Valentine’s Day has just passed us, the flowers have withered, the chocolates have miraculously disappeared and all that is left are the cards that will soon be covered with dust.
Maybe you belong to those people considering something more meaningful to foster your relationship than presenting red roses? You could, for example, resolve to learn your sweetheart’s native language – despite the fact that your partner is fluent in English and like the song suggests ‘communication is the problem to the answer’.
Sometimes communication with the partner’s family can be the primary reason acknowledges our student Ken:
‘I have been a German language student at Language Hub for over a year. I’ve always wanted to learn German after my first visit to the country in 2000. Now, my wife and I regularly travel to Germany to visit her family. The Language Hub offers an immersive learning experience for students to practice communicating completely in the language they study. The classes are fun and interactive. Studying at the Language Hub has tremendously improved my German language skills and has made communicating with my German family much easier.’
Other times a little misunderstanding in the presence of your dearest is motivation enough as Matt admits:
‘I decided to learn German after many years ago being in Munich and arguing with a guy over whether I had small (Kleine) or no (Keine) Cigarettes much to my girlfriend-at-the-times’ amusement. Learning a language is a really positive thing and I would recommend it to anyone!’
It must be stated here that relationships do not always work out the way we planned, but our students have always assured us that they never regretted their decision to learn the new language and some have even continued with their class despite the breakup.
And occasionally we learn about fairy-tales like Laura’s:
‘I met my partner Arne in Cuba in January (2016). He turned out to be a bit of a catch, and five months later I moved to Germany. I have lived in London before, and although I love love love NZ, I wanted another challenge. Be careful what you wish for… Arne speaks perfect English so communication between us is never a problem. However I work in healthcare so learning the German language is mandatory. Generally people of our parents’ generation don’t speak the best English (not that I would expect them to!)…and although many people do speak great English in Germany, the reasons to speak German were stacking up!
I started going to language school in Hamburg each day. Our wonderful teacher in NZ taught us the fundaments of German; I would have been screwed without it! There is a lot of grammar to learn but the teachers are very patient with us. It takes a lot of repetition and practice, and as embarrassing as it is for me, speaking German is the best way to practice your new German skills. And it’s true what they say, even if you just give it a go, people are really grateful and are quite happy to let you fumble your way through a sentence. It’s a great feeling when you realise that you are actually understood. Arne works a lot so I have to run a lot of the errands myself. My first trip to the supermarket here took me over an hour – me and Google translate really struggled! I had to stalk an old lady around the supermarket to figure out what to do in the fruit and vegetable section because I couldn’t ask anyone how to do anything. Now, I know the supermarkets better than Arne! I understand a bit of Spanish too, so between English, my limited German and Spanish, traveling is a little easier too!’
Needless to say that the offspring will undoubtedly benefit from being fluent in two languages!