You are walking down the street. You see someone throw an empty can of Coke on the sidewalk.

Vous marchez dans la rue. Vous voyez quelqu'un jeter une canette de Coca vide sur le trottoir.

be disappointed and grossed out

Depending on my proximity and mood, I would either ignore it, pick it up and dispose of it, or pick it up, hand it to them, and admonish them.

grab their attention, pick it up and recycle it, make sure they know what to do for next time. (alternatively, if you have good aim, chuck it at them)

I give them a dirty look and perhaps a disgusted noise, and then I pick it up and recycle it.

I pick it up and throw it away.

I pick up the coke and follow the person around with it (if I had the time).

I tell them to pick it up. If they don't I pick it up myself so they feel embarrassed.

I will glare at them if we are close to each other. I may pick it up if I am nearby, and I think they don't have the swine flu.

I will pick it up and throw it in the trash can.

I wish they would take better care of the environment.

I would give them a mean look, then pick up the can and throw it in the nearest trashcan.

I would keep walking.

I would pick it up

I would pick it up and recycle it or throw it away.

I would pick it up.

I would probably be too distracted in my own thoughts to notice.

I would think he doesn't respect his environment.

I would throw it out, and complain to my friend about the carelessness of humanity.

I'd probably just walk past

If it's convenient for me at the moment, I'd pick it up and throw it out or recycle it.

If there's a trashcan nearby I'll pick it up and throw it away.

Ignore it.

Ignore it.

Keep walking.

Leave it and walk by.


Pick it up and recycle it.

Think that person is destroying the environment. I may or may not recycle the can.

wait until they've passed then recycle it.

Yell, 'Hey, you dropped something,' and make sure he picked it up and threw it out.

ça me révolte qu'on ne pense pas au réchauffement climatique!

cela m'importe peu .

cela me désespère, je la ramasse et la mets à la poubelle et si la personne n'est pas trop loin, je lui explique que son geste est mal.

Hey toi la bas ! Tu vas ramasser tout de suite cette canette et tu vas la mettre dans la poubelle la plus proche ! C'est à cause de mecs comme toi que le monde est pollué ...

Je continue mon chemin...

je grimace, ça ne fait pas l'unanimité de jeter des déchets: mais c'est en général une façon de se rebeller ou un manque d'attention...

Je la ramasse et je la jette a l'emplacement prévu à cet effet ( la Poubelle).

Je le dévisage, puis je ramasse la canette pour la mettre dans une poubelle.

Je le regarde d'un air de reproche.

je le regarde et lui dis qu'il y a une poubelle pas très loin

je lui demande de la ramasser et de la jeter dans la poubelle la plus proche

je lui demande gentiment de mettre a la poubelle.

je lui dirais qu'il y a une poubelle à deux mètres de lui.

je lui fais remarquer que c'est de la dégradation de l'environnement et lui demande de mettre ses déchets dans des bacs à ordures désormais et je ramasse la canette s'il refuse

je me dis qu'il aurait dû la jeter à la poubelle; si je connais cette personne je lui fais la réflexion

Je ne dis rien mais n'en pense pas moins ... Il y a des poubelles à tous les coins de rues!

je ne lui dis rien, mais je ne le fais pas .

Je ne pense pas que je dirai quelque chose à cette personne.

je ne réagis pas forcément même si je suis consciente qu'il faudrait qu'elle finisse à la poubelle.

je poursuis mon chemin

Je suis choquée, mais je crois que je n'oserais pas lui dire de la mettre à la poubelle par peur de sa réaction.

Les poubelles ça existe, certains ne respectent vraiment rien.

Même si cela est mauvais je ne pense pas que je réagirai malheureusement ces gestes sont devenus tellement banals

S'il n'y a personne d'autre dans la rue je la ramasse et la mets dans la poubelle la plus proche.


salut,je remarque que de plus en plus nous prenons conscience de notre environnement des deux cotés mais qu'il reste encore à faire avec les personnes qui laissent passer ce genre de geste

Deux réactions semblent possible : soit on la ramasse et on essaie de sensibiliser l'autre, soit on continue tout en sachant que nous ne le ferons pas. Il est difficile d'être tout le temps écolo, mais c'est en évitant ce genre de choses que peut être nous arriverons à moins la dégrader. Si chacun y mettait du sien, cela ne se produirait pas comme cela.

