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English Language Barrier - obstacle in relationship?


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#21 jolin

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:48 AM

We still have endless problems understanding one another over the phone - and we talk every day. Now, English is neither her nor my language. The solution is of course for BOTH of us to learn the other one's language. Today, she uses a lot of her 80% tagalog/20% bicol mix language when we talk on the phone, and it is rapidly getting better.
I was not disappointed when we talked the first time - I knew she was no university graduate... I have been to rural Thailand before, and there the English skills among most people are next to none.


QUOTE(MrkGrismer @ Feb 20 2007, 11:04 PM) View Post
It is more difficult over the phone. It is easier in person, and it gets easier as you spend more time together.


QUOTE(sterlingsilver @ Feb 21 2007, 12:37 AM) View Post
Over time and in person you will develop your own language between the two of you.


Meeting in person allows you to use your body language as well. Much more easy. Still a lot of misunderstandings, but easy to handle. And that "own language" - it is so true, just yesterday I had to brief a few customers about our software nuts and bolts, and I notice my spoken English has become simplified, "worse", because it is better to use this simplified English over the phone... with our own "key words". Leaving out articles, particles, complicated verb tenses...


QUOTE(pulangbanca @ Feb 21 2007, 08:07 AM) View Post
I see what you are trying to say. A Filipina does have to learn English to get ahead in the States and have a solid communicating relationship with her American spouse. That is true.

I was just being idealistic. I mean if Filipinas can learn English, wouldn't it be safe to assume that Americans can learn a Filipino language? But you're right. not many Americans speak a Filipino dialect. Just the way it is.



I find it natural to want to learn at least basic communication in the language of your spouse, even if you are not going to live there. It IS possible (but sometimes I despair...)


Bottom line to OP - don't let the language barrier disencourage you. You will get over it, it is just one more of those extra problems you will face.. but in NO way a fatal problem.




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#22 Psoas10

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 07:50 AM

Hmm what accent,hehe. I have been hearing that accent for 34 years now. Yeah i am used to it. I guess I am lucky my fiance has a bachelors degree, and her job in Manila was in a bank. Yet still sometimes it is hard to understand. Of course i must sound worse when I speak Tagalog. Yeah so just realize in time you and her will be talking good. Well over here 30% population knows a Filipino dialect.


#23 Ampalaya

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 08:02 AM

QUOTE(pulangbanca @ Feb 20 2007, 09:07 PM) View Post
I see what you are trying to say. A Filipina does have to learn English to get ahead in the States and have a solid communicating relationship with her American spouse. That is true.

I was just being idealistic. I mean if Filipinas can learn English, wouldn't it be safe to assume that Americans can learn a Filipino language? But you're right. not many Americans speak a Filipino dialect. Just the way it is.

Heck as maganda as you are you don't even have to talk!!!
Opo! My asawa and anak are sitting right next to me naman! Talaga!
We do speak "some" Tagalog around the house. Plus we have LOTS of Filipino relatives and friends living here. 30% Filipinos here with only 6,000 peeps on this small island!
Opposite of the Philippines as most all stores have emigrant filipina clerks and speak Ilicano mostly!
When we go to partys I'm normally the only puti there and it would be very boring if I didn't understand a little.
I'm not fluent tho but it helps to know a little!
!


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#24 Back2eden

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:12 AM

First and foremost, I would really like to thank all those who replied. I came back at the end of the day to find some 22 replies. Love to see how active and resourceful everybody is here.

Here is the most recent update:

I just got done with 7 hours straight chatting away w/the cam video thingy. Wow, we really discussed SO MUCH and there were some misunderstandings on my part that were cleared up. I found out that the connection on her end was horrible and she could only make out certain words and phrases. It was my total assumption that her English was a problem. I completely own my part in it. And I would like to give special Kudos to the gentleman who said the following on our list. Because it is so true:

"They are intelligent and amazing people, the bisayas know and are fluent in at least 3 languages ( Bisayan, Tagalog, and English )....We Americans should be ashamed of ourselves...I have lived in a border state all of my life, and I can only speak Spanish with a 4 yr old's ability, and I know just a handful of Bisayan words, and practically no Tagalog, after almost 3 yrs.... "

This is all a new learning experience for me, and for her. We focused alot on how to clear the air when there is a problem, concern or fear. For example I suggested that if and when she didn't understand something I was saying, she could just say, "Please explain" or "I'm not sure I understand" rather than just agreeing to be polite.

As far as me learning another language, I definitely want to learn some functional vocabulary. I suppose Tagalog is the most practical. And I have already copied many functional and romantic phrases to impress her.

She is an incredible woman. She is a real gem.

