Why do so many Europeans assume Canada is part of the USA?

Travel Forums General Talk Why do so many Europeans assume Canada is part of the USA?

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11. Posted by Demian (Full Member 117 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!


I think this is an unimportant issue anyway.

If Triupioneer is offended by a bunch of undereducated Europeans who think Canada is part of the US, he either misunderstood them (If someone says: "canada is in America, right?" They'll probably mean the contignent, not the confederation.) or he has a HUGE problem with his self esteem.

And to throw the ball back: how many american's(or canadians, or whatever they're from, I don't care) have I met who don't know where Amsterdam is? Or where Germany lies? Or if Turkey is in Europe or not? How many think I'm from Germany (which is in fact even a bigger offence that saying to a canadian he's from the us)?

And I don't complain! I just laugh about their lack of general knowledge and explain how things really are.

If you want them to know, educate! Works far better that just moan about it. You probably don't have kids ey? (Ever saw a mom complaining to the neighbour her kid doesnĂ˝ know where babies come from? no, she sits ans explains! - if it's a good mom...)

So Triumpioneer, stop whining about stupid Europeans. Just because you know that Can is not part of the US because you're from overthere, doesn't mean every single soul on the planet have to know that!

12. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Okay, this is where the mean ol' Moderator gets to comment about playing nice with others... Everyone's posts have been fine and I find them interesting. So, please consider this a gentle reminder to continue to post with forethought and without malice or mud-slinging. Thanks in advance! ;)

As for the topic...
Everyone who leaves their home soil becomes an ambassador for their country. Part of the whole traveling adventure is being able to enlighten others about you, your origins and where you live. When conversing with those who are not willing to be enlightened, a change of subject or ending the discussion usually works quite well.

What I find most interesting is the fact that Trupioneer was "shocked" by the "geographically un-inclined". My experience has been that people who choose to travel are usually more "geographically inclined" than those who do not, and therefore, better informed about the geography and politics of other worldly places. People, in general, are more concerned with their own little corner, not mine. (Well, mine has been of keen interest for some time now...) Since you choose to travel, you must also accept the fact that there will always be ill- and un-informed people surrounding you. How you deal with it is most important. If the biggest problem you encounter is being compared to the US or considered part of the US - that's not bad - irritating, but still not bad. I think of all the travelers from the US (at this time) who are "defending themselves" on a regular basis and trying to enlighten others the whole US population is not responsible for everything happening around the world.

13. Posted by flo jo (Respected Member 414 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Educate Educate and Educate.

I come from french polynesia and as we do have french passport I get blame for the french bombing in Mururoa. We were the one living in the area getting the health problems and I still get blame for it.
What do i do ? I explain that french did not press the button even if they elected the man who did it, And that having a french passport doesn´t mean you are from mainland France.

Education is all.

I have a aussie friend who sitted in a plane to Uk, had to ask the airhostess where was uk and London on a europe map. Now he knows.

Trupionner thinks about it, if it bother you that much, educate the people and then they will know.


14. Posted by J-wal (Budding Member 28 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Alot of my friends here in the states know nothing about Europe. I would guess 90% could only point out England, but not even France. Well, maybe Italy (the whole boot thing). Some people just aren't interested in it like I am. I am sure that mirrors for people in Europe. They aren't interested in what the US or Canada looks like, or they hate us (which seems to be a popular trend). Alot of people here hate the French for no reason, I think it is just being close minded and uneducated. They say, We saved there asses in WW2. I usually reply, they saved our asses in our Revolutionary War. It doesn't really matter, they were both a long time ago...I think we all should learn more about the other before we hate or dismiss each other.

15. Posted by janis.k (First Time Poster 1 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

maybe because americans assume russia or Turkey to Europe!!

16. Posted by s_hoot (Full Member 497 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I'm American and lived in the UK for three years, I never once met a british person who did not know that the US was seperate from Canada, dont know who you were talkin to but I agree that they must have been really thick. I also travelled all over mainland Europe and always got pin pointed as an American, everyone I met there also pretty well much new the differences between the two.

17. Posted by SeeTheSky (Full Member 558 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Maybe they were just thick.

gahahahhahahah thats hilarious.. seriously it was so flat out i just couldnt help but laugh
just the way it was.. he asked the question, and you basically said 'maybe they were morons' hahaha its perfectly plausible..

once again, you met some europeans that though canada was a part of europe..
your assuming that many europeans assume US/canada are together. you can't be sure. maybe it was just sample size, it just so happened some of the people you talked to felt that way.

you cant blame them, too. i myself am fairly in the dark as to the seperation between UK and scotland, or Uk and ireland..
i really dont know much about europe..
but thats becuase i was never educated here in tunnelvision america..

but im going to be in europe in 7 days, so thats gonna be cured soon

fick yea
hope thats clarificating ering itoining
love Ev

18. Posted by grasshoppa (Full Member 202 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

the US and Canidian cultures are so much alike in so many ways

  • Grashoppa braces himself for some serious abuse from the North Americans*
19. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

I was a Yooper (Upper Penninsula of Michigan/Canadian boarder) I have been a wannabe Canadian since I was kneehigh! I love Canadians! I have never met a Canadian I didn't like, awesome people! :)
You will get no arguement here!

20. Posted by Annju (Budding Member 6 posts) 12y Star this if you like it!

Hi everybody,

first I'd like to introduce myself: I'm a Canadian (actually from Quebec so please forgive my low-quality English), and I've been living and studying in Germany for about four months, in what I would call a huge ERASMUS city of 10 000 students. I found your conversation really interesting!

I totally agree with Isadora's answer. Really, you have to open your mind when travelling. On the other hand, I've been lucky and had the occasion in my life to see many countries (from Japan to Slovaquia), and I remember I used to get offended when people did not know that there is a French province in Canada (actually composed of 7 million - often too chauvinistic, I must admit) and that we do not all speak English. Once or twice, I also met people who assumed that Canada was a part of USA (and were dead serious about it) or even thought that we all live in tipis and can attract whales by throwing them French fries in the sea or, even worse, that we have the right to kill two Indians a year!! And believe me, I know how to make the difference between jokes and real beliefs...but well, I've learned to laugh about it, even if it implies that I have to explain that, no, in Canada, we do not eat bear meat everyday and we do not have beavers at home instead of dogs!!
But then, in my huge ERASMUS community, I also met people from Argentina, from USA or whereever who could learn me some things I did not know about my own country. I think that it's great! And I have, of course, certainly asked them a few stupid questions about their own country...but nobody is perfect, no? Not knowing everything is normal, and also a great opportunity to exchange with people and have a good laugh.
And don't worry Trupioneer, Canada has a great reputation in all the countries I have been to (sometimes it"s even way too overestimated), and we all should be happy to have the chance to travel because, my God, the World is huge and wonderfully complicated...
I'm sorry my answer was a bit long maybe...but I must say I really like travellers' point and I think everybody here has a lot of interesting things to say,