What Europeans think of each other

This is a basic backgrounder for Americans, primarily, who might think Europeans do nothing all day but bitch about Americans. Don’t get me wrong—they do love bitching about Americans. But they also like bitching about each other, as well. Bordering countries, especially, have complex caricatures of each other, even when an outsider might think they’re more or less the same. The following is based on my numerous interactions with Europeans, having lived there for 4 years. Here’s a run down:

The French — Disliked by some Spanish (particularly the Catalonians), for being arrogant. One woman from Barcelona told me, “Come on, who really likes the French? Nobody!” The Swiss don’t like the fact that they have contempt for authority and are lazy. The Brits, of course, have the most mixed feelings about the French, though. One half the country hates them, the other half loves them. Those that hate the French tend to like the Americans, and vice versa. In the UK, they’re considered stinky, rude (they never line/queue up like decent people), and a bit yellow, based on their tendency to not fend off invaders like the Nazis.The French, in turn, dislike the British, look down on Belgians for being stupid, and don’t have much to say, in my experience, about Spaniards or Germans (oddly).

The Italians — Most of the stereotypes are positive, but mostly because of the food. Northern Europeans consider them lazy and flaky, and maybe incapable of managing anything right (mostly because of the 50+ governments they’ve had since WW2). One Dutch professor I had dismissed another Italian one, saying, “All the Italians care about are pasta and mamma.”Italians, in turn, don’t have strong feelings about other Europeans, but within Italy, the north-south divide is pretty strong. Northern Italians continuously complain that Southerners are lazy and unproductive, while Southerners complain that Northerners are devoid of culture or joie de vivre.

The Germans — Germans are considered industrious but uptight and humorless, by just about all the other Europeans. They know WW2 is a sore spot for them, so other Europeans will often mercilessly tease them about it. As much as Germany is considered an economic powerhouse, the vast majority of Europeans don’t really want to learn German or study there (or send their kids there to study). The food is considered uninspired, too, and only Berlin has some cachet among younger Europeans for its vibrant underground club scene. The most anti-German sentiments are among the Dutch and Danish, who just hate them from invading their countries too often. When German ask for directions in Holland, they’re usually given directions to the shortest way out of the country, or told “Give us back our bikes!”, a reference to the fact that Germans confiscated Dutch bicycles during WW2.Danes hate it when you pronounce their capital as “ko-pen-HAH-gen”, because this is the German pronunciation. Either pronounce it the English way (with “HAY” instead), or the Danish way, which is literally impossible to put down here.Germans tend to like their Western neighbors far more than they are liked by them, but they look down on their Eastern neighbors, particularly Poles. They, oddly, have some mixed respect for the Czechs, who have resisted German aggression.

The Scandinavians — Widely respected by most other Europeans, because of their high standard of living …and blond hair and blue eyes. However, within Scandinavia there are some persistent stereotypes. The Norwegians, Danes and Finns all think the Swedes are stupid and uptight. Norwegians are considered racist. Danes are considered more blunt than the others, maybe a bit more cranky, and the Finns are oddly introverted, even by Scandinavian standards. Except for the Danes really disliking Germans, and Finns really disliking Russians, they don’t really have anything against other Europeans.

The Belgians — Considered idiots by both the Dutch and the French. Belgians, in turn, consider the Dutch to be a bunch of cranky assholes, and French stuck-up.

The Dutch — The Dutch, like the Scandinavians, have an enviable economy and social order that’s admired by southern European countries. However, they do have a reputation of being self-righteous “know-it-alls” and very similar to their German cousins in terms of their rigidity. But they do not like any comparisons to Germans, and if you remind them that the Dutch national anthem makes a reference to the Dutch being “van Duitse bloed” (from German blood), you might quickly get the silent treatment. The Dutch are also disliked for being the biggest misers in Europe, and because of this they incur the wrath of the tourist industry wherever they travel. The Dutch have been known to stock up on water before they take their campers down to the south of France.The Dutch, in turn, kind of look down on just about everyone. Yes, there’s a bit of a reason for the “know-it-all” smart-ass reputation they have.

