When I met my wife, it was ‘Love at First Sight’; although it wasn’t just a chance meeting; it was a culmination of a series of events that led up to that special day.
I can’t write the full details of events here because I’ve published the story on another site, and Google would consider it to be plagiarism; so the link to those events is here:-
However, it would be interesting to hear how you met your loved one, and whether it was ‘love at first sight’; that is, if you want to share your story?
Hi, Arthur, may I offer this contribution regarding my significant other?
https://hubpages.com/relationships/Its- … es-Attract
Wow, that is some story; yeah, I could see elements of what you say in our relationship e.g. I’m better at focusing on one task at a time, while my wife is good at multitasking; and we don’t always have quite the same tastes in TV genre – but we do have a lot of our common ground, where we are so much alike.
It’s not so much the differences, but finding common ground; and that’s where our strength in our relationship is e.g. in many respects we are so much alike, that at times it’s almost as if we were identical twins! We’re both sensible with money, and when making decisions we think alike e.g. for our next holiday, home decorating and DIY projects, shopping for electrical goods, luxury items etc. – which makes life so easy. It means for example that my wife can task me with researching for a new cooker or washing machine, and I can task my wife with researching for our next holiday etc., with each having the confidence that the other will make choices that we both agree with; so making the final decisions jointly is smooth and easy. Hence, we never argue; no need to.
Good gravy, Arthur, you are a lucky guy, no arguments?
We still do, but either one of us would eventually relent and capitulate to the other.
For example, she complains that my wallet or billfold has jaws of a crocodile and that she always needed a crowbar to pry it open.
She abhors the very concept of capitalism, that is until she wants a new bonnet.
She says that in my concern to save for a rainy day, I take away from the joy of the moment.
Well, we are both right, and we try to accommodate the needs and concerns of each other.
Her name is Antoinette and I always compare her tendency toward profligate spending with that of the ill fated French Queen of the same name.
I let her drag in another mangy misbegotten feline in from the street and adopt it, but have said NO to any more chickens and geese, even though we live in an agricultural area of Florida, now. I persuaded her based on the expense and impracticability of have these birds running around, she came to see things my way.
She does not like to engage in the arithmetic of things, just saying that somehow the cupboard will take care of itself when tomorrow comes.
While admiring a clear and starry night, I spent an hour explaining to her that a "full moon" Is not giving off its own light but merely reflecting light from another source. There was some sort of spiritual Mumbo jumbo that she offered in explanation, but, regardless science is science. I thought that everybody knew this stuff.
Thanks for the inviting topic and thread, Arthur.
It sounds a rich relationship, and I liked your descriptiveness with your wallet. Money is something we’ve never had any problems over, in that we both take the attitude that regardless to who has what it’s ‘ours jointly’. My wife is good at saving, so when we bought our first house my wife put down the deposit for it and I paid the monthly mortgage thereafter.
We have separate bank accounts but a common understanding of who pays for what that works well; for example my wife pays for the food, clothes, household items and white goods etc., while I pay the household and utility bills, and for gardening supplies and all the house maintenance, improvements and DIY costs etc.
The only time it hasn’t really worked in our favour is a few years ago when the UK Government was phasing out the tungsten lightbulbs in favour for low energy lightbulbs. At that time when you could still get both types of lighting, the tungsten lightbulbs were a lot cheaper to buy but a lot more costly to run (burnt more electricity). And has my wife bought the lightbulbs and I paid the electricity bill, I ended up paying more on the electricity bill so that my wife could save money on buying household items. Of course, now days, you can only buy energy efficient bulbs in the UK, so it’s no longer an issue.
Arthur, and Credence2, what interesting and heartwarming stories. In some aspects i find my wife and myself reflected in your stories.
It was some 30 years ago when i attended evening school to learn Russian. A friend and i decided to go on an organized tourist trip to Moscow. That was in the time of turmoil and perestroika and many Russian migrants came to Germany at that time for money, for work.
It happened that my friend knew some "illegally working" Russians who wanted to send presents back to their families in Russia while staying and working in Germany. We agreed to take all gifts with us in our luggage and one of the Russian guys told us, that his ex-wife was very good in speeking German and we should meet her in Moscow.
