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AIBU?

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.

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MariafromMalmo · 15/06/2017 21:10

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OnlyLoveHere · 15/06/2017 21:14

So his mother can speak fluent French but I doubt she speaks it to him at home like a first language. His french is very good, he could easily be at native level.

I've tried to learn french and found it very hard I would love to be fluent.

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OnlyLoveHere · 15/06/2017 21:15

Yh mother is English btw.

OP posts:
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FrancisCrawford · 15/06/2017 21:22

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ThanksMsMay · 15/06/2017 21:25

So his mother can speak fluent French but I doubt she speaks it to him at home like a first language. His french is very good, he could easily be at native level.

Why do you think his french is so good?

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Ceto · 15/06/2017 21:26

Oh dear, it's so British to assume that everyone else must speak English for us and we will make no effort to learn their languages. Don't you think it would be polite to learn French so that your in-laws don't have to keep accommodating you? If you do an intensive course and make the effort to talk to your husband and stepson in French consistently, you won't find it difficult.

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ThanksMsMay · 15/06/2017 21:27

Op i think you should repost this here www.mumsnet.com/Talk/language_bilingualism and get some good advice from people who understand. As you've not explained your issue in your title it will be my by lots of posters who can advise you.

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SuperBeagle · 15/06/2017 21:34

YABU.

My DH is Norwegian. I'm not. I know/understand basic Norwegian, but beyond that nothing. DH talks to our kids in Norwegian around me because he wants them to know the language. How would that be unreasonable?

I certainly don't think he's doing anything suspicious. Confused

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Ohyesiam · 15/06/2017 21:34

It of an of thing for him to do as it creates an unequal family dynamic. Does he spend enough time alone with him to only do it then?
His did dh respond when you two him you and dd don't like it?

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Tinseleverywhere · 15/06/2017 21:44

Learning a language as an adult is hard but as I mentioned before you wouldn't need to be fluent to follow a conversation.
I think you should have a talk with your Dh about this and tell him you sometimes feel a bit excluded when he is talking French. If you say you would like to put the effort in to learn some French he is more likely to be positive about including you in the conversation. He could explain what he is saying and once you have learnt a little French he could include you by speaking slower and more clearly.
I can't help feeling that being taught some French by your Dh could be quite romantic.

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HeteronormativeHaybales · 15/06/2017 21:45

As PP have said, it's the one parent, one language method, and it's really important it's stuck to, especially for the minority language, where the parent may be the only regular input. We're in Germany, do OPOL and I speak English to my dc at all times, incl around ILs and DC's friends, with quick translations for non-English speakers where the situation demands it. My dc often (not consistently) dwfault to German just because it's the language of theit environment and so easier for them to slip into. They are bilingual speakers but it does demand thought and effort of the speaker of the minority language. You certainly can't 'demand' they stop speaking the way they always have together. Dh and I speak German and now and again he will want to speak English (my German is near-native, his English is respectable but not up to my German) but it just feels odd because it's not the language we established our relationship in.

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anchor9 · 15/06/2017 22:02

his son will need to be using his french to keep it. in a friendly context it's not that U, no. somewhat inconsiderate perhaps.

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AcrossthePond55 · 15/06/2017 23:46

Thanks My DS1 studied Spanish for 5 years and I speak 'Spanglish' due to the area I grew up in. DH and DS2 do not have a word of it. DS1 and I often speak to each other just to keep him fluent and to improve my knowledge. Neither of us would ever carry on a conversation in front of DH or DS2. I still consider it rude to carry on a conversation in front of people who don't speak the language. It is like writing notes. It's carrying on a conversation that others cannot understand.

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Brokenbiscuit · 16/06/2017 00:01

YABU.

You cannot marry a French man and then complain about him speaking French, especially to his own son. I agree that it would be rude to do it in front of visitors who don't speak the language, but he should be at liberty to speak his mother tongue at home with his family.

If you and your dc don't like it when you don't understand, then you'll all have to try a bit harder to learn. It isn't a difficult language if you put the effort in.

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MrsTerryPratchett · 16/06/2017 00:13

The attitude of a lot of Brits to languages is interesting. It's perfectly normal in a lot of Europe to sit around a dinner table and have three or four languages on the go, of which everyone speaks varying amounts. Personally I like it.

I also don't think I've ever heard anyone say, "I don't like languages" anywhere else. "Why does English have so many irregular verbs?" Yes. But someone saying they don't like any languages? No.

I do think that almost anyone is capable of learning almost any language if they really put their mind to it. I assume you're all fluent in your own so you did it once!

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MrsOverTheRoad · 16/06/2017 01:16

Learn French OP. Why don't you ask DH to help?

