11 Dec 2015

11 Things Not To Say To An Austrian

As an Austrian who has lived in the UK for over two years now I have encountered several reactions and opinions, so I thought I would share a list of things you should (probably) not say to an Austrian.

Obviously this is not entirely serious and I in no way claim to represent all Austrians when writing this. Some of the best people I know have said several of those things to me (you know who you are), so as long as you are not entirely serious you can get away with it, us Austrians sometimes do understand a joke after all.

1. "So, you speak German then?"
Yes, technically we do. But we take a lot of pride in speaking Austrian rather than German. Austrian is very different to German in many ways and we consider it to be superior. We are also quite proud of the fact that in many occasions we understand the Germans whereas they don't understand us. If you speak a bit of German be prepared for us to teach you new words, we love doing that.

2. "Are there any famous Austrians?"
This is a question people usually ask before actually thinking about it. We have Hitler of course! But there are several Austrians that did less evil things, such as Schrödinger (the guy with the cat), Mozart (he likes chocolate right?) and many more. Most importantly with have David Alaba (who basically makes up the whole of our football team). Just try not to mention Arnold Schwarzenegger, we have a love hate relationship with the guy.

3. "Do all Austrians talk like Arnold Schwarzenegger?"
What did I just say?! Also, are you talking to me? Can you hear my voice? I clearly do not talk like Arnie and neither do most Austrians unless it's some sort of party trick. I don't know what sort of concoction of Austrian and American Arnie's accent is, but it is nothing that makes scientific sense.

4. "Everything in Austria is like the Sound of Music right?"
Umm...NO! Sorry to break it to you, but although I've never seen the film myself (and neither have my Austrian friends) I can tell you that we did not grow up dancing on mountain tops with bad CGI. Certainly, we do have a tendency to wear traditional dresses every now and then, but even on those occasions we are more likely to sing songs like this rather than something about hills or goats (anyone ever notice that all of these songs are in english?!).


5. "What is Schnitzel?"
Honestly, do your research. It's only the most amazing food in the whole world (no I'm not bias or anything). If you really don't know then just ask us and we'll be happy to provide a detailed explanation of the dish, including what sides to serve it with and where you can get the best schnitzel in our hometown.

6. "I went on a skiing holiday in Austria once."
Oh how wonderful. Honestly this is probably a good conversation starter with most Austrians as (and yes that is a cliché that is more or less true) a lot of us love skiing. I don't ski, I'm not even a big fan of snow, so chances are wherever you went on your skiing holiday is a place I want to hear nothing about.

7. "is Austria any good at football then?"
Are you English? Then we are actually only one FIFA ranking below you, so don't sound so condescending. Chances are come the Euros we will do better than you. Also, we have Alaba.

8. "So, was Hitler actually Austrian?"
Yes, but don't blame us for that bastard. We dislike him just as much as you do, in fact, probably even more, you know since he either killed our ancestors or left us to deal with having nazis as grandparents. You're ok to joke about Hitler though, most of us are fine with that.

9. "But, you don't look Austrian"
What does that even mean? Not only is it slightly racist, but it also just points out that there is no one way to look Austrian. We are in the middle of Europe, we are a small country, think! Most of us don't have typical Austrian sounding last names either. We are a very diverse country which is something we should be proud of.

10a. "So, are there really that many mountains in Austria?"
No, not really.


10b. "I walked up this mountain the other day..." (when referring to somewhere in the UK)
Nope, not a mountain mate. Chances are it was more of a hill. We also won't accept you complaining about snow. Although we find it entertaining when you get seriously excited about some 100 snowflakes that are barely visible.

11. "Merry christmas" on the 25th of December. Or referring to Santa Claus/Father Christmas as the one who brings the presents
In Austria, christmas is on the 24th of December (christmas eve for you),  that's when we have christmas dinner, that's when we get our presents, and we have a real christmas tree, not those plastic ones. And the Christkindl brings the presents. Sorry to break it to you, but Santa isn't real!

Seriously, the hills are not alive.

1 comment:

Thomas Fox said...

Ich bin sicher, dass Sie den Film "The Sound of Music" gesehen! Und Sie haben es geliebt!