I've had this conversation in Turkey so many times--at döner stands and train stations, in restrooms and art galleries--I've begun to feel remiss about not writing it down earlier:
("Excuse me..." and then whatever question I have to ask.)Them: "Alman mısınız?"
("Are you German?")Me: "Hayır, Amerikalıyım."
("No, American.")Them: "Çok güzel Türkçe ama...!"
("But your Turkish is very good...!")Perhaps knowledge of Americans' general ineptness with other languages precedes us around the world. Or perhaps there are so many Turkish immigrants in Germany that your average German knows a few words of Turkish, like Americans (at least in the West) know "gracias" and "cerveza." Either way, I certainly can't say I don't benefit from the low expectations.