The Swiss — Considered extremely rigid, even by the Germans. Blunt to the point of being rude, the Swiss probably have the least likely reputation for being characterized as “friendly” or “warm”. Note that there is a big cultural divide between French-speaking Swiss, and the German-speaking Swiss. The former are almost exactly like the French, except having a blander cuisine and more respect for authority, the latter being more like the Germans except even more stiff, rigid and cranky. However, everyone knows Switzerland “works” so the fact that foreigners comprise 20% of the population (mostly from EU member states) should make this clear.Note that the German-speaking Swiss also speak their own variant of German, which sounds very strange if you’ve only been exposed to standard “hoch-Deutsch”.

The Spaniards — Honestly, very little antagonism against the Spanish or by the Spanish. No one really seems to dislike them, and they don’t seem to really dislike anyone else. (Yes, some Spaniards near the border to France don’t like the French very much) Not entirely sure why. However, God forbid you speak Spanish with a Latin American accent — there is still a lot of snobbery among Spaniards towards Latin Americans. Spaniards consider themselves white and European, and would be deeply insulted if you suggested they were Latin American of any kind.

The Greeks — Only nominally considered European by other Europeans, but the Greeks fiercely identify as European. Naturally, this is a huge irritant to Greeks.

The Poles — Not much seems to register about Poland and the Poles except that they’re quiet. They are a relatively big country (40 million people) so the supposed scare of being overrun by Eastern Europeans when a bunch of Eastern European countries joined the EU in 2005 focused in on the Poles. The Germans really don’t like Poles, and among Germany’s 9 neighbors, are disliked the most. Poland is considered a country of car thieves by the Germans. Really, the relationship between Germany and Poland is similar to that of the United States and Mexico, and often for many of the same reasons (differences in income, history of war, different languages, etc.).Poles really shore up their hatred for their eastern & southern neighbors, primarily Russia and Ukraine, although they don’t like Czechs, Slovaks or Lithuanians either. Oddly, they don’t really mind the Germans, and probably still fear them a bit — you never, ever hear jokes about Germans in Poland.

The Czechs — Considered a relatively bright spot of Eastern Europe by Western Europeans, but I think primarily because Prague is such a gorgeous city and a popular tourist destination. Czechs are a bit like Germans, though — a bit rude, blunt, and cold. Poles don’t have much good to say about them.

The Austrians — Considered a mix of the best & worst aspects of Germany and the Balkans, Austrians are considered laid-back but very nationalistic and racist. They’re said to be the birthplace of Hitler, but never came around to being fully apologetic about the Holocaust (unlike Germany). Neutral feelings from most ofWestern Europe, negative feelings from Germans (who consider them backwards, and not always the representing the best image of German-speaking people) and admired by Eastern Europeans (a throwback to the Hapsburgs).

The British – About half of the British would be really angry at being called European, so that should provide an apt starting point. The main beef with the Brits is that they’re considered the lapdog of the U.S., and are anti-European because the U.S. tells them to be so. They are considered polite, but maybe a bit two-faced (hence “Janus Britain”) and snobby. The Scots and Welsh are tolerated and liked, inasmuch as that no one really knows too much about them outside the UK, but the English are those that bear the brunt of negative sentiments among other Europeans. After all, London is in England.
The English also have a poor reputation in tourist traps, such as Amsterdam and Ibiza, for being loud-mouthed, obnoxious drunks.
The English, in turn, really seem to hate everyone. This is because it’s pretty hard to find an Englishman that has even, at best, neutral opinions about other Europeans (or Americans, or other nationalities). Europe is full of English expats, and the longer they live abroad, the more they seem to hate their host country. And yet they never seem to want to move home.

The Irish — A very small country, despite its exaggerated importance in Americans’ minds (just over 4.6 million in the Republic of Ireland) but considered polite and humble. They nominally dislike the English, but I have yet to meet an Irishman who really loathes the English. The sentiments towards the Irish and by the Irish seem to be positive, overall.
I personally don’t know much about how the Portuguese, Hungarians, Romanians, Bulgarians, and others are perceived, or how they perceive others, but if you have something to add, please do so in the comments below.

