Post # 1
Did you learn your SO’s native language? If so, how long did it take to learn and how much of an effort did you put in? Are you fluent enough now to understand his/her family when they converse with each other, or only when they talk slowly to you?
Post # 2
They speak Hindi. No I haven’t bothered to learn. Been together 2.5 years. Picked up some basic words.
Sometimes I think I should learn. I don’t like not knowing what they are talking about.
We all speak English so that makes it easy for me.
Post # 3
My husband HATED afrikaans in high school and almost failed the subject. Then met me… My family speaks afrikaans lol. He has made a great effort to learn though and is getting a lot better, but isn’t fluent. My family do speak slower around him though, and sometimes translate so he can follow.
Post # 4
We I was already relatively fluent in his language before we started dating as I live in his country. he spoke English but struggled with british english at first, and me speaking with my natural accent was out of the question!
I have no problem with his family but his Dad sometimes speaks slowly because he can’t wrap his head around a foreigner speaking their language.
My family never slowed down because they didn’t realise he wasn’t following and were so excited to meet him. (if anything they sped up and used our local dialect! but SO got along great with everyone and i just help when he needs it!)
Post # 5
I’m English and my husband is Thai. When I met him I couldn’t speak a word of Thai but he could speak English. A few years later and my Thai is still quite basic but if I pay attention I can understand the gist of conversations, but I don’t like to speak it myself because I get nervous and feel stupid if people don’t understand me. He always tells people ‘she understands but won’t speak’. I’ve never had any lessons but I will make myself at some point because it’s embarassing being here so long and not being as good as I should be – but it’s very difficult with it being tonal, and a different alphabet to learn for reading/writing. Also we live in the south which has a different dialect – it’s faster and they shorten words and sentences so it’s not the same as what is in ‘Learn Thai’ books. On the other hand, my partner’s English has improved a lot and his grammar has become much better.
Post # 6
akshali2000 : my hubby is Dutch and we currently live in NL. As a Russian i have to learn Dutch if I want my residence permit to be extended. I am making an effort but damn it is tough!
Post # 7
I was already fluent in his language and actually speak it better than a lot of native speakers, lol. But he doesn’t understand anything in my language (so he says), can’t speak it and feel left out. I bought him books but he didn’t bother to learn.. He has such good pronunciation and potential to speak it really well, it’s a shame. We have a baby now, I speak my language to her and we hope he’ll learn with the baby.
Post # 8
mrs2014 : Maybe I could help you,😉
Post # 9
Hus is Japanese, I met him after living here for over 5 years , so my Japanese was already quite good. It got better after moving in with him. His family are from waaay up north though and when they are all together I and speaking the local dialect I can just understand what they are saying most of the time, despite being almost fluent. Having said that it must be the same for hus when he comes back to the north of England (Newcastle) with me. Even my some of my English friends don’t understand geordie! 😂
Post # 10
morokuri : legojedi : mrs2014 : hollyemma : Ah, it probably helps a lot to actually live in the country so there’s more of a pressing need to learn the language (especially if you were there before you met your SO, so you were learning for your own personal growth, not just relationship related).
EDIT: Sorry I didn’t really give any background on myself. My SO and I speak English with each other and with each others’ families. Everyone’s English is good (except for grandparents). But his mom wants me to learn their language so they can feel more comfortable around me and not have to always switch into English (a process which sort of formalizes the conversation, they’re used to joking around in Tamil). I’m going to try to learn a few basics but it’s hard to pick up on a native speaker’s accent, speed of talking, pronunciation, slang vocabulary, etc. I don’t think I will get to the point where I can be one of them and jump in on their jokes and informal banter, but I’ve also heard just taking the first step can go a long way with forming new relations with families.
Post # 11
legojedi : My SO is Japanese too, and I’m from Liverpool so the family he was struggling to keep up with were scousers!
We went back for a friends (a geordie) wedding a few years ago, I think he just gave up trying to understand pretty quickly!
akshali2000 : Learning a language to fluency just so his family can joke around you is a lot of pressure to put on yourself- but with dedication i’m sure you can do it. 🙂 Once you learnt the basics, why not reward yourself with a trip and immerse yourself in the culture too?!0
Post # 12
I’m English FI speaks afrikaans, i do speak afrikaans here and there but cannot read and write properly, and it sucks because i express myself fluently in english
Post # 13
He speaks a language called Darija. I try and think I’m making good progress until I go and I can’t understand anything. I speak to him in his language when I’m on the phone and don’t want others to know what we’re talking about
Post # 14
FH and his family speak Russian. I have learned approximately 150 words in Russian and I can have simple conversations with non-English speaking family. I asked him a lot of “how do you say ____ in Russian?” over the years. Then I picked up a copy of Rosetta Stone on a Black Friday deal a few years ago. That helped tremendously. Currently, I’m in grad school and planning the wedding so I’ve stopped actively learning.
I’d like to keep practicing over the years before FH and I have kids.
I get compliments from his family all the time on my pronunciation and little accent when I speak Russian and that positive reinforcement leads me to want to speak more around them.
Post # 15
My Fi and his family speak english and some broken italian but not enough for me to need to learn how to speak it.
My family speaks russian and my fi has learned a lot of words doing a lot of the same as teacher-bee-in-the-sea : , he understands a ton and can semi speak with my grandmother at least with some help from one of us.