Would You Date Someone Who Didn't Speak Your Native Language Very Well?

  • Christian Chat is a moderated online Christian community allowing Christians around the world to fellowship with each other in real time chat via webcam, voice, and text, with the Christian Chat app. You can also start or participate in a Bible-based discussion here in the Christian Chat Forums, where members can also share with each other their own videos, pictures, or favorite Christian music.

    If you are a Christian and need encouragement and fellowship, we're here for you! If you are not a Christian but interested in knowing more about Jesus our Lord, you're also welcome! Want to know what the Bible says, and how you can apply it to your life? Join us!

    To make new Christian friends now around the world, click here to join Christian Chat.

seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,773
353
83
#1
Hey Everyone,

One of the most interesting things I've ever experienced on a dating site was when a hearing-impaired man messaged me about dating. He asked me if I was good at learning languages and if I would be willing to learn sign language if we decided to have a relationship. He also sent me links to videos regarding how he went about daily tasks like using the (regular) telephone, because at the time, cell phones didn't exist.

Although we eventually decided we were not right for each other, it got me thinking about the possibility of learning another language for the sake of someone I might be interested in.

I'm in a work situation right now in which a guy who speaks Spanish almost exclusively tries to talk to me almost every day, but all we can say to each other are very basic, polite, "How are you's?" The other day he apologized profusely for his English, and I felt awful that he would feel the need to apologize.

Although it's not a dating situation at all, I almost wish I could ask him to text all his questions so that I could try to run them through Google Translator (and then also have a way of answering him back in Spanish). I know there would still be some misunderstandings but at least it would hopefully make him more comfortable with trying to hold a conversation.

The other day, I asked him how long he'd worked for the company and he answered with several sentences in Spanish. Unfortunately, all I could decipher was "tres" (three), and that was just from watching Sesame Street as a kid!

What about the rest of you?

* Would you learn another language to talk to or date someone you were interested in?

* If the other person didn't speak your language well, would you only agree to date them if you believed they would become more fluent in your own language? Why or why not?

* Would you choose not to date someone who didn't speak your language well, and why? Is it just because of the communication barrier, or are there other reasons?

Thanks in advance for sharing.

I would really love to know your thoughts. :)
 

joefizz

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2017
13,460
359
83
25
#2
Hey Everyone,

One of the most interesting things I've ever experienced on a dating site was when a hearing-impaired man messaged me about dating. He asked me if I was good at learning languages and if I would be willing to learn sign language if we decided to have a relationship. He also sent me links to videos regarding how he went about daily tasks like using the (regular) telephone, because at the time, cell phones didn't exist.

Although we eventually decided we were not right for each other, it got me thinking about the possibility of learning another language for the sake of someone I might be interested in.

I'm in a work situation right now in which a guy who speaks Spanish almost exclusively tries to talk to me almost every day, but all we can say to each other are very basic, polite, "How are you's?" The other day he apologized profusely for his English, and I felt awful that he would feel the need to apologize.

Although it's not a dating situation at all, I almost wish I could ask him to text all his questions so that I could try to run them through Google Translator (and then also have a way of answering him back in Spanish). I know there would still be some misunderstandings but at least it would hopefully make him more comfortable with trying to hold a conversation.

The other day, I asked him how long he'd worked for the company and he answered with several sentences in Spanish. Unfortunately, all I could decipher was "tres" (three), and that was just from watching Sesame Street as a kid!

What about the rest of you?

* Would you learn another language to talk to or date someone you were interested in?

* If the other person didn't speak your language well, would you only agree to date them if you believed they would become more fluent in your own language? Why or why not?

* Would you choose not to date someone who didn't speak your language well, and why? Is it just because of the communication barrier, or are there other reasons?

Thanks in advance for sharing.

I would really love to know your thoughts. :)
Yes,no,yes.
 

BruceWayne

Senior Member
Aug 7, 2013
3,484
70
48
Gotham City
#3
Honestly, no. It would be too much of a struggle and as they say, communication is key.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,678
351
83
#4
In such a case SOMEBODY is going to have to learn SOMETHING because communication is of great importance in a relationship. So the question becomes "Is this prospective relationship worth one of us learning a whole new language?"

And the answer can only be "It depends." Sorry I can't give a more definitive answer, but it would depend on many factors, and most of the deciding factors would be things you can't put into words.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,210
227
63
#5
I much rather date a mute.
 
Jul 25, 2015
890
34
28
#6
Great question but although I have learned to never say never I am fairly certain the odds would be against it. Primarily because with the existing language barrier I am not sure the initial relationship would never be able to evolve to the point where I could get to know the "soul" or heart of the man. Without coming to a deeper understanding of who someone is and their belief system I am not sure the desire to learn his language would factor in. Tough question
 

cinder

Senior Member
Mar 26, 2014
2,461
156
63
#7
Hey Everyone,

One of the most interesting things I've ever experienced on a dating site was when a hearing-impaired man messaged me about dating. He asked me if I was good at learning languages and if I would be willing to learn sign language if we decided to have a relationship. He also sent me links to videos regarding how he went about daily tasks like using the (regular) telephone, because at the time, cell phones didn't exist.

