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Old 10-11-2009, 10:23 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
2,193 posts, read 4,845,808 times
Reputation: 1075

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My husband has a new coworker that joined his company recently. The coworker is a contractor and is new to this area. He moved from Indiana (I think?). He's the same culture/background as us. So he called my husband a few times when moving and asked stuff about housing and places of worship etc. The coworker and wife are living in an extended stay for now since they don't know when his contract will end and it could end by the end of this year. So they don't want to sign a lease somewhere. They also of course don't know anyone in the area.
We invited them over last week and I met his wife. They are nice people. But the wife doesn't speak English. And I speak the language that she speaks, but I suck at it. I feel bad for her cuz she's probably cooped up in the hotel every day probably going stire crazy and doesn't know anyone. And of course can't go anywhere cuz she doesn't drive. Plus just staying at the hotel, she doesn't have much to do, it's not like there's really anything to clean up ya know?

I feel like I should call her and invite her over so she's not so bored. But the language barrier is just frustrating. It takes so much effort to speak in another language ya know?

Have you guys ever come across this or what do you think you would do?
Should I not worry about it or try to be nice?
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Centro Tejas
543 posts, read 957,545 times
Reputation: 367
Like you said, you know some of her language. The two of you can help each other with the language.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:39 AM
 
4,253 posts, read 9,017,473 times
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What a good spirit you have being concerned about this woman. You have a better understanding, too, just how frustrating a limited language can be. -- So you know a bit how she feels.

Communication does not have to be verbal all the time. She may need just an encouraging squeeze of hand here, a smile there. She may need help in picking up some basic words for dealing with cashiers when shopping, for getting to know the area.

I know first-hand how people were frustrated with me, unable to cut through my heavy accent when I first came here. It was actually stressful, too, to stoop down to a "Me talk pretty one day" from living a full life linguistically as an adult.

Imagine she is an exchange student, a fellow who needs some helping hand, - or imagine, alternatively, how you would have to do in that country which language you know just a little
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:11 AM
 
6,764 posts, read 21,269,054 times
Reputation: 4762
I have had many foreign friends and I know it is hard to be a foreigner in another country.

Why not try and make friends? You may learn her language better and wind up teaching her English.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
880 posts, read 2,161,715 times
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why not take her out somewhere like a museum? You wouldn't have to talk too much and they may have audio in her language so she could still enjoy and understand what she is looking at.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: SoCal - Sherman Oaks & Woodland Hills
12,975 posts, read 32,486,882 times
Reputation: 10491
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheenie2000 View Post
My husband has a new coworker that joined his company recently. The coworker is a contractor and is new to this area. He moved from Indiana (I think?). He's the same culture/background as us.

I feel like I should call her and invite her over so she's not so bored. But the language barrier is just frustrating. It takes so much effort to speak in another language ya know?
Im confused. You say they are of the same culture/background as you guys are, but yet you also say its difficult "to speak in another language"?

If anything, I think this is a good opportunity for you to sharpen up your skills in that language.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:41 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
24,669 posts, read 66,574,756 times
Reputation: 26668
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaoTzuMindFu View Post
Im confused. You say they are of the same culture/background as you guys are, but yet you also say its difficult "to speak in another language"?

If anything, I think this is a good opportunity for you to sharpen up your skills in that language.
No, she said the husband is of the same culture/background but not the wife.

Anyway, I think it would be great if the OP took the wife under her wing - it'll be beneficial to both. Have fun!
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:47 AM
 
26,143 posts, read 29,842,871 times
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I think doing things like shopping trips is a great idea because you would be 'doing' something not just sitting and looking at each other in bewilderment. You might also see if you can find a translator through a community center, program or place of worship if you want to do coffee or something.
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:51 AM
 
1,669 posts, read 6,161,633 times
Reputation: 1191
It's great that you feel for this woman. Yes, keep communicating with her--thus strengthening your skills. I would recommend for you to insist that she takes a english class at the local college or through the internet to help her. Going the college route will broaden her friend pool as well, as she will meet many like her in this country trying to fit in.

Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2009, 09:53 AM
 
12,585 posts, read 15,897,787 times
Reputation: 15211
Take her some of your laundry.

It's a joke people.

Anyways, who cares what the language is. Invite her over for a movie and put on close caption in her language.
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