What if She Doesn’t Speak English?
I met women who spoke English well and some that did not. My wife spoke no English at the time that I began corresponding with her.
Six months later when I visited her, she spoke very limited English that she had learned in evening classes. We were able to communicate fairly well with each other using her limited English, my even more limited Russian, a Russian-English electronic translator , and sign language.
If you have ever played the game Charades, then you will excel in communicating with a woman with limited English. If you have never played this game, I suggest it as a way to develop your sign language skills.
For difficult words that you cannot use sign language for, the electronic translator is indispensable. It is a little too cumbersome to use for every word, but it is ideal in trying to translate a word that describes a concept or an idea.
By the time my wife came to America nine months after we met, she was speaking English more or less fluently. One and a half years later, she graduated from all the advanced ESL (English as Second Language) classes at the local junior college.
She continues to think that her English is not as good as it ought to be. That is more of a self-confidence issue for her, than a statement of her abilities. Let me tell you, she has no problem holding her own in an argument in English.
There are two sides to this issue. On the one hand, it is easier to communicate with a woman who speaks English than one who does not. Theoretically, you can find out more about her in an easier way.
Of course, that assumes that men and women can communicate with each other even when they are speaking the same language. John Gray, the author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus,” made a small fortune writing books about the difference between how men and women communicate, even when they speak the same language.
She will learn English soon enough when she gets to America. My personal feeling is that it is better to choose a woman based on her qualities as a person than on her ability to speak English. However, how do you find out what her personal qualities are when you have difficulty communicating with her?
Students at local universities who are studying English can be hired relatively inexpensively to translate for you. The marriage agencies in the cities that you visit can also provide a translator. I have found that if you ask direct questions, you will get direct answers – in any language.
I would focus on asking the right questions, using translation services, electronic translators and any other tools available to you.
Language does not have to be the barrier that you may think it is.
Also, the women who speak fluent English usually are from the big cities and have much higher expectations than other women you are likely to meet. For this reason alone, I would recommend a woman who does not speak English rather than one who does.
Younger women, that have attended the university since the fall of the Soviet Union, are more likely to learn English there than older women who attended university during the Soviet era.
My experience was that even the ones who spoke perfect English were on their best behavior. After I spent some time with them, I had little problem finding out about their motives, interests, moods, et cetera, whether they spoke English or not.
Don’t worry about whether they can speak English. They will learn to speak English soon enough. Spend time with them and find out what they are really like. See how well you get along with her. It is better to observe her behavior than it is to listen to her words.
I have a philosophy about this: I believe what someone tells me, until it conflicts with their actions. At that point, I trust their actions to speak more truthfully about them than their words.
About the Author: John has been married to a Russian women for over five years. He has travelled the path from finding her, to traveling to Russia, to bring his wife to America, and adjusting to married life. He will show you step by step how to do this yourself.