A good neighbor

Un bon voisin

  brings cookies over when someone new moves in.
  cares about others.
  cares about you regardless of the circumstances
  greets you with a smile, lends a hand
  helps and is friendly
  helps when needed.
  helps you when you are in need
  Invites you over
  invites you to a cookout
  is always willing to loan you an egg.
  is friendly and comes over to talk
  is friendly but minds their own business
  is friendly towards you and your family, and who helps you out.   They get your mail when you're gone and you mow their lawn.  
  is helpful, is friendly
  is in the neighborhood watch program
  is there when you need him
  leaves you be but is willing to help when asked.
  never home, thoughtful, watches your house when you go on vacation
  will always say hi with a smile.
  you say hi to when you see them, you can borrrow something from in an emergency.

calme, poli, serviable
cherche à me connaître, ne se confine pas dans des civilités et politesses
est calme, serviable, poli
est discret
est sympathique
est une personne de confiance
ne dérange pas trop
ne fait pas de bruit
respecte le voisinage en essayant de ne pas faire de bruit pendant la nuit , est aimable avec tous ses voisins
respecte son voisin
se fait discret, est là quand on en a besoin, est aimable et sympathique
sourit quand on le croise, ne fait pas trop de bruit


It is interesting to compare and contrast this set of responses with the "word
associations" for "neighbors/voisins." The French students who responded to that
seemed surprised that the American students gave words like "friendly" and "friends,"
and the American students seemed to think some part of this stemmed from the
terminology of "friendly." However, the sentences here describe in large part what good
friends do in a deeper sens of the word than the responses of most of the French

For the most part a "good neighbor" seems to be someone who is helpful and friendly
and concerned with the welfare of the others around them (lets them borrow things,
watches their house, provides food, etc.) whereas "un bon voisin" is someone who is
polite but not invasive and doesn't take a lot of initiative (ne fait pas du bruit, est poli,
calme, discret.) Of course, there are exceptions to these generalizations on both sides,
but we're trying to work with an form some sort of generalization.

So, it doesn't seem quite so surprising after all that Americans would consider their
neighbors more like friends if the things they do in the sentences we presented actually
hold true. They probably don't always, but a "good neighbor" does - a neighbor is
somehow jedged here on how close of a friend they become rather than on how little
they bother us.

Hello all,
The first thing I noticed about our responses to "a good neighbor" was that they were not
as starkly different from the responses of the INT students, especially in comparison with
the word association exercise for "neighbors." I think that the picture created by the
phrase completion exercise gives a much more accurate depiction of at least what I think
of what I encounter the word "neighbor." When I look at the majority of the responses,
they describe a kind of friendliness that is balanced with respect for privacy. The only
characterization that I thought described a "friend" more than a "neighbor" was "cares
about you regardless of the circumstances." Many of the other responses described an
idea of a good neighbor as someone who helps out when they are asked, is friendly and
open, but also respects your privacy and "minds their own business."

The students of INT's responses seem to express this same idea of "confiance"
and "serviable" that is, like our responses indicate, balanced with notions of "respecte."
Thus I think that in this exercise our responses show themselves to be more similar than
than in the word association exercise with the word "neighbor." Any ideas on why this
could be?

Lorsque je lis vos réponses à la phrase à compléter "Un bon voisin est quelqu'un qui..."
je me dis que à choisir entre le "bon voisin américain" et le "bon voisin français", je crois
que je m'entourerai bien de "bons voisins américains"...

Ils vous accueillent de la manière la plus chaleureuse qui soit lorsque vous emménagez,
ils sont toujours là si vous avez besoin d'un coup de main, ils vous invitent à manger
chez eux, sont toujours prêts et heureux de faire un brin de causette avc vous, etc.

Sans être caricatural, vous avez une manière de décrire les choses très attrayante alors
que nous Français, restons très neutre à ce sujet, c'est en tout cas ce que je pense...

En fait, cela montre surtout que vous vous exprimez de manière beaucoup plus concrète
que nous et je crois que parfois c'est beaucoup plus parlant...

Mais au final, je crois que nos idéaux se rejoignent, nous les exprimons juste
différemment :-)


M - I was also shocked by the difference one word, "bon"
made in the INT students' description of neighbor. The INT students
used more negative words like "bruit, relations superficielles, et
indifference" to describe their neighbors. When the INT students
described "un bon voisin," however, their responses became very
similar to the responses of our class. Their responses referring
to "neighbor," in general, were focused on "bruit." There were a few
responses to "un bon voisin" referring to "ne fait pas trop de bruit,"
but there were also a lot of responses like, "poli, serviable, calme,
sympathique," etc.

INT students - What if instead of "a good neighbor", the phrase, "a
bad neighbor" was the phrase in which to respond. How would you
describe a bad neighbor? In reality, in your everyday life, if you need
something or need someone's help, how often do you ask your
neighbor? What if you are going on vacation and need someone to
look after your pets and/or pick up your mail? Do you ask a
neighbor or a relative and if no, who would you turn to? Would you
trust your neighbor to look after your house/apartment?

One of the students in our class responded to this phrase with, "is in
the neighborhood watch program." INT students, do you have
programs like this in France? If you have to describe your present
neighbors, would you use the phrase, "bon voisin?"

I know that I have had a variety of experiences with my neighbors
back home in Upstate New York. For example, I have a neighbor
across the street who is the sweetest old woman. She always
takes care of our cats when we go on vacation and she picks up our
mail. The neighbors to our right, my parents are good friends with,
but my sister and I aren't as close with them. It is a family with
children our age, which makes it interesting that we aren't friend
with them. The neighbors to our left, however, we are not friendly
with at all. We hardly have any contact with them and would never
trust them watching over our house. INT students, what are your
personal neighbor experiences?



Un bon voisin est un voisin très éloigné ou qui est prompt à s'assoir autour d'un pti verre.
désolé ce sujet ne m'intéresse pas, je passe...