.  Joe has a nice personality; he is polite and kind and always helpful.

to poke fun at - to make fun out of in a nice way

politically correct terminology - in this case: when you want to say something negative but you say it in a very nice way

mimes stuffing her face - to mime something is to pretend to do it, so her friend pretends to be putting a lot of food into her mouth

plump and chubby - not fat but kind of fat

a red flag - some indication of something, usually an indication that something is wrong, but not in the case of this article

staples - something very common and used a lot; this term 'a staple' is often used in regard to food: Rice is a staple food in many cultures. (Rice is a common food that supports people's lives.)

the laid-back attitude - if you are laid-back you are easy-going and not bothered by many things. In America we think that people in California have laid-back attitudes.

to get wasted - to get very drunk (after drinking a lot of alcohol)

a mistake in the article: We don't go to people and say, "Hey what's up?" not: We don't got to people and say, Hey what's up? 

jolly - happy, in a good mood

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