And in a very polite way, I offered that if she ever wanted to strengthen the English she already knows, particularly conversational English, I would be glad to hire a private English tutor, since the nearest English school in Butuan City is an hour bus ride for her.

So I'm putting it out there, if anyone can suggest an English teacher willing to do some private sessions, and willing to travel in the Agusan Del Norte area, to please contact me.
One thing I grapple with that was suggested on this list, is that I don't visit her unless I am very serious, since this may embarass her in the eyes of her family, village, etc... Well, my intention is definitely to take the relationship seriously, if there is chemistry and compatability in person. I mean, there has to be some respectful way to court a woman without the potential of embarassing her. I do have spend time in person before I can become "serious". The last thing I want to do is hurt anybody, especially this beautiful soul. But this is new for both of us. Neither of us has dated outside our culture, religion, etc.... so our agreement is that I will visit with every good intention of it opening up into a committed relationship aka marriage, but that ultimately it will go according to God's will. If God decides we will be together, its going to happen. If not, at least we gave it a shot. I will attempt to explain the same thing to her family. I realize there may be some sensitivity issues since she already is a single mother at a young age, and the father of the baby just took off. She says that her parents already think I am a decent person because I had flowers delivered to her on Valentines Day, plus I constantly send the parents regards.

If there are any suggestions as to what is culturally appropriate for the first visit with the parents, I would love to hear it.

For example, I was always taught that a guest should always come to a host with a gift in their hand (wine, flowers, chocolate).

Again, thanks to all for your help.


#25 Back2eden

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 11:29 AM

One more question:

My gf also expresses concern at the difficulty of her being able to visit me when I am teaching in Korea for a year, (assuming of course that my visit this April will go well for both of us).

Is the problem with getting a passport? Visa? is it the Philippino govt. that causes the problems? what are some ways around this?

this is what i have learned so far:

1. she needs a birth certificate for the passport,which she has
2. she should get a r/t ticket, which she will do
3. I should write her a letter of invitation? Not sure how relevant this is, but it can be done...

Anything else? Is there a thread that deals with this topic? any links? or would someone care to elobarate...

How long is the approval time, if any......

#26 Coastie

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 12:45 PM

Well my Speach is not the best, and even in the States people have a hard time to understand me till they get use to my speach. Just take time for the 2 of you to get use to each other voice. in time it will come that there will be no problem.
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#27 username

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:23 PM

QUOTE(Back2eden @ Feb 21 2007, 06:12 AM) View Post
"They are intelligent and amazing people, the bisayas know and are fluent in at least 3 languages ( Bisayan, Tagalog, and English )....We Americans should be ashamed of ourselves...I have lived in a border state all of my life, and I can only speak Spanish with a 4 yr old's ability, and I know just a handful of Bisayan words, and practically no Tagalog, after almost 3 yrs.... "

This is all a new learning experience for me, and for her. We focused alot on how to clear the air when there is a problem, concern or fear. For example I suggested that if and when she didn't understand something I was saying, she could just say, "Please explain" or "I'm not sure I understand" rather than just agreeing to be polite.


North, South, East or West. Up state or on the boarder. English is our national language. Pedro needs to learn to speak English in our country as Spanish is not our primary language and hopefully never will be in any corner. Why should I be ashamed that I care nothing for Spanish and it servers me no purpose. Now if my wife was from a Spanish language country then I should learn it to communicate to her and her only. The rest need to learn to speak English in our country just as we should learn their language if we go to their country.

Guten Tag!

#28 gionaod

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 01:56 PM

QUOTE(username @ Feb 21 2007, 07:23 AM) View Post
North, South, East or West. Up state or on the boarder. English is our national language. Pedro needs to learn to speak English in our country as Spanish is not our primary language and hopefully never will be in any corner. Why should I be ashamed that I care nothing for Spanish and it servers me no purpose. Now if my wife was from a Spanish language country then I should learn it to communicate to her and her only. The rest need to learn to speak English in our country just as we should learn their language if we go to their country.

Guten Tag!


Like it or not Bro, Texas is over 50 percent Hispanic....
Maireann croi eadrom i bhfad,

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( a light heart lives the longest )

9/04 we met
1/06 married in Lapu-Lapu City
6/06 filed I-130
6/06- NOA
8/06 filed I-129F
8/06 NOA 1
9/06 Approval for I-130
10/06 Approval for I-129F
10/06 received MNL number for I-130
10/06 NVC assigned MNL # for I-129F
12/06 schedule for medical and interview ( online )
1/27/07-2/9/07 second trip to Lapu-Lapu City for 1st anniversary
2/15/07 St Lukes- PASSED!!
2/22/07 interview- APPROVED!!! THANKS BE TO GOD !!!!!!!

