Intercultural relationships are on the rise, so what better day than Valentine’s Day to celebrate them here at busuu? They can be an enriching – and very funny – experience, so we asked busuu users about the benefits of learning their partner’s language.
We also have a special Valentine’s Day 2-for-1 offer, available for 24 hours only – keep reading to find out more! And don’t forget to boost your language skills with our Valentine’s Day learning unit. Perfect for impressing someone special!
Enjoy the best of both worlds
As well as learning more words for ‘I love you’, busuu users in a relationship with someone from another country said they also experience a new way of thinking and living. You can pick the best bits from each other’s culture to create your own unique one!
“We bring two different cultures, and this enriches both of us,” says Oula, a Lebanese-Canadian married to a Venezuelan. Marta from Italy adds: “After two-and-a-half years, my Spanish partner is used to early dinner times and now he likes the Italian way of life.”
Connect with family and friends
Learning your partner’s native language and sharing their culture won’t just bring you closer together; you’ll also be able to get to know their family and friends, who will likely be extremely supportive and appreciative of your efforts.
“I’m part of a warm, welcoming family that isn’t afraid to have a laugh and a joke when I mess up speaking Arabic,” says Johnathan, a Britishman whose wife’s family is Yemeni. “Everyone understands that I’m still a beginner!”
Learn from your own personal tutor
Nothing beats practising with a native speaker, including your boyfriend or girlfriend. They can be a valuable help when you’re working hard to learn their language – but you can also be a source of entertainment!
“My Spanish partner is trying to learn Italian by just talking with my family, and it’s really funny,” says Marta. “He creates words that don’t exist and we all just laugh together!”
Johnathan adds: “My wife would get me to repeat words. I now realise this was for her own amusement, because I would walk around repeating them without knowing they were offensive!”
Laugh at the differences
When you know your partner’s culture, it’s easier to understand different ways of communicating. As Briton Helen, married to an Argentinian, observes: “Spanish is very direct and can sound like giving orders, which causes me to be a bit put out sometimes.”
On other occasions, the misunderstandings can be entirely grammatical. “I always say ‘I am smart’ instead of saying ‘I am ready’, due to wrongly using the verb ‘to be’ in Spanish,” adds Oula. “You can imagine the rest!”
There are less obvious cultural differences too. “I have my own separate ‘special’ dish of less spicy food,” says Johnathan of visits to his wife’s Arabic family. Irma from Lithuania, whose partner is from Germany, comments: “Germans have a completely different sense of humour to me.”
Realise love is more than words
Being able to communicate via a shared language is essential for successful relationships. But you also realise that they are based on more than words alone and you only need a few phrases to establish a connection.
“It was a miracle we were able to start a relationship with such initial language barriers,” says Henri from Luxembourg, who’s married to Alejandra, a Mexican. “But we realised that it’s not always necessary to speak to understand each other.”
As Belgian Julie – who met her boyfriend from Columbia on busuu – adds: “Love is not a matter of country or language; love doesn’t have boundaries.”
Special 2-for-1 offer – one day only!
To help both you and your partner learn and improve in each other’s language, we have a special 24-hour promotion: buy a Premium membership for yourself and get another completely free!
Of course, it’s not only for couples; if you upgrade, you can give the second Premium membership to anyone you choose. But don’t forget: it’s available only on 14 February 2014. Find out more and upgrade to Premium now.
Are you in an intercultural relationship? Have you learnt your partner’s language, or are they learning yours? Tell us about your experiences in the comments! You can also take part in our Month of Love on Facebook and Google+.