Howdy all, hope everyone had a good new years. Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I wanted to follow up on a little "challenge" handed out by jetmba and zeeco in this post. It was my contention that love transcends language. There were doubters and I was challenged to "come back in a month or two" and report on how things were going.
Well, it's been 3 1/2 months and as I predicted our relationship is still going stronger than ever despite the language issues. It's not easy sometimes I will admit. Even when neither of you speaks the same language fluently you can get by on hand gestures, facial expressions, and body language. That all goes out the window on the phone. So that part has been hard. But over the last 3 1/2 months she has been taking English lessons, and I've been learning a little Russian. But there are still very large gaps in our ability to speak to one another.
With email we're able to communicate more complicated ideas, but lately her computer has been on the fritz and she hates using the internet cafe because of prying eyes. She's also not very techno-savvy, so really doesn't like using the computer anyway.
Despite it all we are still very much in love, and we find novel ways of communicating with each other. We both work very hard at it, and sometimes I think it is even a blessing that we are faced with such a challenge. Nobody in their right mind would go through what we have to go through just to get a simple idea like "I sent you a package in the mail" unless they were both really in love with each other.
Anyways I don't drop in here much anymore because the signal to noise ratio has gotten so bad here. Shame really, since there are at least a couple guys here that are pretty cool. But I wanted to drop in and say that things are going great between us, we are filing K-1 and expect to get approved any day now.
To those of you who are seriously thinking about a FSU wife, do not let her lack of language skills scare you away. If you truly love each other and are willing to work harder than you have ever worked before on just simple communication then you will make it work. We did and it has been a very rich and rewarding experience. I cannot wait until she gets here and we can learn each others' language face to face.
Good luck to you all, I wish everyone here happiness.
Good for you Ulmo!!!! Language isn't that important. If I would have required it to be such an issue I would have missed out on an incredible woman. Who took it upon herself to learn my language. Now I am her student and it's an excellent way to keep learning from each other!!
The big problem with a difference in languages, as I found out on more than one occasion, is when there is a misunderstanding (on her part) whereas she takes offence, gets the hump and goes all sulky, and you cannot explain that it's merely a simple misunderstanding.
Something so minor can blow into something very major simply thru a lack of being able to communicate ..... and thru her being a woman of course :)
Great to hear it nasfan6! I'm learning from my woman too and it has really helped to build a bond between us.
Martin_FFC, this has happened to us a couple times. We resolve it by
a) Understanding that misunderstandings will happen. If she says something to me that doesn't sound like something she'd normally say, then I'm probably misunderstanding. It's important to get to the root of it asap. My girl has gotten "sulky" and pouty too but most of the time she tries to get me to clarify what she thought I said.
b) Clarify via email. Thanks to translate.google.com, email is your best friend in the whole world. It does a better job of translation--at least for English/Russian--than any other translator I've seen yet, including the ones you have to pay through the nose for. Use it. It is not perfect but it doesn't have to be. If confusion arises, I write down exactly what I am trying to say, then I translate to Russian, and then translate the Russian back to English. I massage the original letter until it comes through the translator both ways the way I want. It helps to keep sentences short and simple. Avoid compound sentences and colloquial expressions.
c) This happened only once but in the very worst of cases I used a human translator and called her. The situation was cleared up in minutes, and it turned out that I was more worried about it than she was.
The key is to KNOW that misunderstandings will happen, and to anticipate them. We have had entire conversations where I really didn't understand what she was saying but I could pick up bits. Sometimes what she said sounded kind of mean. If she really had meant what I thought she said, it would have been clear soon enough. Don't be quick to take offense. Work it out. Ask questions.
If there is real chemistry between you then you will start to understand what kinds of things she would say, and what kinds of things she has a harder time saying, and will probably say it wrong. And if you feel like you are ALWAYS having to defend what you say, then maybe she's just wrong for you. But make sure to give it a real chance before you throw something potentially good away.
You also both need to be committed enough in your relationship to go through all this extra work. It is HARD work. There are times when I was so tired and had to get up early for work but I took the extra hour to compose a carefully worded email and then massage it until it went through the translator correctly.
Don't let minor things go long. Minor things will grow into major things. If you don't think she understood something (usually indicated by the silence on the other end of the phone) then clarify. Learn a few simple Russian phrases to put her mind at ease. When we don't understand each other we will laugh and say "translate please." Learn how to say "I don't know," "forget about it" and some other phrases. In fact, you should be learning her language during this time anyway. For me, "forget about it" is usually code for "I'll explain it all in an email." :)
You will get into arguments with your foreign-speaking girl, and it will frustrate you to no end that you can't get what is a simple idea to you across. She will pout and fuss and be angry with you. Get used to it. That's what Russian women do. But unlike American women they get over it almost immediately. Get used to that too because it will be like a breath of fresh air. Buy her flowers if it was a big misunderstanding and (again, unlike American women) it will be like it never happened. :)
All of this advice assumes one thing: that you are committed to put a huge effort into making it work, and that she is just as committed. If either one of you think it is too much work then find someone else. But at least in my case all of the hard work has payed off hugely. If the return on my investment was measured in dollars then Bill Gates would be cleaning my pool. :)
It obviously depends on the attitude of the individual!
