Study with your significant other - Bring on the Pain Baby


#1

I have had trouble with this one over the past few years.

Basically, you have a girlfriend/boyfriend (sign. other) that is
perhaps not a native speaker of your language.
You and your sign. other wish to learn the others language.

How have you guys made out as far as helping one another or,
god forbid, teaching each other? :?

Suggestions, past experiences, details of confrontations :smiling_imp: would be welcome.

But seriously, how have you dealt with this?


#2

I don’t do it. Your significant other is not your best [color=blue]teacher[/color] in my mind. If they ask you to do something and you don’t do it you get frustrated, and if they cannot do something corrently you may feel angry because they cannot get it and you really want them to get it. Basically one or both of you are not patient enough. But there are two sides to it. It can also be very rewarding, but I personally feel an outsider, if you will, is better.

Now on the other hand if a situation arises that gives you a chance to [color=blue]explain [/color]something to the other person it’s different and seems to work better because it is only situational. Actually sitting down and teaching each other can be frustrating, but it can also be rewarding. Try it first and see what happens.


#3

I wouldn’t recommend this. I speak from personal experience (!) It causes arguments.


#4

I disagree. Try it. Really…It’s great. There’s so little tension in the average male-female relationship. Why not add a little teacher-student language instuction tension. You’ll be glad you did. :wink:


#5

I like my girlfriend to where her old Taipei 1st Girls High School uniform…wait a minute. This might get a little off topic. :smiley:


#6

Yeah, but how many people know foreign males who end up speaking Chinese like Taiwanese women, and vice versa? Better than not speaking learning at all, I guess, but not much.


#7

Dui-aaahhhh :cry:


#8

Clearly it’s not English you’re teaching her then, ahem. :wink:


#9

LOL!

hmm, on second thought, maybe i shouldn’t be laughing – that’s how i learned to speak… but it’s not so bad, the girls think it’s cute, makes them want to dress me up in their taipei 1st girl’s high school uniform and um… well, i’ve probably said too much already.


#10

Yes in an instant I can go from Irish Bogman to Taiwan Drama Queen. A skill I have yet to find a use for…


#11

Hexuan wrote[quote]I wouldn’t recommend this. I speak from personal experience (!) It causes arguments.
[/quote]I’d agree with this.


#12

Clearly it’s not English you’re teaching her then, ahem. :wink:[/quote]

Darn! I don’t no wear my dictionary has gotten off too. :laughing: Maybe she’s hiding it?!? No matter…now wear’s that coconut oil?


#13

My gf and I have tried this for years now and it simply doesn’t work for us.
I am German and she is Taiwanese; when we first met the only language both of us spoke was English, so we spoke in English. After 2 years I came to Taiwan to learn Chinese and of course we wanted to speak Chinese all the time and stuff.
However, especially when you are a beginner it is hell to try talking in Chinese. We had gotten used to speaking English too much, and it was incredibly frustrating when it took like one minute for me to finish a sentence that would have taken 10 seconds in English and sounded much better on top of that.
Also, what we both missed when we spoke Chinese, were those casual puns and jokes that partners just naturally acquire after being together for some time. We just lost kind of the linguistic reference to our past.

To make things short, we hardly ever spoke Chinese to each other. Now my Chinese is pretty good, I talk in Chinese to basically her whole family, but not to her. It feels artificial to do it.
All we do is correct each other’s mistakes and explain new words and phrases once in a while. Depending on where we live we spice up our conversations with German (in Germany) or Chinese (in Taiwan) phrases, but that’s it.

Originally I, too, thought being together with a partner who speaks a foreign language is the best way to learn this language naturally (like a child by being exposed to it every day).
This is only true if there already is a very good basis from which to start from, otherwise decent conversations are impossible and enthusiasm about talking in the foreign language will diminish very quickly.
Grown up people simply are no children and when you are a beginner as an adult it is not enough for you to talk about how yummy the food is or tell stories of Mary and Joe, who visited Grandma yesterday.
I guess if I got a new gf now, it would be no problem at all to talk in Chinese all the time, but the long past of our relationship doesn’T allow for such a change.

