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Thursday, August 03, 2006
Getting all linguistic about it
What is it with woman trying to learn a few words or a foreign language if the man they love or are interested in is foreign? Is it because it is a different way of sharing, a need to communicate with relatives or simply the need to impress?

I have examples all around me. I am learning Turkish, a friend of mine tried out Malaysian, a high-school colleague later majored in Arabic, and our very own Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City trying to mumble two words in Russian.

Pathetic? Sweet? Practical? Call it as you like, I call it a trend!

Tags: Women, Men, Relationships, Foreign Languages

posted by Alina @ 7:11 AM  
  • At 8/03/2006 9:42 AM, Anonymous Shirazi said…

    Language comes when you really want to communicate. I does.

  • At 8/03/2006 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Language was never a barrier for two hearts filled with love. So, in that sense learning a new language is more than just to satiate our need to communicate.It probably gives you the ability to understand the thought process of the other person. And going by your post, why only women are doing this. Do you think men are linguistically challenged?:)

  • At 8/03/2006 11:52 AM, Blogger Alina said…

    Shi, maybe, but that would be explained only if you do not communicate well enough in your own or a third language.

    Anonymous, I guess the learning the cultural details gives you a better understanding of the thought chain of the other in a way, and yes, language can help.

    Also, I do not believe men are linguistically challenged, they can pretty much learn foreing languages, but they do it for other reasons than the one I found for women. Up to now, I've never heard of a man learning a foreign language just because of or for a foreign significant other.

  • At 8/03/2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Deb S. said…

    You consider this a trend? Hmmmm. Interesting.

    My first language is English. If I engage in conversation with anyone whose first language is not English, I make it a point of trying to learn at least a little of the other person's language.

    To me, it's not about romance. It's about respect, demonstrating interest in other person's culture and expanding my horizons. It is also about communication.

    I had never given this a second thought, until your post. Thanks for making me think! :-)

  • At 8/03/2006 11:31 PM, Blogger Deb S. said…

    BTW, I have tried to learn a language of a male friend, but I wasn't romantically involved with him.

    Do men and women romantically involved differ on this? Perhaps.

  • At 8/04/2006 3:42 PM, Blogger RudeGirl said…

    Well, from what I experienced so far, women are much more interested in communicating with "the significant other", and I don't mean this in the sexist way. Women want to understand a lot more and I don't think that "language is not a barrier for two hearts filled with love". My best friend met a flemish guy two years ago and they got together. She speaks both english and french very well, but not flemish. Even now, after two years, she still thinks language is a barrier between them, even tho' they really do love each other...

  • At 8/04/2006 9:44 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Deb, I am not saying this is an only reason. Turkish would be the fourth foreign language I am learning. But put in this situation, all women I've seen dealing with it have tried it/

    RudeGirs, you are maybe right, we need to bond/share/communicate more, most times using words and their language is always the best they will understand. True, language is a barrier at times, but not the most significant, in my opinion, at least.

  • At 8/05/2006 11:13 PM, Blogger LouLou said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 8/05/2006 11:16 PM, Blogger LouLou said…

    I share two languages with my husband - Arabic and English. But he grew up speaking Swedish and sometimes I feel it's a barrier - even though we have two other languages in common. It's like a whole different side of him that he shares with others and not me. I am always trying to pick up words and expressions.

    Now I grew up speaking French and he doesn't speak a word of French and it doesn't bother him at all.

    And if we had no language in common am sure I'll be the one learning his language first.

    So I guess you're right. Women care more about communication and sharing.

  • At 8/06/2006 5:44 PM, Anonymous Sim said…

    It's not only about women. As you know, my boyfriend is not romanian, but still, he says some words in Romanian, not because he wants to study or word in Romania, not because he wants to do business with romanians, just because, I guess, he wants me to see that he shows interest in telling me some things in the language I best understand. I know Spanish, and we talk in Spanish with no problem at all, but still, when he tells me things in Romanian I find it nice, because he at least tries, he tries to tell me things to make me feel like home in some moments and all this stuff. It's not a trend, and it's not only about women, it depends on the individuals.

    And, as you know, my ex-boyfriend also tried to learn Romanian, for the same reason maybe, he came to love Romanian language, to try to speak only Romanian and finally he moved to Romania to live.

    It's not a trend, maybe you can call a trend the increasing number of relationships between persons leaving in other countries, that thanks to Internet got to know each other, but this is a questionable issue also.

    Anyway, leaving this aside, I miss you so much. We will see each other the 26th of August:D.

  • At 8/07/2006 12:21 PM, Blogger SYehia said…

    Hi Kay, I know what you mean I am absloutley facinated about languages and like to get bits and pieces everwhere. Yes defineitl the intrest is more when u know someone but Heck, I love it anyone.. If I can balme someone it would be me..
    Intersting point as alwas

  • At 8/07/2006 1:25 PM, Blogger Curly said…

    Speaking from a British male's point of view, whenever I meet someone from a different country, I always try and learn a little of their langauge (even Americans). The Brits are considered by many (and ourselves) to be ignorant of other languages when they are abroad. I went to Sweden last year, for example, and many of the Swedes were pleasantly surprised when I attempted a few Swedish phrases in front of them. It creates a connection with the other person and also displays a certain respect towards their culture.

    As I live in Wales we're exposed to plenty of ignorance, we often get English people who travel here to Wales who sometimes go to the lengths of asking us to stop speaking Welsh in their presence.

    It means so much to us when people actually attempt to speak Welsh and as a result, I'll try my hand at any language to make other people feel the same.

  • At 8/07/2006 1:29 PM, Blogger Curly said…

    It also has other advantages, we all remember that scene in Waynes World with Wayne and the Swedish girl, don't we?

    "Since you've sacrificed your health for knowledge of my country, I find you very attractive. I hope to make love to you
    in the near future"

  • At 8/07/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Lou, I happen to believe the same thing. Faced with a foreign boyfriend that they have a different language to communicate too, women are more likely to try learning his language.

    Although, Sim, in case of recent examples, it might be rephrased after longer research that some individuals are enclined to do it. I also miss you so much and can't wait to see you here!

    Curly, I admire your willingness to learn a few words in any new language. As for certain people being ignorant of foreign languages, I guess that tends to happen when you know you have a big chance of foreigners speaking it! :) That would never be the case for a Romanian!

  • At 8/07/2006 6:57 PM, Blogger Alina said…

    Sarah, as yu have not been around it a while, you deserve a special reply! :) Hope everything is great with you!

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Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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