I’ll leave you with this poster I saw in an Italian office years ago, that helps sum it up in some ways:

In Heaven…

  • the mechanics are German
  • the chefs are French
  • the police are British
  • the lovers are Italian
  • and everything is organized by the Swiss.

In Hell…

  • the mechanics are French
  • the police are German
  • the chefs are British
  • the lovers are Swiss
  • and everything is organized by the Italians.

Update: Here’s my follow-up after this post got an avalanche of traffic and comments.

Another update: Here’s a related post on what Americans think about Europeans.

And another: 20 ways to slice up Europe.

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  1. Good article!
    When I read about the Dutch I thought like.. “Yep, that’s me allright!”! 😀
    You forgot one thing about the French though which whole Europe seems to dislike, the fact that they don’t speak english and if they do, they won’t.
    And the Belgiums are considerd dumb by the Dutch (which is not true) and the Belgiams think we are cheap (which is true)!

    The reason North-Europe seems to dislike the south is because they are “lazy”. But in my opinion it’s because the south has more culture and enjoys like, carpe diem! North-Europe is more like, life to work! So I admire the southern countries for that one, they do know how to live their lifes!

    Great article, very true and entertaining!

    Comment by wesleyvk — February 20, 2008 @ 6:22 am

  2. do some study before you post anything – no german jokes in poland (but i can’t expect you to understand polish, right?), czechs resisted resisted germany (not much really), i don’t know much of the dutch and danish but trust me, poles (especially older people) have as much love to germans as – according to you – these other nations do. quiet nation (true or not (more likely) i’ll take it for the silence is golden).

    Comment by polak ;) — February 20, 2008 @ 6:22 am

  3. I think this article can only been have written by an english or american for their ignorance about completely ignoring (or not even knowing) Luxembourg which is located in THE HEART OF EUROPE!!!

    Comment by Georges — February 20, 2008 @ 6:31 am

  4. Being Germany myself (thought living abroad) I have to disagree just a little bit. I respect a lot of the dutch for their sort of economic habit of saving, however there are others I feel that are just as stupid as the drunken- stuck-up ass hole brits. (which pretty much sums up my opinion of the brits).

    I respect the Czechs and the Poles for being hard workers.

    The Danish are pretty insignificant so I haven’t heard of the deep resentment that you mentioned.

    If anything most of the racism that I hear is against the Turks who are often remarked as “Overrunning the Country with Cheap Labor” even though from a more economic stand point the Romanians work for much less.

    Comment by Niklas K — February 20, 2008 @ 6:39 am

  5. […] likes the French. Here’s a look at what Europeans think of each […]

    Pingback by AMERICAN NONSENSE » The Wall Street Humor Daily Links — February 20, 2008 @ 6:39 am

  6. Here in England we refuse to be part of ‘Europe’. We have no need for them as we already rule (own) most of the world!

    The US, India, Australia, Canada, South Africa and New Zealand are still part of our empire and we don’t want to hear anything more about it.

    Comment by Jon — February 20, 2008 @ 7:01 am

  7. about the Danes:
    we generally dislike the germans because of the war, but are keen on working with them because they are good, precise workmen.
    Poland is disliked because of the great number of cheap workers they have uphere. The whole “they steal our jobs for lesser pay” deal.
    the swedes and norse are our siblings, so we both love and fight with them with a passion. 🙂
    We always try to present us as a good rolemodel for the environmental issues and other related topics. Mainly because we want to be noticed in the international society; We are a small country after all.

    Comment by imonsei — February 20, 2008 @ 7:30 am

  8. About Germans:
    “they look down on their Eastern neighbors, particularly Poles. They, oddly, have some mixed respect for the Czechs, who have resisted German aggression.”

    I strongly suggest you read up on history before you put up stuff like this.
    Czechoslovakia (at the time) capitulated after a few weeks without much fight (there was resistance of course, as in most places) while Poland was fighting back for a month, while Soviets were attacking from the other side.

    Comment by matt — February 20, 2008 @ 7:30 am

  9. a lot of speculation and ‘i heard this from one guy so the whole country must think this’ knowledge.
    on some accounts right, but a lot of falsehoods in this article.

