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Лингвистический центр

What's wrong with them?


How many times have you asked yourself 'what are they doing here in our poor, uncivilized, god-forsaken country', a country with a chaotic economy, as they call it? I am not taking about occasional businessmen who after a portion of borshch and a few shots of vodka will be burning to ask you 'do they have tours to Chernobyl ?' Nor even about happy-clappies , the guys in white shirts and black trousers with backpacks full of Bibles who wander about on a mission to awaken the minds of our people with the sacred question 'Have you heard about Jesus?' I am talking about these tramp-looking Americans in ripped T-shirts, pants that have never experienced a touch of an iron and boots that should have been thrown away at least ten years ago. So, what brings them here?

As one of them once told me, "If you do something bad in America , you can go to prison or join the Peace Corps and go to a third-world country like Ukraine as a volunteer". Then, of course, cheap booze and girls. An average American cannot afford getting drunk on vodka (in the USA they consume beer, it's much cheaper) and doesn't even dream about Champagne . As for the women, in America you might end up in court for sexual harassment or discrimination if you do as much as smile at a girl or open a door for her. And besides, have you seen non-Hollywood American women? Providing there are fewer women than men in America , a guy has to jump through hoops to charm a girl or have a lot of cash. In our country they are sure that they can have any woman they want – it is enough to be an American. And there are reasons for them to think so. Many women in Ukraine believe that they can solve all their problems by marrying an American and going to live in the best country in the world. Good luck to them and good riddance !

But as for common Ukrainian girls and guys socializing with Americans here, they think it to be their duty to take care of these helpless foreigners lost in our open- manhole reality, a trait so characteristic of the Slavic people. We help them find apartments, do the shopping, deal with our bureaucratic nonsense and our developing banking system, solve various problems etc. This is the way we are. But in their own culture such behavior is unusual. Thus, the only way for them to explain it is to think that we worship them. They take it for granted and they are never grateful, moreover they can't stop complaining about how impolite and unhelpful people are in this country. On top of it, they can throw a fit if you just mention their being late blaming stupid marshrutkas, life in Ukraine or even you. There is a good joke: "A dog thinks 'man feeds me and takes care of me – he must be God'. A cat thinks 'man feeds me and takes care of me – I must be God''.

And those who strongly believe that it is very effective to study English with "native Americans" (as they call themselves), should first of all know that in most cases they are not teachers and some of them have no education at all. Ask them what they did before they came to Ukraine . There is no denying that they cannot explain their own grammar and do not want to waste their time on it. Quoting their own words, "It makes me throw up in my mind every time I have to explain grammar". Don't get me wrong, they are not completely useless. Take all you can by practicing your language skills on any occasion you have: at speaking clubs, social events or even when you help them – the real language environment is vital, and this is the best that they can do for you.

So, my fellow Ukrainians! Stop behaving like second-rate people – respect yourselves and treat them they way they deserve. After all, you represent a 13-century culture while they come from the 'melting pot' society that is hardly 250 years old.


happy - clappies – верующие, которые исполняют религиозные песни, сопровождая их интенсивным хлопаньем в ладоши ( от англ. clap – хлопать)

jump through hoops – прилагать неимоверные усилия

good riddance – скатертью дорожка

manhole – канализационный люк

native Americans – племена индейцев, населявшие Америку до прихода европейцев

' melting pot ' society – (об Америке) общество, в котором смешиваются различные расы и культуры


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Aiagi ii?aeiaaou! Eaneaai igineii!