I've always thought if you're going to marry someone who speaks a different language from you (as in, your language, plus another), you should learn your partners native language, but I find this isn't the case with a lot of couples in this situation. What do they do at family events where his/her family is all speaking their native toungue or when they visit their partners home countries? I mean, they can't translate everything or wouldn't that be exhausting for them.
- You should definitely learn your partners native languageVote A
- No, you shouldn't learn their language as long as they speak your languageVote B
- You should learn their language only if they ask you toVote C
Most Helpful Guy
Great question! I actually happen to be in this very situation. I am Swiss and my long-term girlfriend is Korean (not like European-Korean but really born and raised in South Korea). Since we will most likely end up getting married in a few years from now, we are both making an effort to learn each other's languages. However, especially for me, this is a real, long-term challenge because Korean is one of the most difficult languages I could have picked a girl from. If my girlfriend was, say, Norwegian, that would still be okay because I speak a Germanic language myself. If my girlfriend spoke Spanish or Italian, this would also be no big problem because in Switzerland we have about 9 years of mandatory French in school and I also had to learn classical Latin in college because I study history. But Korean is really like... woahhh it's as different from my own native tongue as it possibly could be ;-). At the same time though, this can also be great fun sometimes. My girlfriend and be are both the liberal-arts types and we can both be pretty nerdy about languages (I also major in English linguistics). So sometimes it can be tons of fun to discuss the different quirks of our respective native languages and, for example, compare them to English. Especially if you get to an advanced level in any language, it becomes tons of fun because suddenly you realize so many cultural thing hidden in this language you're learning. My girlfriend has learned so many things about Swiss and German culture and mentality, simply by studying hard and getting fluent at German.
So while my girlfriend can now already talk to my family (and strangers) in German and even studies in German and reads academic texts in German and now slowly begins to understand bits and pieces of Swiss after only 2 years of studying the two languages, my progress with Korean has unfortunately been a little slower. I am still at an advanced beginner's stage I'd say. Partially this is because I haven't had a lot of time recently to study the language and it also doesn't come as easily to me because I don't live in Korea (I've lived there for a year but I forgot some things again). On the other hand, my girlfriend has it particularly hard because has to actually learn two languages, Swiss and German.
So yes, I do think that you should definitely learn your partner's language. On the hand, however, I also have to admit that 80% of my girlfriend's and my communication happens in English. It's just a very0
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