10 Czech-merican Cultural Differences

15 thoughts on “10 Czech-merican Cultural Differences”

  1. Hi Chloe,
    I hope you will not be offended if I just do one correction about your article. “Už můžu dostat oběd?” Is actually very rude, the polite and correct way to ask non-friend/non-family-member/stranger-working in cafeteria would be “mohl(he)/mohla(she) bych už prosím dostat oběd? Note “mohl/mohla” – could I and “prosim” – please.

    The “hugging” & “don’t invade my space” is a tough one. Americans made me into a hugger and many Czech men (even my close friends) sometimes think I’m coming on to them/flirting when I hug them good bye out of habit.

    The one other big thing the Czechs get really annoyed with about Americans, which you have not mentioned, I suppose this one would be a tough one for you to figure out, is part of hidden/not-so-obvious American politeness culture: Americans apologize all the time, and for everything. Adopting this habit was actually quite easy for me, but shedding it during my home coming visits is impossible and so my family keeps reprimanding me “why do you have to apologize all the time, it’s so annoying!”

    As a Czech, married to a Kurd, living in USA for 20 years I would say that you are on the spot with your remarks. It is interesting to see my culture as an expatriate and then see it through your eyes as a legal alien/resident.
    Thank you!

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    1. about that sentence- wow, I’m surprised to hear that, because a Czech person told me to say it and I never forgot it! 😛
      about the apologizing- actually, I was going to include this habit in a follow-up to these ten. I don’t want to say that Czechs don’t apologize for anything, but it is harder to get an apology for normal American situations like bumping into someone at the grocery store. Usually when I say sorry I’m asked, “Why would you be sorry?”

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