One situation I can recall is a Kiev woman (I won't call her a lady) who asked me to buy her a ring, not that sort of ring and indeed a very cheap one. She brought her interpreter along, which of course I was paying for, and we tramped from one store to another to another.
Well you know what us blokes are like, 'yes darling it looks lovely' and so it went on, we looked in store after store after store and left thru the doors without buying a ring. Just another store, I thought, as we were walking towards the doors and then all hell broke loose. What had actually happened was that she had decided upon a ring she liked but it needed to be paid for at a cash desk very close to the doors, I was into a routine by now of walking towards doors whilst she was walking towards the cash desk.
Well, as I've said, all hell broke loose, 'so you don't want to buy me the ring', well excuse me darling, you could have asked the interpreter to explain things to me, after all I'm paying for her.
Well we met for lunch, with interpreter, the next day and she still wouldn't let it rest, during a toilet break I asked the interpreter if it was me or her that was the problem, the interpreter said it was definately her that was the problem and the interpreter said she had never experienced anything like it.
Well unbeknown to this woman (from hell) I had phoned my then ex girlfriend (now my wife) the evening before and agreed that if things went pear-shaped we would occupy the remaining time together as friends, well the woman returned from the loo continuing her onslaught so I just got up and left the restaurant leaving her sitting there.
I'm not even sure if things could have been resolved had we spoken the same language such was her attitude, all I recall was my frustration, when the interpreter wasn't present, that I just couldn't explain my innocence to her. Well she had been married and divorced twice previously and after my experience I could understand why.
Met with the ex-girlfriend (now wife) some 30 hours later after travelling across Ukraine, she knew me well enough to know that I wouldn't act as accused, totally understood my misinterpretation of doors versus cash desk and thereafter, for the next 12 days, we had a fabulous time together just hanging out and getting extremely drunk :)
the girl who i have met (and spoken to tonight!) works hard and earns good money-ish. i am lucky that her english is very good! if she just wanted me for her money, to wisk her away! she could find someone better i am sure!
only a few months ago she said that she would never leave the ukraine! but now, maybe, who knows.
anyway, she earns good money and sends money back to her parents, so she is not just after money! mind you... i spend a lot of money on phone calls! i think i need to buy one of those phone cards!
Martin_FFC, with the lady you described, she could have both spoken English fluently and it still would have ended in disaster. I don't see that this was a "miscommunication" at all. Sounds like she had her mind made up to be offended and that's just how she was going to be. No amount of talking would have solved your problem. As you say, even your translator said it was her problem. So you can't blame this one on lack of a common language.
This is a situation that would have never happened with my lady. My lady would have laughed when I headed for the "wrong" doors and just guided me over to the cashier. Even in the worst case, if she thought I was heading to the doors because I didn't want to buy the ring, she'd have asked me outside why I didn't want to buy her the ring. We'd have talked about it until I figured out what was really going on, and then we'd have gone back inside and bought the ring. It would have been no big deal.
In any relationship there has to be a foundation. When you don't share a common language that foundation has to be even stronger. What you had was a relationship with no foundation. It sounds like you dodged a bullet my friend, good on you.
I didn't suggest thar we spent 12 days extremely drunk, I said that we got extremely drunk during that period. I actually kept a diary of that 2 weeks which I could revisit to establish how often, I can only recall one morning when, by their expression, I had 'helicopters in my head' so perhaps I exaggerated slightly but it was a fantastic time over Christmas & New Year and we weren't afraid to have a few drinks.
What was particularly rewarding about that time was that I met a different 'her', during our relationship previously, and whilst we got on extremely well from day 1, was that it was if there was a shield that she was hiding behind, it's as if the cosmetics were a shield and I simply had been able to discover the real her.
Well during Chrismas & New Year 2004/2005, during this 'just friends' fun time we had together, that shield was down and I got to know the true her and that is the her that I am married to now. I am not married to a 'mail order bride' and certainly no-one can accuse me of being a 'one trip wonder. As I said to my wife quite recently that break-up in our relationship became very emotional, for both of us, but I wouldn't change it for the world, had it not happened then we wouldn't have the relationship and true understanding of each other that we have now.
How many of the guys around here, particularly these 'one trip wonders' can say that?
Just remembered another 'classic' bit of that story:
During the next days lunch her mobile kept ringing and ringing and she kept answering one call after another to the point where it was difficult to continue any conversation.
