Post # 1
Hi ladies! I moved to be with Fiance about 3 1/2 years ago and have since been learning his language and trying to integrate; it’s hard, but ok, I got a great job with a wonderful boss, I can have conversations in his language (it delights his family, as many don’t speak english), and I have enough money of my own and my health, so I can’t complain.
But everytime I visit home and come back, I get really homesick and miss my mom and my friends; I still feel self-conscious speaking another language (I must not be one of those ppl good at learning languages 🙁 ), and 3 of my bestest girlfriends have left in this time, because they were expats too. It’s also harder to make friends because culturally I’m louder and more boisterous than people here (I’ve had to curtail my personality a bit). Also, I was in langauge classes after work 2-3 nights a week and it was tiring and, I discovered, learning a language is darn hard!! 😉 I never realised how much I’d have to work and cond. to work: doctors in another language, etc. It tires me out and it’s really depressing as I feel a bit confined sometimes.
I’d love some words of encouragement from other brides who’ve gone through this, or maybe some good books about intercultural marriage, or how to try and integrate better into a new society? Thanks so much!
Post # 3
im posting because id love to know too!
its hard making friends with expats as they tend to leave! im also a bit isolated from the city and the expat events here are pretty far for me to get to. I still feel very selfconscious speakign spanish, and im FAR from fluent. i feel like i cant express myself the way that i can in English, its like my personality doesnt translate!
My life is here in Mexico now so i feel like i still have to adapt more. Feeling homesick is natural though i think, but i think eventually you get used to it (well, heres hoping!)
Where are you living?
Post # 4
I’m living in Austria 🙂 And I totally get everything you’re saying, especially with the personality not translating! That’s me! 🙁 There’s also not a huge community of English speakers here either where I am so I’m a little stuck!
Post # 5
I’m commenting because in the same boat. My husband and I decided to stay in his country for at least a few years or maybe indefinitely should we encounter good opportunities.
My biggest problem is that we live in the countryside. It’s beautiful and we live by a castle but I can’t drive until I renew and exchange my license here so I can’t be out on my own later than 7:30 (last bus). I’m also a reserved person so I don’t make friends so easily. All of my husband’s friends are popping out kids so the girls I could normally chat with are gravitating towards the other mothers. I start a new job in a few weeks so that should relieve some of my anxiety.
Does your husband know about what you’re feeling? Have you done any types of exchanges where you speak in English and the other person German?
Newname_99, how do people treat you in Mexico? My family moved back there for a while during my preteens and the children called me gringa but eventually stopped because I look like them. I’m curious as to how they treat people who are even more foreign that I was…..I’m assuming you don’t share our physical features?
Post # 6
wow, sounds really nice that you’re by castles though – that must be really beautiful! It also sounds like you have made good progress so far though becuase you’re already renewing your license and have a job so that’s great! Do you speak your DH’s language?
Yeah, I can speak in his language and his solution is to also speak to me in his language which is frustrating but OK, I’m getting better I suppose. I guess I need more classes but I think it takes a long time to be completely fluent in a new language.
Post # 7
Yup, I speak his language quite well but I still have trouble expressing myself from time to time.
Does your SO speak English? Mine does and we spoke mostly English at the beginning because my French was so so but now we speak his language the majority of the time. It’s frustrating because I would like to speak more English and when I do, I still can’t speak at my normal speed. I have a tendency to blur things together so he doesn’t always understand.
Perhaps it’s best for you to speak his language for now until you get a solid foundation but do you take breaks?
I’m interested to know how and how often you keep your connection to English? What do you read? What do you listen to?
Everything I do online is mostly in English. It’s kind of bad because I know everything that’s going on in the US but very little about what’s happening where I’m living.
Post # 8
I’m not sure where you are, but a good (and fun) read is a book called “Almost French” written by an anglophone (Australian, I think?) who moved to Paris and married a Frenchman. It provides an interesting perspective on the challenges and trials of such a situation. Plus, she’s really engaging and funny!
Post # 9
I own it, read it, and hate it! LOL, Sarah (I think that’s her name) story was interesting. I enjoyed reading about her language struggles, fashion agony and faux pas in her daily interactions with people. BUT she experienced life in Paris and married a guy who seemed to belong to the upper échelons of society. There’s nothing wrong with that but I don’t connect with that aspect of her life. I married a middle class guy who grew up by the mountains.
Thanks for mentioning it! I forgot I had it and I’ll be rereading it. Maybe I’ll change my mind.
To answer the original thread question, have you checked out YouTube? There’s a guy named the Mexican Samurai. He’s an American expatriate in Japan. He focuses on life in Japan but often talks about learning the language, his job, etc.
Post # 10
- Wedding: July 2013 - rolling hills of southern italy
After four years in my Fiancé’s country, I know it’s difficult and complicated… And that after a week or so of living by a castle, it’s just a building. I love it here and I love learning new things about the culture. I love how it helps me understand my fiancé better, knowing more of the ins and outs of the culture he grew up in. I have few friends, have grown more introverted, lost my punny sense of humor, and learned his language very well, thanks to him. I hate shopping here and have not been able in 4 years to find a decent crafting shop. I am definitely a different person because of this experience, and though it can be hard, I try to remember that I chose it and I’m growing. Nothing is permanent. Enjoy the struggles.
On the flip side, after our wedding it will be his turn, and I’m worried for him. I know how hard it is, and I hate to put that on him when we move to my hometown. He has proven that he is strong though. If I can do it so can he! Besides, life is easy in Southern California.
Post # 11
@TinaJade: I’m living in my husband’s country, which is where we met. Language hasn’t been too difficult for me, but of course it’s really frustrating when you can’t express yourself clearly or understand as you want to. The lack of services has bothered me most, I think. I’m from New York, where you can get anything you damn well want, and probably get it delivered… not so here. Everything closes at 7pm, isn’t open Sundays, delivery & mail are almost non-existant… it’s frustrating. Also, being here without any of my family is hard. Like you, most of my best friends from here have left, as they, too, were expats.
We are moving to “my” country in a few months… I guess then it’s his turn to experience culture shock and frustration.