Dating someone from a culture different from your own, all the while living in that culture is an exciting prospect that many people look forward to when living overseas. But the actual experience can be both thrilling and culture shock-inducing — especially when language differences are involved. So how do couples in multilingual relationships do it in Japan?
Aside from my own experiences, I asked five successful couples what their relationships were like, and learned that while there are various approaches to building a successful multilingual relationship, there were two major points to keep in mind regardless of how long you have been together.
1. Acknowledge that personalities change based on language and location
According to psychologists and linguists who have studied multilingual people, depending on which language you are speaking, your personality can be very different. You can feel more comfortable or be more expressive in one language over another. When it comes to being in a multilingual relationship, this means that the dynamic of your relationship may change dramatically between your common languages.
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