Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

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WallOfStuff
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Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-09-14, 1:42

This topic has probably been done before (several times maybe) but anyway...

I'm in a long-distance relationship with someone from France. I know long-distance often doesn't work out but I don't want to just give up. The guy is really awesome.

Anyway, I don't know any French so of course he speaks English, but he's not fully fluent. Sometimes, I have trouble understanding what he says and I have to ask him to rephrase himself a few times. This is while text chatting. When we call on Skype, it's even more difficult because sometimes he doesn't understand my English. And his pronunciation is a bit off. His accent is really heavy... very stereotypical and sexy though. :3

There's also some culture clash. We haven't gotten into this too much in terms of discussion, but he will mention things I have to look up or ask about. Like if I say I'm going to have dinner, he knows what that is. But he'll say he's going to have _______ (one of the French meal thingies they have, it seems like they have a lot of those). Speaking of food, I don't know if we'll even like the same foods. Besides the stereotypical "gross" French ones which I don't even want to look at. Though he says he has eaten frog's legs and escargots, and really liked them a lot. (I know they have them in the USA, just a bit less popular, although other French people have told me that most French regard them as gross as well). I don't know what other culture stuff may be a bit confusing yet.

Also, there's the matter of who visits who, and, thinking too far in the future but if we lived together- where? I mean I guess I could not be lazy and learn French. He says I could get a job here without being fluent but still I don't think I'd want to live somewhere I'm not fluent in the main language spoken. And I don't want him to have to come here because I don't think he'd like it honestly. Maybe there's an area in Canada where they speak both?

So anyway, anyone else dealt with something like this before?

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-09-14, 2:24

WallOfStuff wrote:Maybe there's an area in Canada where they speak both?

Montréal and Ottawa. There are lots of people who speak French in Louisiana, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, too, all due to migration south from Canada IIRC.
So anyway, anyone else dealt with something like this before?

I've never dated, but sometimes on Skype, I message people in languages other than English, and sometimes, their English isn't that great, either. The most extreme example is this one Iranian guy who I message in Persian even though my Persian sucks, because his English sucks even more. :lol: As for culture shock...well, I'd say that comes up often enough on this forum, even if it isn't obvious that that's what's happening. :P

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-09-14, 4:17

vijayjohn wrote:Montréal and Ottawa. There are lots of people who speak French in Louisiana, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine, too, all due to migration south from Canada IIRC.
Didn't think of that, but I think he doesn't wanna come here. xD Well, not live here. He wants to visit certain places here that I have no interest in. :roll: But for him, I'd go to them.

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby Ser » 2015-09-17, 13:28

I went back 5 pages, back to threads from the last two years, and I didn't find a single thread discussing dating. The topic is far from being discussed to death.

And oh good gods, food. That definitely rings a bell. I once dated a girl from Guangxi/Hong Kong, and we absolutely couldn't stand each other's home-made food. I personally found hers way too bland and she found mine too strong-flavored. I still laugh at the face she made when she found out about Salvadoran fried salty onion-flavored beans... (As an American this might seem common knowledge for you but it really wasn't for her.) Then again I wouldn't like my beans with sugar like some Chinese people do... I have no idea what would have happened if I had ended up marrying her, but food-wise it wouldn't have gone well...

I don't have much advice to give, but me being interested in Mandarin and Cantonese, and by extension their associated cultures, (obviously) really helped. She had little interest in Spanish / Latin American cultures, but I didn't mind. Also, me considering religion unimportant, unlike Salvadorans in general... She believed in Chinese spirits (神) but the topic almost never came up.

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby linguoboy » 2015-09-17, 16:58

"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-09-19, 2:41

Serafín wrote:I still laugh at the face she made when she found out about Salvadoran fried salty onion-flavored beans... (As an American this might seem common knowledge for you but it really wasn't for her.)
I've never heard of that in my entire life.

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-09-19, 2:43

Serafín wrote:I once dated a girl from Guangxi/Hong Kong

Do you mean Guangdong? Or is it like she grew up in Guangxi and then moved to Hong Kong or something? (Because if you didn't already know (you probably do), Guangxi is west of Guangdong and pretty far away from Hong Kong compared to Guangdong)
WallOfStuff wrote:
Serafín wrote:I still laugh at the face she made when she found out about Salvadoran fried salty onion-flavored beans... (As an American this might seem common knowledge for you but it really wasn't for her.)
I've never heard of that in my entire life.

I assumed he was talking about black beans or something. :lol:

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby Ser » 2015-09-19, 9:08

Guangxi. Her mother is from there, and she calls Beihai her "hometown" (and Beihainese her "home dialect"), even though at the same time she's a proud Honger.

I was referring to the fact that Mexicans and Salvadorans commonly eat fried salty beans. Don't we even get called "beaners" for it or something?

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-09-19, 13:50

Serafín wrote:I was referring to the fact that Mexicans and Salvadorans commonly eat fried salty beans. Don't we even get called "beaners" for it or something?

You mean like the brown stuff in this picture?

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby linguoboy » 2015-09-19, 14:09

Serafín wrote:I was referring to the fact that Mexicans and Salvadorans commonly eat fried salty beans. Don't we even get called "beaners" for it or something?

It took me a moment to realise you were talking about "refried beans" and not some Salvadoran dish I'd never heard of. I don't think of them as being particularly salty, but I guess they are.

"Beaners", as far as I know, is only used for Mexicans. It might be different in places where Salvadorans are the majority, like DC.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-09-19, 14:41

Huh, usually, I think of refried beans as looking like the ones in that picture I posted. The one on Wikipedia looks paler than I'm used to.

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Re: Intercultural & interlingual dating- advice?

Postby n8an » 2016-01-24, 12:25

Yeah, done this many times.

For the first *however long*, it's cute. Everything is great and you don't really care about it because you find other ways of communication.

After a while, it does start to get frustrating. Let's say you have a fight and you want to express your feelings. It's exhausting and infuriating because you can never come to a conclusion.

Even though I'm fluent in Hebrew, I express myself 100000000% better in English. When I date native Hebrew speakers, I don't mind speaking Hebrew some of even most of the time. But when it really comes down to it, and we need to discuss something serious or important, I require them to be able to at least understand English at a very high level so they can understand the subtle nuances of what I'm saying.

That being said, everyone is different. You can make it work. Just make sure you're very patient with one another.

Try to learn as much of each other's language as you can. It will pay off 1000x.


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