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US Geography Knowledge: Sweden? Switzerland?  
User currently offlineLionel From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 391 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3793 times:

Recently, I got a letter from a not too small car rental company in the US because of some kind of traffic violation. The adress was correct but the country was wrong. They wrote Sweden instead of Switzerland.

As far as I know this is a common mistake that occures in the US. Does anybody know why? Is it so hard to see the difference between those two countries?

237 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBaylorAirBear From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 2913 posts, RR: 50
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3783 times:

World geography isn't out forte. At the same, you have to realise we only share borders with two countries, whereas in Europe, many smaller countries are in close proximity.

On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

BAB



I'm just skipping stones...
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3780 times:

I once orded something from the US and asked 'how much to ship it to Switzerland'? After (quite) a few minutes I was told ... 'To ship it to Swaziland will be $50'. I hung up.

PS - Aren't you impressed with the Swedish/Swiss PTTs? They got the letter to you even though the country was wrong. Guess there aren't too many Zurichs in Sweden!


User currently offlineSTLGph From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 9298 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3766 times:

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

not necessarily.

a lot of Geography departments across college campuses give a "comprehensive world knowledge" test at the beginning of the year. usually to scope out overall student knowledge of states, Canadian provinces, countries on each continental, major bays, seas, and rivers and/or mountain ranges here and there. the test is given by a map of the world with correspondening numbers, to which you reply accordingly on the answer sheet, which is just simply numbered with lines following.

anyway, getting back to the 50 states part, nationally, less than 1% can name all 50 states on the first try of the exam. after that, the figures are pretty much an embarrassment. an 85% majority of the people taking the exams can name a maximum of about 20 states correctly.

in instances where the student usually gets their own home and/or neighboring state WRONG, states such as Florida, California, New York, Nevada, Hawaii, and Alaska are ones that are most correctly identified.

as a Reporter, i've covered some school districts where one of the grade levels (usually 5th, 6th, or 7th) made it policy for the passing of the 50 states and capitols test before the student can progress to the next level. in a few instances, the test -used- to be given in the spring about a month before school let out for the summer....after these districts starting doing the test....the test is now given for the first time as early as late October.

just some fun factoids you pick up at Geography educator conferences.



Eternal darkness we all should dread. It's hard to party when you're dead.
User currently offlineLionel From Canada, joined Dec 2000, 391 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3764 times:

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

That may be true but I don't think anybody would mix up two different states. The only exception is Washington and Washington D.C. but thats a little more simular than Switzerland, Sweden and Swaziland.


User currently offlineIAH777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 0 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3757 times:

We in the US can hardly be expected to keep up with all those underdeveloped Third World countries.

That being said, statewise, I'm always confusing Tamaulipas with Quintana Roo.  worried 


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3757 times:

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

The states aren't countries though. How many British counties, French departements, German Landers, Swiss cantons can you name?



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4186 posts, RR: 40
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 3721 times:

Quite a few times I've been surprised in the USA.

I have told people I lïve in Switzerland and they ask me if I speak Swedish...worse twice if I speak Swiss.

But the worst example comes from a time I told this girl I am from Costa Rica. She aked "Where's that?"...I answered CENTRAL AMERICA
"Oh I see its some town in Kansas!"
(P.S I have heard of a guy who thought Uruguay was a town in Texas because it is in South America")

Quoting ANother (Reply 2):
I once orded something from the US and asked 'how much to ship it to Switzerland'? After (quite) a few minutes I was told ... 'To ship it to Swaziland will be $50'. I hung up.

When I was in Swaziland, I was told there is a place where many postcards are exposed...all which were supposed to go to Switzerland !!



A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
User currently offlineDamirc From Slovenia, joined Feb 2004, 723 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 3715 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 2):
PS - Aren't you impressed with the Swedish/Swiss PTTs? They got the letter to you even though the country was wrong. Guess there aren't too many Zurichs in Sweden!

Now imagine the Slovenia - Slovakia dilemma  Wink There is a lot of mail that gets to the wrong country; but what is worrying is the fact that a lot of the mail that is in the wrong country is actually from within Europe :/

D.


User currently offlineThom@s From Norway, joined Oct 2000, 11951 posts, RR: 47
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 3678 times:

Quoting Damirc (Reply 8):
Now imagine the Slovenia - Slovakia dilemma

Not to mention the Iran - Iraq dilemma. (The reason they had a war was they got fed up going across the border to each-other with mail that had got sent to the wrong country.)

Sargent: "Right men, load up, we're going to Iran!"
Private: "Eh sarge, don't you mean Iraq?"
Sargent: (pause) "Bah what the hell, the rest of the platoon are probably joining us soon anyway... Next stop Iran!!."

Thom@s  stirthepot   Wink



"If guns don't kill people, people kill people - does that mean toasters don't toast toast, toast toast toast?"
User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 3648 times:

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

I'll take that bet. I have been in some US cities, and asked a local about a street (I found out later) was 5 or 6 blocks away, and they have no idea.

