Why can't Americans distinguish between Switzerland and Sweden?
I think most can.
I don't know anyone that gets them confused.
In Austria, the tourist shops have signs reading, "No kangaroos in Austria." The humor is aimed at Americans.
Excuse me? I know my geography. I've been to Switzerland and Sweden. I enjoyed the sites of both. I even had sex in Stockholm and Sex in Zurich. I knew where I was. And I know now.
"Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?"
MISS SOUTH CAROLINA TEEN USA: I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children.
But what the difference between Austria and Australia? That stumps me all the time!
What is a Denmark/Netherlands switcheroo? People confuse Holland with Denmark?
I'm fairly good at geography, but the name changes in countries, especially in Africa, can sometimes be a puzzle. I think there was one nation that changed to a new name and, a few years later, went back to their old name.
Then you have incidents where some countries refused to use the name Myanmar and insisted it still be listed as Burma.
Chulalongkorn, King of Siam
that actually makes me happy to hear, R8. I took my partner to Germany 7 months after we met. We flew into Amsterdam, he called it Denmark. I thought it was really weird to confuse the two. We have been together for 8 years; so, yeh, I got over it.
Why do you capitalize "Sex" when referring to your experience in Zurich but do not with respect to Stockholm? Did you have some malady or syndrome as a result of the sex in Stockholm that caused you to diminish it?
Sweden and Switzerland were neutral during World War I and World War II. That was an issue for other European countries in World War II, so damaged by the Nazis -- especially Norway, Finland and Denmark (and right so, for many Jewish people).
It is much less of issue all these years later.
I like Sweden more than Switzerland...some of the most friendly people in the world. I always think of Stockholm as Europe's unknown gem.
The swiss are hotter.
I went to a private school, where in 6th grade we had to pass three "countries and capitals" tests for Europe, Asia and Africa. A blank map (ditto sheet, for those in the know) with several countries indicated A, B, C etc.
[quote]Why do you capitalize "Sex" when referring to your experience in Zurich but do not with respect to Stockholm?
Because the primary language in Zurich is German, and in German nouns are capitalized, whereas in Swedish they aren't.
[quote] I think there was one nation that changed to a new name and, a few years later, went back to their old name.
That happened with Cambodia, which during the Khmers Rouges regime in the late 70s wanted to be known in English as Kampuchea (the name of the country in the Khmer language). After the Khmers Rouges were overthrown, they revered to Cambodia in English.
The former Belgian colony of Congo was Zaire for decades after independence. Now it's Congo again, as is the former French colony across the river. You have to specify whether you mean Congo-Kinshasa (a/k/a the Democratic Republic of the Congo) or Congo-Brazzaville.
There are the different Guineas: the French one is the default Guinea, whereas the Portuguese one is Guinea-Bissau.
OP gurl, I think this is directed at straight rednecks? I think gays know the difference.
[quote]People confuse Holland with Denmark?
yes, they will make idiot statements like, "I LOVE the Dutch, I can't wait to go to Copenhagen".
[quote]What is a Denmark/Netherlands switcheroo? People confuse Holland with Denmark?
It's the adjectives. People confuse Dutch and Danish.
I know, right?
I've been to Guinea and Guinea-Bissaru, so it's easy to tell the difference. Every nation I've visited in Africa has had either a coup or civil war since I've been there. While sitting in the airport getting ready to leave Sierra Leone, the place suddenly filled up with people fleeing a revolution that started that morning just down the road in Liberia.
I used to live in Switzerland. When I'd come to the States, everybody would ask me if I spoke Swedish...
The worst thing though: I once ordered a bunch of pricey stuff from Neiman-Marcus and they sent it to Swaziland.
"In Austria, the tourist shops have signs reading, 'No kangaroos in Austria.' The humor is aimed at Americans."
No, they aren't. There aren't enough American tourists in Austria to warrant such a sign.
It is for the Brits, hon.
Sweden and Switz weren't "neutral" so much as they were profiteers and enablers. The Swedes gave the Nazis war materiel they could not have carried on the war without. And the Swiss hid their money.
Speak for yourself
The Swiss are hotter, but the Swedes have something so sexual about them....
Okay, I think we all get the Austria/Australia thing no matter how lame.
However, why is there confusion between Sweden and Switzerland?
[quote]However, why is there confusion between Sweden and Switzerland?
Because they both start with Sw- and are vaguely thought to be somewhere in the cold part of Europe. Beyond that, the sort of people who confuse the two don't know anything else about these places.
