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Old 04-16-2010, 08:03 PM   #223
Adv Grifter
on the road o'dreams
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Passing ADV Stalkers in California
Oddometer: 6,128
Originally Posted by SchizzMan
Very nice! Really enjoying the pix.

BTW, my Guatemalteco friends have informed me not to address any
male person in Guatemala in the informal - this is considered very of-
fensive. I'll leave it to others to explain. Applies to other CA countries
as well.

Thanks again for all the pix. I appreciate how much time it requires.
Latino Culture 101
You are a bit off here but your idea is "sort of" correct. First, using informal forms of verbs to any adult stranger (not just men) is not really polite, but for a foreigner, you will be cut some slack on this. So it's not just men, it's any adult. They expect some mistakes from you, the fact you're trying to speak their language goes a long way to forgiving your bad form.

With children (and animals), it is generally OK to use the informal form ("Tu" for example) Also OK with good friends and relatives. Best advice is do what others do. (listen! ... and learn!)

These are subtleties within the culture that take time to grasp. Using the wrong form is not really "Very offensive", but not correct. Use Usted, not Tu, and on and on. They don't use the Vosotros form much in Latin America, but very much so in Spain.

Gringos do MUCH WORSE things to offend I am sad to say. Like wearing shorts all the time. Not Cool away from the pool or beach. Or not being CLEAN or well groomed or coming to dinner in filthy riding gear. Not Cool. Or getting drunk (and loud) in a restaurant. Not Cool. (more or less OK in a bar, but NOT a restaurant)

Some of this varies from country to country.

The other thing Gringos forget are greetings and introductions. Very important and RUDE not to greet first. Never just barge in with a question or when asking a favor.
Make small talk, say Buenos Dias, introduce yourself. NOW ask your favor or question. Some N. Americans and Euros can be very brusque to Latin sensibilities. They do not appreciate this. Same with the French.
In general, Latinos tend to be very polite folks. Best to reciprocate in kind.
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