    Comment by Daniel — February 20, 2008 @ 7:36 am

  10. Emily M. I really hope you were kidding about your profession 🙂

    Comment by Srussian — February 20, 2008 @ 8:22 am

  11. Ey, you should have noted (i.e., I’m Dutch) that *everyone* hates the French because every peasant there considers himself to be the Sun King compared to foreigners. France, as is widely known, is a fantastic country if only those ghastly French wouldn’t live there.
    And you missed the Great Garlic Divide. Any country that has garlic as staple diet (roughly speaking, all ‘southern’, ‘Catholic’ countries which includes half of Belgium (Wallon, culturally integral part of France)) is considered self-centered, unclean and smelly (guess why) and disorganised by the Northeners who consider themselves model citizens in modern societies. Personally, I’m unsure whether that latter is acknowledged from the South… ;-]
    As said, Belgium isn’t one country. It’s Wallon in the South, very French, and Vlaanderen in the North, considered substitute Netherlands.
    Oh and that part on Dutch misers: When a Dutchman and a Belgian are in a restaurant, the Belgian will sneak off leaving the bill for the Dutchman, who on average tips much more generous than the Belgian… You should have known, I tell you!

    Comment by Joerie — February 20, 2008 @ 8:22 am

  12. Having lived in several European countries, I agree to most of what you wrote, but the stereotypes you portray all are a bit dated. It feels like something that would have been dead-on around 1990ish, but since then a lot has happened.

    Comment by Bjoern Olson — February 20, 2008 @ 8:35 am

  13. “Spaniards consider themselves white and European, and would be deeply insulted if you suggested they were Latin American of any kind.”

    Are you surprised! They are European, and you’d have to be very ignorant to think otherwise.

    Comment by James — February 20, 2008 @ 8:46 am

  14. OK, piece of junk. But what should one expect from not EU citizen.
    Anyway if you want to learn sth:
    – Poles are loving jokes about Germans and Russians (everyone knows that – since I was child we were talkin’ those)
    – Czechs DID not resist nazis! Where have you been when history was taught?
    Truth is – that car stealing WAS a problem – and it WAS true.

    Comment by Maciej — February 20, 2008 @ 8:58 am

  15. Nice 😉
    One addition: the north west part of france really *loathes* germans (because of the war I guess). I you are on holiday there and speak a ‘german sounding’ (to the french) language like dutch/danish/norwegian/swedish you need to open every conversation with stating you are not german, or you will we treated quit unfriendly. Luckily this phenomenon mostly applies to the older generations, who cannot hear the difference between german/dutch, so if you are on holiday there as a german it is easy to just tell them you’re dutch 😉

    Comment by mm — February 20, 2008 @ 9:01 am

  16. As someone living in the UK, i wanted to point out some facts. The English are very arrogant, the only people I have met more arrogant that the dutch or french. They sort of have a right to be, as they haven’t been conquered in 800 years, and had a huge empire that contained 1/4 of the world population. It is correct, 1/2 hate the europeans, 1/2 hate the americans.

    The Scots hate the british with a passion, mainly because they are all bitter and miserable. It doesn’t help that they get even worse weather than England, and are not very good at any sports. The scots love the French and vice versa, but it is more a common hatred of the English. Surprisingly, this hasn’t united Ireland and Scotland as much.

    Nobody hates the Irish, partly because they are very relaxed people, partly because they are a small country.

    The brits see Southern Europe, spanish, italians and greeks and lazy and inept. This doesn’t just come from the world wars, but from dealing with them on a continued basis. If you know that you are going to be dealing with people from there, you need to take that into consideration, and add extra time to your project. They see the Eastern Europeans as criminals, and slightly lower down than them, but this is an attitude throughout Western Europe. They know that they are hard workers though, so won’t mind hiring, but would like to keep an extra eye on them.

    The Brits themselves are quite lazy, will try to do anything to get out of work, offer really bad customer service, are polite and quite smart.