We met in Moscow and indeed Lena was almost fluent in German. I was kind of shy, but my friend invited Lena to Germany for the next summer. I almost forgot until i got a call that Lena was in Germany. Actually that friend of mine was a lady i was dating at that time, but my heart had already focused on Lena. We met again and at the end of that summer we knew how to proceed. Lena had to get herself divorced (an easy piece of a cake in Russia), i adopted her daughter and a dog and a cat. That was 30 years ago. A son and some grandchildren later we developed a manner of mutual disagreement (Credence2) and mutual total trust and respect. Not much to regret. I (we) would do it again.
So much of my short and not very romantic contribution. And - marriage certainly belongs to the forum "Political and Social Issues"
Thanks for your input, we all have taken varied roads to end up at the same point.
Wow, learning Russian; did you find it easy to learn. You’re certainly very fluent in different languages, a real talent; and I have difficulty with just English.
You meeting your loved one is quite a series of events; as summed up by Credence “we all have taken varied roads to end up at the same point.”
Arthur, thanks. Yes, we all seem to end up at the same point, at least those of us who participate in this discussion.
I was raised in a Plattdütsch environment. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_German
This language variant (more than just a dialect) is very close to English, allowing me easy access to English, Dutch, Flamish. Add 7 years of French in school and a decent chunk of Latin and foreign languages tend to look less frightening.
Read Steven Pinker, if you are interested in how interwoven languages are on our planet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Pinker
With there being about 8 native languages in the UK, and over 30 separate distinctive dialects of English in England alone, interwoven languages does interest me very much; so thanks for the link to Steven Pinker, which looks fascinating:-
Although I can only speak English (not the RP version aka Queens English/BBC English) and Bristolian; my favourite UK language is Welsh (a Celtic language).
• Languages of the UNITED KINGDOM: https://youtu.be/OCKtSQzoIXU
• Languages of the British Isles: https://youtu.be/ODeYttUY4VI
• The Bristol Accent: https://youtu.be/2qKBRnyWleU
For example in my native dialect, Bristolian, the lyrics “Thee's Got'n Where Thee Cassn't Back'n, Hassn't” sung in Bristolian by a famous Bristol group translates to mean “You’ve got it where you can’t back it out, haven’t you”; and other words in the song like “girt” means “big”, and “o arrh” means “oh yes”, and “ow bis” means “how are you” etc.
Adge cutler & The wurzels Thee's Got'n Where Thee Cassn't Back'n, Hassn't: https://youtu.be/AnKjwOLiBTg
When I visited Europe, over 40 years ago, I was impressed with the fact that virtually everyone was fluent in their native tongue along with an additional language.
Learning another language is like opening up an alternate dimension within the human experience, one cannot help but to broaden ones horizons and become more open minded. It is one of the things that I most regret about living here.
Hi Credence; I know what you mean. Languages don’t come easy to me, but prior to the pandemic we’ve taken a two week holiday (vacation) in southern France for over 20 years, and although I haven’t learnt enough French to be able to speak it or hold a conversation in French, we have over the years learnt enough basics to be able to understand the gist of things like menu’s in cafes, food labels and on posters (advertised events) for open-air night shows etc. (which are quite common in southern France).
Part of the difficulty in us not learning more French is that most French people can speak English, and many like to show off their English to us when they realise that we’re English; so a lot of the time when we’re on holiday in France we’re speaking to the natives in English.
When 2 people communicate they automatically adopt the language with the highest common denominator. If a French speaks good English and you speak poor French then you always speak English. These decisions are made within seconds after a conversation starts.
When i was in Quebec and Montreal and i addressed people in French, almost all answered automatically in English. Kind of saves time, spares bargaining on which language would be appropriate.
And this language decision settlement can change over time. I met a guy in Moscow who had basic French language skills. At that time, my Russian was even worse and we agreed to communicate in French. 5 years later my Russian had improved and was much better now than his French, so we automatically switched to Russian. This automatism even works if people cannot speak their native language for communication.
With so many on our planet speaking English, the chances are very high that the common denominator rule will decide for English. Well, some pretend to speak English - talk to a Taxi driver in Scotland, or a cab driver in NYC.. i wouldn´t always call that English, but that is another story :-)
That makes perfect sense, and yep I know what you mean about the Scottish accent. Many years ago, the one time I toured Scotland with some mates, we spent an evening out in a pub in Glasgow and it took me about half an hour for my hearing to attune to the native’s accents, so that I could begin to make out what their gossiping.
