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What SL teaches about other countries/cultures


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To me the most fascinating and valuable thing about Second Life is how it brings people from all over the world together to share perspectives and insights about different cultures. 

What insights about other countries/cultures have you had due to SL?

 

Edited by Pamela Galli
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10 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

What insights have you had due to SL?

Avatars are never who they seem to be at face value.  The ugliest of people hide behind their avatars. The most beautiful ones shine through.

Edited by Solo Alpha
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This is actually one of the reasons I downloaded SL and went inworld to begin with.  I wanted my world to be bigger and to have more viewpoints.  I am keenly aware that my personal world is very small, but I knew those differences were out there.  I live in a very small town and to the people around me, it is very black and white.  To round out my existence I needed to hear from people that live very different lives - those that live in cities, those that live with large extended families, those that live alone, and those who have alternative lifestyles different from what I might see on TV or in movies.  I don't know that I can point to any one specific thing I learned because the people I have met are so very vast in their views of the world and their experiences.  It is a journey I am still on.  I do tend to gravitate to those that are open about their real lives, successes, and hardships.  I absolutely love to hear the stories of people from other places.  I wish I had the means to travel, but I don't.  The next best thing is to travel by meeting people inworld.  I've mentioned it before, but one of my favorite inworld activities is to pick up strangers at a club and just chat while dancing.  I don't care if they have the latest mesh body and head.  I want their stories.  I want to understand their view of the world.

It doesn't always work.  Some people prefer their privacy and that is fine, but when I find those gems... the ones who are willing to share a little piece of themselves, I am enthralled. An hour can pass by in minutes.  I leave those encounters a better person even if we never exchange friendship requests.  I want people to feel seen and heard and I want the same back.

I will say that sometimes my biases and the stereotypes in my own head play out as expected, but sometimes I am thrilled to have them squashed.

Edited by Cinnamon Mistwood
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Constant learning of tolerance, consideration and moderation.
To try and apply the above to what were once "rapidfire/NO turning back" responses.
Not always successful, but definitely improving.

The day I shuffle off this mortal coil, I will still have learnt something on that very day
and I shall be happy.
 

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6 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

To me the most fascinating and valuable thing about Second Life is how it brings people from all over the world together to share perspectives and insights about different cultures.

Yes that happens all over the internet.

Second Life might look like it could be a big school about culture etc but the truth is that you get to learn just a few very minor things and people who have traveled abroad a lot can see that.

In regards to personalities/characters, Second Life's nature being a mixture of imaginary gaming world / chat room makes it's users subconsciously mix Roleplay and Real personality elements so i wouldn't take any serious teachings from it.

As an example i act to be Japanese, i am not.  It's similar to being a woman in SL and talking about menstrual cycle.. when in reality you are a dude.

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I should go out more.
Most SL people I know in connection with SL, I only know from these and the other forums.

The most complicated thing for me is to communicate in a different language. In my case English. Although I can handle the language pretty well, it is not the same as communicating in the native tongue. A lot of detail and finesses are lost in the ever ongoing translations. So it happens more than once that someone on the other end perceives what you're trying to say differently then the way it was meant. Now that happens occasionally in the native language as well of course. But using a second language doesn't make things easier.

And I always have to remember not to be too straight forward in my texts the way we Dutch are used to when we talk to each other.
A lot of people in other parts of the world talk a lot more indirectly. In the end they often mean the same thing, but don't say it as straight forward as we tend to do at times.

 


 

Edited by Sid Nagy
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6 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

And I always have to remember not to be too streight forward in my texts the way we Dutch are used to when we talk to each other.
A lot of people in other parts of the world talk a lot more indirectly. In the end they often mean the same thing, but don't say it as straight forward as we tend to do at times.

I 've had plenty of coworkers from holland while working for the Olympics (*Atos Origin), they all spoke like the rest of us who were not native English speakers, some were chill and others were reserved according to their personality.

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I've noticed SL is similar to the breakfast club "each one of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess, and a criminal." No matter the country. We mostly share the struggles of each stereotype, and through communication we realize we are similar. The most difficult part is learning to listen and acknowledge each other respectfully, it usually does not happen in 8 hours, but when it does happen it is contagious. 

 

breakfast club.png

Edited by Paulsian
after thought
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1 hour ago, Sid Nagy said:

We know how to behave outside our country. :)

Too bad our sense for borderlines is fubarred since we hardly behave when we think we are inside of those. :D

Belgian proverb : "If a Dutchman did not cheat you out of something, he probably forgot about it." 

Edited by Solo Alpha
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3 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

So it happens more than once that someone on the other end perceives what you're trying to say differently then the way it was meant.

Since English isn't your native language, I want to point something out to you.

The word that I've bolded should be THAN, not THEN. Too many native English speakers get it wrong, but it's either because they can't spell very well, or it's a typo, or where they live they pronounce 'than' the same as 'then' and they don't learn any better. Whatever the reason, it's not uncommon, but it is never correct. It is never a choice or an alternative. It is always wrong.

When two thing are being compared, the word is 'than'. E.g. this costs more than that. In your sentence, you are comparing the way something is meant with the way it is perceived - the way something is meant is often different than the way it is perceived.

