Throughout the world, the Japanese are known as being a particularly diligent and hardworking people, perhaps even to a fault. They are viewed as being bound by honor to devote their lives to their company and inner circle of closest friends and family.

Italians, on the other hand, are often thought to be, shall we say, extremely laid-back. Insofar as these things can be quantified, Italians work, on average, a bit less than those in many other countries, are quicker than many to hug and show affection, and are generally understood to be considerably less formal (and more, um… amorous) than the Japanese and others in both work and personal life. And with Japan being one of the most homogeneous countries in the world, and also being an island nation, it’s pretty common for the Japanese to exaggerate stereotypes even more than people from the rest of the world, as interaction with foreigners tends to be limited.

Which is why these “OMG, that’s soooo Italian!” Twitter stories Japanese Netizens shared about their encounters with Italian friends and acquaintances are apparently considered the pinnacle of comedy here in Japan. Let’s take a look.

Talking with an Italian friend:

Me: ‘How do you say ‘Otsukaresama’ (the common workplace greeting in Japan that means, essentially, ‘Thanks for your hard work!’) in Italian?

Italian friend: ‘What’s that mean?’

Me: ‘Like, you don’t say anything like that when you leave work?’

Italian friend: ‘Ah, I see! Well, Italians don’t work very hard, so there’s no need for a word like that.’”

(Side note: Italy actually places above Japan in terms of productivity, despite Japan’s hardworking reputation.)

“Talking to some foreign friends. One says, ‘I want to do something to thank a male friend who’s always paying for my meals. What should I do?’ The German friend looks deep in thought. Suddenly, the Italian in the group blurts out, ‘Why don’t you wear a mini-skirt for him?!'”

“My mom’s coworker is married to an Italian guy and lives in Italy. She says she’s gained a lot of weight since moving, to which her husband responds, ‘That means there’s more of you to love!’ Italians have a lovely way of thinking!”

“List of Italian pickup lines:

‘Tell your mother thanks… for bringing such a wonderful woman into the world.’

‘Are you only this beautiful on Wednesdays, or every day?’

‘I curse my luck… of having not been able to meet you until today.’

‘Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?’

‘I hear heaven is in a panic right now, because they lost such an angel.’

‘Every time I see you, you get more beautiful.’

‘I don’t want to lose you.’

‘I love you the way you are'”

It probably goes without saying that a few of the above may or may not have originated in Italy. The “fell from heaven” line is notorious pretty much globally and there’s essentially no way to know where a pickup line originated anyway. Also, the last couple are just, like, normal things people say when they’re dating and aren’t really pickup lines and are also pretty much used everywhere, even in Japan.

“Reaction in France when you speak English: ‘Huh? This is France. Speak French, dammit!’

Reaction in Italy when you speak English: ‘Is there something wrong? It seems like you’re speaking in English, but I don’t understand, so I’ll respond in Italian, okay?'”

It seems like this one is commenting on how Italians will go out of their way to help a tourist in need, while French people will just treat you with disdain if you don’t speak French (and holy crap, guys, that is a can of worms we really hope you don’t open in the comments), but it could also be some kind of observation on how Italians actually speak and understand English, but respond to you in Italian anyway.

“On [Japanese women’s fashion magazine] ViVi: An Italian guy says, ‘Women’s makeup skills in Japan are amazing! When they take off their makeup, it’s like they’re different people. It’s great! It’s like dating two different women!'”

As you can see, a few of these tweets are enjoying some serious circulation. Whether these interactions accurately represent Italians as a whole is a totally different story; one which we’ll leave up to each reader’s judgment.

Source: Corobuzz
Top image: Wikimedia Commons/Jorgeroyan