Living in Louisiana and having some cajun blood in me, my mom has raised my sister and me in a duel french/english speaking home. I have been dating my girlfriend for 4 years now. She is of Mexican heritage and she speaks spanish with her family and some friends. I wanted to be a part of her whole life so soon after we started dating i decided to learn spanish and 6 months ago me and her started to speak spanish to each other.
She wants to learn french for me as well but she is not as good with learning new things as i was and with all the stuff going on in our lives theres really no time for that. Well, for whatever reason, my mom has taken offense to this, saying that since i immersed myself in her culture she should do the same with mine and has started giving her the cold shoulder lately. Additionally, a few days ago i was speaking to another friend of mine in spanish and my mom got all upset with me. She's caught me doing things much worse than this so her behavior has caught me off guard.
I know that some battles with parents are not worth having, but i feel like i must put my foot down here. I've tried explaining to her that no one is trying to insult anyone but her mind is made up. Should I just let this one go with my mom or go to the mattresses with her on this issue, or does anyone have another thing that might help out.
Posts: 7 | From: New Orleans, LA | Registered: Jun 2008
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One thing that should be made clear here is that you CHOSE to learn Spanish because it was something you wanted to do. Your partner (it seems) did not ask you to or really encourage your to do it in any way. It was your decision. Therefore, it is not relly obligatory that your partner learn French. It'd be her choice just as it was yours to learn Spanish.
Not everyone can pick up a second (or third) language easily. English can be hard enough for those who don't speak it natively. Does your mother know that your girlfriend is willing to learn French, but just cannot do it as quickly as you picked up Spanish? Because this isn't about a lack of willingness; learned a new language is hard, and takes time (I completely understand: I speak English as a first language, but French is a close second, and after 13+ years of French there are still things I don't know). It's a little unrealistic to expect someone to throw themselves into learning something that difficult and do it quickly. We all learn at different paces.
I wouldn't try and butt heads with your mom. The more civil you can keep this, the better for all parties involved. Because you live under her roof still, I'd suggest you speak English to your girlfriend when your mom is around. Make it clear to your mom that your girlfriend is attempting to learn French, and maybe teach her a few key phrases like "hello", "goodbye", "thank you", etc, so that she can try and get things little by little. Hopefully, this will show your mother that attempts are being made.
I agree with JamVT, but I'd also like to add that Francais and Español are Romance languages, and share a lot of roots. It may help her learn the language faster if you can point out the parallels between the two.
Je t'aime, and Te amo aren't that far off if you look at it.
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