It seems American schools teach little or nothing about history or geography outside the 50 states. I used to live in Thunder Bay ON, and at least 10 times a summer, we'd have people drive up from Duluth MN (4 hours tops) who thought we all lived in igloos, and traveled around in dog sleds, and assumed we knew "Bob", since he was from Canada.



Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
User currently offlineEric From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3628 times:

Ha,

it reminds of a time in school. A girl from New York had her friend visiting. My room mate, who is from Jersey, GB, was asked where he was from so the story goes like this.

NY-girl: So, where are you from?
J-boy: Jersey
NY-girl: (Very excited) Really, my mom is from Jersey
J-boy: Really?
NY: Yeah, New Jersey
J-boy: No, the real Jersey

(funny if you were present)


User currently offlineColumba From Germany, joined Dec 2004, 7057 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3626 times:

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):

On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

It depends what kind of Americans and Europeans you ask.
There are many Europeans who havo no idead about European or American Geography but most well eductated Europeans will have no problem to name you all states of the E.U. and the USA.



It will forever be a McDonnell Douglas MD 80 , Boeing MD 80 sounds so wrong
User currently offlineEric From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3610 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
On the other hand, I think most Americans can name all American states, a task I suspect Europeans would have trouble with.

The states aren't countries though. How many British counties, French departements, German Landers, Swiss cantons can you name?

To defend the Americans - that is not exactly the same. Each US state also contains counties.

The US is a monetary and political union. The EU is a political union. Thus, what separates the US from the EU is that, unlike in the EU, there are no trade barrier, all member states [indirectly read countries] share the same currencies and all the other things that follow such unions.

This is why you will find different laws at different levels of the state, much like a law issue can be appealed to the EU-courts.


User currently offlineRootsAir From Costa Rica, joined Feb 2005, 4186 posts, RR: 40
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3610 times:

to resume....
in the U.s most people hzave only studies US history or geography.
From Weast to East the world begins in San Francisco and ends in New England and from north to south, it starts in niagara falls and ends in El Paso



A man without the knowledge of his past history,culture and origins is like a tree without roots
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3598 times:

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
To defend the Americans - that is not exactly the same

No, it isn't, but it's the nearest comparable example.

Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
The US is a monetary and political union. The EU is a political union.

Er, no it isn't. At all. It's not even a complete monetary union. I assume you accidentally transposed the two?



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineNorthwest_guy From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 217 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3590 times:

I'm a product of U.S. education (albeit private education) and I feel like I have a rather good understanding of geography both inside the U.S. and abroad. On more than one occassion, in more than one grade our class was required to memorize the states and their capitals, as well as countries of the world, their capitals and major cities, the continents, major land marks, etc.

When I am in the US the people I associate with seem to have a pretty good understanding of US and world geography. I think this is because I'm usually around college students though.


User currently offlineAirCop From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

I did some grading from the California High School Exit Exam, shocking at the number of kids that thought the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas was in California.

Quoting STLGph (Reply 3):
anyway, getting back to the 50 states part, nationally, less than 1% can name all 50 states on the first try of the exam. after that, the figures are pretty much an embarrassment. an 85% majority of the people taking the exams can name a maximum of about 20 states correctly.

I believe that.

Quoting Banco (Reply 6):
How many British counties, French departements, German Landers, Swiss cantons can you name?

To be honest, I couldn't name one.


User currently offlineEric From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

Quoting Banco (Reply 15):
Quoting Eric (Reply 13):
To defend the Americans - that is not exactly the same

No, it isn't, but it's the nearest comparable example.

No, it is not. A state is a state, a county a county.

The EU is not a complete monetary union, there still exist bilateral trade agreements, multilateral trade agreements, and a handful of EU states do not use the same currencies either through choice or not able to satisfy the fiscal regulations. This includes legislatures such as economic transperancy or fiscal deficits.

The US, on the other hand, have 50 member states who satifies their own requirements. Each state, a former state in its own right, have joined up to the union that created the USA.


User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3577 times:

Quoting Eric (Reply 18):
No, it is not. A state is a state, a county a county.

But the construction of a country varies from nation to nation. The US has states, Britain does not. British counties are not comparable with American ones. However, Germany does have the equivalent of states as does Australia as does Switzerland. You are taking one part of the point being made, US states are not in any way, shape or form the equivalent of European countries.

Quoting Eric (Reply 18):
The EU is not a complete monetary union, there still exist bilateral trade agreements, multilateral trade agreements, and a handful of EU states do not use the same currencies either through choice or not able to satisfy the fiscal regulations. This includes legislatures such as economic transperancy or fiscal deficits.

Yes, but you said "political union, not a monetary one" which I assume (and which I was drawing attention to) was a typo error.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineEric From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 3565 times:

I agree that each US state does have its own laws but then you cannot compare it with the UK and a better comparison will then be Germany but I never commented on that.

