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Old 03-29-2009, 10:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
How do you compare any people to a people of 80+ million? Germans among themselves are very diverse, you will find anything from very reserved in some parts of northern Germany and Bavaria to very gregarious in the Rhineland. Every German region has its own mentality, just as someone said Scandinavian regions have. Thus your distinction between Germany on the one hand and Scandinavia on the other is not convincing. The transition between northern Germany, specifically Schleswig-Holstein, and Denmark is continuous. If it were not for the language you would hardly notice you are crossing a border. And people up there often speak both languages, anyway.
We see this same kind of arrogance in the USA as well. Some people actually believe Canada is an extension of our country when nothing could be further from the truth. I find this attitude every bit as insulting as any Canadian citizen does when they hear that their country is nothing more than a satellite of the USA.

Along the border of Maine and Vermont you will see French influences from the Canadian Province of Quebec. While there is some French Canadian culture in these areas, ultimately the dominant influence is English American. Thus, your analogy with Schleswig-Holsein is equally unconvincing.

Sweden is physically isolated from Germany by a rather large body of water called the Baltic. This resulted in limited interaction among the people of Sweden and Germany for many centuries and each country developed its own culture. Aside from the Viking conquest of Europe a thousand years ago when the Vikings conquered your country and the Viking men took German women, I can't find a single shred of evidence that the two peoples are all that close ethnically. And the Vikings took women as far south as Italy and as far east as Russia. There's a little Viking blood in every European I guess. The Vikings spread the Scandinavian culture into every country they conquered. The Vikings taught the Russians how to develop a society built upon commerce and free trade.

In Sweden the food is completely different than Germany. The language is different. Sweden is a Kingdom and a Constitutional Monarchy. Germany claims to be a Federal Republic. Sweden's state religion is the Lutheran Church while Germany is more heavily Catholic along with several Protestant groups including the Lutheran church. Since 1814 Sweden has been a non aggressive country and taken a stance on neutrality in order to avoid conflict. Germany has been an aggressor nation and attempted more than once, to conquer continents. I suspect that Germany would not even permit the Lapplanders of Sweden or Laplanders of Finland to exist in your country. They would be forced to conform with society instead of being allowed to live independently as they choose.

The following Sweden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia sums up perfectly the vast differences that exist between these two countries.

Therefore it is my belief that if anything, Germany has a little bit of Sweden in it though in the end, both countries are completely different.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:54 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,526 posts, read 19,354,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dementor View Post
Can anyone really learn Dutch? That's one language that was really scaring me. Those who heard Dutch know what I am talking about.
Yes, it sounds wild, but once you understand and automate the pronunciation rules, it gets easier fast. When your mother tongue is a Germanic language such as English, learning another Germanic language is not that difficult, you already have a basic understanding for it in your head. It is peanuts compared to languages like Xhosa, Tamil, Mandarin or one of those West African 5-tone languages, that share nothing with Germanic languages, there you start at zero like a baby
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:03 AM
 
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I might also add that I have a long time friend that teaches History at a college in New England. It just so happens his family is from Germany and he still has ties to the old country. I've yet to hear him claim that Swedish history and culture is more or less the same as the German culture. I'd say he is far more qualified to make this determination than a language teacher.

Next you'll probably try to tell us that Japan and China or South Korea and Mongolia are all the same.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:08 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,526 posts, read 19,354,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WILWRadio View Post
We see this same kind of arrogance in the USA as well. Some people actually believe Canada is an extension of our country when nothing could be further from the truth. I find this attitude every bit as insulting as any Canadian citizen does when they hear that their country is nothing more than a satellite of the USA.

Along the border of Maine and Vermont you will see French influences from the Canadian Province of Quebec. While there is some French Canadian culture in these areas, ultimately the dominant influence is English American. Thus, your analogy with Schleswig-Holsein is equally unconvincing.

Sweden is physically isolated from Germany by a rather large body of water called the Baltic. This resulted in limited interaction among the people of Sweden and Germany for many centuries and each country developed its own culture. Aside from the Viking conquest of Europe a thousand years ago when the Vikings conquered your country and the Viking men took German women, I can't find a single shred of evidence that the two peoples are all that close ethnically. And the Vikings took women as far south as Italy and as far east as Russia. There's a little Viking blood in every European I guess. The Vikings spread the Scandinavian culture into every country they conquered. The Vikings taught the Russians how to develop a society built upon commerce and free trade.

In Sweden the food is completely different than Germany. The language is different. Sweden is a Kingdom and a Constitutional Monarchy. Germany claims to be a Federal Republic. Sweden's state religion is the Lutheran Church while Germany is more heavily Catholic along with several Protestant groups including the Lutheran church. Since 1814 Sweden has been a non aggressive country and taken a stance on neutrality in order to avoid conflict. Germany has been an aggressor nation and attempted more than once, to conquer continents. I suspect that Germany would not even permit the Lapplanders of Sweden or Laplanders of Finland to exist in your country. They would be forced to conform with society instead of being allowed to live independently as they choose.

The following Sweden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia sums up perfectly the vast differences that exist between these two countries.

Therefore it is my belief that if anything, Germany has a little bit of Sweden in it though in the end, both countries are completely different.
Where did I say Sweden etc. were not independent countries or extensions of Germany? "Scandinavia" is older than Germanic "Germany", so if anything Germany is an extension of Scandinavia as Germanic people came from up there.
Northern and Eastern Germany are almost completely non-Catholic, Protestant, by the way. The further you go to the north within Germany, the more Scandinavian it gets. The different political systems are very superficial. Look at England, it is also a monarchy, so what, compared to non-European cultures it works almost the same as the system in Germany. And I am sure Scandinavian countries are also run by parliaments and governments rather than by a king or queen.

