Things you Should Never Say or ask Americans in the USA

by Kevin R Burns
(Kanagawa, Japan)

Things you Should Never Say or ask Americans in the USA



This is for students from Japan and Asia, and going on a homestay or some kind of exchange in the USA.


Americans are proud of their country. It is a great country. There are problems like in any
country, but many inventions have come from the USA. (invention =発明) (proud=誇りに思う)

My American friend said: “Let Americans ask you questions. Then you can do the same. Be very polite (丁寧) at first. Get to know them. Then you can ask about family etc. At first, don`t talk about politics, race, religion, sex or physical appearance (外見).

I think relax and be yourself. Americans are usually very friendly, kind people. You will have fun there. Don`t worry too much about what to NOT say or Ask.

Have fun!



Things you Shouldn`t Say or Ask in the USA


1a. The N word ( I will not type it, but Americans will know to which I am referring) Some Japanese don`t understand the impact of this word.

1. America is dangerous.
2. America has many guns.
3. I like your tall/big nose.
4. Why are you fat? or You are fat.
5. Do you eat hamburgers everyday?
6. I like Japan because it has four seasons. (This sounds like 4 seasons are ONLY in Japan) (Many countries have four seasons.)
7. We Japanese________________________________. ie) We Japanese like natto. (This sounds like ALL Japanese are the same.) But everyone is an individual. With their own character. Better: “Japanese tend to_____________________./Japanese often_________________./ Many Japanese______________________. ie) Many Japanese like soccer. Bad: “We Japanese like soccer.”
8. __________people are dangerous.
9. Do you drink coca cola for breakfast?
10. We are the only country who has experienced the atomic bomb. (Many countries experienced terrible things during the war.)
11. The Nanking massacre never happened. (Most Americans think it did.)
12. Americans smell.

13. Americans smell like butter.
14. Foreigners. Better: People from other countries/immigrants to Japan/Non-Japanese
15. Don`t ask a woman her age.


Americans will ask you many interesting, strange, or surprising questions. Have fun with it.
If you offend anyone with your question or something you have said:

Just say: “Sorry.”

You will have so much fun abroad. (海外で)

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Post TEFL Resources.