Meeting the parents is a big step in every relationship. However, when you have to win over non-English speaking parents, the challenge gets tougher. How can you charm someone whose language you do not speak?
To avoid stuttering and blank stares, you can go for a less expected but more traditional form of communication – writing.
Compose a few well-written messages or letters for the parents, and you’ll show a lovely gesture. Let them see that their child is with a partner who is willing to put some effort into building a good relationship with them.
So, are you ready to introduce your charming self through writing? Then, follow these tips and learn how to break the language barrier.
Outline Your Thoughts
If the thought of addressing your other half’s parents builds up the tension, you can make that fear go away. Every task is less intimidating when you break it down. Therefore, start this process with an outline.
Scribble a few ideas that you want to share in your writing. In your language, of course.
Do you want to tell them a little more about yourself? Do you want to thank them for raising such an amazing child? Make bullet points of key ideas you want to tackle in the letter.
The outline will help you structure your writing. You will notice right away if you are going overboard with topics and stop yourself before you overwhelm the parents.
Stick to Simplicity
Whether you will use a translator or make do with what you know in their language, that’s up to you. However, whatever you decide, keep your writing simple.
Since you aren’t on your turf, it’s better to create a simple and sweet letter than to throw at them incomprehensible sentences. They are aware that you are a non-native and that you aren’t a certified translator nor multilinguist. They don’t expect poet laureate-type of writing.
It’s the gesture that counts. Even a few simple sentences will warm up their hearts.
Take Your Time with Writing
Patience is a virtue. To write a beautiful message or a letter that needs to be translated, you’ll need to be patient.
Even if you know more than basic phrases, or you’ve had a few popular audio transcription jobs in that language, you are still a foreign speaker. So, don’t rush the process.
Take your outline, and with simplicity in mind, start writing. Here are a few writing tips to guide you:
- Keep your sentences short
- Create paragraphs by separating different ideas
- Use everyday language and common phrases
- Be respectful
If you want to test out your language skills, you can write in their language and add the words you don’t know in English. Don’t stop your writing flow. Instead, go back to the beginning later and translate the words you didn’t know.
Rely on Technology for Translation
In case you can’t utter more than a “hello” and “goodbye” in their language, you’ll have to turn to technology.
Luckily, you have free translation options such as Google Translate. This may not be the most accurate translator. But if you stick to simple sentences, it will serve the purpose.
Those who want to make sure that their letter is spotless can look for the best online certified translation services and hire a translator. Mistake-free writing in a second language is possible if a professional translator has your back.
Get Your Partner to Proofread It
Unless your letter is a surprise, give it to your partner to assess how you’ve done the job. They are the best proofreader you can find.
Not only will your partner give you some translation tips and suggest potential corrections, but they’ll also point out if you’ve overshared or written what their parents might dislike. What’s more, the partner’s input can make you feel more confident in your writing.
Writing in a foreign language to your partner’s parents is a gesture that can position you high in their hearts. Who can resist a charming message or letter in their language? So, take these tips in mind and compose a text that will make you the partner of the year.