    Comment by cak — February 20, 2008 @ 9:04 am

  17. The Portuguese have an inferiority complex towards their Western European neighbours. They even feel inferior to their former colony, Brazil! They don’t much like the Spanish due to a history of attempted invasions. The Portuguese, in turn, are looked down on by the Spanish but you need to go to France to really get a reaction. The Portuguese emigrated there in mass numbers to staff building sites, become farm labourers and concierges and therefore tend to be the butt of jokes. The Brits have long used Portugal as a cheap holiday destination and are locally known as “Come-on” because they constantly say this when dealing with lazy Portuguese labourers. Many companies refuse to do business in Portugal as they never pay their bills and the court system doesn’t work.
    Having said all that, the status of Portugal is now on the rise as Eastern nations find lower rungs on the European ladder.

    Comment by Dom — February 20, 2008 @ 9:07 am

  18. Missed Spanish consider Portuguese a bunch of losers. Also, there is a great divide between Northen and Southern Spain: Catalonians consider Andalusians lazy (and, oh yeah, Madrillians upstarts) and everybody else considers Catalonians mean and too nationalistic for their own good.

    Comment by Paul C. Brown — February 20, 2008 @ 9:10 am

  19. I think you got the part on the Spanish wrong. They tend to stay in their country, do not speak any other languages and whenever they leave Spain they keep talking about Spanish food and how bad it is everywhere else. They tend to ignore the Portuguese even though they are their only neighbours except for France. To go to Portugal on holiday for the Spanish is like going to Poland for a German.

    Comment by Alex — February 20, 2008 @ 9:13 am

  20. While this is vaguely accurate for Belgium, it does not properly break the Belgians into two groups – the Flemish (who speak Flemish/Dutch) and the Wallonians (who speak French). This does not change what either the Dutch or French speak, only the return … Although, most of Europe sees the Belgians as bureaucratic.

    Flemish think the Dutch are unthinking assholes and think the French are stuck up socialists.
    Wallonians think the Dutch are socially and culturally inept while the French are too pompous (for example: about pronunciation).

    Also, I’ve met quite a few Irish who dislike the English (though they tend not to have problems with the Welsh or Scotts). And the English love to rail on the Scotts or Welsh while the Welsh love to rail on the English and Scotts and the Scotts love to rail (drunkenly) on everyone (in incomprehensible drunkenese).

    At least, in my experience….

    Comment by XPat in Belgium — February 20, 2008 @ 9:15 am

  21. @isabella snow: Nice how you allege an example for 2 points mentioned in the article, a) the retarded compulsion of the Brits to tell jokes about Germans+WW2 and b) to look down on other Europeans.

    Comment by Christopher — February 20, 2008 @ 9:36 am

  22. Nicely done. I would have comments but no quibbles — the essay is the kind of converstation that happens in Europe among those who have long lived in Europe.

    Comment by Tom — February 20, 2008 @ 9:39 am

  23. I’m English so can only really speak from that perspective.

    Dislike of the French is so core to the English phyche and has been for over a 1000 years that put simply you can’t be English unless you dislike the French.

    We’ve faught two world wars against the Germans, but we STILL like the Germans more than the French.

    On the subject of Europe.

    The thing you have to remember is that we have more in common with America than we do with the European mainland. In America they speak English, in Europe they speak a vast number of pointless languages (including French) so our culture pulls us one way and our geography another. Europe in the form of the European Union coalesced because they needed each other, they were neighbours, we on the other hand had a choice and because of that have never felt we needed to be “European”. So indeed alot of Europeans see us as Lapdogs of the US and likely as not it’s not far from the truth, the problem is we see the alternatives as worse, Europe talks and does nothing, it’s largely ineffective at anything outside it’s borders and usually it has the French trying to do everything the wrong way and while we would like a unified european foreign policy the French would like to impose a thousand petty rules which stifle us (over generalisation I’ll grant).

    So basically if you got rid of the French everything would be fine.

    However I must point out, please hurry up and elect Obama, for the love of god we’re getting tired of being the lapdogs of country run by an idiot.

