Relationships are not easy, and it’s even more complex when both parties don’t speak the same language!
Communication difficulties and cultural differences could cause problems and bring troubles to your relationship. For example, what if you unknowingly said something considered rude in Chinese to your partner? Or simply when one of you doesn’t understand what the other wants for dinner. Despite the language barriers, many people have great, fulfilling relationships and marriages with their foreign significant other. That proves it’s not impossible!
To help you overcome communication issues with your Chinese partner quickly, we’ve put together four practical tips that you might want to try out right away to avoid unnecessary problems. Let’s go!
4 Tips to bridge the communication gap when dating Chinese people
1. Research Chinese dating culture
Understanding the basics of Chinese dating culture is the first thing to help avoid any unfortunate misunderstandings – not only in communication, but also in your expectations towards your date and the relationship.
With thousands of years of history, China has a unique and rich culture, distinguished from everywhere else around the world. It might be easier if you come from an Asian country as there’s a high chance you’ll share some similar cultural practices. But suppose you’re from other parts of the world. In that case, you may want to invest more time in researching Chinese culture associated with romantic relationships to fully grasp the dos and don’ts when communicating with your date. For example, typically, a Chinese girl would expect her date to pay for everything or compliment her appearance on the first date. Knowing such etiquette will help you avoid awkward moments and show your date that you care and respect them and their culture.
You might also be interested in: Understanding Chinese Culture – The Top 12 Most Unique Cultural Facts.
2. Make an effort to learn your partner’s language
The communication gap will become more and more problematic when the relationship gets deeper and more serious. This is because you will likely spend more time together having more complex, in-depth conversations, and the need to use a translation app whenever you want to say something is so frustrating, not to mention its low accuracy!
If you want to build a long-term and healthy relationship, learning the other’s spoken language is inevitable. It may seem difficult and time-consuming at the start, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Even if your partner already speaks your native language, your effort to learn Chinese will still help your communication to better understand each other – plus, it also shows a strong sign of commitment. So don’t hesitate and get started on your Chinese learning journey right away!
As your learning goal is to communicate with your Chinese partner, you should study vocabulary, daily phrases, and slang. There are two main reasons for this: Chinese grammar is pretty easy to handle at the beginner level, and just by using the right words, you can make Chinese people understand mostly what you want to say. You could hire a tutor, but that can prove quite costly. Another approach is to learn the language on your own — your partner can be a big help! Just make sure not to turn your relationship into a Chinese class with your partner becoming your full-time teacher and not your romantic mate.
Using Pandanese, a Chinese learning app, will also be very helpful when learning Chinese by yourself. Pandanese provides you with thousands of custom-designed flashcards with built-in memory aid techniques, helping you memorize Chinese vocabulary faster and more effectively.
You might also be interested in: How To Say I Love You in Chinese with Phrases and Numbers.
3. Master non-verbal communication methods
Another method to close the communication gap is to leverage and master non-verbal communication skills. Don’t be shy to use body language or charades to convey your thoughts. In fact, this can sometimes create good fun memories that bring you two closer. You can also make special codes with your partner to signal certain things that you find difficult to speak in words.
Texting via instant messaging apps is a great method as well. It allows you time to think and choose your words carefully. A messaging app also provides useful tools like translation, spelling auto-correction, and a dictionary. All of these will help you better express yourself, avoid misunderstandings, and have more productive conversations.
You might be also interested in: The Guide to Chinese Internet Slang: How to Chat Like a Native Speaker.
4. Be patient with each other
Language barriers in a romantic relationship can be a tough hurdle to get over. Miscommunication and the inability to have a quick, simple chat are frequent stumbling blocks.
So, it’s important that you don’t become frustrated or impatient with your partner while learning to communicate. However, don’t just nod and pretend you understand when you don’t comprehend something your partner has said. Let them know you didn’t understand and work it out together to clarify things. Avoiding communication to stay away from misunderstandings or fights won’t do you any good. Make sure you speak up if you don’t quite get it, and help clarify things to your partner if they have misunderstood you. This can only happen when both of you know the other has got your back and will be patient to hear you out.
The bottom line
The communication gap is inevitable between couples who don’t speak the same language. Yet, you can still make the best out of it by embracing the differences and working with your partner. Remember, love conquers all!
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