I’m American. And yes I talk loudly. I don’t deny that.
But I’ve come to learn that the stereotype that American are loud is misleading. Not because Americans aren’t loud (we are). But because we aren’t the only ones that are loud (nor are we the loudest).
The Dutch, I’ve discovered, are pretty damn loud.
I’ve noticed that two Dutch people, standing side by side, often carry out a conversation as if they were standing in separate rooms, completely oblivious to the fact that they are talking at a volume far in excess of the necessary level.
We live in a flat in central Utrecht, near a busy pedestrian area, and we often leave the window open when the weather is nice. The entire flat echoes with the shouted conversations of passers-by (either sober in the day or drunk at night, they are equally loud). And anyone who has fallen asleep on a Dutch train has probably been jerked awake and startled by the booming announcement of the train conductor, “DAMES EN HEREN….” (“Ladies and Gentlemen…”).
So, we Americans get a bad rap. I don’t think it is so much that Americans are particularly loud as British people (and other cultures like the Japanese) are particularly quiet. In my experience, the Dutch, Italians, Spanish, and Greeks are just as loud as Americans. And during my time living in Africa, I noticed that Tunisians are Somalis are also loud, especially when talking on their cell phones, negotiating prices, or arguing in public. So, speak up!