Lost in Translation
Communicating effectively is at the heart of building a successful relationship with anyone, especially your paramour’s parents. But what if there’s a language barrier? Then try to communicate in their language, even if that means greeting them with a kiss on the cheek (Latinos are very affectionate) and a “Mucho gusto, señora.” Larissa Vasquez, a 26-year-old writer from New York City, believes this is how her African American boyfriend won over her Dominican mother.
“My boyfriend and my mom met when I enlisted him to help her move to a new apartment,”
Vasquez says. What did he do to impress her? “He told her he went to the Dominican Republic,” she recalls. “And my boyfriend pretends to know more Spanish than he does and says, ‘dique,’ all the time.”
Connecting is vital, no matter what the parents’ culture or primary language. A small hello, in whatever language they speak with a genuine, natural smile can go a long way.
Ultimately, all parents want their daughters to be in good hands. They want you, as “The Boyfriend,” to merge the new school with the old school, allowing their daughters to be the successful, happy and independent mujeres they raised. Her parents want you to show interest in her and her family, even if it means speaking in broken Spanish, bringing their favorite bottle of Italian wine or taking an extra bite of arroz con guandules. So, put your best foot forward, be genuine and show her parents you are the right man.
It’s either that or be hit with a chancleta.
Image credit- Universal Pictures and Dreamworks, LLC