Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

How to Date Your Bi-Lingual Girlfriend

March 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 183

If you speak three languages you are trilingual. If you speak two languages you are bilingual. If you speak one language are American.


My name is Nick DiFranco, I am a monolingual second generation American. I have a basic 'passive' understanding of Italian; that is to say I do not speak the language however, am able to understand it. My wife lived the first sixteen years of her life in Poland before moving to the U.S. on July 4th ironically enough. This of course means she is fluent in Polish and has for many years spoken English at par to better than most native speakers.

What you should know before continuing to read this how-to guide is a few basic things. First and foremost I do not claim to be a "dating expert" (if there is such a thing) and while I hold a University degree it is not in the field of any social science, psychology, or even linguistics. I do however, work in the translation industry.

The following pages are a few simple hints, tips, and scenarios you may encounter with your bi-lingual girlfriend. Some most likely can be applied to any dating relationship; however, you will find here certain scenarios that uniquely apply to your unique relationship.

Tip 1

Be A Man

So you are dating (or hoping to date) a girl who grew up in a household where the country's native tongue isn't the primary language? Not to worry! Here is tip numero uno; be a man!

A real one that is. If you are looking for a notch on the bed post, or just want to brag to your friends about getting 'the foreign chick,' please stop reading now, grab the nearest blunt object, and hit yourself in the face. Hard.

Disclaimer: The author does not mean for the above action to be taken literally however, will not apologize if it was.

By "be a man" I mean be respectful, take the high road, and in certain cases; suck it up. All relationships are hard at times. All new ones take some adjusting. Treat her, her family, and her customs with respect. You do not have to like or even understand all of them but, do not reduce to childish mocking. Poking fun at or saying anything is "crazy" or "weird" is simply dismissive. Keep in mind that you also probably have certain rituals that might seem strange to her.

This is a woman you are dating, put in a little effort. If she wants you to try a dance or dish you have not seen before, suck it up and give it a try. It will mean the world to her even if you end up not liking it. In which case, R.E.S.P.E.C.T.FULLY explain that it just isn't your cup of tea so to speak.

This tip can be applied throughout the rest of the article and relationship for that matter. If you can keep this in mind every day, your relationship is on a good course for smooth sailing.

Tip 2

Should I learn the language?

This is no doubt the most common and frequent question you will ask yourself, and be asked by others as a matter of fact. The simple answer is; No.

It is not and, should not be necessary. Doing so however is quite admirable. Learning a language is very difficult, and becomes increasingly so with each year you get older. To become fluent in a language, despite how much software you buy for your computer, is impossible without extraordinary amounts of practice to the level of living in the country. Language is also not like riding a bike; you can and will forget over time if not used frequently.

For the sake of your relationship learning a few key words will help you in the long run. "Yes", "No", "Please", and "Thank You" will last you for years to come. Her family will also greatly appreciate your effort.

Bonus hint: Take note when the family is speaking English. It means they want you to hear what they have to say.

Learning a few more key phrases and household items may be helpful to you when you find yourself surrounded by the language. Not to mention you can have your significant other teach you phrases that can act as your own secret code. "Let's get out of here" when at a boring party. "Do you like it" when trying to be sold an item by a salesmen. "What is that smell" in a crowded elevator.

Do not, for the love of anything you find sacred ask her how to curse in her native tongue. Chances are you will pick that up along the way anyhow.

Tip 3

The Art of Blending In

Your relationship is getting serious and it is time for you to meet the folks. No doubt a nerve wrecking experience. Made even more so if you are worried about not being able to understand what is being said or once more, if you will be able to make others understand you. In comes the smile and nod.

A classic move that should be placed on the default setting in your arsenal of communication tools. At any moment when someone is speaking to you and you cannot understand them; simply smile and nod. It can get you by in just about any situation.

Smile and nod can get you by when someone is directly talking to you however; there are circumstances where you are going to have to blend in even if no one is taking notice of you. The object of the game is to draw as minimal attention to yourself as possible. Let me set up a scenario.

You are at a dinner table with your girlfriend, her parents, and a couple of siblings. The father is telling a story in their native language at which in the end everyone erupts in laughter. What do you do? You can laugh along. The problem is everyone knows you didn't understand a word of the story making you look like a fool. You could just sit their stoically poking at your plate. This leads to you sticking out like a sore thumb. What can be done is to play along within a standard of degree.

If everyone is laughing, smile along. If everyone is emphatically listening to the speaker, pay them notice by making eye contact. Just because you don't understand doesn't mean you should do other things or start a separate conversation. It's still rude but, by playing along you also blend in. Saving yourself from embarrassment and drawing unnecessary or unwanted attention.