Maintenant, je ne pense pas que j'irai pour autant sensibiliser la personne, c'est en voyant ce genre de choses, que je me dis que je ne le ferai pas.

Given the number of people who claim they would pick up the can (on the American side), I'm quite surprised that I have never actually seen anyone do it. I thus suggest that this should not be taken as a statement of people's actual behavior, but rather of their ideas of what would be desirable.

With this little caveat, we can still analyze differences in the responses. I think this is actually a nice example where the opinions of the situation are extremely similar, but the reactions are not. For instance, if we look at how often "I would tell the person to throw it in the trash" and "I would throw it in myself" are mentioned on either side, it seems that the French are generally more likely to confront and try to educate other people, while Americans would rather just do their own part.

I agree with you David; I think Americans don't like confrontation as much, and it shows in the responses.  I feel it may have something to do with privacy and law in the United States rather than in France.  I'm just curious as to what a reaction might be from someone who is in France and they have been confronted with what might happen in the US?  In the United States, you'd either get someone who didn't realize it, and they'd apologize, they'd ignore you, or flip you the bird. 





I was surprised by how diffferent the responses on the two sides were.  The French were very much about telling the person to pick it up and maybe picking it up if they refused.  The Americans, however, were much less confrontational.  If they were going to do something about it, then they justed picked the can up and threw it away without mentioning anything to they person who threw it.  I think that most Americans feel the other person has the right to do what he/she wants that it would be kind of rude to interfere with that right.  How do the French feel about saying something in a situation like this?  How you react if someone stopped you and told you not to litter?

Les responses est tres similaires. Quelqu'uns ont le despprobation, quelqu'uns diraient quelque chose, et qulequ-uns le negligeraient. Beaucoup le prendraient, donc je suis surprise les rues sont si salit.

David, Justin, I agree, there were too many "I'd throw it away" responses given how much litter there is.

Megan, tu dis que pour les américains ça serait impoli de dire à la personne qu'elle a fait quelque chose de mal. Je constate que ce n'est pas la seule situation où les américains restent "passifs". En effet, au cinéma si quelqu'un fait du bruit vous n'allez pas lui dire de se taire, quelqu'un qui parle trop fort au téléphone dans le train ou le bus c'est la même chose. Pour vous c'est vraiment impoli de dire à la personne de se taire ? En france, parler au cinéma, utiliser son téléphone dans le train ou le bus en dérangeant les autres, voilà ce qui est impoli !

Pourquoi réagissez vous ainsi ?

Alice, I think that even though Americans are not as polite or formal towards each other as the French are, at the same time, they find it hard to be outright rude with someone or to point out their faults. Even if they do, they feel the need to mask it with apologies. I will let someone who was born and brought up in America and understands the culture better, answer the question of why this is. I just have the impression that Americans are very private and like to mind their own business. They might consider telling someone what to do or what not to do, a breach of privacy.

I was in fact, surprised at how 'aggressive' the reactions of the French were to most of these situations. Is it the norm in France that if someone is impolite or disrespectful to you, you treat them the same way? Or do you follow your culture of politness no matter what?



One factor is the size and diversity of subcultures here. In many subcultures, being loud in public is if one person from a quiet subculture criticized someone from a loud subculture, the loud person would feel just as "in the right" and be offended (hence, conflict ensues).

Despite an over-arching "American" culture, and our English roots, there has been a near-constant infusion of immigrants from Europe, Africa, Asia, South America, and eastern Europe. Many of these communities have not "Americanized" and they evolve very differently.

Ultimately, we were taught as children to repsect the "great American melting pot" (domestically at least...).