R29. If people don't know the difference between Sweden and Switzerland, then there's a hell of a lot more they don't know, probably like the name of the vice president of the U.S. and a thousand other things they should know.
But I bet they know about the famewhore Kardashians.
I love Zimbabwe!
Always the contrarian, R30, I can find Swaziland on the map, but have no idea who the hell the Kardashians are, and why I should care about headlines featuring the trashy woman!
Besides Sweden and Switzerland, and Austria and Australia, Americans frequently confuse Slovenia and Slovakia, Uruguay and Paraguay, and Oakland and Aukland.
If Americans are confusing Oakland and Aukland, this is a new low.
I always giggle when Americans ask if England is near the UK.
Actually, your typical American is fully aware that "Sweden" is officially "Konungariket Sverige" and "Switzerland" is officially "Confoederatio Helvetica" (of course, Latin for Swiss Confederation). Since one name begins with a K and the other with a C, they two are rarely confused.
Sweden has the Skarsgards so they win.
"There aren't enough American tourists in Austria to warrant such a sign."
You've never been to Austria, have you, r24? Stand on Stephansplatz for 10 minutes on any summer day and get back to me on how many regional US accents you hear (hint: lots).
Or were you thinking of Sydney?
".... Oakland and Aukland. ..."
The current generation of Americans is just not that bright.
Can witness. Is so.
Almost uniformly in US middle class, response to "Goin' ta Sweden" is, "Mmm, chocolate."
"No," sez I, "That's Switzers."
I don't think it's as bad as self-loathing Americans, and their glee-filled foreign counterparts, think it is either.
Don't feel too bad, OP, I get Michigan and Wisconsin mixed up too.
And Iowa and Ohio.
R41, are you Chewy McNip?
[quote]If Americans are confusing Oakland and Aukland, this is a new low.
They did that on an episode of FULL HOUSE, which is set in San Francisco. Stephanie and Michelle mistakenly board a plane bound for Auckland, but they think because of the accent they're saying Oakland. Stephanie's like, "Oakland? That's right across the bay... Why don't they just drive there?"
It's the CANCER OP.
I think it was Jessica Simpson who first confused Austria and Australia. It was about the same time that couldn't grasp that Chicken of the Sea was really tuna. Those days were before the true dumbing down of America.
The Austria/Australia confusion has been going forever. Jessica Simpson didn't "invent" it. When I was a teen in the mid-1990s I was living in a residential home. One Saturday morning I was watching THE SOUND OF MUSIC and a staff and another housemate soon joined me. When my housemate learned that the movie takes place in Austria, she asked, "The land down under?" She was being serious. Humor and sarcasm were not her forte. Anyway, I explained the difference between the two countries.
Just as I was reading this thread, Dumb & Dumber was playing in the background on the TV right on the bit at the start where Jim Carrey confuses Austria with Australia.
Oh, and R24, as stupid as we Britons might be, we would never confuse Austria with Australia.
BTW: Confusing Austria/Australia is an understandable mistake since they're spelled almost alike, look similar on paper, and the first two syllables are similar as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the confusion goes back as far as the founding of Australia.
R48/R50, why to the founding of Australia? Why not bacHk to the founding of Austria?
R51, because Australia came after Austria, which goes back several centuries. Before Australia, I reckon people didn't confuse Austria with anything else since Australia didn't exist yet.
What's the difference? In WWII Sweden and Switzerland (along with a few other Europussy nations) pretended to be neutral while secretly sucking Hitler's cock. Proving what lying, opportunistic, parasite cowards both these failed, now muslim-fellating nations are.
R53: and the Tea Party posts on DL again.
Well, someone had to suck the dicks........
Myanmar, Burma, which is it?
R48/R50, thanks for your response. Who is the vice president of the United States?
[quote]but have no idea who the hell the Kardashians are, and why I should care about headlines featuring the trashy woman!
Soooo.... you DO have an idea....
Most local people still say "Burma" R56
In Mumbai, it's not uncommon to hear the locals say "Bombay".
I confuse Paraguay and Uruguay.
I have no idea who she is EXCEPT that I see headlines about her. My mother sort of explained it to me about the baby's parents being married to other people.
R57, Uh, Joe Biden, of course. Why?
Because, R48/R50 according to R30, "there's a hell of a lot more they don't know, probably like the name of the vice president of the U.S."
OP, Americans CAN distinguish between them. However if a country sounds similar naturally people will slip up and say one when they mean the other.
The say happens with Australia and Austria. They are obviously completely different countries-- in different hemispheres. However their names sound similar, that in speaking you might accidentally say one.