As I said, to me all the over-emphasizing of details where they differ, stem from the wish to differentiate themselves and define cultures of their own, on both sides.
I am from the Bavarian-Austrian border region and even there - despite speaking more or less the same language - you can observe the very same thing. They even kind of dislike each other and try to stress the details in which they are different from each other when in reality it is pretty much one boring culture on both sides of the border.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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I guess the Minnesota towns are nice if you want to live like William H. Macy in Fargo.

As for many of us in America, a town is nice if it is family oriented and people are outside when its warm. Nice towns have people that are lively and passionate about what they do and life in general. Block parties and great food. To many of us, a spotless German neighborhood/town of reserved people is boring, and does not even hold a candle to the more energetic Brazilian and Italian neighborhoods.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingler View Post
I grew up in Iowa and Minnesota and found the towns in those States to be very nice.

I asked somebody one time why the small towns in Minnesota were so much nicer than most cities in America. The person replied that it was due to a German influence in Minnesota. Many of the small and mid sized towns in Minnesota were settled by the German immigrants. They brought their own culture to the towns. This culture included being neat, clean and efficent. Germans were also known as very hard workers and disciplined. The number of people in Minnesota who are German stock is still very high..

I wonder what impact the German people had on setting the culture of many towns in America. I suspect that their influence is still felt.

(I have no German blood myself)
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:18 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,526 posts, read 19,354,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WILWRadio View Post
I might also add that I have a long time friend that teaches History at a college in New England. It just so happens his family is from Germany and he still has ties to the old country. I've yet to hear him claim that Swedish history and culture is more or less the same as the German culture. I'd say he is far more qualified to make this determination than a language teacher.

Next you'll probably try to tell us that Japan and China or South Korea and Mongolia are all the same.
Again, where did I say Scandinavia and Germany were all the same? So I don't see the point in that post...
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:22 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DITC View Post
I guess the Minnesota towns are nice if you want to live like William H. Macy in Fargo.

As for many of us in America, a town is nice if it is family oriented and people are outside when its warm. Nice towns have people that are lively and passionate about what they do and life in general. Block parties and great food. To many of us, a spotless German neighborhood/town of reserved people is boring, and does not even hold a candle to the more energetic Brazilian and Italian neighborhoods.
I totally agree, living here in Portugal, one notices the difference. The Latin culture is clearly different from the Germanic one. Here things don't work as well as in Germany, but the different mentality more than outweighs that. I have a job offer from Germany, I would earn almost three times as much as here, but I can't imagine myself returning to Germany. There are things money can't buy
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:27 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
Where did I say Sweden etc. were not independent countries or extensions of Germany? "Scandinavia" is older than Germanic "Germany", so if anything Germany is an extension of Scandinavia as Germanic people came from up there.
Northern and Eastern Germany are almost completely non-Catholic, Protestant, by the way. The further you go to the north within Germany, the more Scandinavian it gets. The different political systems are very superficial. Look at England, it is also a monarchy, so what, compared to non-European cultures it works almost the same as the system in Germany. And I am sure Scandinavian countries are also run by parliaments and governments rather than by a king or queen.

As I said, to me all the over-emphasizing of details where they differ, stem from the wish to differentiate themselves and define cultures of their own, on both sides.
I am from the Bavarian-Austrian border region and even there - despite speaking more or less the same language - you can observe the very same thing. They even kind of dislike each other and try to stress the details in which they are different from each other when in reality it is pretty much one boring culture on both sides of the border.
It was implied that Germany and Sweden are nearly identical cultures based upon your assessment that the languages are similar. My guess is that you are a Socialist because they seem to be the only people I ever hear espouse these beliefs about everything or everyone being the same or nearly the same. Otherwise you would not attempt to diminish the importance of details that are extremely important when defining a culture or people. Just remember that the next time you have to see a Doctor and he asks a lot of questions in order to make a correct diagnosis. Or when you attempt to create a certain dish at home and learn that details are extremely important in the eventual outcome of the dish. A little too much of one ingredient can easily lead to a completely different tasting dish. Not paying attention to detail results in a completely different diagnosis or food product.
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:32 AM
 
Location: West Coast of Europe
21,526 posts, read 19,354,061 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WILWRadio View Post
It was implied that Germany and Sweden are nearly identical cultures based upon your assessment that the languages are similar. My guess is that you are a Socialist because they seem to be the only people I ever hear espouse these beliefs about everything or everyone being the same or nearly the same. Otherwise you would not attempt to diminish the importance of details that are extremely important when defining a culture or people. Just remember that the next time you have to see a Doctor and he asks a lot of questions in order to make a correct diagnosis. Or when you attempt to create a certain dish at home and learn that details are extremely important in the eventual outcome of the dish. A little too much of one ingredient can easily lead to a completely different tasting dish. Not paying attention to detail results in a completely different diagnosis or food product.
I am a technical translator, I know where details are important - and where not. And yes, indeed, I am very left-wing We are focusing on what unites people, not what separates them... No McCarthy over here
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Old 03-29-2009, 11:35 AM
 
718 posts, read 2,118,999 times
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The flaws that get on your nerves are the things you appreciate when you leave a place and the things that give it character. Pure perfection leaves no element of surprise, little adventure, and nothing to overcome. Perfection leaves no bad to make you appreciate the good.

Spotless streets and infinite tax increases could never buy a vapid town real heart and soul.

I see where you are coming from about your Germany situation, and I respect that. We only live once and our time here goes fast. Good luck.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuling View Post
I totally agree, living here in Portugal, one notices the difference. The Latin culture is clearly different from the Germanic one. Here things don't work as well as in Germany, but the different mentality more than outweighs that. I have a job offer from Germany, I would earn almost three times as much as here, but I can't imagine myself returning to Germany. There are things money can't buy
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