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Are you happy? An average American and British European

Discussion in 'Culture & Religion' started by Paul Lasaro, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. Paul Lasaro

    Paul Lasaro New Member

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    I have noticed that the British have a habit to ask – Are You Happy? Americans ask it too but not so often. I don’t know - why? Perhaps I have usually met Americans from that part of America where this question is not appropriate. Probably there is no such an average American.

    Europeans and others are used to generalize Americans a lot. It’s very difficult for them to imagine that Western coast of America is quite different from Eastern coast. The central region of America is quite another story. American in San Francisco can be different from American in Los Angeles. Europeans seldom think of the fact that an inhabitant of Alaska could be slightly more unusual than American from Texas. It’s the same with European in Portugal and European in Finland.

    The answers to the question – are You happy – might be different too. In the English language it has become almost a formal question or a phrase of politeness. A part of Europeans knows it. However, they almost always become confused when this formal phrase is directly translated into their native languages. For most Europeans it immediately turns into a substantial question worth-thinking. Most Europeans ask themselves from time to time – are they satisfied with their life, are they happy and what is happiness in general? As they see Happiness is something very close to Harmony of life. It seems that English "are You happy?" is more thought as – is everything OK, are you satisfied with a particular moment? Europeans more likely will think in much wider scale. The definition of happiness is very ample and everybody has his own different definition. Most of the people adventure on thinking only about half-way to Happiness and harmony. It is supposed to be called an achievement if a person reaches at least Balanced life. There is even a special course for Balanced life. It includes even walking barefoot on hot coal. It is taught already on the first day and most of them can walk unhurt over the glowing coal.

    However, nobody sees the real meaning of the question – are you happy. In its deeper essence it is an untrue control-shot, it is a smart British provocation to test their conversation partner. If a person gets embarrassed there are only two possibilities – either it is a person having unstable life or the British have met a European. I know that some British could say right now that they are also Europeans. Probably. It is a very embarrassing question.

    Have a nice Day and be Careful ... and Happy!
    Paul Lasaro
     
  2. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    ..........you up for a discussion on this or just trolling?
     
  3. Paul Lasaro

    Paul Lasaro New Member

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    What's going on? Are You with something' unhappy? This topic is very interesting for me.
    If You asking - what is missing in this post? Missing is link to my page. But it will be against rules. Just deleted.
     
  4. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    .......:confused: in what context?



    literal translation is always fraught with danger that is why one has to have a feel for the language so that a context is achieved....

    Ich bin ein Berliner..........;) was Kennedy a hunk of deep fried bread?



    what!!??

    ..... you are forgetting a third possibility in that they probably haven't got a clue about what you're talking about! Can you expand a tad as this is really confusing.
     
  5. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    I wasn't aware that Europeans had a habit of asking, "Are you happy?"

    How is it really different from our habit of asking, "How are you?"

    The answer is always "fine, and you?" even if the answer is coming from someone who is borderline suicidal.

    Does the European inquirer really want to know that the person addressed is crying inside? Does he want an explanation of just why?

    Are you happy?

    How are you?

    Let me tell you. My wife just left me, I just lost my job, my credit is shot, the process server is hot on my trail, and I have a roaring headache and feel like I'm coming down with the swine flu.

    Is that really the answer either of them are looking for?
     
  6. MistyTiger

    MistyTiger New Member

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    I don't get asked that often.

    People ask, "What's up?" or "How's it going?"

    No, I'm not happy. I'm done with college, no job, heartbroken, hoping I have figured out what I want to do with my life, not happy about what I see in the news, and this summer looks cold and rainy. Lesigh.
     
  7. PLC1

    PLC1 Moderator Staff Member

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    Come to California.

    You still won't have a job, may not know what to do with your life, definitely won't be happy with what you see in the news, but at least it won't be cold and rainy.

    Solve one problem at a time.:D
     
  8. Paul Lasaro

    Paul Lasaro New Member

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    When You hear soviet tanks you don't care about sousages. You need a strong friend. Attitude is more important than perfect german. Or english.
     
  9. The Scotsman

    The Scotsman Well-Known Member

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    .............:confused:
     
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