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To think it's rude that dh

127 replies

OnlyLoveHere · 15/06/2017 17:15

Speaks to his son in French, when I can't understand it. I think it's unfair to the rest of the family.

For example on Saturday we were in the car on a long journey and dh started speaking in French he does it often and I'm sure he's only talking about minor stuff but it's not nice because I don't know. I also don't see why he would want things to be said but me not to know.

His son doesn't speak French as his first language and is much better at English but can speak fluent French, so it's not even for understanding something.

Aibu to demand he stops this. Me and my dd and ds all feel the same.

OP posts:
Longtime · 15/06/2017 18:01

If he is speaking directly to his ds then I see no problem. Most of dd's friends are French speaking and if I'm speaking to them as a group then obviously I will speak to them in French. If I want to just speak to dd then I speak to her in English. It would be weird not to.

IloveBanff · 15/06/2017 18:01

Learn to speak French fluently. You are married to Frenchman so it shouldn't be difficult.

nocampinghere · 15/06/2017 18:02

context is everything.

does he ALWAYS speak french to his ds?

if so, YABU
if not, YANBU

FrancisCrawford · 15/06/2017 18:03

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

category12 · 15/06/2017 18:04

You should all learn more French and ask them to slow down if you're not following. I don't think it's on to marry a French person yet never learn much of their native language, so you're always expecting his family to adapt to you and also treating his language as an exoticism/eroticism.

Also learning languages is good for you.

Participate instead of excluding yourself.

GreekGod · 15/06/2017 18:05

When I got married over fourteen years ago DH could barely speak a word of English. We agreed that when having kids, I would speak to the kids in English (my native language) and he would speak to the kids in his native language.

Thirteen years later we have 3 kids who speak both languages like natives. Even at the dinner table and car journey we speak our native languages. The great part about this is that I have learnt to speak his language almost like a native and I am so proud of him when he speaks to my friends in English.

The point though is that it is upsetting you and that is the bigger issue here rather than the language.

MikeUniformMike · 15/06/2017 18:06

OP, I understand your point of view but if you normally speak to someone in one language, it feels really unnatural to speak to them in a different language.

educationforlife · 15/06/2017 18:06

OFGS! He is speaking to his son in his own language - not excluding you.
It is NOT about you - nor should it be.
Don't speak foreign is a xenophobic rallying cry.
Learn French if you want to earwig on their conversations - or ask them to translate if you think it is a conversation you want to join in on.

honeyroar · 15/06/2017 18:10

I can understand why you feel left out, but I don't think it's rational. Plus it's not right to say that he's being rude speaking his mother tongue language with his son as it's leaving out your side of the family when actually you and your children speak your mother tongue in front of them and haven't made much effort at all to learn theirs!! You're looking at it from your side only. To be honest, if you're expecting all members of his family to speak English to you all time, including his parents, then it's you that's the one being selfish and impolite.

Treesinbloom · 15/06/2017 18:15

Yabu for lots of reasons already stated.

For his son to continue to speak French to a native level he needs constant exposure. How will he get that if you insist it's only when you're not there ?

Plus it is very hard to speak to someone in English when you're used to speaking to them in French. English is my mother tongue and even I find it difficult to speak English to my French DH. Unnatural.

GrumpyOldBag · 15/06/2017 18:21

Sorry, but YABU.

If he wants his son to be bilingual, this is the best way to do it.

I have bilingual in-laws and it's great - my French has improved no end from listening to them speak to each other.

Hastalapasta · 15/06/2017 18:23

YABU for the above reasons.
DH speaking Italian to the DC has massively helped me with my Italian. I ask if there are words that I do not understand.
Any extra language is an incredibly useful skill to have, it expands your skill set and teaches you different ways of thinking.

OwlsinTowls · 15/06/2017 18:25

I think it's great that he conversed with his son in French. Use it or you lose it! Guess there's a time and a place though...

sonjadog · 15/06/2017 18:33

I can see your point, but if he doesn´t speak French with him ever in "family time", and assuming that he doesn´t live with you 100% and that he goes to an English speaking school, that doesn´t actually leave much time left for him to be speaking French, does it?

