What is Europes opinion on Americans?

Well we all know they think of us as overweight, ignorant super ego people. But I was recently told they admire how much we work, and applaud us for being hard workers. I know that the average European takes more vacation then average American, but do they really think this?


I’ve only ever heard this statement coming second hand from Americans on forums with regards to Europeans thinking they work hard.
I’ve never heard a Euro say it at all.

Do you have a cite for that one aswell?

The comments for about any youtube video, after the first 10 or so replies.


And what do the Americans say about Europeans after these 10 or so replies?

If I understand the OP correctly, he’s asking if what he had been told (about Europeans admiring hardworking Americans) is true. Do you want a cite for the OP having heard this?

Speaking anecdotally, my brother-in-law is French, and I suppose he could be described as a real hard charger – long hours, few vacations, etc. He admires the American work ethic and thinks French people have something to learn from the work ethic here in the US. So there’s one of 700 million Euros who thinks that way.

Of course, he could be laboring under a false impression of American get-to-it-iveness. I’ve worked with a lot of really, really lazy people.

Probably something about saving their asses in WWII.

I lived and worked in Philadelphia for two years, then returned to the UK. I am a huge admirer of the US workplace, there is no finer place to get things done anywhere. On top of that, in my line of work (science) the talent levels are off the charts. Combine that with an aggressive, can-do-attitude and you’ve got a seriously stimulating work environment.

The ignorant super ego stereotype is the polar opposite of my experiences - all my US colleagues were super nice (rudeness was absolutely feared), very private, very guarded with their time people.

The problems most Europeans encounter with the US come when you turn to the social structures of the place, which are primitive compared to Europe. I wish I could sum up the ‘extreme blandness whilst simultaneously making a big deal of everything’ that characterised the majority of Americans I met and worked with in a pithy one-liner, but I can’t. I guess whole novels are written in search of the heart of the American psyche.

My wife-to-be at the time was working in Paris, and returning to Philly after a visit, well, it was to laugh. I think you could make a vague case for an advanced professional dimension having evolved in the US, at the expense of similar progress in how people socialise with one another. As someone whose work-life balance is way over to the work side, that suited me just fine.

Related thread..

As I’m unsure if you read my original response correctly, I would like to know if it came from an internet message board.
Or if a legit ‘Yerp’ uttered the phrase to him, like your French chum stated to you.

You mean we aren’t? :stuck_out_tongue: We all look alike too…

Here’s the thing…Europe is a big place full of very diverse people. I’ve heard SOME Europeans who admire the US (for various reasons…I haven’t personally heard to work ethic thing too often outside of a few, select countries). And I’ve heard many Europeans who, for various reasons, belittle America and American’s with various stereotypes (as if we were all alike, coast to coast).

FWIW, I think you should simply broaden your OP to ask the various Euro 'Dopers…What’s your opinion of America? I did a similar OP a few years ago…and I know there have been some other threads on this subject before as well. Might be interesting to get a fresh perspective from some of them and compare and contrast.


Yeah! And they’re cheese-eating surrender monkeys too! :smiley:

Now, I’m not a European, but I must say that while I believe it is true that Americans, in general, work more hours and have less vacation time than Western Europeans, there are two ways to look at this. Many Americans, as well as Ravenman’s French brother-in-law, would say that it is a comment on Americans’ superior work ethic, while many Europeans, as well as several Americans, some on this board, would say that working less hours gives one more time to do other (more interesting) things, more time to be with family, and more time to post on the SDMB. :smiley:

It’s a societal choice, and I can’t say that one is better than the other. It is up to the people of each place to decide what it is they want as a societal model.

As for me, I must say that when I was a kid, I was promised that we were sailing for the Leisure Society, where people would work minimal hours and have much more time for other things, and it doesn’t appear that the tide is going for this anymore. :wink:

::checks post count:: …I think I might be in this category :wink:

And you do make a very good point. ‘Hard workers’ aren’t necessarily well-rounded people. And I’m with wendigo1974, that the admiration of the American workaholic culture comes mostly from Americans.

Do you have any specific, anecdotal examples?

From about a dozen different Europeans (German, French, Romanian; friends or strangers) I have heard the following two clichés:

“Americans have no culture because they have no history.”

“You don’t speak English, you speak American.”

Do they teach these in the schools? Do most Europeans really believe them?

Do they annoy me? Oohh, yes.

‘Taught in schools’? Of course not. Common stereotypes which unfortunately cross over into general perceptions, coupled with a chunk of ignorance? Yup. The ‘no history’ one is obviously just not true, but bear in mind that the people most likely to throw this accusation at you are the ones who have no knowledge of their own culture and history.

‘You don’t speak English’…that makes me go HUH!!!, unless it was possibly a poor translation from an English teacher who had been referred to American English.

The great thing about Europe is the way we all think alike, use the same language, have the same politics, eat the same food and like the same films.

The average European watches snooker, eats snails, speaks four languages, has no speed limit on their motorways, takes siestas, likes mayonnaise on fries, supports an unrecognised regime on Cyprus, grows olives, insists every male has a rifle at home and speaks Brazilian fluently.

Or not. :rolleyes:

This seems a bit odd. If they’re admiring Americans, then sure, they have reasons. But if they’re saying bad things, why, it’s just a stereotype!

Surely there are good thoughts which are just stereotypes - as well as legitimate grievances?

Um…did I say that?? I do believe you are reading more into what I wrote than, er, what I wrote. If you catch my drift. Of course, what you are REALLY saying here is you hate American’s, and that of COURSE while the negatives bandied about in Europe about American’s and America are all true, the good points are obviously bullshit stereotypes.

:stuck_out_tongue: See how that works?

Don’t call me Surely…and I agree. There ARE legitimate grievances about the US (about Europe too :wink: )…and there are also a lot of bullshit stereotypes. And to go further, some of the GOOD things that are stereotyped in Europe (that I’ve heard) concerning America and American’s are over-inflated BS as well.


Er, I was disagreeing with your seeming suggestion that Europeans who admire the U.S. have reasons, while those that think badly of the U.S. are all just using stereotypes. I don’t have any beef with those suggestions themselves (which is why I didn’t complain about them); it was just that you appeared to be lumping them all into good thoughts=reasonable people and bad thoughts=horrible stereotyping people. But if that’s not your view, I apologise for misreading you. :slight_smile:

And while I do hate all Americans, I assure you I didn’t give the game away in my prior post.

Oh crap.