Love across languages

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by headbang8, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. headbang8

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    Those of you who have read my posts will know that I have a Japanese lover. We met when I was posted to Tokyo, and since my transfer to New York , we've conducted a long-distance relationship.

    His English is generally outstanding. My Japanese is total crap. (But my drunken cab-driver Japanese is without compare, I hasten to add. Mo chotto massugu, (o) kudesai. So des ne?)

    I spoke with my beloved on the phone tonight. And you know what? Our love is as strong as ever. But his English is going downhill in my absence.

    Here's a case in point. -y is an adjective. Something has a point, so it's pointy. Something has might, so it's mighty.

    Can he get a visa in this year's allocation from the INS? "That's a bit doubty..." he says.

    Hmmmm...

    Previous phone call. "My friend was so ashamed because he cooked us such a misery dinner." I have heard him use the word miserable correctly before.

    We all know that practice and environment are all-important in language proficiency. My Japanese (such as it was) has gone south since I've found no need for it.

    Question: can love flourish without language?

    When family and loved ones ask me about my relationship, I tell them it's easy to fall in love with no language at all. My boy and I did--it was love at first sight. But if you want to have a really good argument, your language has to be pin-point accurate.

    What are your thoughts, LPSG wise men (and women)?

    I particularly look forward to the thoughts of Gisella. (and Alex8, but I look forward to his thoughts on everything)

    HB8
     
  2. NCbear

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    I'm currently in a relationship with a wonderful, loving man who had a difficult time learning his native language (Spanish) and now (after 10 years in the USA) is still having major problems with English. Everything I know from my background in teaching English, including teaching students with learning disabilities, suggests he has learning disabilities. He's intelligent, cultured, and caring, but both his writing and speech sound like a combination of second language interference and learning disability.

    It's difficult sometimes to understand him. It's also difficult sometimes to explain why American English works the way it does in a specific situation. I'm learning Spanish right now so we can communicate with a greater degree of accuracy.

    Still, it's not bad. It was at first, when I didn't know his linguistic quirks very well. With familiarity and concentration, I understand him about 90-95% of the time. And if I don't understand him, I ask.

    Is that the way it works for you, HB? Minus the learning disabilities part, that is....

    NCbear
     
  3. Gisella

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    :cool: :tongue: Present!!!

    Ok Headbang ...my experience tells me: NO...:rolleyes:

    In the beggining stages is very exciting there is great attraction going on and expressions without needing many words, but is just the beggining of things.

    I had bf from differents nationalities when i could not understand their languages and the relationship died..others i understood more but still did not go well after a while...now that i understand good talk better but not so good its complicated sometimes because there are many misunderstandings...realtionships are delicate with people from same language and culture and backgrounds...:rolleyes:

    I love to talk but many times do not have the words and my vocabulary is very simple, crap..its very frustrating sometimes..and the cultural diferences adaptations and etc...have to have patience to work things out for sure...sometimes i think in going to an immersion class of English and be marinated there and learn and etc and be left out of the building only and when i learn it good !!!:rolleyes:

    :frown1: Its the worse thing to not express right and receive expressions that i cant understand nice...i'm almost giving up ...but i'm just needing a break..i think. 'Nobody understand me' - i feel this way many times...but of course i'm dramatizing and its another thing some dont like it..the drama, emotionalism, 'they' say, people like me express themselves.

    Ok...i'm going be back here in a couple of months to revew what i wrote now.:wink:
     
  4. yhtang

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    I feel your problems will stem from more than a language barrier. You will have to transend space (distance) and culture.

    I failed in a long distance relation once, and we were from the same culture and spoke the same language. May you have better luck that I did.
     
  5. headbang8

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    NCB, if the power of love can conquer your problems, then I take heart. Mine are small by comparison.

    The big things are easy-where do we live, how do we make love, doesn't this music remind you of spring?

    The details sometimes trip us up. I'll meet you at Mitsukoshi-mae station, the exit by the Starbucks, but across the street up the escalator, and if it's raining I'll be inside...

    Culturally, even though we've thrashed out the issue before--or maybe I just think we've thrashed out the issue--our big problem is saying "I want..." It's quite impolite in Japanese to actually say that you want something, especially when it could affect the group. e.g. "I'd really like to see a movie this afternoon. Let's go to the cinema. What do you think?" It's negotiated in a much subtler way, in groups and between couples. And though we both consciously know about this cultural quirk, it sometimes catches us.

    But we manage. And really, on a good day, my boy's English is impeccable. But occasionally... we just don't get each other. But then, that happens with couples who share the same language.

    The same with you?
     
  6. NCbear

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    Yeah, it's the same here. We actually had quite a long discussion last night before we realized we were saying the same thing about where we wanted to go on vacation in two weeks.

    Then, it was <flash> turn on the computer, <musical chimes> boot it up, <zip swoosh> order our flight tickets, and <cha-ching> pay with the Visa. Whew! :eek:

    Luckily the tickets were still cheap enough. :biggrin1:

    NCbear
     
  7. OmahaBeef

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    I had a fulfilling relationship with a Russian girl for several months...

    I truly believe we could have been closer...had her English been better and my Russian existant at all. On several levels we had trouble bonding because she had a hard time finding humor when I was trying to be funny, had a hard time understanding me when I didnt speak slowly with basic words, etc.

    The relationship ended because of career differences....she traveled internationally once she got her MBA...


    OmahaBeef
     
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