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Old 01-22-2010, 06:04 AM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,108 posts, read 2,562,783 times
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I am originally from Georgia (Macon area), but lived in the Atlantic Provinces for about two years (Nova Scotia and Newfoundland).

You asked in the English is different. Native Southerners typically speak with a southern accent, which may take some getting used to, but you will probably understand most people just fine. Examples might be pronouncing "pen" as "pin", or "can't" as "cain't". Southerners do have some unique words and phrases, such as "fixing to" meaning "about to" or "will soon" (i.e., "I'm fixing to go to the store").

I agree with the other poster that American exceptionalism is strong, especially in the South, but you will most likely hear it referred to as being patriotic.

Although Southern hospitality exists, it is more typically found in smaller towns and cities. You may notice a certain harshness or self-centered rudeness expressed by strangers, but this is present in bigger cities all up and down the East Coast of the U.S.

Public transportation is not very good in Atlanta, especially right outside of downtown. Atlanta is surrounded by sprawling suburbs, so most people drive to go just about anywhere.

Christianity, especially the Protestant versions, are very strong in the South. That bleeds into nearly everything from popular opinion about issues such as homosexuality, to Christian radio being piped into an auto dealership show room.

Atlanta does have a number of immigrates from all over the world, but they tend to keep to themselves. I am not going to lie to you; it may be difficult for your family to make friends. I'd suggest joining organizations and groups centered around your interests. If you are religious, even mildly, I'd suggest joining a church as much of the social activity for families happens in them.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Longueuil, Canada
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Thanks guys, this is all very informational. Rainy, it's shocking that American politics could be more polarized than it is here. Pauline Marois, leader of the PQ, is just like Bush among the Francophone population here (anglophones here all hate her). Some people hate and others love that she can barely speak a complete sentence in english (and she lives on west island too!). Is there a reason Obama is so hated by some people? I don't know a single person that dislikes him in Montreal. American politics have always seemed strange to me but I'm sure I will understand it better once we arrive there.

Hueffenhardt, thanks for your contribution as well. English accents have always been a curious thing for me. I have several anglophone friends that have tried to explain the differences to me but when I visited Boston two years ago, I could not identify any of the differences when hearing people talk. Although I have never heard of "fixing to" in a sentence before, either.

My family is Catholic and doesn't go to church very often. I guess we may go more often in Atlanta just to try to meet some more people. From what I am reading, it looks like religion is very important to Americans. What is Christian radio?

The office I'm working in does have a number of French speakers but we want to try to go outside our comfort area as much as possible. Our family does travel a lot so we want to really get to understand different cultures rather than limit our interaction to just francophones.
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:21 AM
 
Location: Dunwoody,GA
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Another option for your young child is Ecole du Samedi. It's not a full-time school, but is held on Saturdays on the campus of the Atlanta International School from 9-12. There are native and non-native tracks, and it is fully French-language immersion. My daughter did it for one year (until sports required our Saturday mornings) and really enjoyed it.

Ecole du Samedi
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,994,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
Thanks for the correction. Political preferences must be quite "patchy" though. In my area, north-east Cobb, Democrats are awfully rare and white Democrats even rarer. The vote of the county as a whole is not much different from your statewide figure, but that doesn't mean that the neighbors will be around-half-and-half, anywhere you choose to live. I'm pretty sure others will agree that's very far from the case!
I think I've commented before that there were Obama stickers a-plenty along my commute in the southern part of Cobb (Cumberland<->Smyrna<->Mableton).

I don't know the general breakdown of the area, since statistics are only available for Cobb proper, but the 141,216 folks who voted for Obama in Cobb County had to live somewhere.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:20 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,180,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
I think I've commented before that there were Obama stickers a-plenty along my commute in the southern part of Cobb (Cumberland<->Smyrna<->Mableton).

I don't know the general breakdown of the area, since statistics are only available for Cobb proper, but the 141,216 folks who voted for Obama in Cobb County had to live somewhere.
Right, I think we're agreeing, actually.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
Right, I think we're agreeing, actually.
Yes, we are.
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Old 01-22-2010, 04:45 PM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,859 posts, read 15,200,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
If you make your home in the suburbs you're likely to find that your new neighbours regard such social programs as an appalling abrogation of individual freedom of choice and if you express any approval of the programs you were used to at home, they'll characterize you as a socialist (a term of deep disapprobation in conservative circles).
Well, I think you oversimplify a complex set of values and distort the actual sentiments of many.