    Comment by Rob — February 20, 2008 @ 9:40 am

  24. Coupla things:
    – the Spanish and no real dislikes by or from or between?! What about the Basques?! (And to a lesser extent, the other regions with strong identities that really don’t like Castilians.)
    – the Dutch are not perceived as quite the biggest misers in Europe, instead it’s the Scots. But the Dutch are some of the most travelsome people in Europe, whereas most Scots are — heh — too cheap too cross the channel, so it’s mostly the English who know about the Scots’ extreme thriftiness. The Flemish do have many, many jokes about miserly Dutch (to counter the Dutch jokes about spendthrift, stupid, feckless Flemish).
    – Austria is not merely “said to be” the birthplace of Hitler, it was.
    – Europeans “mercilessly teasing” Germans about WW2? Not bloody likely. Teasing implies lighthearted fun, and WW2 and Nazism are still grave, sore points across much of Europe. And they will probably remain deeply sore points until the last survivors — which includes children born during WW2 and any who associate the post-WW2 rationing systems they experienced with things they heard their parents say about Germany — have died. “Never let the Germans forget for a minute,” yes. “Tease,” no.

    Comment by tourne — February 20, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  25. That EU joke notwithstanding, my experiences with German police over the past 14 years have been far and away better than those with cops in almost any other country. You can actually walk up to them, ask them a question and they’ll answer you. Rather than harassing some guy across the street from my flat this morning and towing his car because it was at a bus stop, the cops actually tried to help him get his engine running.

    Cops here are generally helpful and respectful, and much of their training focuses on situation de-escalation. Even the border cops are generally a good lot. French and Italian cops, they’re right up there with the Eastern Europeans and the US.

    The only other inconsistency I found was that in Scandinavia, “stupid” is normally applied to Norway, not Sweden. This is probably because within ten minutes any conversation in Norwegian turns to the Vikings and how they might’ve been a bit less developed than other invaders but they were still “pretty all right” as far as invaders go,

    Comment by ReallyEvilCanine — February 20, 2008 @ 9:56 am

  26. It’s a good list.

    As a Brit though I can tell you that you got it wrong about the Spaniards! They have a reputation for being lazy procrastinators.

    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma%C3%B1ana_attitude

    Comment by Hudders — February 20, 2008 @ 10:03 am

  27. I’m English and have lived abroad (in Europe) Since ’99. In that time, I’ve lived in Germany (1.5yrs), Belgium (1yr), France (3 yrs) and now Holland (nearly 3yrs) I’ve learnt and spoken to a relatively high level German and French. I’ve had girlfriends in all of these countries but not necessarily of the nationality of where I was living (Swedish, Hungarian, German, Belgian, English, Spanish … ). And, I always try and settle into the local way of life as-much-as-possible.

    What I’ve learnt through all my experiences are that, the English have more in common with the Germans than we don’t have in common. They do have a sense of humour but it is about 30 years behind us. They love Monty Python, for example.

    In Belgium (Antwerp), they just like to have a good time and I think Belgium just gets bad PR.

    France …….. Planet France, I call it. I’m an Anglo and found it very difficult to settle. As an intelligent, white person coming from a rich country, I was still looked down upon to a certain degree. I can only begin to imagine how difficult it must be for North Africans to make a go of it. But, the French people are warm, just difficult to get close to. And the women are gorgeous to look at but difficult to get close to.

    And the Dutch make me laugh for their honesty and tell-it-as-it-is approach. That’s the way I like to do business. But the food is atrocious.

    During these last 8-9 years, I’ve also spent 3 months in Australia and NZ. Lovely countries but I couldn’t wait to get back to Europe to be surrounded by the languages and cultures. We are very lucky over here and we should cherish what we have.

    As for England, I don’t miss it much.I like English/British people but we’ve lost our way. We look west too much towards America instead of looking South and East to our lovely European neighbours.

    As for English food …… traditional English cooking (done the right way) has to be the best I’ve tasted.

    Best spot in the world for me ….. standing in the middle of Waterloo Bridge a few hours after the sun has gone down with a clear night sky.

    Just my thoughts, but I think I’m quite in a position to say my piece.

    Comment by Anthony — February 20, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  28. You forgot Slovaks, you insensitive clod! 😉

    Comment by Peter — February 20, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  29. actually the police in hell is American and not German, trust me!

    Comment by Tom — February 20, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  30. Emily M. I worried that either you’re a teacher who teaches English, or a teacher from England. Either way, grammatically the sentence “I am going to look more into live abroad”, to steal a phrase from the Americans, sucks.