I wrote that because you see 'then' used wrongly so often here that you may think it is a correct use of the word. It isn't.

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3 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

Whatever the reason, it's not uncommon, but it is never correct. 

A reason might be Dutch don't distinguish between than or then, for they have only one word for it : 'dan'.

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30 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

The word that I've bolded should be THAN, not THEN. Too many native English speakers get it wrong, but it's either because they can't spell very well, or it's a typo, or where they live they pronounce 'than' the same as 'then' and they don't learn any better. Whatever the reason, it's not uncommon, but it is never correct. It is never a choice or an alternative. It is always wrong.

Problem is, in Dutch we don't have different words for then and than. Both translate as 'dan' in Dutch.
So we don't have a natural feeling for this grammar issue, because it doesn't exists in Dutch.

People who are native English speakers seldom know how hard translating can be. The rest of the world does it for them.
If then/than was the only issue, (than/then) international communication would be a lot easier.

 

Edited by Sid Nagy
Damn Solo, that was quick.
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34 minutes ago, Phil Deakins said:

Since English isn't your native language, I want to point something out to you.

While you are at it, come over here to the US and teach the same lesson. Also about your and you’re, their, they’re, there, its and it’s. And SOOOO  much more. Europeans speak and write English better than we do.

Edited by Pamela Galli
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Yes, that is mainly correct, but sometimes we use 'dan' when in English the sentence is put together differently, without the use of then or than.

That said: If I'm not totally correct with spelling or grammar here and there**, it's not that important to me, to be honest. 
I find it far more important that I can explain what I think and feel.
And that is not always easy in a foreign language.

It is not that I couldn't care less* about spelling and grammar though. Watch how often I edit my posts afterwards.

 

* most Americans get that one wrong

** I should have used 'now and then' instead, to show I do know.  :)

Edited by Sid Nagy
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2 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

Europeans speak and write English better than we do.

   And then, you mention that you also speak another language ..

200.gif

   Dessutom så är det obligatoriskt att läsa minst tre språk i högstadiet, och vissa har, därutöver, modersmålskurser i ytterligare språk. 

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17 minutes ago, Orwar said:

 Dessutom så är det obligatoriskt att läsa minst tre språk i högstadiet, och vissa har, därutöver, modersmålskurser i ytterligare språk. 

I Nederländerna lär sig ungdomar också minst två andra språk i skolan.

Och som tur är finns det nu även Google Translate, som blir bättre och bättre.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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I have been in forums for a long time, starting with Usenet. But most forums are about some topic you are expected to more or less stick to. Or are so non moderated as to be unusable. 

This forum, and inworld, there is no overall topic. It’s a big living room. You talk about almost anything. You learn where people are from and how they see things. 

What I have found most interesting is how the US is perceived by those outside, which of course varies from person to person. It is astonishing to me how minutely aware of American culture and history many non Americans are, compared with how aware most Americans are of the nuances and history of other cultures. It’s so interesting, for example, to hear how non Americans view Americans’ current battle to preserve democracy. While we could find ourselves being kicked while we are down, and maybe deservedly so, we find that is not so often the case. 

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These are all facts I learned from SL...

Americans are the most generous nation on SL for tips and giving you items 😍 but they think chips are crisps :o and can't believe Brits have to pay for a TV licence...

The Dutch really love pickled fish! They all go out to celebrate the new barrels of herring every Queen's Day 👑 

All the Irish people you meet on SL are actually American * 😀

Los Angeles has a tube system but hardly anyone uses it because they all have cars!

"Bless your heart!" means "What a plonker" in the Deep South 😮 But "honey chile" means they like you 🙂

 

(* I'm joking! But it is quite a lot...)

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1 hour ago, Pamela Galli said:

What I have found most interesting is how the US is perceived by those outside, which of course varies from person to person. It is astonishing to me how minutely aware of American culture and history many non Americans are, compared with how aware most Americans are of the nuances and history of other cultures.

My knowledge of individual American states isn't that big either.
Texas is big, warm, cattle land, Gas Monkey Garage, oil, Houston, Dallas and Republican. That's about it.
O yeah,  president GWB lives there right?

You see, limited. Just as limited as what the average American knows about my country.
But as a whole the USA is mighty important in the world, so the rest of the world knows a lot about what is happening there. No news show without on average at least one USA subject in it.  And don't forget the dominant position of Hollywood and the American TV-show producers in the world and the mighty American Music industry.

 

31 minutes ago, Rat Luv said:

The Dutch really love pickled fish! They all go out to celebrate the new barrels of herring every Queen's Day 👑

The opening of the new herring season has nothing to do with Queen's Day. Opening of the herring season is early June.
And Queen's day is King's day these days.  Queen's day was April 30 and King's day is now April 27.  That is when we celebrate the monarch's birthday.

On top of that I totally dislike raw herring, pickled or not.  😱

Edited by Sid Nagy
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14 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:


And Queen's day is King's day these days.

That shows how long ago it was!  😮 Oops, I mixed those dates up then. I must have been to two separate Dutch events on SL 😎

17 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

 

On top of that I totally dislike raw herring, pickled or not.  😱

I was going to do a 🤢 emoji but didn't want to create a diplomatic incident! Me too, though I've never had it 🙂

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