DELBROS:

2/22/07 3:20:46 PM Shipment process in the embassy
3/8/07 shipment out for delivery
3/9/07 visa in hand
3/14/07 Texas bound!

AT HOME:

5/07 Made appointment online for USCIS
6/12/07 USCIS interview
7/20/07 Biometrics
9/8/07 GREEN CARD!
9/16/07 Application for SS
9/21/07 SS card in hand






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#29 username

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:18 PM

I guess a sign that say "Speak English For Service" would not sit well there, but here they are posted in store and bar windows. We don't play that stuff up here in some parts of Ohio. We can ONLY understand English and until you speak so we can understand what you are saying you get no service because we don't know what you want or are trying to ask or say in that foreign language.

Even if Texas was 100% Hispanic origin individuals I think the national language spoken should still always be English Only. Talk what you want in your own circles but when you go for services and so on they should speak in the native tongue of our country.

But I do not want to hijack this thread over Pedro and lack of English skills in America.

To the OP:

My wife and I struggled at first with the language barrier and now she has good/better English skills and also is now a store clerk in a major retail outlet so that too has helped her improve on her English skills. Practice and time will improve on the skills. We did a lot of hand signals and laughing at our own barriers at first but time and patience was our friend. I try to learn some Tagalog and Bisaya, but anything past the 'bad' words is not interesting.... rolleyes.gif


#30 sterlingsilver

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:25 PM

QUOTE(gionaod @ Feb 21 2007, 07:56 AM) View Post
Like it or not Bro, Texas is over 50 percent Hispanic....



No it isnt bro. Where did you get that information?

According to recent demographics.......


Race and ethnic origins
Texas has a large white population (83%). The largest reported ancestry groups in Texas include: Mexican (25.3%), German (10.9%), African American (10.5%), English (7.2%), and Scots-Irish (7.2%). Descendants from some of these ancestry groups is underreported.

Much of east, central, and north Texas is inhabited by Texans of White Protestant heritage, primarily descended from ancestors from Great Britain and Ireland. Much of central and southeast-central Texas is inhabited by Texans of German descent. African Americans, who historically made up one-third of the state population, are concentrated in those parts of East Texas where the cotton plantation culture was most prominent prior to the American Civil War, as well as in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston metropolitan areas.

Other population groups in Texas also exhibit great diversity. Frontier Texas saw settlements of Germans, particularly in Fredericksburg and New Braunfels. After the European revolutions of 1848, German, Polish, Swedish, Norwegian, Czech and French immigration grew, and continued until World War I. The influence of the diverse immigrants from Europe survives in the names of towns, styles of architecture, genres of music, and varieties of cuisine. Lavaca County is predominantly Czech.


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#31 MrkGrismer

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 02:28 PM

In regards to Americans learning other languages:

http://www.nvtc.gov/...Slanguages.html

QUOTE
Far from being monolingual, the U.S. is a highly multilingual country. The number of languages spoken in the United States is 311. Of these, 162 are indigenous, and 149 are immigrant languages. An indigenous or autochthonous language is a language that is native to a region and spoken by indigenous peoples.

According to the Census Bureau, in 14 million U.S. households people speak a language other than English. One in five people over age 5 speaks a language other than English. The large number of foreign language speakers in the United States is a consequence of recent immigration.


Complete list of languages spoken in the US: http://www.mla.org/m...&mode=lang_tops

It is impossible for every American to learn every language that is spoken within America. On the other hand, every person that comes to America to live can expect other people in America to have at least a basic proficiency in English. Just as every person that goes to the Philippines to live can expect other people in the Philippines to have at least a basic proficiency in Tagalog.


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#32 gionaod

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:13 PM

OK OK .....I made a general statement without facts- I reported what I see around me


MY area is over 50% Hispanic......and I know of no other whites that speak another language, unless they are first generation...........( again, - "I know" )

Just sick of the attitude here in Texas ( they're takin' our jobs, etc etc etc )

To avoid another war on the forum like I have seen the past few days, I am dropping this subject- again....MY BAD!!!
Maireann croi eadrom i bhfad,

Gionaod

( a light heart lives the longest )

9/04 we met
1/06 married in Lapu-Lapu City
6/06 filed I-130
6/06- NOA
8/06 filed I-129F
8/06 NOA 1
9/06 Approval for I-130
10/06 Approval for I-129F
10/06 received MNL number for I-130
10/06 NVC assigned MNL # for I-129F
12/06 schedule for medical and interview ( online )
1/27/07-2/9/07 second trip to Lapu-Lapu City for 1st anniversary
2/15/07 St Lukes- PASSED!!
2/22/07 interview- APPROVED!!! THANKS BE TO GOD !!!!!!!