Another thing that’s frustrating is friends and other well-meaning people who constantly tell us to speak in Chinese/German to each other and can’t stop wondering why we don’t.
They don’t understand the tensions and discomfort that would result from leaving our “English past behind” and keep telling us that we are wasting a wonderful opportunity to learn each other’s languages, a notion they picked up in some magazines or textbooks I guess.

That’s my experience.


#14

Poagoa wrote: “Yeah, but how many people know foreign males who end up speaking Chinese like Taiwanese women, and vice versa? Better than not speaking learning at all, I guess, but not much.”

Poagoa, not fair! You speak Chinese and Taiwanese, of course, like a native because you were in the Army and all that, and everyone admires you for your great linguistic skills.

But so what if some of the other men here speak Chinese and Taiwanese like women … at least they are making the effort!

Didn’t you ever have a girlfriend and didn’t she teach you some language skills, too?

It happens in many countries, too, so what? Japan and Korea, too.

YOU: “Better than not speaking learning at all, I guess, but not much.”

No , no, it is MUCH better than not speaking or learning at all. You have a lot of nerve, Longtimer! Give them some credit.


#15

[quote=“formosa”]Poagoa, not fair! So what if some of the other men here speak Chinese and Taiwanese like women … at least they are making the effort!

Didn’t you ever have a girlfriend and didn’t she teach you some language skills, too?

YOU: “Better than not speaking learning at all, I guess, but not much.”

No , no, it is MUCH better than not speaking or learning at all. You have a lot of nerve, Longtimer! Give them some credit.[/quote]

Why make your girlfriend your only contact in Taiwan? You can learn Chinese from hanging around with your male friends and co-workers, the guy at the shop, everyone you come into contact with, including, of course, your girlfriend, but not exclusively so. Seems to me this would result in a much more natural way of speaking, and the more foreigners speak respectable Chinese and Taiwanese, the better Taiwanese people’s general impression of foreigners here will be.

Yeah, I have a lot of nerve left over, especially after the holidays. Want some?

And who is this “Poagoa” character anyway? Is he related to “Paogao”?


#16

P wrote: “Why make your girlfriend your only contact in Taiwan?”

You got a good point there, and you’re right, Mr. P. We should all mix and move more. But …

… it’s natural for a bf/gf combination to learn their respective languages this way, no? I mean, we spend most of our intimate time with our significant othernesses, so it’s natural we learn the wrong way. But hey, at least give us credit for learning …

Extra nerve from the holiday season, eh? You be forgiven then.

And how did YOU learn Chinese then?


#17

[quote=“formosa”]P wrote: “Why make your girlfriend your only contact in Taiwan?”

You got a good point there, and you’re right, Mr. P. We should all mix and move more. But …

… it’s natural for a bf/gf combination to learn their respective languages this way, no? I mean, we spend most of our intimate time with our significant othernesses, so it’s natural we learn the wrong way. But hey, at least give us credit for learning …

Extra nerve from the holiday season, eh? You be forgiven then.

And how did YOU learn Chinese then?[/quote]

Oh, here and there. Learned the basics from classes and library books, and just started speaking to people.


#18

[quote=“amos”]Hexuan wrote[quote]I wouldn’t recommend this. I speak from personal experience (!) It causes arguments.
[/quote]I’d agree with this.[/quote]

Yup


#19

I’ve been teaching her French for the last few months. It hasn’t given rise to any friction at all, and has been the source of a lot of cozy enjoyment. But we’ve never really tried to help each other learn our native languages, except for answering specific questions about meanings, pronunciation, etc., from time to time. I don’t pick up much from speaking Chinese with her, because I have problems with her very strong Taiwanese accent. Sometimes we have a teeny weeny bit of a disagreement when I repeat something I’ve picked up from a mainlander which she doesn’t like and doesn’t accept as “correct”. She’s tried to teach me snippets of Taiwanese from time to time, but that’s a language I just can’t seem to get to grips with at all. Before I knew her, I did pick up quite a lot from conversing with local gals who spoke the Mandarin equivalent of BBC English – but now, alas, I can no longer allow myself to meet with any of those other sweet little darlings.