You are at the movies. The people sitting right behind you make loud comments about the film.

Vous êtes au cinéma. Les personnes assises juste derrière vous commentent le film à voix haute.

"Please let people listen to the movie"

Depends on comments. If they are funny, it's even better.

Get very annoyed, give them a look, but not say anything.

I will ask him to be quiet politely.

I would continue to watch the movie without saying anything

I would ignore them.

I would tell them to stop talking.

I would think about how I could get them to be quiet, then joke about it with my friends.

I would try to suppress my anger

I would turn around and look at them to let them know (but not say anything), and then turn back around to continue watching the movie.

I'll ignore them.

I'll turn back, stare at them. If they still don't stop, I'll ask them to be quiet.

If I agree with them, I would probably do nothing. If I think their comments are annoying, I probably still wouldn't do anything but roll my eyes.

If it's not too frequent, I would not do anything. If it is consistent, I would ask them to minimize the comments or quiet them.

if the comments are not funny, I would ask them politely to lower their voices.

ignore them, if they don't stop, politely ask them to quite down.

Is it funny? If yes, ask them to be quiet. If no, ask them to be quiet.

no reaction.

Say nothing and hope they shut up.

tell them to be quiet

tell them to tone it down

Turn around and ask them to be quiet, please.

Turn around and ask them to stop ruining my experience.

Turn around and tell them to shut up. Politely.

You ignore it for a while, and make a loud "shhh" sound if it continues. Complain to the movie theater executives if it continues.

Je change de place.

Je change de rang et je vais discuter avec eux (ou pas)

je leur demande d'arrêter de parler en m'énervant un peu

je leur demande de baisser d'un ton

Je leur demande de parler moins fort.

Je leur demande de se taire

je leur demande de se taire, ils pourront faire leurs commentaires plus tard.

je leur demande de se taire, si elles ne le font pas je m'énerve.

je leur demande de se taire. S'ils continuent, je leur répète jusqu'à ce que ce soit suffisant, quitte à faire un scandale dans le cinéma.

Je leur demande gentiment de faire moins de bruit.

Je leur demande poliment de se taire ou de changer de place pour ne gêner personne.

Je leur demande une première fois de se taire, si elles continuent je m'énerve et leur demande de sortir d'elles mêmes ou par la force.

Je leur fais remarquer qu'ils dérangent tout le monde.

je leur mets la pression en leur demandant de faire moins de bruit au moins une fois.

je lui demande de se taire, et insiste plus physiquement si il le faut.

Je lui demande, poliment, de parler moins fort

je me retourne de manière explicite pour qu'ils comprennent. Si ils ne comprennent pas je le leur dis.

je me retourne et leur demande d'arrêter

Je me retourne et leur demande poliment d'arréter de parler.

je me tais, si ils continuent à parler trop fort je leur dis.

Si le film ne vous intéresse pas, barrez vous!


We can see every french students don't hesitate to show the disturbance and to make a reflection contrary to American who mostly prefer ignoring noisy people. Maybe are you more tolerant or do you just want to avoid conflict ?

I think for the most part people just want to avoid conflict.

In general, I think Americans try to avoid conflict if possible. We "trust the system." In other words, we hope that if they do not quiet down, someone from the movie theatre will shut them up. I imagine that, if the distrubance continued, many Americans would ask the manager to deal with the problem. Another reason is that we are taught to be slightly wary of strangers, since we could get in trouble either with them or with the authorities if the conflict escalates. By the way, I believe that the responses would have been slightly different in some parts of the United States. For example, in New York City, people are often more direct and would probably have no problem telling someone to quiet down.

Are we more tolerant? Maybe. Some people do not care too much if noise is made, especially if it's amusing. However, I think this has more to do with us not wanting to engage these strangers and get into trouble.

I agree that is has mainly to do with Americans wanting to avoid conflict, but why aren't the French victims of this concern? It is somewhat expected to have a least one talkative group at the theater here, but is it maybe the norm that French movie theaters are supposed to be quite, and that's why it is easier to tell someone to be quite without the fear of getting into a conflict?

I feel that many Americans try to avoid conflict in the fear that it escalates.  If the conflict escalates, chances are that both parties will be removed from the theatre even if you were just asking the other group to be quiet.  If the comments continue for a long time however, I believe that most Americans would confront the people making noise just as the French would.  I think we are willing to compromise our own enjoyment slightly to avoid a direct conflict.


Are the French this confrontational about most problems?

"Je leur demande de parler moins fort".....most of the french responses were of this it that the french easily voice their opinions?

I definitely fall under the 'avoid conflict' category -- so much so that many of my friends must urge me to speak up when there is a such issue.  However, in 'avoiding conflict,' I feel that many Americans would be more likely to shoot the loud moviegoers a dirty look, in a very passive-aggressive move...instead of asking them politely to be quiet.

I wonder if this passive-aggressiveness -- which can be seen in many other situations, such as waiting in line, etc. is more prominent in one culture than the other.  And if it arises from being raised in an environment where others display this trait frequently, so as to be viewed as more 'acceptable' and a 'normal' response?  

Or if it is purely an internal personality trait based on the individual.

(Of course, the nature vs. nurture debate can be made in each one of these situations....)

I'm in the "speak up" category. But this situation is that you are one of the majority who thinks no talking during movie is right. What if the situation changes: you are one of the minority who thinks people are doing the wrong thing. Will you feel shocked or annoyed, but never speak to them directly?

I agree. I am in the category that would just ask nicely, rather than give a mean look. Even if I was in the minority, I would ask them to keep quiet as it never harms to ask really politely. 

Le fait est qu'en France la norme est un cinéma silencieux. Il est très rare également qu'une personne parle à voix haute pour s'exprimer. Il n'y a jamais d'escalade car le personnel du cinéma intervient très rapidement. Il n'est pas rare que des personnes soient exclus d'un cinéma uniquement à cause de la lumière de leur tel portable.

I think Americans definitely like to avoid conflict, as evidenced by the fact that several American responses claimed ignoring the situation whereas almost all French responses mentioned confronting the loud people.

Dima, I am not sure if this is a general American quality or not.  I think a lot of the kids at MIT are not very confrontational, but I know a lot of Americans outside of MIT that can be very confrontational.  I think this may have to do with the sample population we are polling, rather than American students as a whole. 

I see Baris' point and I think it's more dependant on individual's personality trait. I also agree with Dima that there is a certain trend for Americans to avoid conflict. More than that I think many American's anticipate a third person or authority to take care of the matter than to confront it themselves. There are many American's who voice their disturbance as Baris mentioned but I think the culture is more toward avoiding conflict...

I do think that generally, Americans like to avoid confrontation (we also saw this in the supermarket line question). I feel that it has something to do with "not causing a scene" - I think, if many americans think of someone calling someone out on something, they conjure up the picture of some ... jerk, to use kinder language ... who only cares about themselves. Many people will complain to themselves, or to their friends later, but if someone does something about it - (the supermarket example is better here, as it is a more public confrontation) they're often considered rude as well. So, I think Americans avoid confrontation because they don't want to be "that guy" who makes a scene - usually people think it's more worth it to just let it go, even if they fume on the inside.