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To feel annoyed English will never become the main language in DP's life...

(164 Posts)
chicoingles Mon 17-Jun-13 22:34:11

Hi there,

My DP is Spanish and would say she was fluent in English (very good English accent and only noticeable she is foreign when she pronounces certain words, but you couldn't guess she was Spanish at all) but when she gets angry/is tired tends to switch to Spanish. We have been together for 7 years now and it has always been like this, although we did spend the first 4 years of our relationship mainly speaking in Spanish, whereas now we mainly speak English. I do have have a degree in Spanish but feel our relationship works better in English. AIBU thinking English will never become totally natural for her? Would be very interested in hearing the opinions of any foreign ladies who have an English DP.

QuintessentialOldDear Wed 19-Jun-13 13:06:46

I think Madonna has nailed it.

He likes her sexy looks, the accent was "exotic" when they just met. But now, he just cant be bothered about the Spanishnes about her. It is his true xenophobe resurfacing. wink

Bonsoir Wed 19-Jun-13 07:37:19

"I think really only people who are leaving bad experiences behind are likely to be willing to give up their native language completely."

I think this is right. The adults I know who have adopted a language that they didn't learn in early childhood as their first language all grew up in traumatic/dysfunctional families.

exoticfruits Wed 19-Jun-13 06:55:45

Summed up Madonna- nothing more to add- except he is lucky she puts up with him.

SpecialAgentTattooedQueen Wed 19-Jun-13 04:21:05

^^ Bingo.

MadonnaKebab Wed 19-Jun-13 02:38:41

OPs fantasy Spanish GF has a sexy accent but speaks English at all times and is completely culturally English
His reality GF wishes to retain her own language & culture as well as embrace his. She has even had the effrontery to lose the sexy accent.
That's what he's annoyed about

DrinkFeckArseGirls Tue 18-Jun-13 23:37:50

Is this still going?! You people are very patient. What a load of shite.

ZZZenagain Tue 18-Jun-13 23:35:32

Yes, to answer your OP, English will become totally natural to her, maybe it already is but her inner being was largely formed by her childhood and young adult years in Spain. That is who she is and she will probably never want to let go of that. I think really only people who are leaving bad experiences behind are likely to be willing to give up their native language completely. If you spoke no Spanish, of course she would be speaking to you entirely in English, she would have no choice but since you speak Spanish well, she is not excluding you by speaking her mother tongue, rather it is inclusive, it is something you share.

MummyAbroad Tue 18-Jun-13 23:34:11

but OP, you are comparing a non bilingual couple - your friend CANT communicate in her own language because her partner wouldnt understand her - That is entirely different from your situation where you and your DP both speak each others language but you just WANT her not to speak her own because you prefer it that way.

ZZZenagain Tue 18-Jun-13 23:29:49

"...I sometimes just feel I would like it if she spoke in English all the time."

I think you need to find out why you sometimes feel like this. What would be different if she spoke in English all the time and why would that be better?Does it feel as if there is a part of her which you don't really know because it is too foreign? I have been with men whose mother tongue was not English and I have never wished they would stick to English all the time. I suppose it just has never crossed my mind that it would be a problem so long as I could understand what was being said.

I could understand it if you worried that her language acquisition had stagnated and that this was limiting her in some way, perhaps professionally or otherwise in her daily life - but you say she taught English in Spain when you met, speaks without a foreign accent and speaks English better than you speak Spanish.

LizTerrine Tue 18-Jun-13 23:08:17

But, but, but...

What is the OP actually talking about?

I still don't understand!

ToysRLuv Tue 18-Jun-13 23:06:57

Oh, right, yes, I had forgotten about that initial wording.. no, not annoyed. Larger problems below the surface is my guess.

Jinsei Tue 18-Jun-13 23:05:01

Sad, yes - perhaps. But annoyed??!