Although we eventually decided we were not right for each other, it got me thinking about the possibility of learning another language for the sake of someone I might be interested in.

I'm in a work situation right now in which a guy who speaks Spanish almost exclusively tries to talk to me almost every day, but all we can say to each other are very basic, polite, "How are you's?" The other day he apologized profusely for his English, and I felt awful that he would feel the need to apologize.

Although it's not a dating situation at all, I almost wish I could ask him to text all his questions so that I could try to run them through Google Translator (and then also have a way of answering him back in Spanish). I know there would still be some misunderstandings but at least it would hopefully make him more comfortable with trying to hold a conversation.

The other day, I asked him how long he'd worked for the company and he answered with several sentences in Spanish. Unfortunately, all I could decipher was "tres" (three), and that was just from watching Sesame Street as a kid!

What about the rest of you?

* Would you learn another language to talk to or date someone you were interested in?

* If the other person didn't speak your language well, would you only agree to date them if you believed they would become more fluent in your own language? Why or why not?

* Would you choose not to date someone who didn't speak your language well, and why? Is it just because of the communication barrier, or are there other reasons?

Thanks in advance for sharing.

I would really love to know your thoughts. :)
A lot of that depends on the rest of the circumstances, if I'm living abroad and working with someone who is local and get to know him well enough to know that he's amazing and we decide to date in that culture, then yes I'd be working at learning the language (probably already was because I was living there) because it's practical both to our communication within the relationship and my ability to function on my own in that country without being an excessive burden on him.

If we were in the US and I decided to date someone who didn't speak English well, I would expect him to work at learning English because I don't want to constantly have to be his interpreter or culture broker; I'd definitely do my best to help him in that endeavor, but I'd expect him to be working at it. But having experience of how much more powerful emotionally hearing things in your own language is; I'd probably be putting forth the effort to learn a few phrases like I love you or I'm so happy and other things that he might need to hear in a more emotionally impactful way from me in his language as well.

But as chick with sticks pointed out, the likelihood of getting to know such a guy well enough that I'd want to date him is greatly reduced with the communication (and cultural) barriers that would be inherent in such a situation. So while I won't disqualify someone solely based on language, I recognize that it's going to be a big enough obstacle to reduce the chances of a relationship starting.


Oh and the correct response to anyone who apologizes for how poorly they speak English is, "Your English is much better than my [whatever their language is]" Unless you really do speak their language better, then just talk to them in their language and make it a non-issue.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,678
351
83
#8
Oh and the correct response to anyone who apologizes for how poorly they speak English is, "Your English is much better than my [whatever their language is]" Unless you really do speak their language better, then just talk to them in their language and make it a non-issue.
"You must spread some Reputation around" blah blah blah...
 
Feb 7, 2015
22,418
403
0
#9
Just a suggestion:

You can get an app for your phone that will allow someone to speak one language into the phone, and it will speak another chosen language out loud. Of course, it will work "both ways".
 

Susanna

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2013
2,588
69
48
#10
I'm not sure, but I don't think so.

I know this may not be the best thing to say here, on an international site, but after a few days non native English speakers makes me a little worn out.

Translating, being culture broker and listening to all the "Eh..uh..." for more than a very short time span takes its toll.

I know a little French, and I'm trying to learn Swedish (don't ask me why, I don't know myself), but my skills are making listening to me annoying to a native speaker.

BUT! I'm all about people learning English, but don't make me live with them. LOL.

Oh, and btw, I'm not that much of an English speaker either.
 
Last edited:

Ugly

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2011
20,526
523
113
#11
If they spoke English well, but also another language, yes (hello SillyChick).
If they struggled to speak English, no I wouldn't. I know my limits. It would become a point of frustration. I have had friends who spoke decent English, but still had a little struggle, and could not imagine having to constantly reword things. Make guesses at meanings.
And learning languages is not a strong point for me. I'm high school I took Spanish and got a C. Mind you I only got that high of a grade because I cheated. :rolleyes:
 

Enow

Banned
Dec 21, 2012
2,901
39
0
#12
Honestly, no. It would be too much of a struggle and as they say, communication is key.
Some would see it as an investment of time in Christ's love in action; and hardly a struggle at all; but patience, longsuffering, joy and all those other fruits of the Spirit coming all about from Christ's love in us in that investment.

It would be a struggle if it was done out of selfish gain, but love seeks not its own, but the good of the other.

1 Corinthians 13:[SUP]4 [/SUP]Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,[SUP] 5 [/SUP]Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;[SUP] 6 [/SUP]Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;[SUP] 7[/SUP]Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [SUP]8 [/SUP]Charity never faileth:.......