As your DH is making the effort to teach him French, I assume it is very important to him that his son grows up with two languages? In which case, it is natural that he will speak French with him whenever he has the opportunity. I think you are just going to have to get on with it, OP. He´s doing it for his son, not to be annoying.

In any case, his son will be grown up soon and living his own life, so this will probably all sort itself out in a few year´s time.

BrexitSucks · 15/06/2017 18:33

It wouldn't bother me if my partner did this. I'd ask them to switch to English if the conversation needed to involve me. Otherwise happy to listen to the melody.

Sunshinegirls · 15/06/2017 18:34

You should learn French.

Tinseleverywhere · 15/06/2017 18:49

Yes you should learn French too. It is difficult of course but you will only need to understand a certain amount to get the gist of conversation.
Approach it in a positive way and I think it could be a nice bonding thing for the family. Plus if you go on holiday to France which you might with a French Dh you will feel more comfortable getting around.

Madamfrog · 15/06/2017 18:51

It is horrible if you are bilingual and talking one of your native languages to your child, to have someone insist you stop it - it is like insisting you tie your feet together if you go running, or like wearing lead weights to go swimming, just unnatural. Presumably you realised when you met him that he is French and had a son and that they might therefore speak French together? How long have you been together? Why don't you speak French? You can't reproach someone for something that is an intrinsic part of them, especially when you have known about it from the start and then went ahead and had a relationship. We don't notice which language we are talking and sometimes we talk the 'other' language but although what we say isn't a big deal just standard family stuff and definitely not about them, people who aren't bilingual get weird about it. It is pointless, you might as well demand they change their eye colour or height or something, to suit you. I think that is very very sad (and quite stupid, if I am honest).
I had this sort of trouble with my English ex-husband vis-à-vis me and our children and it had a lot to do with his personal insecurity and need to control everything. It is one of the many reasons he is an ex.

Dishwashersaurous · 15/06/2017 19:41

Sorry but yabu.

Perhaps you could do an intensive summer course or evening class.

It is really hard to keep up the non country language if you don't speak it regularly, Eg pretty much daily so therefore to help keep his son. Bilingual pretty much all conversation should be in French

RosePrincess87 · 15/06/2017 19:49

Because my DH doesn't speak my first language I have not been able to teach my DD as I don't want him to feel left out. It is one of my biggest regrets.

AcrossthePond55 · 15/06/2017 20:04

I think it's rude. And depending on the family dynamics, it's exclusionary even if it's totally innocent. How would your DH feel if you and your DC sat in the car and passed notes to each other? Even if the notes were "How much longer?" and "We'll be there in 2 hours" I'll bet he wouldn't like it.

If your DH wants to help his son improve his French and translating whilst driving is beyond your DH's abilities, then I'd think it would be a good exercise in fluency for his son to do the translating for both parts of the conversation.

ThanksMsMay · 15/06/2017 20:09

Quite often acrossthepond children don't want to translate and look different or will even respond in English to the second language. The Dad is doing a fantastic job to get this far. It is not at all th same as passing notes which is specifically about excluding. This has nothing to do with the Op.


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KatharinaRosalie · 15/06/2017 20:15

YABU, saying this as a parent of bilingual children. It's so, so difficult to get your children to speak your language when you don't live in your home country. Really the only way to achieve it is to speak to them in your language only, and not to switch between languages when there are other people around. This has nothing to do with you.

mygorgeousmilo · 15/06/2017 20:24

It's not about you. It's a life skill and a part of his son's heritage - and also I'm sure it's a part of the bond that they have. Learn French.

startrek90 · 15/06/2017 21:06

Yabu I speak English with my children exclusively as it is the minority language and trying to get my ds to talk it can not be hard. This is bilingualism at work. You are going to have to learn to deal with it

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