The US is a society born out of revolution and the pursuit of individual liberty, and many in the US do not agree with the concept of redistribution of wealth and taking from one group to give to another, no matter how laudable the motives. Many in the US believe that the government's role is to set the landscape so that all may succeed, and not to penalize the successful and favor the less successful.

In Canada, as in the UK or France (from which Canada descends), the tradition is one of monarchy and absolute rule. Personal liberty and the rights of the individual are not necessarily as ingrained in the society in Canada as they are in the US. Cradle to grave government programs are and have been a way of life.
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Old 01-22-2010, 06:45 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,180,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
Well, I think you oversimplify a complex set of values and distort the actual sentiments of many.

The US is a society born out of revolution and the pursuit of individual liberty, and many in the US do not agree with the concept of redistribution of wealth and taking from one group to give to another, no matter how laudable the motives. Many in the US believe that the government's role is to set the landscape so that all may succeed, and not to penalize the successful and favor the less successful.

In Canada, as in the UK or France (from which Canada descends), the tradition is one of monarchy and absolute rule. Personal liberty and the rights of the individual are not necessarily as ingrained in the society in Canada as they are in the US. Cradle to grave government programs are and have been a way of life.
Of course I was over-simplifying a complex set of values. I was trying to write a forum post, not a book, and wording it for the benefit of a fellow Canadian, as to how you strike us from a Canadian perspective, not how you seem to you from an American perspective. I don't think what you have to say about conservative American values is essentially different from what I said. You just word it more flatteringly. Or are you trying to suggest that conservative Americans don't disapprove of cradle-to-grave government programs?

I fear the French might be insulted by your suggestion that they have a tradition of "monarchy and absolute" rule, by comparison with the US. Didn't they have their revolution first?

While from your American perspective you may see the practices of societies like Canada or western Europe as penalizing the successful and favoring the less successful, their citizens certainly wouldn't describe it that way at all. It's about giving back to the community and giving a hand up to the less fortunate, and comes out of a tradition that emphasizes compassion and responsibility more highly than the pursuit of individual gain.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Mableton, GA USA (NW Atlanta suburb, 4 miles OTP)
11,319 posts, read 22,994,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainyRainyDay View Post
I fear the French might be insulted by your suggestion that they have a tradition of "monarchy and absolute" rule, by comparison with the US. Didn't they have their revolution first?
The American Revolution started in July, 1776.

The French didn't start theirs until 1789.

Quote:
While from your American perspective you may see the practices of societies like Canada or western Europe as penalizing the successful and favoring the less successful, their citizens certainly wouldn't describe it that way at all. It's about giving back to the community and giving a hand up to the less fortunate, and comes out of a tradition that emphasizes compassion and responsibility more highly than the pursuit of individual gain.
I also think it's a serious mistake to generalize conservative American views as simply "American" views.
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:42 PM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,180,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcsteiner View Post
The American Revolution started in July, 1776.

The French didn't start theirs until 1789.



I also think it's a serious mistake to generalize conservative American views as simply "American" views.
Blushing and awarding you rep points ... evidently, I wasn't a history major.

Sorry, I wasn't intending to characterize conservative American views as if they were the views of all Americans. Although, you know, living here in the south, with all that conservative talk radio, and the columnists in the AJC, and the people at work, and the parents of my daughter's school friends, and people lining up overnight to see Sarah Palin ... we find it really hard to maintain the belief that there are loads of Americans that share our values ... somewhere.

Anyway, it's so hard to try to be informative without giving offence. The OP wants to know, for Pete's sake, "What is Christian radio?" I hadn't even mentioned the religion thing myself because, although I do think it's a noticeable aspect of the culture around here, many posters on this forum scoff at that. However, I suspect they're not looking at it from the perspective of somebody who doesn't even know what Christian radio might be. If the OP turns on his car radio down here, he's going to notice he's not in Montreal anymore, and not just because of the lack of French language stations.
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