It can be a same problem in Parliament in Westminster, London at times (as this short video below demonstrates):-
Tory MP fails to understand Glaswegian accent: https://youtu.be/I4k8dR04TzA
And most Scots speak ‘Scottish English’ anyway, which can make understanding them even more difficult e.g. “Wee bonnie lass” is a common Scottish phrase which means “Pretty Young Woman”, or “Ach, away ye go!” meaning “Oh, I don't believe you”.
Arthur, this young Scot in parliament spoke a little fast, but understandable. No comparison to my experience with ordinary Scots in the streets (and in Taxi). But then i also had fun with Cockney. Sometimes i think all Australians came from that part of London. English is not always English.
Anyhow native English speakers are very tolerant to non native speakers. I admire this because with other languages this tolerence acceptance threshold is much higher and sometimes puts up psychological barriers for non natives to speak out freely.
Yeah I know, the Scottish MP in Parliament isn’t the best example of the Scottish dialect, hence my reference above to the ‘Scottish English’. As you said, he spoke a little fast, which is a common trait with Celtic speakers, in comparison to the Anglo-Saxons (people like me) who speaks far more slowly; hence we Anglo-Saxons (like me) can find the faster speaking by Celtic people, even when it’s in good English, a little difficult to follow.
Many years ago I can remember watching an episode of ‘Jeux sans frontières’ on TV, in a game where one participant was blinded folded and relied on their partner for clear simple instructions of ‘left’ and ‘right’; and the British failed miserable at that game because we are so slow in saying ‘left’ and ‘right’ whereas the Italians fared well because the words just rattled off their tongue in rapid succession like machine gun fire.
Over the last decade or two Cockney has been pushed out of London and into Kent (to displace the Kentish dialect), as the older generation move out of London to retire in more rural areas.
In London, Cockney has been replaced by two newer English dialects:-
• Estuary English (spoken mainly by the upper working class and lower middle class); has about 8 million speakers in South East London and South East England (east of London), and
• MLE (Multicultural London English), predominately spoken by the younger generation across the south and east of London.
Multicultural London English (MLE): https://youtu.be/0KdVoSS_2PM
London Dialects: https://youtu.be/H0QUnt5h8w4
Arthur, yes good observation. Accents, dialects travel and move, the same as people move and travel in our interconnected world.
However i thought accents were no more class oriented in the UK. In the 21st century it should be a matter of region, not a matter of social status.
May be i was mislead by German attitude towards accents.
In Bavaria, news presenters on radio or TV were selected by their Bavarian accent. So you have either to learn or were raised with this accent to be accepted for the job. People in Baden-Württemberg (industrial heartland, Mercedes, Porsche, SAP, Bosch..) make fun of their special accent by distributing dictionaries on "Schwäbisch".
Dialects in Germany are considered to be a distinctive and valuable and sometimes funny cultural indicator and are nursed and preserved in their respective regions.
Nobody ever thought about class distinction in G.
We have something similar like the MLE. Immigrant peer groups tend to use a different grammar and vocabulary but with only little offset in accent. Don´t really know what that is. Anyways, interesting topic.
Yes, you are right Chris; accents in the UK are normally region related rather than class related; with the exception the ‘Queens English’ and London (EastEnd vs WestEnd) e.g. RP vs Cockney (wealthy vs less wealthy). RP is the accent of the wealthy and in London Cockney was the language of the lower working class in east London.
RP (Received Pronunciation) is only spoken by the Queen and the upper classes (Less than 2% of the English population). As well as being known as the Queen’s English, RP is also known as the BBC English because it used to be a requirement that all BBC presenters spoke the Queen’s English; but these days the BBC encourages regional accents.
Estuary English is a London dialect that’s a blend of Cockney and Queen’s English (RP), whereas MLE is another London accent that’s more down to earth, like Cockney was. So young working class Londoners, especially on the east (less wealthy side of London) will tend to want to keep in with the crowd and speak MLE (a commoners language); whereas Londoner’s who are more upper class, especially in the west-end (wealthier side of London) will tend to want to speak a more refined, less earthy, English.
The distinction between East and West London (Rich & Poor) is the foundations of British TV programmes like ‘Only Fools & Horses’ and ‘EastEnders’; EastEnders is a popular British TV soap of the working class of East London that’s broadcast daily, since 1985 – It’s not my taste, so I don’t watch it, but millions do.
I always had a knack for foreign languages. Staying in Panama for 6 months (my wife had became ill and forced us to return to the states). we lived in a part of the country where you either learned Spanish or you simply were not able to communicate.
In many ways Spanish is an easier language to learn compared with English assuming that you were unfamiliar with both. The rules of syntax and word usage were more consistent. Getting used to the concept of gender associated with words similar to French just had to come with memory. I experienced a total French immersion on a visit to Quebec City and driving through much of the province. I knew enough to read the road signs with the fork that directed you to either to the North Pole via Labrador or New Brunswick, fortunately I took the right turn in the road, as things would have become more sparse and problematic going the wrong way. It was early September and it was getting "chilly" already.
If I had have stayed in Panama for a year or a little more, I could have seen myself as becoming fluent in the language out of sheer necessity.
I did note and was astonished when visited Europe as to how universally English was being spoken and understood on the continent. I had to leave my Berlitz book translator in my duffel bag.
Credence, yes you may be right that Spanish is probably easier to learn than English.
Spanish is a Romanic language, derived from Latin and the most prominant of the Latin originated languages is Italian. There are studies done on student skills in reading and writing in elementary schools. It was found that Italian students were almost 2 years ahead of students in English speaking countries. Why? The education systemsa are equally efficient and students are equally smart everywhere on our planet.
Italian language holds the marvel, that the spoken word and the written word are the same. Very few exceptions, Nothing like English "sword", what does the "w" do in there, or "plough"....
It is obvious that Italian and Romanic languages in general have this advantage over Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian, Slavic or Germanic languages. If kids don´t have to learn exceptions for the written word, they rush forward much faster.
However, English is a very synthetic language, you can compile meanings by simply designing words. Very open to adaptions and with very limited grammar flexing.
For example Russian and Latin have a declension with 6 cases, German and French have 4 und for English im am not sure anyone knows what declension is. Ok - don´t take the last words too seriously. Irregular verbs fill only one page for English while in Russian you can have totally different verbs for one and the same task, only because a task is ongoing or finished. Just mentioning some examples for basic grammar differences that make learning difficult.
Well, Chris, it certainly seemed like that to me(Spanish being easier) at the time. The problem with English is that any one word can have many meanings. The same word can have different meanings depending on the context in which they are spoken. There just seemed to be many more exceptions to the rules in English than in the Spanish language I was learning. There are no rules, just as in the "gender" concept you simply have to practice and remember.
I can't imagine trying to master Russian or Japanese, that is the mark of quite the lexicon.
But today, there are so many different aids to help. Imagine an app that could taken the spoken words of one language, translate and speak the identical meaning in another. I wish that I something like it 30 to 40 years ago when I was in the ubiquitous mode. It is truly one of the marvels of the modern age. If one were not lazy one could use the app to help familiarize and teach yourself the foreign language so you would not have to rely on the little gadget as much.
I had studied German and found that it took practice to find comfort with verbs seemingly in the wrong place. I go back long far enough ago where Latin was offered as an elective in high school, I had two years of it and saw that it was the foundation for many of today's Romantic Languages.
So, how many languages do you speak where you can consider yourself fluent?
Credence, if you speak your native language - do you translate?
Being fluent in a language means you don´t translate, you just use the language with all its differences in vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure. Not having to translate saves time and allows to communicate freely and fluently.
But attached to a language is always culture. (Best described by Mark Twain in his booklet: The Awful German Language). Yes you are right with the sentence structure in German and Mark Twain makes elegantly fun of this.
If you buy a book in English, it will have 100 pages, the same book in German will have 120 pages and the French use even more paper with some 140..150 pages.
To answer your question: My native language is German and i don´t translate in English and Russian. My French is good enough to get around, but not fluent.
With Chris talking about the difference between ‘translate’ and just speaking the ‘lingo’, and you stressing how in English “the same word can have different meanings”; you can also have different words for the same thing e.g. Anglo-Saxon words like “go” and the Norman word “proceed”. Remembering that the Anglo-Saxons (Garman Tribes) invaded and England when the Romans (Italians) withdrew in the 5th Century; and the Normans (French) invaded us in 1066.
With the difference between Anglo-Saxon and Norman words, I do just speak the lingo, but where I do need to translate a lot is from American English to British English. For example when I hear an American say words like Garbage, vacation, elevator, trunk and hood etc. then I have to translate them in my mind to British English e.g. the above words become “rubbish, holiday, lift, boot, and bonnet” respectively.
I wish I had your skills in languages, it must feel great being bilingual. When we made our first holiday trip to France, like you took your translator in your duffel bag, I took an electronic translator but never used it because as you discovered, English is universally spoken across Europe.
In that respect another change I’ve seen in recent years is the annual ‘European Song Contest’; all my life the main presenters have always spoken in French, but in recent years they’ve switch to presenting the show in English? Also, in the past most countries generally sang their song in their own native language; but these days most countries, except the French, choose to sing in English.
The European Song Contest was created in 1956, in the aftermath of the 2nd world war, as an experiment in trying to bring nations together in peace; “make music, not war”; and has grown since, and broadcast live with this year’s audience being over 180 million viewers.
ABBA has to be the whole time favourite, when they came to fame after winning the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest for Sweden.
Although in more recent years two of my favourites are:-
• Ukraine’s win in 2016 (A controversial song as it was aimed at Russia’s invasion of Ukraine): https://youtu.be/AzhtZjISoIo
• Austria’s win in 2014 (Conchita Wurst, the bearded lady in Rise Like a Phoenix): https://youtu.be/PnVA3MhP2zk
You give me too much credit, Arthur. I certainly am not bilingual, I simply have not had enough time in areas where people spoke languages other than English to get more than a foot hold. But, it has always been an interest of mine and when the opportunity presented itself, I tried to be a quick study.
France, if I remember was very protective of its language and culture and saw the rising use of English as imposition, is that still true?
ABBA is still a favorite, then and now. When they hit music charts in the US during the mid 1970's, they were quite distinctive became very popular, very fast.
I am going to play the ditties that you linked in, thanks
I wish we could imitate such a contest here, maybe there would be less bikering between us.
You give me too much credit, Arthur. I certainly am not bilingual
Deberías practicar tu español. Nunca es tarde!
You may not be fluent in Spanish, but you certainly have a better command of it than I have of any other language.
Yep, you’re spot on “France is very protective of its language and culture and has always seen the rising use of English as an imposition”, as true today as ever! There’s been a very ambivalence relationship between France and England ever since Normandy (France) invasion of England in 1066. The love/hate relationship between France and England continues to this day; the most recent bickering between the two nations being the ongoing ‘fish wars’. https://youtu.be/n8lC2vnXJtY
Chiming in on learning a new language I live in San Diego county at the Mexico border. I was taught Spanish in sixth grade and took one year in high school. The problem for me was I could do it in written format answering questions correctly, but struggled verbally using it. It just didn't come naturally to carry on a conversation. And, I pretty much forgot everything by the time my adult life arrived.
Yet, being in the auto/tire repair industry here with 39% Hispanic population knowing Spanish was advantageous to make a buck. A percentage of the customers absolutely were not bilingual. So, I learned to speak 'car stuff' fluently with sentence structure, vocabulary, and some social pleasantries. And, with restaurant communication too since Mexican food is a favorite.
This year I embarked to learn Swedish to surprise a good friend on the phone to have some semblance of conversation. I subscribed to a good site, yet struggled a lot after a dozen lessons finally quitting. Shame on me ha-ha And, have since forgotten what I learned. Again, the problem for me is stuff like speaking though that was part of their lesson plans. I just can't translate it in my head and say it. And, I think it is much easier if used daily enough to reinforce it.
Yep, I have the same problem with languages, which is very frustrating because I would love to learn French and Welsh in particular, two beautiful languages.
And in the case of Welsh, it would be an advantage e.g. in Wales the train announcements are in Welsh first, then in English; and last time I visited Wales by train, at one of the stations had to run over the bridge to catch the train that was about to depart, because the platform I needed was on the opposite side, and by the time the announcement was made in English, to inform me, the train was just about to leave.
In our case it was not (love at first sight). We "met" online (a forum, not a dating site.) We were online friends for a while before we met in person. Last September was our #15 Anniversary.
Thanks for the comment.
We met on a dating site, oddly enough she was in Hawaii at that time just over 20 years ago, and I was in Denver.
But she attended Denver Public schools with me as a contemporary of mine 30 years before that. She told me that she had seen me around although we never formally met.
Thanks for your input IslandBites; my wife and I met over 45 years ago, and have been married for over 42 years; but I still remember the day we first met, as if it was yesterday.
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