Tip 4

Public Perception

Call it vain if you wish, but when out in public sometimes the voices of the xenophobes you see on the news come calling in your head. So when at any public venue and your girlfriend starts speaking to someone in her native tongue it can create an uneasy feeling brought up by the unknown of what people around you might do. To be honest, in my experience, 99% of the time what bystanders do is nothing. Nothing at all.

America is a great country filled with diversity, and for the most part when people hear a language unfamiliar to them, they just continue about their day without so much as a second glance. As a matter of fact I can only recall one time since the moment I met my wife that we ever encountered someone off put by another language.

We were sitting in a chain restaurant on our way home from a long drive when my wife's brother called. She picked up as the waiter came over to take our order. He looked at her with an estranged confusion and stood silently. She halted her conversation on the phone and gave the man her order. Still perplexed and with distinct tone he asked her "What is that?" "Polish," I responded in my macho voice. "Oh," he said.

That was it. Moral of the story; don't worry about it.

Tip 5


This relationship takes a special kind of trust. How terrifying the paranoia that someone could be talking about you, right in front of you, and you have no idea! A common worry though often not a legitimate one. You cannot assume everyone is talking about you - you're not that important. Nonetheless you should not assume they aren't.

You have to rely on your partner and trust her to let you know if something is happening that you need to be made aware of. More than likely any interpretation needed will be information based. Such as if plans are changing or your opinion is requested.

With that said, communication is a two way street. If you would like to know, or feel you need to know information that is being discussed; just ask.

This unique relationship brings about unique challenges. Like anything else however, approaching it pragmatically, with open mind, and following the golden rule will always set you in the right direction.

Nicholas DiFranco

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:



Bi Lingual




Cross Cultural


Relationship Advice

When speaking of celebrity weddings, they dresses are mostly tailored and designed form reputed international designers. Say for example, Dutch Victoria’s Secret model Doutzen Kroes. When speaking

By: Simon Liva l Relationships > Wedding l December 12, 2012 lViews: 216

Funny groom speeches play an important role in making the wedding atmosphere nice and relaxed. Wedding is all about celebration and enjoyment and the best way of adding to the celebration is to make

By: Bartley de Wilson l Relationships > Wedding l November 29, 2012 lViews: 219

The wedding cards of every religion have something peculiar and convey a lot about the religion. There are various online stores that are solely designing Muslim wedding cards and there is an option

By: Indian Wedding Card l Relationships > Wedding l November 29, 2012 lViews: 389

Practice makes pretty! Make sure the dance floor is right for the song and practice plenty of time before hand.Practice makes pretty! Make sure the dance floor is right for the song and practice

By: Simon Liva l Relationships > Wedding l November 21, 2012 lViews: 281

Wedding invitations are very important as they are the first impression and unique wedding invitations are generally kept by the guests. The wedding is an auspicious occasion and all the rituals are

By: Indian Wedding Card l Relationships > Wedding l November 16, 2012 lViews: 445

A closer look into the popular series of books called Fifty Shades of Grey that has spurred women all over America to get in touch with the sensual side in life. It's about letting your daily

By: martha l Relationships > Sexuality l October 25, 2012 lViews: 307

Looking for a place to take your Filipina girlfriend out on a date? Here are the best spots in the Philippines for you to enjoy the sun, the surf and the sand! We have more than 7,100 islands for you

By: Kokoy Hermanol Relationships > Cross Culturall April 10, 2012 lViews: 270

Recently I was asked about my thoughts on the impact that a difference in age might have on the future success of a relationship. Let me scatter some thoughts here before I answer the question

By: Lidy W Seysenerl Relationships > Cross Culturall April 10, 2012 lViews: 248

As world turns more global, so do relationships, particularly those between a man and a woman. This article shares some tips for understanding the limits and standards of social behavior.

By: Shyam A Sunderl Relationships > Cross Culturall April 05, 2012 lViews: 236

I am a Filipino. And no, I am not a racist. But I find Filipinas to be the best girlfriends, lovers and friends in the world.

By: Kokoy Hermanol Relationships > Cross Culturall March 31, 2012 lViews: 269

If you are meeting Taiwanese girls, keep in mind that they are different from those you meet personally every day. They have a different culture, a different way of living, so expectedly, they will

By: Cedric P Loisellel Relationships > Cross Culturall March 30, 2012 lViews: 242

So imagine retirement outside of the United States as an expat, perhaps living near warm, sandy South Pacific beaches or up high in cool Andean mountain air. If you are considering this lifestyle

By: Susan Klopferl Relationships > Cross Culturall March 27, 2012 lViews: 196

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus