The Daily Demarche
Saturday, February 26, 2005
Don't be the Ugly American.
Here is something a little lighter for the weekend. We occasionally get e-mail from readers along the lines of “I am planning a weeklong trip to Western Ickystan. Can you tell me if there is anything I should know?” Most of the time I refer these questions to the Department of State Travel Advisory Page, where one can find tidbits such as:

This Travel Warning is being issued to inform American citizens that the Department of State has lifted the authorized departure status of non-emergency American employees and adult family members of all employees at the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. However, the Department continues to prohibit minor dependents from accompanying U.S. government employees there. The Department alerts U.S. citizens to ongoing safety and security concerns in Cote d'Ivoire and urges them to defer non-essential travel to that country. This supersedes the Travel Warning of December 3, 2004.

Now, this is good information. But what if I have no choice, I have to go to Abidjan soon and I want something a little more concrete? Like, how can I order a beer there for the gentleman at the bar who might otherwise be inclined to do me bodily harm? I mean, really, who wants to be the ugly American?

No problem, help is here, courtesy of All About Beer magazine and a reader who took note of my mention that unlike Smiley with his appletinis, I am a beer drinker. This excellent reader sent me a list of the phrase “one beer, please” in 28 different tongues- good luck pronouncing some of these:

Chinese: (Cantonese) Ng goi bei bear jou.
Chinese: (Mandarin) Ching gai wor e ping pea jou.
Czech/Slovak: Jedno pivo prosim.
Danish: En øl tak
Dutch: Een bier alstublieft.
Flemish: Een pintje alstublief.
Afrikaans: Een pintje asseblief.
Finnish: Yksi olut, kiitos.
French: Une bière. S’il vous plait.
Gaelic: Pionta beoir abhain led do thuil.
German: Ein bier bitte.
Greek: Mia beera parakolo.
Hindi: Ek beer deejiya.
Hungarian: Egy sört kérek.
Icelandic: Einn bjor takk.
Italian: Una birra, per favore.
Japanese: Birru o ippon kudasai.
Korean: Magjoo hanna Juse-yo.
Latin: Unam cerevisiam si placet.
Norwegian: En øl takk.
Polish: Jedno pivo prosze.
Portugese: Uma cerveja por favor.
Russian: Odno pivo pozhaluista.
Spanish: Una cerveza por favor.
Swahili: Pombi moja tafadhali.
Swedish: En öl tak.
Tagaolog: Isang beer nga.
Thai: Khor beer neung khoud, krup (change krup to ka if you are a female).

Remember folks, everytime you leave the country you are the face of America. So drink responsibly, tip the bartender and try to order at least one beer in the local language!


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dé·marche 1) A course of action; a maneuver. 2) A diplomatic representation or protest 3) A statement or protest addressed by citizens to public authorities.

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