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How Dating in a Foreign Language Can Help You Learn the Language

How Dating in a Foreign Language Can Help You Learn the Language 

Being able to speak freely with native speakers is an awesome ability in itself, but add to the fantasy an attractive native speaker who happens to also be your significant other and it’s a whole different ball game.

Most people don’t realize that dating in a foreign language can actually help you improve your language skills dramatically. In this post we look at some of the biggest benefits of dating in a foreign language, as well as some of the drawbacks.

Enjoy!

Dating Foreign Language 

1. Benefits of dating in a foreign language

1- It’s motivational

One of the greatest struggles for anyone learning a second language is motivation. Nine times out of ten learners start out their language learning journey with loads of enthusiasm; only to see it gradually wane over time. Try as they may it’s difficult to maintain the spark they once shared with their new language.

So why not borrow energy from a different spark? When you date someone in your target language all the adventure and excitement of a new relationship carries directly over into your learning. Suddenly you have a very rewarding reason to improve your skills and keep practicing.

As your partner gets involved you will also have the advantage of a constant source of emotional support and encouragement. You can even set up a series of cute incentives with them so that every time you use the language correctly or see marked improve you get a peck on the cheek, or maybe even a special night out!

2- It makes language learning practical

Studying vocabulary and grammar is a vital part of language learning whether you use a podcast, textbook, app, or find yourself in a classroom. However, as great as studying is, a language really only starts to come alive once you start using it in everyday life.

There’s a huge difference between a scripted conversation in a lesson plan and a real life conversation with a native speaker. Dating in your target language affords you a near perfect opportunity to flex your language muscles. You will be able to talk with a native speaker and do it often. Furthermore it will be in a way that feels natural. You’ll learn words in the context, which is hugely important. Even though if the words you learn are in the context of your dating life, you’ll see this practice and experience in the language carry over into all your language skills.

3- It’s fun

One of the greatest benefits of dating in a foreign language is that it allows you practice without having it feel like practice. Often times you’ll find yourself so wrapped up in the other person that you forget you’re using a foreign language. This takes a lot of the pressure off, and helps you focus on communication over trying to speak absolutely perfectly.

While dating can help your language learning, language learning can also add some spice to your romantic life. You’re a lot less likely to have boring or predictable dates if just communicating with the other person is an event in itself. This of course will vary based on your level in your significant other’s native language. If your level is low in your partner’s language and theirs is low in your’s, then unless there’s great chemistry between the two of you, it’s going to be harder to make a connection.

Striking a connection with your date may also depend on your target language. If you’re a native English speaker, a list of Spanish dating phrases is likely to be easier to learn than a list of Japanese ones.

 Miscommunicate

2. The risks of dating in a foreign language

1- It’s easy to miscommunicate

When it comes to relationships, human beings have an innate inclination toward misunderstanding. One glaring down side of dating in your target language is that you or your partner’s lack of ability in each other’s respective native tongue can lead to miscommunications that would otherwise be avoidable.

Depending on the language if you’re speaking in a simple mistranslation or mispronounced word can drastically change the meaning of a sentence. I learned this the hard way when I accidentally told a Ukrainian girl I loved her while trying to complement her new haircut in Russian (that’s a story for a different day!).

As long as you and your date afford each other some extra patience and the benefit of a doubt, then you should be able to overcome this pitfall.

2- Your language skills could suffer if it doesn’t work out

If all your language practice is wrapped in one person, and your relationship with that person doesn’t work out, then your language learning could take a huge hit after a break up. There’s even the added possibility that a forlorn heart might wince at the idea of using the language that your learned with your ex.

 Dating Foreign Language

3. Some ideas for dating in a foreign language

1- Make a “getting to know you” game

This can make for a fun and entertaining dating experience, no matter your age group. Make a simple list of questions with three different categories in your target language, For beginners this could include categories like “Do you like…?” (ex. Hockey, chocolate, riding a train, etc) “What is your favorite?”, or perhaps “What makes a good/…?” (ex. President, friend, vocation).

Get a die and assign each category a pair of numbers between one and six). Each person takes turn rolling the dice and answering the appropriate question. With the right person this activity can turn into a fun yet productive way of getting to know one another.

2- For more advanced learners

If your language skills are more advance you can substitute the basic questions listed above for more difficult ones. You try translating some funny would you rather questions or maybe use questions such as “When is the last time you…did such and such” (laughed so hard you cried, did something that scared you, etc.).

4. Final thoughts

Dating, with or without learning a language, is risky. The more serious a relationship is the greater potential for reward and for loss. Still for the most part, dating in a foreign language has a lot more benefits to offer than it does drawbacks. If you get the opportunity to go out with a native speaker in your target language you ought to jump at the chance (insomuch as you feel comfortable with the other person of course!).


This entry was posted on Thursday, June 21st, 2018 at 4:54 pm and is filed under Foreign Language, Learn Language. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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