And I agree most American won't be able to name all the Bundesl�nde but nor would most Europeans.

Quoting Banco (Reply 19):
Quoting Eric (Reply 18):
The EU is not a complete monetary union, there still exist bilateral trade agreements, multilateral trade agreements, and a handful of EU states do not use the same currencies either through choice or not able to satisfy the fiscal regulations. This includes legislatures such as economic transperancy or fiscal deficits.

Yes, but you said "political union, not a monetary one" which I assume (and which I was drawing attention to) was a typo error.

I stand corrected, poorly phrased, but by not including it it was meant to indicate it is not a complete monetary union.


User currently offlineDABZF From Germany, joined Mar 2004, 1200 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3559 times:

According to an American colleague of mine (works for an european airline), Finland is south from Poland... then again, I have no idea where Nebraska is, so I guess we are even Big grin


I like driving backwards in the fog cause it doesn't remind me of anything - Chris Cornell
User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 53
Reply 22, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3549 times:

Quoting Eric (Reply 20):
And I agree most American won't be able to name all the Bundesl�nde but nor would most Europeans.

Nope, they couldn't, but I bet the Germans could.

In other words, everyone knows most about their own country.



She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3543 times:

Quoting Lionel (Thread starter):
As far as I know this is a common mistake that occures in the US. Does anybody know why?

Because American's SUCK at geography if it expands beyond their county line - generally. There are a few of us that aren't geographically challenged, but damn few IMO. Same reason most Americans don't have passports . . .

Hell, I have cousins that think Alaska is somewhere in the South Pacific near Hawaii because that's where it is on the map in their Social Studies classroom . . . and they're confused as to why it can be -40F here but plus 80F in Honolulu yet they're so close together  crazy 

Quoting BaylorAirBear (Reply 1):
I think most Americans can name all American states

HA - I'll take that bet, 2 to 1 against.


User currently offlineMBMBOS From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2597 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (7 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3542 times:

My inlaws are from Holland. On several occasions people have referred to my "Danish" family.

Some Americans are also not very good at U.S. geography. I grew up in New Mexico and cannot tell you the times I have received mail with extra postage on it. I have also placed telephone orders where at the point that I disclosed the delivery address - New Mexico - I have been transferred to the international sales desk.

Strange.


