Photo cred - Jonathan Clark
"Tu es tellement belle!" Tell the man WHAT?!
Montreal is known to be the perfect combination of Europe and North America. We have the English wit and the French glamour both at the same time. Not everyone can say the same about their hometowns, which makes us proud.
Along with this charming mix came a typical Montrealer issue, the language barrier. How many times have we met a potential significant other but couldn't communicate so well? We are not allowing this to happen anymore.
It may seem obvious, but endurance is the number one of any relationship guide. It won't be easy in the beginning. You will probably feel like choking every time you need to say something important and know your significant other won't understand. Take a deep breath and remember it's worth a try. Remember the day you took her to Lac Aux Castors and memorized how to say "would you be my girlfriend" in a proper english? Do you also remember when she answered "oui, mon amour" with the cutest anglophone french you've ever heard in your entire life? Yep. That's why it's worth a try.
Having A Hard Time Studying Together
Once in a relationship, you can find a million ways to be romantic. Studying with your significant other may be surprisingly positive. The problem is when you're reading a book in english and she's reading one in french. You both go to Concordia, but the classes are not in the same language. What to do? You can create some words game and learn together. The best part is that you are the ones who get to choose what's the prize for all the correct answers.
Movies And Subtitles
It's time for cinema club. You're both in the mood for watching a movie, but he doesn't speak a word in english. Should you go to an anglophone movie theatre or a francophone one? Cineplex Odeon, Quartier Latin or Scotia Bank, Downtown? In the end you both choose Netflix. It's a lot more easier. All you have to do is watch it with subtitles, so you both can understand what they are saying. You have to alternate though. One movie in english, the next one in french. Communication is key and you have to make an effort together.
How confusing is it when you're texting your significant other? That's when the third wheel of this relationship comes in, the Google Translator. You simply cannot do it without checking the spelling (if you're adventurous enough to try texting in the language you don't speak). It's really bad when she starts getting super romantic in french and you don't understand half of it. You might answer "moi aussi", but we all know that's not a good answer to "tu es l'amour de ma vie". (Don't we?)
Not Understanding The Posts On Facebook
Not being able to speak your significant other's language is not that bad when you're together. But when you don't understand a word he or she is saying on Facebook, that's a problem. Specially when you see comments - a lot of comments. What are they saying? Why can't Google translate the slang? Damn it! That feeling you have when people are speaking english in front of you and you don't understand anything. Yep. That feels about the same. It gets worse when you see that girl you both met at Cabaret Underworld last weekend liking and commenting on every-God-damned picture your boyfriend posts. If only you could understand what she's saying.
Not Being Able To Have Meaningful Conversations
You love each other, there's no question about that. Oh, boy. You know how much you're in love. You look at your significant other and wish you could say exactly what you're feeling. If only he or she could understand it. You wish you could express yourself in english and she wishes her brain could instantly translate it to french. Of course you both know the basics. Je t'aime, I love you. But how about the deep, meaningful conversations? It's really hard. Both of you end up sitting in front of each other in one of the romantic spots we have in Montreal, holding hands and looking endlessly into each other's eyes, hoping this will be enough.
Mimics And Sounds
How many times you and your significant other needed to make use of mimics and sounds to understand each other? It's very helpful to give an idea of what we're trying to say. If you pay attention, you'll see a lot of Montreal couples doing this. We do this all the time, even in our mother tongues. So don't sweat it. Just do whatever you need to communicate well with your significant other. We Montrealers don't judge. It's actually cute when we see that happening. Take a walk on Park La Fontaine and you'll see picnics, kisses and mimics.
Verbs And Dictionary App
Before dating your significant other you never used the translator much and never ever had a verbs app. Now everything is different. There's not a day you don't use these apps. It helps with the texting, holiday cards and love letters but unfortunately it doesn't help when you're together. That's when you start listening to how the words actually sound and try to say it to your significant other. The cute thing is french and english are very different. You will listen your francophone significant other from the Plateau saying "I ate him" when she actually means she hates him. It's genuinely adorable.
Same Subjects, Different Article Languages
You both have the same interests, you both like to read articles about the same subjects. But you read it in french and she reads it in english. You love spending time with your significant other, but if you wanna read something interesting you cannot do it on the same computer. It's annoying but you can make it work. Remember the day you first met at the Grande Bibliothèque? You were both reading the same book, only she was reading it in english. You are soulmates. The only thing is your soul speaks french.
The Fish Out Of Water
Spending time with your significant other is one of the best things on Earth. Spending time with her or his friends, ugh, not so much. It's not that you don't like them. You just don't understand a word they're saying. When everyone laughs you give a shy smile and that's it. At first your significant other try to translate what they're saying, but her or his english is also not that good. After a few drinks at Else's your significant other forgets you don't speak french. It's a helpless situation and you'll have to endure. At least they have good taste and choose good bars to go to.
For more Montreal and personal insights, follow Roberta on Instagram@Robbie__Wayne