Author Topic: Fiance speaking in a different language?  (Read 6483 times)

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Twik

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2011, 10:52:15 AM »
EvilTwik is thinking that if her S/O responded to "Do you want chicken or pork for dinner tonight?" with a spiel in Esperanto, she might respond with some non-official American sign language of her own. It's very expressive.
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Ruelz

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2011, 10:52:39 AM »
Suggest to him that he can answer in another language...but ONLY if he then follows up with an English or German translation.

Should fix the issue for both of you! :D
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O'Dell

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2011, 02:09:57 PM »
Personally I wouldn't put up with this.  This, to me, would be dealbreaker.

Your boyfriend should perhaps take a communications class somewhere in his language studies, because while he can speak several languages, he apparently cannot communicate effectively in any. 

Communication is about getting someone information is a way they can understand.  A good communicator adjusts themselves and their own methods to adjust to their audience - with a small child its about using age appropriate language, with someone hard of hearing its about adjusting volume, with a deaf person its about writing or gesturing, and when it comes to language its about speaking as best one can in the language the person they are speaking to understands.

Well said. And it would be a deal breaker for me as well.
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Reason

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2011, 02:18:14 PM »
I think it's one of the methods a person can use to learn a new language. Any sentence you wish to say in your native tongue, say it first in the language you are trying to learn.

The problem with this is that it's terribly annoying and is meant to be done in private or when conversing with another speaker fluent in both languages. The goal is to stop simply memorizing words but instead to learn and practice them in real situations. So he is not necessarily just showing off.

The key-word here is "first". If he only answers in a language you do not speak and then falls silent, then I don't see how he can expect a response.

sadiemae

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2011, 02:48:09 PM »
Does he have a Skype account? I'm pretty sure they have a search function that allows you to search for people by language and for people in "skype me" mode, which means they welcome contact from people they do not know. I used to use to find people to practice foreign languages with ( they help me with foreign language, I help them with English.) Maybe you can suggest he make a few study buddies to practice with.

Off topic, but thank you for that tip kichcat! I need to practice some language skills and was looking for an inexpensive way to do it. I would have never thought to use skype and it is such a great solution!

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2tidypoodles

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2011, 02:56:47 PM »
Wow, thanks for all the replies! I will definitely be using some of these techniques.

I did want to say that he is definitely not doing it to make me look stupid or to act like he's smarter than I am -- In fact, it's quite the opposite; he thinks I'm so intelligent that I should be able to figure it out even if I don't speak the language! In some cases that's true, when he speaks in Italian I can usually get the gist because I've studied Latin, and I'm beginning to catch some of the household Japanese he uses (it's his family language, and the one his father speaks most of the time so this one is more an issue of fitting into the family), but when it's Polish I'm still at a complete loss!

NutMeg

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2011, 08:51:33 PM »
I would use humour.

"What would you like for dinner tonight?"
*random unintelligible phrase*
"You're taking me out for dinner at *expensive restaurant? Sweet!", in a joking tone. He's your fiance, not the enemy. You can have fun with this.
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PaddedPaws

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2011, 11:35:47 PM »
I would use humour.

"What would you like for dinner tonight?"
*random unintelligible phrase*
"You're taking me out for dinner at *expensive restaurant? Sweet!", in a joking tone. He's your fiance, not the enemy. You can have fun with this.

Agree with this completely.

TomatoBunny

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2011, 12:32:06 AM »
As I was reading this, I was thinking something like he was trying to get you to learn it with him, like total immersion style. And upon reading your update, it only reinforces my opinion that it may be what he is trying to do.

It sounds like you wouldn't mind picking up some of the Japanese for family purposes, but maybe not the rest of it.. could you maybe point that out to him? Something about how you appreciate his efforts in trying to teach you new languages, but you're only interested in (basic) Japanese for familial reasons.

auntiem

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2011, 06:47:33 PM »
Why in the world would he think you can respond to him when he's using a language you do not speak?  I simply do not understand why anyone would do such a thing.

There are three reasons I can think of, and the OP's reaction should vary depending on which one it is.

(1) He's so involved in the language that he actually doesn't realize he's speaking it. This is innocent, and should be responded to with a gentle, "Try that again in English, darling."

(2) He thinks its a genuine joke. If it was funny the first time, it's even funnier the hundredth time, right? This needs a straight talk - "Dude, it's not funny, it's really annoying, in a sort of water-torture way. Could you, as a favour to me, not do it any more?"

snip
I think it is probably one of these two reasons (considering the update it doesn't sound like the third option is the case). He may not realize that he is doing it. I once had a two and a half hour class in Old English - the first American English conversation I had after each class was a huge mind shift - I usually responded in Old English without knowing I was even doing it.
I agree about using humor in response unless you think reason two is the case, then you are just perpetuating the "joke".

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2011, 07:26:52 PM »
My boyfriend is learning German, and will sometimes start talking to me in German. If we are on the phone, I tell him that he can speak to me in English, or he won't be speaking to me at all, as I'll be hanging up.

He about had a fit when I actually DID hang up on him when he continued in German. He hasn't done it since though.

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Allyson

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2011, 09:28:51 PM »
It sounds like he's trying to get you to learn it, but is doing it in a really aggravating manner--you want to have a conversation or get some info, not learn a word in a foreign language at that very moment! I'd definitely just say 'hey, I know you're trying to encourage me, but I find this really frustrating' and maybe set aside a few minutes a day where he can talk to you in Other Language and you can try to work it out (since it sounds like you're pretty good at it and don't mind doing it).

I have a few friends who do this sort of thing, but I think it's to be pretentious. It's the same friends who feel the need to respond to something I've said in genuine conversation with a quote from a movie/book/TV show I've never seen/read. I find it very alienating. My boyfriend's done it a couple times, but stopped after I got really frustrated with it.

Xallanthia

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Re: Fiance speaking in a different language?
« Reply #27 on: September 30, 2011, 10:42:13 AM »
Why in the world would he think you can respond to him when he's using a language you do not speak?  I simply do not understand why anyone would do such a thing.

There are three reasons I can think of, and the OP's reaction should vary depending on which one it is.

(1) He's so involved in the language that he actually doesn't realize he's speaking it. This is innocent, and should be responded to with a gentle, "Try that again in English, darling."

(2) He thinks its a genuine joke. If it was funny the first time, it's even funnier the hundredth time, right? This needs a straight talk - "Dude, it's not funny, it's really annoying, in a sort of water-torture way. Could you, as a favour to me, not do it any more?"

(3) He does it to make the OP feel less educated or intelligent - "Hey, I can speak this language and you can't. See how much smarter I am than you?" As someone said, he's showing off, and at her expense. This is a very bad sign. If my S/O started complaining that I wasn't "supportive" when he answers me in a language I cannot understand, I'd be reevaluating how supportive he was of me, because this is very disrespectful.

I do #1 all the time, made worse by the fact that my husband does have a little knowledge of the language I'm most likely to do it in (French).  So if I've been reading in French or watching a French film or something, I'm more likely to respond to little questions in that language, because I'm thinking it.   Most of the time I get raised eyebrows, in which case I appologize and repeat in English; sometimes (if he thinks he caught it or he's feeling playful) he'll ask me to repeat it more slowly and usually then he understands.

I agree that how you respond should be based on why he's doing it.