NO: cultural diffs

Fred Brinkman fred.brinkman at
Tue Dec 28 12:19:39 EST 2010

Here in general being eloquent is appreciated... it is nice, and it  
creates a certain comfortable distance when necessary...
You really should not take this the wrong way, normally people just  
try to be polite towards you...

When you really want to experience polite you should go to Germany...  
very polite, very correct, what you can experience in 'informal'  
situations, like EurOmnis, is that you have 2 Germans talking the  
informal way with you (using first names), even talking informal to  
each other as long as you're around (using first names) and switching  
back to their formal way (absolutely not using first names) when  
you're gone... ;-)

I do the same, when the family is around, everybody speaks 'the formal  
way' to the parents (I would never, never call my mother by her first  
name f.i.) and 'the informal way' between ourselves... ;-) All a  
matter of what you're used to...

Fred Brinkman

Fred Brinkman Consultancy
B-1000 Brussels

Tel. +32-474-83 80 80
Fax +32-2-330 10 31 (on request)
Email fred.brinkman at

Op 28 dec 2010, om 13:10 heeft Olafur Gardarsson het volgende  

> Dear Mr. Brinkman and Mr. Azerad :o),
> Thanks for clarifying this to me. Iceland is a country born of of  
> fishermen,
> sailors and farmers. My father was a fisherman and I went to sea  
> with him
> and got to know how the crew talks. Pretty crude by most standards.  
> At sea
> it is actually dangerous to not be as direct as possible. Your voice  
> has to
> be heard over the wind and other sounds and it can be a matter of  
> life and
> death to be heard clearly and understood. I think this may partly be  
> the
> reason for how the language and culture developed. One does not have  
> time
> for formalities in high winds at sea. Icelandic may be a sort of C  
> in the
> world of human languages. Informal, cryptic and unforgiving. French  
> would be
> like Pascal I would guess.
> Farmers in Iceland are considered the old guardians of the language  
> though,
> not the aristocrats. Aristocrats and bureaucrats and their ways are
> distrusted. Language that reminds us of them evokes such feelings.  
> What are
> referred to as Vikings are probably the ancient chieftains. The were  
> our
> aristocrats and they were in endless feuds with each other that  
> resulted in
> widespread death and destruction. That may be our deep rooted cultural
> source of distrust for formalities. They could be associated with  
> power and
> status by force, not social harmony.
> Kind regards,
> Oli
> -- 
> Olafur Gardarsson
> Ikon ehf - Edalnet
> Web hosting - Application Servers - Software development
> Nybylavegur 6, 200 Kopavogur
> Web:  /
> Phone (+354) 555-1693 email: oli(a)

More information about the omnisdev-en mailing list