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When you don't like the language

(17 Posts)
dolikethelingo Sat 25-Mar-17 08:44:25

I have been living in my adoptive country for a few years now. Learned enough of the language to converse but mainly live life in english. Home, school, friends, TV etc. If I don't have to use the language I don't...the reason is I hate it, it feels so un-natural using it. I don't like the way it sounds. I don't want to offend a whole nation but has anyone else felt this, and more importantly .......dealt with it hmm

5moreminutes Sun 26-Mar-17 09:53:11

Are you staying permanently, as suggested by "adoptive"?

Do you work in English, or if you are currently a sahm will you realistically be able to once your kids are older and you want to work?

We watch English TV and I only speak English at home - we used to all only speak English in the house until the eldest was 9 or 10 but that has slipped a bit, the main factor I think being the youngest becoming fluent in the community language allowing the children to start speaking that to one another some of the time, depending what they were doing.

I can't bring myself to speak German to my German husband because his English is native speaker fluent, but I have no problem speaking German to other mums and at work. I do recognise that I am a different person in German though - less awkward and opinionated blush but also less confident...

I think you will always feel unnatural unless you are in a situation where you actually need to use the language - as you are using an English speaking school that may never happen. If you do immerse yourself, in a work context or by joining a club where you are the only non local for example, it will gradually become more natural to use it and you will eventually lose your hang ups - but you have to choose to leave your comfort zone to do that.

There are people, both men and women, who live in an English speaking bubble in a non English speaking country for decades - presumably until old age... It must be a bit surreal, and most people would say you have failed to "integrate" which is of course a hot topic atm... but does it bother you? What do you actually want? To stop hating the language or to be reassured it is OK not to use it except when accessing services?

dolikethelingo Thu 30-Mar-17 13:47:25

Sorry, didn't mean to post and run.
I just don't like the language. I don't like speaking it, and I don't like listening to it. It is not a pretty language (in my opinion). Some of the dialects are awful. I actually cringe when I hear some people speak.

5moreminutes Thu 30-Mar-17 14:25:15

That doesn't sound very sustainable for a happy long term life in your adopted country then. You either need to immerse yourself so you stop noticing, stay in your ex pat bubble and make your peace with that slightly questionable (if long term) strategy, or plan to move on in the next few years, otherwise I guess you'll feel irritable all the time and it will stop you integrating.

Draylon Fri 31-Mar-17 11:25:35

You're going to have to tell us what the language is, OP so we can judge away! 😉

Viviene Sun 02-Apr-17 22:13:48

Yes, I feel the same about the language of my adoptive country. I understand it and speak when I have to but it is horrible, horrible language.
No idea what to do about it though so sorry, no help there but I wanted to let you know you are not alone :-)

I agree, you need to tell us what language it is ;-)

NeonGod73 Sun 02-Apr-17 22:19:39

What's the language? Tell us! Tell us! We won't grass on you!

PetallyTyrants Mon 03-Apr-17 13:29:07

Bet it's something Scandi! Whenever I'm watching Swedish/Danish TV programmes the language sounds really peculiar. Can't imagine being able to speak it.

Farandole Mon 03-Apr-17 17:36:57

Is it Danish? (Apologies to all Danes! In mitigation, my mother tongue sounds awful too ☺️)

LuisSuarezTeeth Mon 03-Apr-17 18:54:38

Where are you grin

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Mon 03-Apr-17 18:57:08

Could also be Switzerland, some of the dialects are incomprehensible! DP is Danish so I get both.

Laptopwieldingharpy Tue 04-Apr-17 08:00:01

Could be Chinese or Bahasa or Tagalog and their many variations......
Don't worry many of us feel that way

dolikethelingo Tue 04-Apr-17 17:16:47

Yes it's a Scandinavian language. I don't want to say which one though. I try to ignore the fact I don't like it and just use it but I know I would use it more if I liked it IYSWIM........
I don't enjoy speaking it. I don't enjoy listening to it, sometimes the dialect is so strong I question if it's the same language..........

Draylon Tue 04-Apr-17 17:18:14


5moreminutes Thu 06-Apr-17 09:25:14

There's a dialect in the part of Germany I'm in and when I'm having a bad day I hate that too. Actually it isn't unpleasant to listen to luckily - it's sort of amusingly pleasant if you aren't struggling to glean some important information, or somebody isn't trying to corner you and engage you in a long conversation using it... I do find the proliferation of songs mixing English and Bavarian dialect amusing, and of course people can speak to one another in whatever language or dialect they like. It's just that sometimes it is so frustrating to be having a "good German" day when everything is going well in Hochdeutsche and then someone who knows you are foreign and can speak easily in Hochdeutsch if they choose, feels compelled to communicate with you 1:1 only in Bayrisch - it feels as if they are deliberately trying to highlight the fact "you're not from 'round here". Its even worse Kindergarten sends out a sodding information letter in Bayrisch - I really do get frustrated when it is used as the sole written language for the communication of essential information to a general audience, when Kindergarten know that probably not much more than half the parents are native Bavarians now. Is it too much to ask that in Germany they write in sodding German? Apparently it is... I appreciate they want to keep the dialect alive, but it is very much alive and sodding well thriving, it doesn't appear to need any help and it means half of us have to look for someone to translate official communication from dialect to the actual national language!

I do understand where you are coming from despite what I wrote earlier! I still vastly prefer using English to even high German. I just think that if you actually properly hate the language its going to be impossible to live happily in a country on a permanent basis.

NightWanderer Thu 06-Apr-17 09:30:43

I think if you can get by then its fine. I live abroad and speak the local language but I know so many people who cannot speak it all. Most get by by being very dependent on their spouse. It doesn't seem to bother them but it would drive me crazy. I guess most people where you live speak English so probably isn't a big deal.

redexpat Thu 06-Apr-17 09:37:37

Not quite the same as what youre saying but I dont feel like I can be myself in the other language. When I feel at ease with the people around me I start speaking english to them.

I do cringe when danish kids whine mmooowwaaaaar like they are cows. I also hate the danish oKAY.

I dont think you can be in norway because norwegian sounds lovely, like Danish in a welsh accent.

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