Manners and Customs in the United States
餐 桌 礼 仪
美国人在吃饭的时候是很安静的，就是吃东西的时候不发出任何的声音。如果没有闭上嘴就在嚼食品的话，一般都认为这样的做法是粗鲁和没有礼貌的。在嘴里嚼食品的时候，应该闭上嘴，这样就不会有任何不雅的声音发出来。在用餐的时候，千万不要打嗝或者让食品从嘴里掉出来。但是一旦发生了，就立刻需要致歉。但是不必多言，只要说“I am so sorry”或者“Please excuse me”就可以了。美国人认为在餐桌上发出吃喝的声音，比如喝汤或者喝饮料的声音，也是粗鲁和没有礼貌的。
Here are some suggestions about dining with Americans. These will be true whether you are eating with them in their home or at a restaurant. If you are invited to an American’s home for dinner it is polite to bring a wine, a box of chocolates, or something from your country as a gift for your host. It does not need to be expensive. Americans appreciate the thought of the gift more than the price tag.
It is considered proper to place your napkin in your lap while you eat. If you are not eating with both hands then your unused hand should also rest in your lap. Do not put your elbows on the table unless you are comfortable with your hosts as friends. In all formal settings your elbows should remain off the table.
Most of the time Americans will cut their food with a knife and fork. They will use their dominate hand to both cut and eat. So, if I am right-handed and I’m eating a steak, I would use my knife to cut my steak with my right hand. After the steak is cut, I’d put the knife down and take my fork in my right-hand to eat. For formal dinners it is best to cut each piece at a time and eat it. Do not cut the entire steak up all at once.
There are some foods which are o.k. to eat with your hands. We generally eat hamburgers, pizza, sandwiches and a variety of other foods with our hands. The only time we would not use our hands is if we are in a formal restaurant and having a formal meal. However, hamburgers and pizza are rarely ever served at a formal dinner or in a formal restaurant.
Americans eat much more quietly than other cultures. It is considered rude and offensive to eat with your mouth open. When you chew your food keep your lips together and chew so that there is not disturbing sounds coming from your mouth. If possible, never belch at the table. If you do so immediately make apologies. “I’m so sorry.” Or “please, excuse me” is sufficient. It is also considered rude to slurp your soup or loud sipping of your drink at the table.
One last strange custom among Americans is found with the phrase, “make yourself at home” or “help yourself.” Although this may at first seem rude to you it is actually a very good thing in America. If you are invited to an American’s home and they tell you to “help yourself” they are saying, “You are one of us, like family.” This is an invitation to go into the kitchen and prepare yourself a drink, a snack or whatever. If you’re a first time visitor to their home they will probably not tell you this. They will serve you and be more reserved. However, the next time you arrive at their home you will most likely hear those words and you will know you are truly welcomed.
What is interesting or strange to you from this article?
What should Americans know about eating with Chinese people?
What should Americans never do at a Chinese table?
If Americans are invited to dinner at a Chinese's home what should they give as a host or hostess gift?