25 Post contains images Banco : Vicious air conditioning you've got there.
26 Post contains images ANCFlyer : No kidding . . . You'd be amazed at how much mail to Alaska gets the Postal Code of AR put on it . . . AR you know - Arkansas . . . . Can someone sho
27 Post contains images YOWza : Or world politics, or world history or world anything, well except maybe the "World Series" Nothing against Americans, I know a lot of smart, educate
28 Klaus : It's the same in Germany. The EU is a monetary and political union, just with a different construction on several levels and with several countries t
29 ANITIX87 : I've even been asked if I speak Swedish. A lot of times the mistake even comes after someone hears me speaking French!!! I'm going to slap the next p
30 RJpieces : There was a news story a few months ago about a very small percentage of Americans being able to identify hot spots in the world, such as Israel or Ir
31 TWISTEDWHISPER : Name the 50 states? Well, that's one thing... could you point them out on a blank map with only borders?
32 Post contains images STLGph : oh, i forgot to mention earlier that when i took the proficiency test...i got scored 100% the first time around! i had to think a little bit on the Y
33 Post contains images Banco : Far be it for the democratic desires of the peoples of these countries to get in the way of the "project".
34 Sprout5199 : Key West. Its the southern most point.(not counting Hawaii) And how many times have I heard that people from the EU want to go to Walt Disney World,
35 SlamClick : I Live in Nevada, postal code NV. More than half of the mail I get from east of the Rockies gets marked NY (New York) and some of it shows signs of h
36 Klaus : As long as the currency is stable, it has no inherent impact on the liberties of the population. It is the rare exception that changes of the currenc
37 Post contains images Coal : I once told a chick I was Dutch. She said she heard Denmark was really pretty Worse, when telling them I'm Dutch, they ask me "where in Pennsylvania"?
38 Post contains images Banco : Much of which is arguable, but irrespective of that, the fact remains that in many countries the people don't want it. I know you find that utterly a
39 Post contains images Coal : It could've been Switzerdeutch I beg to differ. I lived in Northern Florida and people didn't know jack about the cities 400 miles South of them. But
40 Klaus : You'll always find people looking for a scapegoat. The question is if there's actual substance behind it, and in almost all countries the answer is n
41 Banco : Wrong. There are sound economic reasons, let alone political ones. Anyway, that's been covered a million times. Indeed. And had you specifically excl
42 Dougloid : This is interesting. We have two letter postal codes and I live here in Iowa (IA). We regularly get mail that has been routed through Indiana (IN) Ill
43 Post contains images Klaus : ...which tend to be massively overstated, especially relative to the also present risks of a small currency, ...and a half! Because Britain is not (a
44 Post contains images Dougloid : I dunno, Klaus....that is something of an open question along the lines of "whither now, EU?" I believe that there will be a grand case of "indigesti
45 Banco : And benefits. Big currencies are not immune, and cross-border ones are subject to unique strains. Your cast-iron belief in the perfect immunity and t
46 AerospaceFan : Agreed, but let's keep in mind that economics is prime when it comes to certain parts of the political spectrum. I actually think that what is happen
47 Post contains images Klaus : Of course not. But they are generally a lot more immune for all I know. Sure. Hence the considerable efforts to keep those strains limited. Nothing i
48 Post contains images Banco : It's not clear cut. Many others don't - even if quite often I consider the reasoning (i.e. the usual "prices have gone up") to be wrong. But what I f
49 AerospaceFan : You know, strangely enough, I can't really criticize that. There are only two kinds of absolutists in the world: Realists, and idealists. (Someone pl
50 Post contains images Banco : Oh, I missed this bit. That's easily the best joke Klaus has told all year. *cough*stability pact*cough*
51 Post contains links Banco : You'll probably find this article of a year or so ago interesting then: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4595487.stm
52 Post contains images AerospaceFan : I dunno, Banco. I may not be interested. Is it related to Star Trek? Just kiddin'. I'll take a gander.
53 AerospaceFan : Well, Banco, I don't know. I really don't. In the last couple of minutes, I read the article, and I think that the author, John Simpson, must know som
54 Post contains images Klaus : Guys, let's please relegate the infamous Euro & the UK topic to an adequately whacky and outrageous separate thread, okay? But take your time - I'm qu
55 Post contains images VC10BOAC : Sure; ARLASKA.
56 LOT767-300ER : Yea thats ok, someone asked me yesterday how is the North Pole and if there are penguins in Poland.
57 Banco : Quite probably. He is the BBC's World Affairs Editor, the head international affairs journalist of the largest news-gathering organisation on the pla
58 AerospaceFan : You may be right, Banco. I say that with hat in hand, out of respect. I do not envy the position of Great Britain. The Empire is long gone. It was dy
59 Post contains images EZEIZA : Having travelled a lot, I can say that I was impressed by the very low history and geography knowledge I found in the US. Once, in a university-level
60 LOT767-300ER : If we got rid of dumb idiot numbing sports like Baseball and American Football here kids and force kids to learn something usefull id be much better.
61 Post contains images ANCFlyer : Hogwash . . . Baseball and Football - American or otherwise - has nothing to do with it. Tis the lousy academic infrastructure and lack of attention
62 LOT767-300ER : Lousy academic infrastructure because all of this money is being dipped into these 2 sports + basketball. Dont tell me thats hogwash because the Athl
63 Post contains images Newark777 : That's because a lot of the people call it Jersey. This is just a case of you and your friends, both foreigners, not knowing the local names of thing
