The Couple That Wordplays Together, Stays Together? | Speaking of China

11 Responses

  1. ordinary malaysian
    ordinary malaysian April 9, 2012 at 5:52 am | | Reply

    I am not in a cross-cultural relationship but I can see where you are going and I can agree with you. Couples in a cross-cultural relationship can use their love or at least interest in the other’s language to bond better by learning from each other. Couples that wordplay together stay together – ha ha, great saying! – and why not! !

  2. Sveta
    Sveta April 9, 2012 at 9:54 am | | Reply

    Sounds like a sweet story. When I dated my Korean ex, although I don’t think I’ve became proficient in Korean tongue, but he told me a lot of stories and we talked a lot, thus helping me understand the Korean culture and where he came from. I’d like to think that the experience I had with him helped prepare me for the future, either story like or unlikely as it seems, future boyfriends.

  3. Catherine Yigit
    Catherine Yigit April 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | | Reply

    I’d have to agree with you that language can bring a couple closer. When I met Ozcan I had no Turkish at all and while he did teach me a few phrases it didn’t really take. I proofread his thesis though!
    After moving to Turkey it was a real test of our trust as he spoke and listened for me. As my Turkish improved he was the guinea pig before I had the courage to speak out for myself. It is great we can use whichever language is most appropriate. I still proofread his English and he checks my Turkish.

  4. AG
    AG April 9, 2012 at 10:04 pm | | Reply

    My gf want to learn 中文. I keep discouraging her. I guess I am wrong. Thanks Jocelyn.

  5. Salma
    Salma April 9, 2012 at 10:16 pm | | Reply

    As a child of parents who speak different languages, I totally agree. Even after 30+ years of marriage, I can sit and listen to my parents discuss (in English) language together, and it’s fascinating. This is what first started my love of learning and later my love of languages. I can currently speak 3.5 languages fluently (haha yes, it is possible to speak half of a language fluently) and am on the lookout for another to begin learning. I’d love to learn Mandarin, but judging from the giggles in my last conversation with a Chinese friend, my pronunciation so far definitely needs work :)

  6. jackie
    jackie April 11, 2012 at 10:58 pm | | Reply

    My husband is better than me at just about everything–except English. That said, he speaks better English than any Chinese person I’ve ever heard. Still, as a native speaker, I have a one-up on him. So, when he asks me questions about English idioms, grammar, etc., I really feel good that I can help him with something. And of course he doesn’t mind me asking him questions about Chinese, although he refuses to speak to me in Chinese even though I speak it fluently, and absolutely cringes at the idea of me wanting to learn his dialect, but, oh well.

  7. Henry Yeh
    Henry Yeh April 12, 2012 at 10:18 am | | Reply

    Chinese is not a “difficult” language in term of complexity: rather, it’s the “alien-ness” from an Eurocentric POV, that makes it so hard to master. Most European languages share much of their vocularies due to the Latino-Christian influence, making the learning process relatively easy. In term of difficulty, mastering a single non-Euro language would earn you FAR more bragging right than learning 5-6 Euro languages. Of course, most people don’t seem to realize this.

  8. Sarah
    Sarah May 13, 2012 at 3:00 am | | Reply

    I think the trick for you and John was that you both knew each others languages when you first met.

  9. Laolei
    Laolei August 24, 2012 at 9:30 am | | Reply

    @Henry Yeh: Spot on Henry, good comment.

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