ToysRLuv Tue 18-Jun-13 23:03:25

Sure, Jinsei. I think so too. Doesn't mean that you couldn't be a teeny tiny bit sad about it. Starting a thread about it on mumsnet, however, means that it might be an unhealthily big issue to the OP, which could indicate a problematic relationship as a whole.

Jinsei Tue 18-Jun-13 22:58:36

But surely it's pretty obvious when you marry a "foreigner" that you won't share the same language or cultural references. Bit late to start thinking about it now...

ToysRLuv Tue 18-Jun-13 22:50:33

I think the OP might be sad, because his DP won't ever share the same native language and (historical) cultural references, so there will always be a barrier there (however tiny). Is that right, OP?

If that's the case, OP, then I sort of understand you, but at the same time, I feel that the good things about an intercultural relationship outweigh the negatives (or at least neutralise them).

Jinsei Tue 18-Jun-13 22:42:56

I would rather she spoke to me in whatever language she felt more comfortable with, which will more than likely be Spanish as this is her native language.

So what is the point of this thread, then? confused

chicoingles Tue 18-Jun-13 22:36:27

I would rather she spoke to me in whatever language she felt more comfortable with, which will more than likely be Spanish as this is her native language.

TheDoctrineOfAllan Tue 18-Jun-13 22:04:06

Thanks for your answer.

Can you also answer my question about why how you want her to communicate is more important than how she wants to communicate?

chicoingles Tue 18-Jun-13 21:48:10

TheDoctrineOfAllan - I don't know how long they've been together but I'd say about 6 years or so. As far as I know from what she's told me he only knows a few swear words in Polish. When I said a few things I know in Polish, she said I know more Polish than him. So she will be using English literally all the time apart from when she goes back to see her family in Poland which is rarely according to what she's told me.

Shutupanddrive Tue 18-Jun-13 21:27:17


roseum Tue 18-Jun-13 21:22:22

My DH is Danish, brought up bilingual (in Denmark) as his mother is English. He has now lived in the UK for over half his life. He speaks perfect English, no accent (unlike his brother, who had the same upbringing but lives in Denmark).

We talk to each other in English, because I don't understand much Danish - I wish I did, but finding somewhere to learn it has proven really difficult. I would never seek to prevent him speaking Danish - why would I? It is part of who he is. Now we have DS, DH speaks to him in Danish, so hopefully DS will grow up bilingual.

Different languages have different words/ concepts, so (according to DH) some ideas are easier to express in one language than the other - my PIL certainly used this to great effect, they would switch between languages, often mid-sentence, if they could express themselves more clearly in the other language.

Being bilingual is an amazing skill, I cannot understand why you would seek to limit your DP by preventing her speaking her mother tongue. However, you may find that the longer you live in the UK, the more your DP's English improves - DH says he certainly didn't speak it so well, or without an accent when he moved here, but that is some 20ish years ago.

LoveSewingBee Tue 18-Jun-13 20:32:48

OP - you are not the yoni bloke by any chance?

I think that this is all a wind up.

StuntGirl Tue 18-Jun-13 16:20:50

YAB a twat.


MummyAbroad Tue 18-Jun-13 16:04:24

well, now I am back in your time zone I see the thread has grown and it is still unanimous in deciding that YABU!

Just want to add to all the other examples given above that I too have been in 2 long term bilingual relationships, where, and in both cases, both languages were spoken. I also have several bi-lingual couple friends, and in my 11 years in this country have been friends with a great great many more, ALL of which use/d both languages. In fact I have NEVER heard of, and refuse to believe, that there are some bi-lingual couples, who both understand each others languages, where only one language is spoken. Your idea that this seems to go on all the time, is therefore quite wrong. If you really do know a couple like this, I would suggest that their relationship probably wont last very long.

cory Tue 18-Jun-13 15:50:58

For one thing, I think it is going to be very, very difficult to bring the children up bilingual if their father has such a negative attitude towards their mother's language. OPOL demands a huge commitment by the parent of the minority language: how do you expect your dp to keep that up if she is not allowed to use her language until they are born?

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