It was just before I walked out that part of her argument became that this matter of argument was very important to her. Well, I'd realised then, indeed the evening before, that there was no point in trying to continue with this woman so I responded by saying 'well if it's that important to you then try switching the focking mobile off', I then got up and left having conveniently paid the bill whilst she had been in the toilet.
some how Martin i would have been more concerned about some silly camera hiding in restaurant for some candid camera thing for there local TV.
they seem to copy us in everything else.
far out how could you not full off the chair in laughter, maybe one had to be there.
excellent story mate, with all its drama's it shall has a lot of stuff one can have a good laugh about, you sort of wonder if some are really for real:)
but i did turn moments similiar to that around for my own humour with a good smile and exsplanations how to do it one better (if you cannot beat them join them) and watch it hit home on there face, but your one (from hell) takes the cake.
its strange how one mentions something on here and its taken literary.
we debate the language problems of our two worlds, but then of all things we have problems here taking a half remark for what it is.
we speak the same language and yet a lot seem to take one comment as if its defaming the 7 commandments.
Fortunately I had a back up plan in my ex girlfriend, despite the blazing row(s) that we had had only some 6 weeks previously once the dust had settled we agreed that we remained the friends that we had been from day 1 and when we got together again, after walking out on the woman from hell, the first couple of days were a bit 'estranged' but we soon got into the swing of things :)
During the couple of days that I spent with that woman from hell she questioned if I had told my parent(s) that I had gone to Ukraine looking for a wife. I side-skirted answering the question and when I told the ex-girlfriend of this she said 'but you haven't come looking for a wife, you've come to hopefully embark upon a relationship that might lead to more and ultimately marriage'.
Ex girlfriend, now wife, had it spot on and I told her that I felt like saying to the woman 'excuse me darling, whoever told you that you would be priveliged enough to be my wife?'. That is not me, by any means, singing my praises but any relationship takes two people to put the effort in and that is one thing that she most certainly was not doing. She had posted pics of herself on the internet wearing lingerie and had obviously put herself upon a pedestal ..... in real life she wasn't all that and I let her know :)
And whilst I paid the restaurant bill I don't recall that I paid the interpreter, Svetlana as I recall, lovely girl, but it would only have been a couple of hours so about $16.
I never asked for an interpreter, it was her, so if one orders something then one pays for it, if she wants the guy to pay for it then it's not rocket science that one doesn't piss off the guy during the interim :)
I'd been through a particulary bad experience with a lady from Uzbekistan some 3 years previously and thereafter I wasn't prepared to take any prisoners, 'if you're not making the effort madam then fock off' and she was just one of a few casualties but a particularly memorable one.
A few months later I had been shagging a lady in Nikolaev, I mean she was gasping for it, even coming on VERY strong in the taxi on the way back to my apartment of an evening but she made the mistake of thinking that all she had to do was provide sex to the guy, without making any other effort whatsoever, and the rest was plain sailing. It's OK, I can talk about this because the wife knows it all :)
Well soon after arriving in Nik I learnt that ex girlfriend was in hospital with some serious complications, I monitored the situation before, after a few days of regular sex in Nikolaev, I jumped in a taxi to Zaporozhye to be by ex's bedside. That was what sealed it for us, both the time that we had had together some 4 months previously and getting her sorted out whilst in hospital, she couldn't believe it when I arrived in the hospital, she just fell into my arms and the rest is history :)
As for the woman in Nikolaev, that's another story, once I had gone missing she was phoning the police, the hospitals, wondering what had happened to me :)
Martin" sounds like a good book, it has its moments of outrageous stuff doesnt it.
good for you, wish you the best.
anyway all the best to all for the new year, it should be a cracker over there.
Another episode to that story that I've just remembered, I tell you when I got back to work after that 16 days in Ukraine over Christmas & New Year, and when people asked me how my trip had been, I simply couldn't tell them without bursting into laughter :)
Having walked out of the restaurant I then telephoned the ex (now wife) to confirm that I would be coming and I just needed to sort out my flights to Dnepropetrovsk or Zaporozhye. She, at that time was with best friend (agency owner) and best friend came on the phone telling me that she had a lady that she would like to fix me up with. Right then the thought of turning homosexual was more appealing however I somewhat begrudgingly agreed to meet with this lady.
By the time I arrived in Dnepropetrovsk the next evening best friend had gone on holiday, ex picked me up from the airport and I learnt that the dinner date had been set up for the next evening. With best friend not available guess who the interpreter was going to be, yep, my ex girlfriend now my wife and we had to pretend that we didn't know each other.
Well the date was hilarious, I soon realised that I wasn't interested in the lady, ex kept giving me facial expressions and kicking me under the table to make more conversation and I was winding the ex up by asking her questions about herself that she knew I already knew the answers to.
I think it's then that I started keeping a diary, this trip was becoming hilarious and that's how it continued for the entire 16 days, just one laugh after another. The ex was looking after the dating agency whilst best friend was away, I would phone her up, at work, asking for a blonde lady with a wacky sense of humour, she'd reply 'I'll see you at 6 o'clock' :)