DELBROS:

2/22/07 3:20:46 PM Shipment process in the embassy
3/8/07 shipment out for delivery
3/9/07 visa in hand
3/14/07 Texas bound!

AT HOME:

5/07 Made appointment online for USCIS
6/12/07 USCIS interview
7/20/07 Biometrics
9/8/07 GREEN CARD!
9/16/07 Application for SS
9/21/07 SS card in hand






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#33 Felicity

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:16 PM

for me? a bit smile.gif but everything is taught and learned...and nothing is impossible in L biggrin.gif VE

#34 Pilot Mike

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:17 PM

QUOTE(username @ Feb 21 2007, 01:23 PM) View Post
North, South, East or West. Up state or on the boarder. English is our national language. Pedro needs to learn to speak English in our country as Spanish is not our primary language and hopefully never will be in any corner. Why should I be ashamed that I care nothing for Spanish and it servers me no purpose. Now if my wife was from a Spanish language country then I should learn it to communicate to her and her only. The rest need to learn to speak English in our country just as we should learn their language if we go to their country.

Guten Tag!


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#35 liahsterling

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:25 PM

"In America you shouldn't have to press 1 for English!!" LOL

I have a filipina friend who asked me last week saying: "Why is it that whatever is said in english has a follow up translation in spanish?"

for the OP:

My daughter has a good command in english but was too shy to use it while in the philippines, John thought at first she doesnt know how. but once here she gets to use it alot (in school, among friends and with her dad) that she speaks like a native now with no filipina accent.

Ilonggo (thats my dialect) is spoken in the house only when I am upset. LOL

Edited by liahsterling, 21 February 2007 - 03:27 PM.


#36 lovetells

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 03:41 PM

[quote]Is the problem with getting a passport? Visa? is it the Philippino govt. that causes the problems? what are some ways around this?

this is what i have learned so far:

1. she needs a birth certificate for the passport,which she has
2. she should get a r/t ticket, which she will do
3. I should write her a letter of invitation? Not sure how relevant this is, but it can be done...

Anything else? Is there a thread that deals with this topic? any links? or would someone care to elobarate...

How long is the approval time, if any...... [quote]


I would say acquiring a passport is not that hard. She would just need to submit her birth certificate, NBI clearance, passport size photos and a valid ID. Acquiring a visa is just a bit hard because first and foremost you need to prove to the US Embassy that you're realationship is indeed a real one. Submit the necessary requirements that would show and prove that a real relationship does exist between you and her. A personal visit to her country will be one of the proof, pictures of you together and her family, financial support( to show that you can able to support her), attending the CFO seminar (that is required to all Immigrants and Overseas WOrkers) and attending the medical exam at St. Luke's.


Im not sure how reliable or effective a letter of invitation would be. Maybe somebody here could give you some ideas for that. The approval time of the visa varies depending on how you comply the requirements prior to the processing of the petition papers. From submission of the petition papers it would take for her to get the visa interview and the medical exam schedules for 5-6 months. And after her interview if she's approved she will be able to get her visa on hand for about 2-3 weeks.


Good luck to your journey with your girlfriend. It may takes time before you could be together but just be patient for someday you will be together forever and you'll see that waiting's just worth. I wish you more happiness and God bless!


#37 Ampalaya

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 05:30 PM

QUOTE(liahsterling @ Feb 21 2007, 05:25 AM) View Post
"In America you shouldn't have to press 1 for English!!" LOL

I have a filipina friend who asked me last week saying: "Why is it that whatever is said in english has a follow up translation in spanish?"

for the OP:

My daughter has a good command in english but was too shy to use it while in the philippines, John thought at first she doesnt know how. but once here she gets to use it alot (in school, among friends and with her dad) that she speaks like a native now with no filipina accent.

Ilonggo (thats my dialect) is spoken in the house only when I am upset. LOL

In America you shouldn't have to press 1 for English!!" LOL

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#38 sterlingsilver

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 05:41 PM

QUOTE(Ampalaya @ Feb 21 2007, 11:30 AM) View Post
In America you shouldn't have to press 1 for English!!" LOL

DITTO



Well if we all keep up the good work.....it will be push 1 for Tagalog!!!!

Catch a man a fish, and you can sell it to him. Teach a man to fish, and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity. Karl Marx

#39 Julie_Ann

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 05:42 PM

it is easier to learn english than tagalog. laugh.gif
and yes, it'll be very helpful in a relationship if a filipina know how to speak basic english...
that's the common sense.....


#40 lovetells

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 08:09 PM

QUOTE
it is easier to learn english than tagalog



Oh, yes I agree. Mga bisaya kasi kami ang titigas ng mga dila (because we're visayan and got a hard tounge).. laugh.gif




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