Phone talk etiquette in different countries explained (infographic)

Did you know that in Egypt it's common courtesy to make small talk about five minutes into a phone conversation before you actually get to the point? That phones in UK will ring more than six times before going to the answering machine, instead of the typical three or four rings here? Or as chatty as Italians are in person, it is thought impolite to leave someone voice mail longer than half a minute? These and other national phone etiquette peculiarities can be found listed in the slideshow below.



1. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

The chinese are soo rude! Thats why usa have to invade! Who doesnt think a radioactive stoneage future sounds great anyway?

3. troutsy

Posts: 383; Member since: Feb 17, 2012

Wow, that escalated very quickly.

4. omar300

Posts: 210; Member since: Jun 24, 2012

he sounds like a world war 2 veteran who hates on other races

10. Alei-Eldeen

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

It's obvious he's joking, I think.

17. the_best

Posts: 139; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

yeah its pretty obvius i am joking.. my last comment made that clear, or at least so i thought.

2. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

Thailand is up there twice... #4 and #11. Not even different slides; they're the same.

5. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

No one says 'Ta-ta' as a parting remark in Britain. It's 'Ta' short for Thank you.

7. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

Also I really doubt if people in India say 'Namaste' anymore. Anyone and everyone I've ever heard say Hello. But of course I'm only speculating here.

6. aditya.k

Posts: 496; Member since: Mar 10, 2013

India: prefer call over text? I don't think so! And with WhatsApp now, people mostly have forgotten a phone could make calls and send text messages! :P

8. scriptwriter

Posts: 396; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

i live in the UK. The only people who use the word "tata" to say goodbye, are mainly the older generation (50s and above). Most people say, 'byyyyyyye, bye bye' or 'catch you laters'.

9. Alei-Eldeen

Posts: 3; Member since: Aug 07, 2013

In egypt we don't say "ila alikaa' but it's more like "Bye/M'a al-slama"

11. Gaurav008

Posts: 328; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

Am I the only one who thinks this is a stupid infographic? -_______-

13. marceldy

Posts: 18; Member since: Sep 21, 2012


14. amilcarmz86

Posts: 95; Member since: Jul 09, 2013

im with you...

18. vivzek

Posts: 38; Member since: Jul 03, 2012

yup. It is a joke rather than an infographic.

12. nicholassss

Posts: 368; Member since: May 10, 2012

All that to set up a don't text and drive PSA. Ha

15. gustavoace

Posts: 187; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

Here in Brazil we dont say "Who are you?", except for unknown numbers... Some carriers signal are indeed poor, but the 'uh' is used in any conversation, it is like a agreement (short for uhum, that means yes)..

16. zennacko unregistered

...And it's not rude not to answer a call, of course some people will get mad at this attitude, but some things must remain sacred, besides you never know what the caller will talk about, maybe you're watching some movie with your BF/GF and a friend calls you for some pointless conversation (and you know it'll be pointless just by looking at the caller ID), so you can just refuse the call. Also, when the call is important, but at an unfortunate time, we just say "Call me later" or "I'll call you later", or even send a text message saying that you're stuck in the middle of something and can't talk right now, it's perfectly fine, unless you're dealing with an insensitive, thus annoying person who won't mind calling you 100 times until you pick the call. The part of "who are you" exists because many families don't know the concept of a private phone, so they'll treat it like a landline phone, and the 1st to pick the call will talk or direct it to whom it may concern. And there's the crime problem, given by the amount of phone thefts, we gotta ask who's on the other side, if it's an unknown person, then you get to personally meet with the person you wanted to talk to, and chances are the conversation would start with "Can you believe this? My phone was stolen, again! That's why I couldn't keep in touch with you all these days..." -- Seriously, you don't even need a low-end smartphone to lure thieves and drug addicts to steal your phone nowadays :(

19. vishu9

Posts: 252; Member since: Mar 03, 2011

Indians are just starting to have cellphones?? Who is this super-moron?? What about being the 3rd largest telecom market??

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless