The language of love: Finding love in another language

For me, love has primarily been conveyed to me in English. Growing up, my parents only spoke English in our home.

As a child, I enjoyed hearing my German opa and oma (grandpa and grandma) say “ich liebe dich" (I love you) to me and my siblings whenever we visited them in downstate Illinois. But, I never had to learn how to say anything more, but “ich liebe dich” right back to them.

When I met my husband, he was here in Chicago on a work project, but his “home” was in New York – Staten Island to be exact. He had never been to the Midwest before. Like me, his parents only spoke English to him at home.

We speak the same language. But, even to this day, we still pronounce some words differently like "berry," “Mario,” and “orange.” Of course, we still understand each other just fine. We just sometimes feel the need to “tease” the other about our respective “mispronunciations” a bit in good fun.

For us, communication has always been easy. That’s why I was so intrigued when I heard the story of Tatiana Cesso, whom I met at the recent Women in Travel Summit in Chicago.

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Tatiana speaks Portuguese with her husband. But, when they met, she only spoke Portuguese and he spoke a remarkable five languages – but not her native tongue.

That didn’t faze them at all. They learned to communicate together in Portuguese.

Yes, in what I think was a huge romantic gesture, her husband learned Portuguese so they could communicate together. And, now, even though they live in Chicago, they still speak Portuguese together at home.

To me, It was remarkable that Tatiana’s husband could pick up another language so fast and so well. But, that is what happens when you already know five other languages. Your brain is hard-wired to learn languages and you can learn more and more – at any age.

Today, my sons speak English at home, but primarily learn in French in school. My husband likes to joke that they will be guaranteed to “woo” the ladies when they get older. But, to me, it’s also nice to know they’ll be fluent in the “language of love” – and a few other ones too.

As a mom of two sons, I’m glad to think that they stand a fighting chance to be able to communicate with the object of their affection – no matter the language.

Either way, I’ll be happy to know they can express their feelings, their emotions, and their love in so many languages.

Did you have to learn another language to speak with your “love” or his or her family? How many languages can you say “I love you” in? Please share your stories in the comments below.

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