64 Jush : Dude... that is Austria.... They are neutral.. In fact the Swiss Army is a great one... They are precise as swiss watches.. Regds jush
65 LOT767-300ER : What are you talking about?!
66 Post contains images Mir : Neither is spelling, apparently. I can name a few German Lander and Swiss cantons, but no British counties or French departments (the only thing I kn
67 Post contains images Carmenlu15 : The things we have to get used to... On a chat with a guy from the US, back when I was in high school: "Where are you from?" "Guatemala" "The other s
68 Post contains images Banco : 'Course you can. Just look at a map of New England and pick a name at random. There's a fair chance, you know: Norfolk, Essex, (New) Hampshire.... Wh
69 Mir : Of course not. But truth be told, I'd have to know the British political subdivisions first in order to know that counties were a major entity (they
70 Post contains images LHMARK : It's been a while since this old canard was trucked out. I'd almost forgotten how backward and unenlightened I was than our European and Canadian bett
71 Post contains images Banco : Ah, I'm only teasing. You couldn't be expected to know them. I suspect part of it is that in America you use the state name automatically when using
72 Lionel : Switzerland is neutral as well. Despite they have an army. Buddy, you should know as a neighbour!
73 N864DA : American ignorance of anything other than the Americas amazes me. Whenever I try telling someone in the US that I live in Switzerland, they always ask
74 EWRCabincrew : Boy this changed subjects quick. Americans, for the most part, are lacking in geography knowledge, whether it is the US or the world. Fact is a fact,
75 TeamAmerica : Since we're talking about geography and general ignorance, perhaps you don't realize that baseball is popular in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Puerto R
76 Banco : Well, he's hardly likely to show endless pieces of people getting them right, is he? I suspect you'd get not dissimilar results if you did that just
77 LOT767-300ER : He said Switzerland...thats is WHY I am asking you why you mentioned Austria since they dont have a long track of neutral history.
78 AndesSMF : Well, in Spanish, the confusion can be severe Suecia = Sweden Suiza = Switzerland The pronounciation sounds quite similar.
79 SlamClick : I must confess I do sometimes stumble over those three little countries east of Venezuela. I've been to one of them and overflown the other two but I
80 Post contains images Carmenlu15 : Yet we are the ones that manage to get them right
81 JGPH1A : Far be it for their democratic desires to get in the way of my personal convenience - having to change money at the airport is a pain ! No considerat
82 EWRCabincrew : Then that explains the World Series where the US and one team from Canada are allowed to participate. Some "World" Series. That would still be higher
83 Post contains images Banco : Couldn't agree with you more. Fancy the French not taking sterling? Peasants, the lot of them.
84 JGPH1A : Sterling ? Doomed, my dear - doomed ! Accept the inevitable, resistance is futile - we'll get you, and your little Denmark too ! eeeEEEHEHEHEHEH !!!
85 Post contains images Carmenlu15 : Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana... And no, I don't think I could locate them properly either. True indeed... Hearing my boss (a Brit) talk about t
86 Mdsh00 : Bingo. This is what we need more of. Too many parents in the US believe in "coddling" their children and "not let them get bogged down with academics
87 Post contains images Banco : Ah, that explains why you never wash. It's that terror of water thing.
88 Post contains images SlamClick : Okay, a quick smell test here! If he asked the question and the person gave him the right answer do you think he would put THAT on the air? Would THA
89 LOT767-300ER : Are you saying Baseball is more important than Football to Mexicans? ROTFL. Puerto Rico is the USA, and South Korea and Japan are more crazy about so
91 Post contains links and images Bravo45 : Can't belive no one posted any of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LZnIlJP-Js
92 Post contains images AerospaceFan : Yeah, I'd like to know that, too. I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks that the Swiss are/were neutral. Otherwise, I'd take it as a sign of
93 EWRCabincrew : Classic. Simply classic.
94 LOT767-300ER : Only an American has the ability to refute a "Baseball is almost exclusively an American sport" argument and come up with a comment such as "Puerto Ri
95 TACAA320 : Costa Rica is commonly confused with Puerto Rico. Totally agree with you.
96 EWRCabincrew : Really? That's a new one. I have never heard that.
97 TACAA320 : "Really ?" Yes of course. It´s a new one for u. Countless times for me.
98 TACAA320 : Even more. The very common confusion between "Colombia" and "Columbia".
99 LOT767-300ER : I cant believe no one has mentioned the American confusion of Austria and Australia.
100 EWRCabincrew : It's worse when news people don't even know the difference. Major embarassment for them.
101 BaylorAirBear : I won't pretend to have read all the replies, as I am far too attractive to be arsed with that. Rather, I was simply implying that Europeans sound sma
102 Travelin man : I once met someone from Switzerland who had no idea that Miami was on the other side of the USA from Los Angeles. I have therefore concluded that all
103 Post contains images AerospaceFan : This thread is just another reason for Americans and Europeans to have a food fight over nuthin'.
104 Post contains images SW733 : Hey, all I can say is: Try being from a country most Americans don't even know exist!
105 Ozglobal : Who mentioned Europeans? In Australia most people have massively more general knowledge of the world than in the US and we don't have ANY countries b
106 Post contains images Carmenlu15 : Ok, I'll give you that. The names I'm used to hear, but the language itself is quite complex... Heck, I managed to learn German better than Kaqchikel
107 EWRCabincrew : If it were really that simple. The educational system in the US needs improvement. It's already sad enough that Americans can't even name all 50 stat