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melj1213 · 16/06/2017 01:40

YABU - I and my Ex are both English but we lived in Spain for 10 years, where our DD8 was born and lived until she was 6.

She was brought up bilingual from birth - she needed to know Spanish as that was the language of the country she was living in and the language she was educated in, but English is her parents' native tongue so we wanted her to know that too. Our system was to use Spanish when we were out and about in public, but at home we'd speak English. When my Ex and I split up and he moved back to England while we stayed in Spain, my DD and I would speak Spanglish but when my DD came over to the UK to visit her dad he'd try to encourage her to speak English but sometimes she just couldn't keep up because she was so young and not used to listening to so much English all the time, so he'd speak Spanish to her, even if it meant excluding other people.

Now we have moved back to the UK too, we do tend to speak mostly in English but I don't want DD to lose her Spanish and to her it is the more "natural" language to speak so we chat a lot in Spanish at home, but sometimes, even in public or at big family events, she struggles to articulate herself in English or is just tired and "reverts" to Spanish so I will switch to Spanish so that she can still communicate. Fortunately for her, all of her English cousins love having a bilingual cousin and are mostly just jealous that they can't always understand what she says whereas she always knows what they're saying so they've started learning Spanish too ... she loves teaching them little phrases here and there and encouraging them to speak Spanish with her and whilst none of them are fluent, if they keep working by the time they get to be teenagers they could well be at a near native level.

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scottishdiem · 16/06/2017 02:37

My DP speaks to friends and family in DPs own language (Shona) a lot and I have never found it rude when I am in the room. Sometimes at big gatherings its only me and some of the kids that cant follow all of the adult conversations. Which is fine as that means I can play games on the consoles with my nieces and nephews. It never once struck me as odd or rude. But given that OP is getting her social cues from a US television drama about women in prison perhaps its not surprising.

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QueenOfRubovia · 16/06/2017 03:26

Hold the front page.

Native French speaking man speaks to his own son in French on a boring old car journey.

Bored English wife with only a vague grasp of French gets pissed off and completely misses the point of how important it is to the Dad, that his son gets some expertise in his father's mother tongue.

He is not shagging a prostitute here. He is communicating with his own son, in his own birth language, completely comfortable that the woman who loves him will understand that it's an opportunity to chat to his own son in French. Because the opportunities are rare.
It's not all about you, OP.

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KatharinaRosalie · 16/06/2017 06:39

I speak my language to the DC. DH doesn't understand it.
DH speaks his language - my skills in that language are limited.
We speak a third language to each other, kids don't speak it.

Works fine. Nobody has considered it rude - if you don't like that you don't understand, just learn the language.

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DeadGood · 16/06/2017 06:50

One of your children hates languages? Blimey.

OP, the fact that your stepson's mother is English makes it even more obvious why your DH has to speak French to his son.

Also, you say you don't mind if you DH speaks French to his son, just not in a family setting. Have you thought realistically about how often he and his son are actually alone, with no one else there to be offended?

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DeadGood · 16/06/2017 06:53

"I speak my language to the DC. DH doesn't understand it.
DH speaks his language - my skills in that language are limited.
We speak a third language to each other, kids don't speak it."

Katherina I doubt your kids don't understand your third language. And how odd to have a language between adults that you think the children don't understand Confused It's ok for an adult not to understand a language shared by a partner and child, but to exclude the children from an adult language is different.

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mammaofjoelandunbornboy · 16/06/2017 06:59

Rude

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KatharinaRosalie · 16/06/2017 07:06

DearGood I'm not sure what you would think we should do in this situation - the third language is the one we both are fluent in and have always spoken. DH and I do not have any other languages we are both fluent in. We follow the one parent-one language system and therefore both speak our native language to DC. We did not choose a random language to keep kids out of our conversation on purpose or anything, this is just the way it has worked out.
Yes DC probably understand a bit, but as we have not spoken specifically to them in that language, they do not speak in that language. (Well, they are also just 1 and 3, I'm sure they will speak it eventually, but we are not planning to switch to that language when speaking to them)

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ThanksMsMay · 16/06/2017 07:24

Thanks My DS1 studied Spanish for 5 years and I speak 'Spanglish' due to the area I grew up in. DH and DS2 do not have a word of it. DS1 and I often speak to each other just to keep him fluent and to improve my knowledge. Neither of us would ever carry on a conversation in front of DH or DS2. I still consider it rude to carry on a conversation in front of people who don't speak the language. It is like writing notes. It's carrying on a conversation that others cannot understand.

Your situation is entirely different to the op's but I'd expect someone who uses the term 'Spanglish' to not understand that tbh.

I know several families with young childrenwho use *katarinarosalie's method in a trilingual household. The kids will learn to though I'm sure.

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