Geography is Clearly Not Your Cup of Tea, Ergo, Your Opinions on Those Countries Aren’t

If you go to the tourist traps of Austria, they sell bumper stickers that depict kangaroos with a line crossed through them. If you really think about this, this is clearly geared toward the ignorance of English speakers… after all, Austria in German is Österreich, whereas Australia in German is Australien.

Would I be wrong in declaring your opinion on the people of both “Australia” and “Austria” invalid if you can’t keep the two countries straight in your head?

Furthermore, though there’s never really an appropriate time or place to express your ignorant opinions of other cultures, doing so after demonstrating that you can’t even place the country you’re speaking of in the proper hemisphere is a special kind of fail.

What would make a fail like this even more special would be expressing such opinions near coworkers from similar cultures.  Luckily, those coworkers don’t seem to fit with the stereotypes that you express.

Not everyone speaks English as their first language.

Welcome to the world.

It’s a diverse place out here.

You will probably have to speak to someone eventually that doesn’t speak perfect {name your country as an adjective here} English.

You may have to listen closely.  You may have to ask politely for that person to repeat themselves.

This is all understandable.

However, it is unacceptable to angrily raise your voice in frustration because the other person doesn’t speak the same brand of English you do.

Of course, maybe you’re not raising your voice in frustration.  Maybe you’re just raising your voice to be understood better.  Let me point two things out:  First, the other person doesn’t have a hearing issue.  Second, you’re the one having difficulty understanding.

Thanks.