108 Post contains images AndesSMF : My sister from Ecuador once thought that I could pick her up at LAX from SMF just like that! (Hint: 400 miles) Glad I left the Ecuadorian school syst
109 SlamClick : Okay, I'll say this one more time and I'll use little words because there are Europeans reading it. If Leno or anyone else asked the question and got
110 USPIT10L : Without sounding like a braggert, I finished runner-up in my state eleven years ago in the state geography bee. Ask me any US state, or country and I
111 Bill142 : When I was in Thailand, and I said I was from Australia, people kept asking me what the weather in Sydney was like. Well.. I'm from Canberra...
112 SlamClick : Hey, you ought to be a pilot if you want to hear that question. Everyone thinks you know all about the weather. For example I got home early off a tr
113 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : Isn't Sweden that country with those high mountains like the Matterhorn, with chocolates and secretive banks and cheese with holes, deep somewhere in
114 Post contains links EWRCabincrew : It is not so much your conclusion as it is fact. I brought Jay Leno's sketches into it because it pokes fun at the reality. Part of being able to lau
115 ME AVN FAN : each Swiss canton also contains "counties/districts" or rather "Bezirke" well, you may get asked, fairly often in fact "is that this country between
116 Post contains images BaylorAirBear : I did, right here: I did. Everyone, look! Ozglobal is trying to insult my intelligence. Ninja, please. I challenge you to a battle of wits, but, plea
117 Post contains links Pbottenb : Another tiresome "lets bash Americans" thread. - So you think that our education system sucks, and that we lag far behind..... Let me remind you that
118 EWRCabincrew : Our education system does suck. It needs improvement. The fact that Americans built the GPS system has no bearing on the educational system and the f
119 LOT767-300ER : I think we need to separate what comes out of the decent/good/awesome US Universities (best in the world) and what comes out of American Primary Educ
120 Searpqx : I've read through this thread and pretty much agree with those that argue we've got a long way to go to catch up in geographic knowledge, but this st
121 ANITIX87 : Many people do, Harry. Many people do. Someone once refused to believe I was going to visit my family in Switzerland because, "Nobody in your family
122 Pbottenb : Your points may be valid, but some survey that shows that a few people cant ID Sweden on a map does not mean a lot. Results are the only thing that m
123 EWRCabincrew : Well said. Too bad the powers that be aren't here reading this. You're right. It doesn't American v. American. But American v. pick a nationality, it
124 Post contains images AerospaceFan : LOL. Well, I can see why you would be mad. About the blond thing -- you don't have to be Swedish to be blond, though. You can even be British, judgin
125 Lionel : I just wanted to confirm your answer! That was no offence! As a conclusion I see there are many confusions concerning geography in the world. Not onl
126 Post contains images Doona : We're not all blond, for God's sake! Cheers Mats
127 Post contains images Banco : Interesting. Yet the Royal Navy's surveying of the world's oceans and resulting Admiralty charts over four centuries were THE primary source for ever
128 FDXMECH : Ironically, an early example of geographic confusion. Pennsylvania Dutch country is actually full of Germans. It's really Pennsylvania "Duetsch" (sp?
129 RootsAir : Ooof i understand you...musn't be easy. but stil lthere's nothin nice being confused with Puerto rico In french its referred to as a district
130 FDXMECH : I love Swiss food, especially Cantonese.
131 ME AVN FAN : But while China only has ONE Canton, Switzerland has 24 !
132 Post contains images Cedars747 : And troops all over the world Alex!!!
133 Post contains images AerospaceFan : I believe that they're named after dairy products known as Gouda, Cheddar, and 22 other varieties they probably sell at your local supermarket. Gotta
134 Post contains images Banco : Sharing borders with other countries? How common
135 ME AVN FAN : well, exactly Gouda and Cheddar are NON-Swiss. And Emmental and Gruyere are NOT Cantons but valleys. There however is a canton named Valais in French
136 Post contains images AerospaceFan : You're kidding right? Because I was.   Unless you also believe that I think that there's is a town in Switzerland called "Cuckoo" that makes a certa
137 Coyoteguy : Heard on Jeopardy (college week!) the last week of August: Category: Two word capital cities. Alex Trebeck: "Do you know the way to the capital of Cos
138 Post contains images Carmenlu15 : Even my 10-year-old sister knows the answer...
139 Post contains images Cedars747 : I thought it was la Boca "Buenos Aires" Alex!!!
140 Post contains images Newark777 : On the Tournament of Champions, one of the questions was that they were shown an outline of Japan, and asked what country it was. Harry
141 JGPH1A : And your land borders are the commonest in the world ! Wales (eeuw) and (tee-hee) Scotland ! Oh the shame of it all.
142 Banco : Give us time. We dug a trench between here and France, we're bound to come up with a solution for those ones as well.
143 JGPH1A : Well there was that wall you lot tried, but it didn't last - pity, really. Maybe a minefield ? Expensive but worth it.
144 Banco : Well, typically shoddy Italian workmanship, what do you expect? We've gone one step further really; we've put the nuclear subs up there. One little a
145 JGPH1A : What's taking so long ? Don't you realise the urgency here ?
146 Banco : Are you mad? We've got to get the money back first. We've only been trying for the last 300 years; we invented copper wire when we tried to relive th
147 JGPH1A : Hehe - why not just windfall-tax their oil industry ? I would. Ka-CHING !
148 Post contains images Banco : Not a bad idea. But the cunning buggers then used up all the oil themselves heating up their mud-huts, and stopping us ripping off the French.
149 DeltaDC9 : They are closer to countries than anything within any european country. Different laws Different taxation systems Different internal structures Not t
