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Anyone have any experiences with language barriers in Marriage?

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  • Anyone have any experiences with language barriers in Marriage?

    I am thinking about getting married back in my home country, I am not sure yet, but there are many concerns that have been on my mind, I wanted to see if anyone had any experience with this

    I am a Tunisian Arab, and was brought up speaking mostly English, as I came to America as an infant. I barely know my own language (Maghrebi Arabic) and I would say I know only about 35-40% fluency. Enough so that when I go to Tunisia I can request a taxi and say locations, or go grocery shopping, or ask for a certain plate of food. But not enough so that I can hold an intellectual funny conversation with say a friend at a cafe.

    If I were to marry someone from back home, and I have been there most of them do not speak English, Would this be a huge issue? Or would communication become easier over a few months of being married? How long do you think it would take to fully be able to converse with each other the same way Western couples do?

    I could get better at Arabic, and she could get better at English, but how long do you think it would take to meet in the middle and have a healthy, social, intellectual relationship?

    If she comes here and were to learn English, in my experience that takes a while to attain fluency with no background, maybe a couple years at least.

    But I am more concerned about communication as socializing and joking with my wife is very important to me.

    Anyone have any experience with a medium language barrier in marriage? Its not like I know nothing, but so little that I am afraid conversing would be very dull and awkward.

  • #2
    Re: Anyone have any experiences with language barriers in Marriage?

    I imagine that would be awkward as good communication is the key to a good relationship.

    But I can't speak from a personal viewpoint as I've never experienced this. But I'll tell you about my mums cousin.
    She married a guy from backhome (pakistan) and knew very little punjabi and english was her 1st and main language (she's british). He could only speak punjabi and next to no english ....they've managed through it somehow by both inproving their respective language skills but their kids can only speak English as they live in the uk. So they hardly talk to their dad and have absolutely no communication with his side of the family. He gets frustrated sometimes and blames his wife and says that his 'lost' his kids and they'll never know his family as they can't speak to them.
    So yh if you do work it out with your wife make sure your kids are bi-lingual otherwise one parent will inevitably feel ostracised.


    • #3
      Re: Anyone have any experiences with language barriers in Marriage?

      Wa Alaykumussalam
      No personal experiences, but communication is definitely key. That's just well known.
      Saying that, if y'all can 50% understand each other, that's not so bad, as long as one will learn the others language.
      Personally, I would need to be able to communicate properly with someone.
      And with Him are the keys of the Ghayb (all that is hidden), none knows them but He. And He knows whatever there is in the land and in the sea; not a leaf falls, but He knows it. There is not a grain in the darkness of the earth nor anything fresh or dry, but is written in a Clear Record”
      [al-An’aam 6:59]