Learn English – American stereotypes, are they true?

Stereotypes or general ideas about  groups of people abound.  Sometimes they do contain truth. In this episode, Maria examines 6 different stereotypes about Americans.

T – 40 – Stereotypes about Americans

Hey there. This is Maria from English without Fear.

Today I’m going to look at six different stereotypes or general ideas about Americans. And after you watch this you can tell me if you agree with what I think about the stereotypes or if I’ve left out any. So, sit back, relax, listen and just try to understand as much as you can.

The first stereotype or general idea about Americans is that they are very patriotic. What does patriotic mean? It means they think well of their country. They love their country. They love America. And the way a lot of Americans show that they are patriotic is that they put out or display, set up the American flag. 

Well, is this true? I think it is for a lot of Americans. When I travel in other countries, I don’t see many flags displayed or shown in front of houses or in front of shops and buildings. But here in America, schools display the American flag. A lot of shops do, neighborhoods and it’s especially during an American family (misspoken word – should be ‘American holiday). Well what about us?

Yes, Mike and I put out our American flag for holidays like Memorial Day or the Fourth of July or Veteran’s Day.

And the second stereotype what might that be?

I think the second stereotype is that Americans are cheerful, too cheerful. Cheerful means really friendly, talking to you, the stranger.

I think this is true.  Americans, when they walk in a neighborhood or in a park and they pass a stranger, they smile at the stranger. They say ‘Hi!’  This is pretty normal and I do the same thing. And especially when I sit in an airplane I always strike up or start a conversation with a stranger sitting next to me. I’m curious about other people. But I do know, I am careful when I travel elsewhere in other countries. I try to follow that country’s way of doing things. And if people keep to themselves more, than I try to do the same.

What about the third stereotype or general idea about Americans? I think you would agree that people say that Americans love their guns.

This is an interesting question. You need to know that in our constitution there is written a right, a privilege, that Americans are able to own a gun. It’s the law. And I would say that our country is divided. Half of Americans believe,  “Yes, we have the right to own a gun” and half of Americans say, “This needs to be changed! There’s too much gun violence in America!”

Well, what do I, Maria, think? I agree. There is too much gun violence in America. But making it illegal, against the law, to own a gun is not the way to fix that. I think American citizens should be able to buy a gun as long as they follow certain procedures. That’s my opinion!

Number 4, the fourth stereotype about Americans? You have probably heard or maybe even thought this:  Americans are fat. Americans are obese. Well, is that true?

I think it is mostly true. Americans eat all the time. It used to be in the past that people ate two or three meals a day.

But now, because stores are open all around the clock, 24 hours a day, Americans snack. They eat all the time. And the kinds of food they eat make them fat. So I do think that stereotype is true for most Americans. Sad but true.

Number five, what is the fifth stereotype I’ve heard about Americans? it is that Americans are loud people.

Now what does that mean? How are we loud? When I have traveled and lived in other countries,  I have been embarrassed to be around certain American tourists. They speak loudly. Americans are loud and (in) a lot of other nationalities and cultures people speak much more quiet softer. I don’t know why this is, but I think it’s true. And I think we Americans need to be aware. We need to think about how we act in other countries.

And number six, the last stereotype I’m going to mention? I would say it is that people from other countries think Americans are arrogant. What does that mean? What is arrogant? Arrogant means that you think you are better than other people, superior than (to) other people. One way I have seen this among Americans when I have lived overseas is that Americans assume, they think, they expect that everybody in the world speaks English. And a lot of Americans, most Americans, DON’T speak a second language. So, in that way, I think Americans are arrogant. Not all, but a good many.

Those are the six main stereotypes when I googled the topic. Those are the six that came up. But maybe I left some out. Let me know. Leave me a comment about what you think. Do you think I am correct in my opinion about stereotypes?

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