150 Don81603 : Snap quiz for all Americans... Name a single sport invented by an American...
151 Banco : And armed forces, independent and totally different parliamentary systems, currencies, constitutions, federation etc etc etc.
152 ME AVN FAN : While I of course saw that you were kidding, the facts I have given ARE correct. That canton which in French simply is named "valley" DOES exist. And
153 Post contains images EZEIZA : Certainly not, but it is incredible that the most powerful country in the world, that is fighting terrorism to save the world from a global threat, a
154 JGPH1A : Different laws - Scotland (always has, despite the Union) Different taxation systems - Bavaria and all German Lander Different internal structures -
155 DeltaDC9 : Armed forces - Yes, each state has its own seperate armed force Totally different "parlementary" systems - Yes Currencies - Yes, combined for our con
156 Banco : Armed forces - ours are independent Totally different and independent Parliaments. Yours are not. Currencies: We have many separate, independent ones
157 Post contains images JGPH1A : Not for want of trying
158 DeltaDC9 : The US is the opposite, all powers resided in the states with all the powers of the federal government granted to it by the states via the constituti
159 Post contains images Banco : Saved by the French. A sentence never before written.
160 Post contains images PanHAM : @DeltaDC9 - geography is both a hobby and a necessity in my job, unfortunately i came across this thread razther late. I understand your anger and bel
161 EWRCabincrew : We geniuses do know that state is a generic term. The country is called the United States of America. Not the United Collection of Republics, States
162 DeltaDC9 : Totally different and independent Parliaments. Yours are not. - WRONG! Currencies: We have many separate, independent ones. You do not - We did, now
163 ME AVN FAN : > in Switzerland, each canton has its own constitution, its own parliament and its own directly elected government - each canton sends TWO directly e
164 JGPH1A : Technically speaking, the 13 original states were colonies before they became states - did any of them actually declare individual independence prior
165 DeltaDC9 : I work with mostly Europeans, and they do know a lot about America, which is why I am shocked at what has been said here. Attacking the debater inste
166 RootsAir : sorry to contradict! In French you write Vallée and i suppose Valais is derived from valée Plus people from valais I can't stand. They say "I'm not
167 PanHAM : when the European you work with live in the US they certainly know a lot. I was one of them but knew all the 50 states with their capitals by heart b
168 DeltaDC9 : One of the problems here is that many states were territories with territorial governments. I know of no such comparison within Europe. Congress is o
169 DeltaDC9 : Me too, we recruit from Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, the UK, and other countries and from the get go they seem to know a lot about the US, more than I wou
170 Mdsh00 : Tell that to my brother and his many classmates taking AP (advanced placement) European History right now. A huge chunk of College bound students in
171 DeltaDC9 : The Catholic School system, the second largest in the country, produces consistently better results. People overestimate the number of students that
172 ME AVN FAN : well I thought it to be "Francais Valaisan" ! And they are somewhat peculiar folks up there for sure !
173 JGPH1A : I wonder why that is - I would have thought the idea of becoming a state would certainly appeal. When was the last vote, and what was the result ?
174 Post contains links Mdsh00 : I don't know much about PR politics at all but I think theres basically traditionalists who want full independence, those that want statehood, and th
175 Post contains links ME AVN FAN : - **************************************************** www.wsws.org/news/1998/dec1998/pr-d22.shtml **************************************************
176 Post contains images EZEIZA : Not completely, but until you reach masters degree or similar education levels, it is quite common to see a considerable lack of genreal world cultur
177 AndesSMF : From my limited experience with public schools, there seems to be a great difference between the rich areas and the poor areas quality of schooling.
178 Pbottenb : I understand that you are an American, but the thread is still tiresome (yet I keep coming back..). I agree with you that preschool is very important
179 LOT767-300ER : This class is a joke. I took this class + AP US History and AP Human Geography, Ill even post the results here if you want me to...5's across the boa
180 Post contains links Pbottenb : Except of course, where making maps and implementing technology related to geography is concerned. BTW - if you want to help kids get into geography,
181 Basas : If you think Canadians are any better, for the most part, you're kidding yourself. I'm not saying Americans are great at geography, but Canadians are
182 LOT767-300ER : Even that statement I would doubt myself. That is like saying, Americans engineered the NASA space program and nuclear program and pushed it forward
183 ME AVN FAN : THIS is the confusing aspect ! Having a population which by majority is rather DISinterested in international geography and DISinterested in internat
184 Post contains links Pbottenb : Perhaps, but this is changing and geography is being taught at an earlier age. I guess that the point that I have been trying to make is that while k
185 ME AVN FAN : all this however is NOT "geography" it just is the technical ability to find your way, primarily INSIDE your own (vast) country.
186 Post contains images LOT767-300ER : Oh my.
187 Pbottenb : I disagree, it is the applied geography that is important to the particular group of people in discussion. The Swiss, and apparently people from lots
188 Pbottenb : Dude - it was a joke...get it?
189 Cedars747 : Hola EZEIZA ! In my opinion ,it's lack of interest.It's a society based on interests .I am sure they know about countries rich in oil Alex!!!
