Post # 1
My Fiance is Korean. His parents moved to the US over 30 years ago, but they are far from fluent in English. His mom is as sweet as can be, but we pretty much have the same conversation whenever we talk. If we deviate from it, I end up just smiling and chuckling politely. They don’t use computers, so we can’t even try using written language (although I think that would be helpful). We’re in NC and they’re in CA so that doesn’t help either. I know that the chances of me learning Korean well enough to have a conversation are slim to none. We’ve tried having my Fiance translate, but that doesn’t work out so well and my Future Mother-In-Law doesn’t like it. She wants to forge a relationship, and so do I, but it’s REALLY REALLY HARD! I work with deaf kids! I spend all day working with people who have a tough time communicating and this is way harder than that!
Anyone else have a language barrier with your In-Laws? How do you handle it?
Post # 3
Yes!! I can totally sympathize with you here. My FH’s family is from Vietnam. Learning it is VERY difficult as it is a tonal language and so different from English. I just ordered Rosetta Stone software, actually–I am really trying to learn, as my Future Father-In-Law lives only an hour away from us and we see them frequently. FH and I both want me to give a speech in Vietnamese at the wedding, so I better get crackin’..haha!
Does your FH give you any lessons at home? Mine teaches me a few words everyday, like when we are making dinner he will teach me a few words, etc. It helps a lot!
Post # 4
Not me but my Fiance.
Like @FutureMrsTran: you can at least try Rosetta Stone.
My mom speaks a native tongue of our small village but the other one is Cantonese which NO CD Learning company has! It’s frustrating. They only have Mandarin and my mom does not speak Mandarin!
We’ve done small things like put sticky notes up around the house of things. That’s helped some!
Post # 5
He’s tried to teach me some, but unfortunately he’s lost so much of his Korean since he only speaks it an hour a week or so with his mom. And that’s the only time she speaks English since she lives in a Korean community in CA. Ugh! It’s so frustrating. I just know that I won’t be able to learn it well enough to have a real converstaion. Her English is probably better than my Korean will be. I guess I can give the Rosetta Stone a shot. Maybe Fiance can brush up with it! 🙂
Post # 6
I feel your frustration! I am an American living in Haiti. I didn’t speak an Haitian Creole before I moved here 10 months ago. My FH is Haitian and speaks fluent English in addition to French adn HC. However, his family doesn’t speak any English. I only live about a half mile from his parents and I really want to build a strong relationship with them. They’ll be my only family in the area since my parents and brother all live in the States. I go over for Sunday dinner every couple of weeks, and his parents always make it a point to talk to me and make me feel welcomed. But FH has to translate for me most of the time. I’ve learned a lot of Creole since I’ve been here and I hope to be fluent some day, but in the mean time it’s really difficult to build a real relationship with my in laws.
Post # 7
Just a suggestion – I’m working on learning Cantonese and found the Pimsleur tapes. They’re not bad (they were really good for Italian). The tonal feature of Cantonese makes it so that you’ll have to help your Fiance with all the pronunciation. Mine listens to my tapes and then helps me to understand what I think I hear, from what I should actually be saying.