But I understand your point of communication being key, but then that is the point; to make sure you communicate in love, and don't give up in communicating which so often couples that speak the same language do when wronged and keeping a record of wrongs from which the silent treatment comes.
 

tourist

Senior Member
Mar 13, 2014
22,518
1,148
113
63
#13
If they spoke English well, but also another language, yes (hello SillyChick).
If they struggled to speak English, no I wouldn't. I know my limits. It would become a point of frustration. I have had friends who spoke decent English, but still had a little struggle, and could not imagine having to constantly reword things. Make guesses at meanings.
And learning languages is not a strong point for me. I'm high school I took Spanish and got a C. Mind you I only got that high of a grade because I cheated. :rolleyes:
I got a D in French in high school. I wanted to drop the class in the first couple weeks but the teacher said that if I just attended class she would give me a D regardless of how little I actually learned. I did learn to say "Oui". I think that means yes. I was born in Germany but I don't speak that language either. Sprechen sie deutch? "Nine" . I think that means no.
 

Ugly

Senior Member
Apr 19, 2011
20,526
523
113
#14
Some would see it as an investment of time in Christ's love in action; and hardly a struggle at all; but patience, longsuffering, joy and all those other fruits of the Spirit coming all about from Christ's love in us in that investment.

It would be a struggle if it was done out of selfish gain, but love seeks not its own, but the good of the other.

1 Corinthians 13:[SUP]4 [/SUP]Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,[SUP] 5 [/SUP]Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;[SUP] 6 [/SUP]Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;[SUP] 7[/SUP]Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [SUP]8 [/SUP]Charity never faileth:.......

But I understand your point of communication being key, but then that is the point; to make sure you communicate in love, and don't give up in communicating which so often couples that speak the same language do when wronged and keeping a record of wrongs from which the silent treatment comes.
Now that's just trying to spiritualize a non-spiritual idea in an attempt to impart guilt on someone for not having a godly enough mindset. Ironic.

Finding difficulty in communicating with someone that barely speaks your language had nothing to do with selfish motives.
People can do things for other people and it still be difficult. That doesn't make it selfish.

And trying to use the "love chapter" to tell someone how unloving and selfish they are for not wanting to be in a relationship with someone where communication would be difficult is pure and simple guilt based manipulation. Shame on you for twisting scripture in an attempt to shame someone for doing nothing wrong.
If anything it's wise and loving to know your limits and live according to them, thereby sparing yourself and another heartache. And you want to use scripture to demonize that? P

People on this site continue to amaze me.
 

seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,773
353
83
#15
Thank you guys for answering so honestly and openly. I hope people will continue to share their thoughts. :)

Another inspiration for this thread was a guy I used to work with who was from Cuba. He didn't know any English when he came to the US, and when he met (and started dating) his American-born wife, he only spoke Spanish and she only spoke English, but he said he knew he just had to meet her and give it a try. :) By the time I met him, he was in his mid-40's and they had been married for 8 years.

I wish I would have had more time working around him to hear the full story of how that all came to be.

I know another important factor for me is that while I would make my best efforts to learn his language, he couldn't expect me to transform into another person. I know that many Asian cultures especially expect their children to marry only native Asians of the same race, and no matter how perfectly I learned the language or the customs, I would never be seen as a "real" Korean, because I am adopted and was raised in America.

And that's what I'll always be.

I am very open to the possibility of someone trying to change what I KNOW.

But I am not at all willing to allow someone to try to change who I AM.
 
Y

Yahweh_is_gracious

Guest
#16
My first wife spoke very broken English when I first met her. She was able to pass TOEFL so she could attend school in the US, but her English was very broken and her Russian accent was very thick.

Communication was difficult. It was very trying back then when I was younger and more patient. Now that I'm older and less patient, I don't think I could be bothered to try bridging a language barrier.
 

seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,773
353
83
#17
Doggone it, for some reason, the "Reply With Quote" function hasn't been working for me...

Yahweh! Thank you so much for answering because I knew from some of your posts that you had experience in this area.

I have had several friends/family members who married spouses who grew up in another different country, and from what I've observed, it certainly presents its own unique set of challenges.

I would have loved to have had a raw conversation with each of them to hear their perspective on how they met, decided to marry, and were able to make it work.
 

AbigailZeke

Senior Member
Mar 11, 2016
3,041
219
63
Singapore
abigail.pro
#18
As long as he can communicate in any of my languages well enough to start a good relationship. I'd love to learn new languages too.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,678
351
83
#19
This thread just HAS to have a mention of this song.

[video=youtube;Md0dTgNpGq0]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Md0dTgNpGq0[/video]
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,678
351
83
#20
Some would see it as an investment of time in Christ's love in action; and hardly a struggle at all; but patience, longsuffering, joy and all those other fruits of the Spirit coming all about from Christ's love in us in that investment.

It would be a struggle if it was done out of selfish gain, but love seeks not its own, but the good of the other.

1 Corinthians 13:[SUP]4 [/SUP]Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,[SUP] 5 [/SUP]Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;[SUP] 6 [/SUP]Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;[SUP] 7[/SUP]Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. [SUP]8 [/SUP]Charity never faileth:.......

But I understand your point of communication being key, but then that is the point; to make sure you communicate in love, and don't give up in communicating which so often couples that speak the same language do when wronged and keeping a record of wrongs from which the silent treatment comes.
By your logic you are not showing real Christian love toward me because you have not played Final Fantasy 7. If you truly loved as Christ loves then you would have played that game so when I make a reference that comes from FF7 you would understand it.

What? It's the EXACT SAME logic you used.