190 ME AVN FAN : The Swiss do NOT need that technology stuff mentioned. If driving by car, you can reach the next border from most places within far less than an hour
191 Coyoteguy : I'm scared to ask this... but did anyone get the answer right?
192 TPAflyer : Ya Ill admit that our basic education system is slacking. The hockey coach at my school teaches a few "regular" classes and he asked the bellwork ques
193 Post contains images Mdsh00 : See i guess it's different for everyone. My younger brother went there. However, this was one of those Montessori schools that was exclusively presch
194 Post contains images Pbottenb : Hey man, I may be immature, but by golly I am no techno freak
195 Post contains images Cedars747 : At least they know the currency of UK is Queen Elisabeth money Alex!!!
196 Lionel : Almost right. There are 20 cantons and 6 halfcantons. Thats a total of 26!
197 ME AVN FAN : Sorry, my count is still as it was BEFORE the Canton of Jura was established.
198 Fastenseatbelt : I went to school in Austria and my English teacher told me that she had been to a US school and the kids had thought that Europe was a US state!
199 Post contains images BaylorAirBear : Wouldn't that make 23 whole cantons? BAB
200 Post contains images ME AVN FAN : yes of course, but far more than 23 Baslers mad !
201 Lionel : Normally, we count cantons and not whole cantons. So we get 26 of them!
202 JGPH1A : Maybe Kirkie should go to a Montessori school. He still has trouble with both of these.
203 Scamp : Personally, I think the average student has courses that they do well in and some they do not. Frankly, I can name all 50 states (alphabetically no le
204 DeltaDC9 : I bet if you looked hard enough you could find a European school where kids are under the impression the US had very little to do with the defeat of
205 SK A340 : I was once asked, when I payed with a Swedish credit card in a shop, if I was also from Switzerland like my friend who payed before me. I said no, I'm
206 Post contains images SW733 : States, cantons, laenders...come on folks, these are too easy! I'll give a buffalo nickel to anyone from outside southern Africa who can name just ONE
207 DeltaDC9 : Like I said, it goes both ways. If I was in Europe and said I was from the Midwest, how many people could even come close to knowing what that means?
208 Post contains images Joge : After all this speculation of over 200 messages, the reason why the country was wrong can be really simple: They are using a PC program to get the for
209 JGPH1A : Ummm - Damaraland, Ovamboland, Caprivi - am I close ?
210 SlamClick : Some people sure seem to have a pathological need to feel superior to Americans.
211 Post contains images JGPH1A : Hardly a challenge, really. It's like feeling superior to Scotsmen - one can't help it.
212 SlamClick : Okay, there is one nerve touched. Next!
213 Post contains images Cedars747 : North,central or south Americans ?any way , it's a Nice jock And remember that the US is a mix of people from around the world Alex!!!
214 Post contains links JGPH1A : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense_of_humour
215 SlamClick : " target=_blank>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sense_o...umour Posting your picture does not add to your credibility. (sense of humor)
216 Post contains images LOT767-300ER : Heheheh!
217 Post contains links and images JGPH1A : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spelling
218 SlamClick : Another bit of European insecurity.
219 SlamClick : While you are browsing that unimpeachable source of wisdom and knowledge try looking up "copy-paste" which is what I did. I cannot account for the om
220 SK A340 : That's like me saying I'm from Svealand. We are talking about countries here, not part of countries. /Micke
221 Post contains images JGPH1A : Since when does basking in the warm glow of our inate cultural superiority qualify as insecurity ? OK maybe that's being flippant, but seriously, I'm
222 AndesSMF : But the funny thing to me about that is that some public schools would be competing with other public schools! We have several friend, who after doin
223 Post contains links and images Pbottenb : Wow 200+ posts about geography. If you really do care as much as you say, then check out this GIS Day link and participate in the education of geograp
224 N1120A : It is not called the Republic of Texas anymore No it doesn't Based on the federal constitution and held to the boundaries of it In name only. Federal
225 Post contains images Asturias : A lot of people here confuse Suiza (Switzerland) and Suecia (Sweden) cheers Asturias
226 Post contains images DeltaDC9 : Wrong, California also calls itself the Republic of California. Here is their state flag What does it say???? Texas was brought into the union as a s
227 WSOY : Eric, so according to you there's no European Central Bank and no such currency as the Euro?
228 Pilotaydin : this is one of those GENOA and GENEVA things lol
229 Post contains images Joge : Isn't EU and EMU kind of different things? At least not all the EU member countries have to use the euro... Correct me if I'm wrong. -Joge
230 ME AVN FAN : just as in Switzerland, where people abide by state law (cantonal law) and people prosecuted for a crime are prosecuted by the state (canton) and NOT
231 DeltaDC9 : Which is no surprise, because the varies governmental structures in the US are partly based on the British, French, and other European systems. Ameri
232 PanHAM : The introduction of the Euro is an option. The UK does not want the Euro (yet) and the currencies are floating. Other countries want the Euro but are
233 Scamp : Yeah! What he (she) said!
234 WSOY : Well, there are two sorts of EU legal directives. One kind (regulations) is directly applicable in all member states (as such and immediately), the o
235 Lionel : As far as I know the lake is not only in Lausanne but also in Geneva called Lac Leman!
236 ME AVN FAN : No, the Genevans talk about the "Lac de Geneve" and THEY mean ALL of that lake. If you say "Lac Leman" you will be corrected immediately. And to my e
237 OzGlobal : No, just not the only factor in the equation as you may have been taught. In contrast, during my years in 'elementary' school in Washington DC in the
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