Here is what I learned dating someone that did not speak my language.
6. Slang in other languages is hilarious.
It’s actually a great topic of conversation, to compare funny slang words in each other’s language. You don’t realize what strange and funny words you use for certain things until you see it from a foreigner’s perspective. To date, I have learned at least three comical and strange words for female genitalia (Potato?? Sorry what?), and I have also integrated many funny Canadian slangs into his vocab.
7. Sex talk/sexting truly becomes a labour of love.
Those intimate text-moments now become you, him, and google translate. Sexy, right? They just don’t teach you those words at language school! Then there’s the anxiety of saying something wrong, sounding stupid, missing the most subtle of nuances that make the difference between “you give me the chills when you kiss me,” and “you give me the creeps when you kiss me…” Again, knowing how to laugh at yourself is very important!
8. Arguments will never be fair again.
What do you mean? LITERALLY!?! Can’t we argue in English??
9. You’re both going to have to repeat yourself… a lot!
I will never forget the time that we were laying on the couch watching a movie and I said, “Can I have some water?” “Sure!” he said, passing me a sweater. We both died laughing when I asked how he expected me to drink a sweater.
10. Meeting the parents becomes an even more intimidating idea.
If the thought of meeting your boyfriend’s parents was scary before, it’s now amplified by the fact that you are mediocre at best at their language. It’s hard to charm his mother when you can barely even compliment her on her cooking…
Awkwardness, frustration and hilarity aside, dating someone from another culture and language is a really gratifying experience, and a valuable lesson in getting to know another human being on a fundamental level, without always having words to express how you feel and what you think. It’s also a really fun and effective way of improving your language abilities – to ultimately overcome the language barrier. Want to learn Italian? Well, ladies, get yourself a cute Italian hunk who’s English “isn’t the best!”.