    As someone from England, I slightly disagree. There is a genuine warmth from the English towards a lot of Europe. The Scandinavians, Dutch and Irish in particular are well liked. The French and Germans are also liked, but more in the way that a Jets fan might like a Patriots fan over in the US. What seems to irk some Brits about Europe comes from the vitriol in newspapers that portrays Europe as shorthand for the European Parliament.

    We Brits seem to have more issues with other Brits. Yorkshire folk hating Lancastrians, Cornish looking down on Devonians, Nottinghamshire people thinking people from Derby are a little too affectionate to their livestock to be healthy. That kind of thing. Oh, and most people thinking that the Brummie accent makes them sound comedic.

    Comment by davidnottingham — February 20, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  31. How do we know that Jesus was a Greek?

    Well he took after his father’s proffesion.
    He lived with his parents until he was 33.
    He thought his mother was a virgin.
    His mother thought that he was a God.

    I really enjoyed your post, which to my experience it’s pretty much on spot.

    Comment by filippos — February 20, 2008 @ 10:32 am

  32. In Heaven… the chefs are French
    omfg… we are the worst chefs ever. Frenchs speak 8 hours before taking a stupid decision.

    Comment by Froggy — February 20, 2008 @ 10:33 am

  33. Reading what I’ve just written, maybe I shouldn’t be throwing stones whilst in this greenhouse.

    That should’ve read “….affectionate towards their livestock….£

    Comment by davidnottingham — February 20, 2008 @ 10:35 am

  34. Being a dane, i’d have to say the comments about danes and scandinavians are largely inacurate.
    There’s no general hate towards the german people, nor is there, to my knowledge, any generally accepted feeling that norwegians are racist and that the swedes are stupid and uptight.
    If there is any general tendency in Denmark, it is that swedes, when in Denmark, tend to get rather intoxicated.

    Comment by jok — February 20, 2008 @ 10:41 am

  35. you were wondering why some spaniards dislike the french.
    well, that is easy: north spain and south france would like to be a country of basques. well, some of them.

    Comment by chris — February 20, 2008 @ 11:01 am

  36. I shall add that Italians don’t really like the french “cousins”, and a big teaser is that they won only one World Cup while Italians have 4…

    Comment by renso — February 20, 2008 @ 11:11 am

  37. Interesting take on us Poles and very outdated.

    Nowadays we really don’t mind the Germans and the Germans really don’t mind us. They come here and buy things cheaper, have a cheaper haircut, cheaper medical service, they hang out in our pubs, because smoking is still allowed here.

    And us Poles come to Germany to buy their used cars for cheap. This mutual exchange of goods and services, combined with the Schengen Agreement (no border checks) results in the fact that we’re not actually afraid of each other anymore. Yes they might fear us when the job market opens in Germany for us, but it’s open now in the UK and guess what, everyone wins there.

    And the Germans are a lot more politically correct when it comes to jokes, but can’t blame them, what with all the history.

    We on the other hand also don’t actually tell nationalistic jokes about any nation… why would we? We don’t hold a grudge I don’t think. We don’t like Czechs or Slovaks? What? That’s news to me. I go down south each year. We all love beer.

    Indeed Russia hates us, because we’re pro-European.

    But, we’ve actually contributed and helped with the Orange Revolution in Ukraine, so they have no reason for hatred, we’re actually partners. And even more reason for Russia’s hatred towards us.

    What infuriated me is the most uninformed comment about us being the nation of car thieces. That’s like beating the dead horse. Where are you taking this data from? Early 90’s?

    Besides, no-one talks about the reason the Germans callED us car thieves. They came here specifically to have their cars stolen (it was arranged) and then gather money from insurance companies.

    Comment by Tomasz D — February 20, 2008 @ 11:15 am

  38. >you never, ever hear jokes about Germans in Poland.

    Howgwash. They were probably just too polite to tell them around you. Polish people tell jokes about Germans constantly. They’re far better than German jokes about Poles, too.

    >Really, the relationship between Germany and Poland is similar to that of the United States and Mexico

    Wrong. It is the way it is because the various incarnations of Germany have incessantly invaded and tried to trick Poland with their Vatican gimmickry. Open up a history book.