This sounds more like something Europeans NEED to believe about Americans. And it is getting annoying. And it only makes those that say and think it appear to have a inferiority complex.
R64 Stop being so defensive. Stupid people are everywhere, but we have a lot of them.
This "Americans are stupid" fad is old and tired.
I agree with R64, it's something that Europeans need to believe, as Europe continues to plummet down the drain, although the average European is no more intelligent than the average American.
R65, stop being such a pussy. Ask anyone in the whole continents of Africa, South America, or Asia the difference, and get back to us with the results.
Europe is corrupted by money and the people are fighting back.
America is also corrupted by money - far worse, yet they watch Foxnews and yell USA #1!!!.
A pussy? Which definition are you going for there?
Please prepare for our landing in Tanzania...
I'm sorry, it is now called "New Zanzibar"
Excuse me. It is now called "Pepsi presents New Zanzibar."
Tanzania or Tasmania, R70?
OP, it all started when IKEA started selling hot chocolate.
One makes cheese and really good watches, the other makes Volvos- which are shitty Btw.
It gets so complicated when you add Swaziland into the mix.
[quote]Why can't Americans distinguish between Switzerland and Sweden?
Why would we need to?
R66, do you have a source for that statement?
Both are Germanic, neutral and begin with "Sw". Lots of people who know full well that Switzerland is in Central Europe and has French and German speakers (among others) while Sweden is a Skandinavian country in Northern Europe with its own language STILL have the occasional brain fart and confuse the two words.
I have never heard of the Netherlands/Denmark switch. That's weird. And confusing Austria with Australia is just beyond stupid.
I would compare Sweden more to Denmark, Scotland and Norway than Germany. The residents of all four countries (yes, I know Scotland is not a country yet) tend to hold their emotions in check far more than those from Mediterranean counties. Not a bad thing at all
R78, Scotland IS a country (one within the United Kingdom), and despite the heavy Nordic influences in the Shetlands, Orkneys, and Outer Hebrides, it is a Celto-Germanic country. What in your opinion makes it like the Scandinavian countries?
[quote]Both are Germanic, neutral and begin with "Sw
You might get umbrage from them about that. A lot of the Swiss don't speak German at all, and the swedes prefer to think of themselves as "Scandinavians" as distinct from their neighbors south of the Baltic.
Yes, but where is Freedonia?
[quote]Confusing Austria/Australia is an understandable mistake since they're spelled almost alike, look similar on paper, and the first two syllables are similar as well. I wouldn't be surprised if the confusion goes back as far as the founding of Australia.
Miss Teen South Carolina is posting here again.
Why is it so hard to believe that some people would confuse Australia and Austria? I'm not saying their cultures and people are the same. But Australia and Austria do look similar on paper and when you sound it out.
but EVERYONE is aware of it and takes care not to make such a laughable mistake.
When buying travel size shampoo and shaving cream, the check-out girl said, "It looks like you're going on a trip." I told her I was going to Austria. She replied, "I guess you'll be eating a lot of fish."
No doubt she figured Austrians do a lot of fishing since they have all those oceans around their country.
Sweden -- land of blondes, lingonberries, midnight sun and that character on the IKEA instruction paper who is always scratching his head, which has a cloud above it containing a ?
Switzerland -- chocolate, leiderhosen, peaked caps, those hideous Alp horns, watches and legal money laundering.
On the contrary R85, she could see you were a Mary worshipper from a hundred meters away.
Dont forget the cuckoo clock
[quote] I confuse Paraguay and Uruguay.
One has a coast, though. The other is landlocked.
R85, that reminds me. I never understood how in THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Captain von Trapp was a "retired officer of the royal navy," when Austria is a landlocked country.
R90, the austro-Hungarian empire DID have a coast- in the Adriatic. We now call that region Croatia or Slovenia
R87 - toxic poster of the type described in another thread.
Although Paraguay is a landlocked country, it has a strong naval tradition by virtue of the fact that it has access to the Atlantic Ocean through the Paraguay–Paraná rivers. The Paraguayan Navy has twelve bases.
Sweden and Switzerland are both beautiful countries with pristine areas that begin with 's'. White people and lakes are involved...there you go. Often when Americans go to Europe for the first time, they choose one or the other on the itinerary. I don't see ppl confusing the two, but rather linking them.
[quote]Sweden and Switzerland are both beautiful countries with pristine areas that begin with 's'. White people and lakes are involved...there you go.
Just like San Diego and Savannah. Both are major cities on an ocean. It's no wonder Americans get them confused. Then there's Lucerne and Lima -- all those high mountains beyond the city.