    >Poles really shore up their hatred for their eastern & southern neighbors, primarily Russia and Ukraine, although they don’t like Czechs, Slovaks or Lithuanians either.

    Simply not true.

    – Polish people do not hate the Russians or Ukrainians. We hate the Reds, not the Russians. We like the Ukrainians, although they don’t generally like us back because of our turbulent history (mainly because they weren’t given equal rights to Lithuania and Poland in the Commonwealth).

    – Polish people make fun of Czechs and they make fun of us. We have a bit of a tough love relationship with them.

    – Poles are largely indifferent to Slovaks.

    – Most Poles are either indifferent or positively inclined towards Lithuania because we share a fruitful common history.

    Comment by john deere — February 20, 2008 @ 11:23 am

  39. ITT: americans telling other americans what europeans think of other europeans

    and surprise surprise, they’re messing it up completely …

    Comment by anona — February 20, 2008 @ 11:32 am

  40. I think you missed the boat a bit when it comes to Scandinavia. With the increased Polish emigration to Scandinavia, stereotypes have begun to take hold about the Poles in the region. Poles are viewed negatively, but in an empathetic manner since they are commonly poor.

    Norwegians and Danes don’t think of Swedes as uptight, but rather lazy instead. I think out of Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes, it’s the Norwegians that are seen as uptight and the most introverted, only second to the Finnish.

    The Norwegians, Danes, and Swedes all share the same common root language, yet the Swedes and Norwegians always joke about Danish being incomprehensible gibberish.

    Comment by G — February 20, 2008 @ 11:50 am

  41. Why are French roads lined with trees?
    So the German army can march in the shade.

    Comment by mm — February 20, 2008 @ 11:54 am

  42. A wonderful insight to our European countries.

    Another German Air Traffic Control story: British Airways flight asks for directions to taxi to the terminal at Frankfurt. Busy Ground Controller snaps back “Haven’t you been here before?”

    “Just the once, but it was a while ago, it was dark, and I didn’t land.” (About 1943, flying a Lancaster!)

    Comment by AndyC — February 20, 2008 @ 11:57 am

  43. As a Finn, I concur about what was said of Finns. I usually hate all articles about stereotypes but with this I have no problem.

    Comment by Pasi — February 20, 2008 @ 11:58 am

  44. You did not tell anything about eastern europeans. What about hungarians, romanians, etc.

    Comment by Adrian — February 20, 2008 @ 11:59 am

  45. […] Un articol interesant despre diferentele dintre europeni. Si o chestie faina la sfarsitul articloului […]

    Pingback by eBlog » Blog Archive » Europenii despre europeni — February 20, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  46. Czechs resisted Germany? Thats a new one. Spaniards doesnt hate anyone? Good one – heard about Basks? No jokes about Germans in Poland? Lol. Greeks consider themselves as European – please go to Crete. Well, maybe 4 years here is still not enough for you. Please, come here again anyway, you’re gladly welcome.

    Comment by QS — February 20, 2008 @ 12:03 pm

  47. Fun, but not very acurate in my eyes. Basicly most of western europe have no problems with people based on theyre nationalities. But there are ofcourse stereotypes.

    Comment by je — February 20, 2008 @ 12:05 pm

  48. well I wouldn’t say this is what the peoples deeply think of each others … this is more like the clichés we have. But it fits perfectly well with the joke at the end !

    Comment by thomas — February 20, 2008 @ 12:06 pm

  49. I have to agree with you about the irish. I’m British (Cornish) and I’ve never met anyone with a bad word to say about the Irish (apart from say 10 years ago).

    It really does make me sad to think about all the ball bags that go to Ibiza and Amsterdam etc and make tits of themselves and our country. These are the people who hate Europeans and dine predominently on chips (french fries kinda) and name their children after drinks.

    Oh and Poland you nailed that one. Everybody in Western Europe hates Poles. I was walking past a library the other day and noticed someone writing anti Polish slogans on the wall outside…..spelt incorrectly. Damn I hate Britain sometimes.

    Comment by Som4 — February 20, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  50. You could almost write the Eurovision Song results from that analysis.

    Comment by Reis Scofield — February 20, 2008 @ 12:33 pm

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