How To Make Multilingual Relationships Work In Japan: 7 Ways

How To Make Multilingual Relationships Work In Japan

How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan? If that’s your question, here is where you’ll find the perfect answer to it, read further to know more!

Communication is the cornerstone of any good relationship. A lack of open channels to talk to your partner can only lead to problems and weaken the bond that you share.

But what can you do when there is a language and/or cultural barrier in the way?  How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if these are your problems?

How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan? 

To make a multilingual relationship work in Japan, the partners need to respect both cultures equally, learn and teach each other’s language and communicate clearly, cherish each other’s differences, be patient and most importantly laugh together. A multilingual relationship will only flourish if these qualities are present in it.

Japan is famous for its challenging language barrier and its very vibrant culture shock, which makes dating and finding love that much harder to do when you are coming from elsewhere. If you’re finding love in Japan, you should first know about Japanese dating etiquette first.

Here are a few things to help you navigate your way around any obstacles you might face along the way to find out how do Japanese express their love but it will all be worth it once you have your answer to the question- How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan?

How To Make Multilingual Relationships Work In Japan

Respecting Both Cultures is Important

How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if both of you’re from different cultures? 

Very often, the bigger problem when communicating with someone who comes from a very different culture is not the words themselves, but the way they are spoken, and the context/intent behind them. 

It is no secret that Japan enjoys healthy respect for social hierarchy, and is relatively more conservative as compared to other countries. Japanese love culture is quite different and hence, it is always better to consider both sides, that’s how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan.

This could mean that your significant other who is usually the life of the party, turns into a very different person when you visit their home; Much more silent and contained as compared to their usual self. 

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The same person who could barely keep their hands off you before might now be taking social distancing very seriously! These are simply small examples of the various things to consider when trying to understand how a gap in communication can happen. 

One of the ways to make multilingual relationships work in Japan is by taking the time to understand the culture better, so you familiarize yourself with the basics and have a much easier time navigating the social web. 

How often have you thought about how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan?

As long as you are not intentionally stepping on someone’s toes, it will become second nature in no time. I hope it’s clear on how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if you’re culturally different and the only answer is respect.

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When you are seen making an effort to understand and learn, it will only make the other person more accepting of any mistakes you might end up making, and make them want to help you understand them even better, for an awesome win-win situation.

Japanese beliefs about love are pretty simple so let’s learn how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan.

Personalities Based on Language and Location

How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if you’re from different locations? 

Grammar plays a big role in Language-specific humour, like puns and rhymes. Sometimes a phrase can represent an entirely different concept than what the words themselves mean, which renders a direct translation pointless. 

Only when there is sufficient knowledge of both languages can a person even attempt to explain the joke, and even then it simply may not be possible to achieve the same level of humor. 

There might even be some dialogue that references something that is prevalent in one culture or has deep roots in its history, which will make no sense to an outsider who is looking in. 

Communicating is how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan.

how do Japanese express love
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This seemingly minor problem can often blow out of proportion, as the feeling of being unable to understand can tend to be frustrating, and the sight of your significant other dying of laughter next to you certainly doesn’t help the situation either! 

While there is no easy solution to this, it is a fantastic reason to make an attempt to bridge that gap and learn each other’s languages and become proficient over time. Think of the whole new world of content that you unlock, with each language you learn!

[The phrase “Naku ko wa sodatsu” (Which translates to ‘Crying babies grow fat’) is a good example of a sentence that makes no sense with just a translation since it is the basis of the “Naki Sumo Matsuri” AKA the “Baby Crying festival”. 

Every year, Babies are brought to Sensoji Temple, Tokyo; and made to cry, the winner being the baby that cries the loudest, fastest, and longest. As silly as this sounds, it has deep cultural roots, and the crying is believed to ward away demons.

Pretty simple, if you ask me how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan, my most important tip is communication!

Cherish the Minor Differences

How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if you have differences?

In a land with as many diverse dialects and speech habits as Japan, you will often run into someone who speaks the same language as you, in an entirely different way. 

From simple inflections to entire word changes, you will see it all, much like how a native English speaker will struggle to understand a fluent cockney speaker. We often try to fit into what we or society believe to be the “right” way, and nowhere is this seen more than speech. 

Your partner might have a funny way of saying a specific word or phrase, or over/under but be sensitive to where that might come from. Nobody appreciates being told that the way they have always said something, is wrong. 

japanese beliefs about love
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It’s easy to answer how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if you cherish each other’s differences.

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Look at these little deviations from the norm as what makes a person unique, and build your own beautiful language that only the two of you can understand if you must!

Patience is the Key

How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if you’re impatient? Well, it won’t, patience is a virtue in a relationship. 

Languages can be very difficult to learn, especially if the grammar they use is different from your own. On top of that, understanding context and etymology make it even more challenging. What could make it worse, you ask?

japanese love culture
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 Pressure! Allow your partner plenty of time to explore and understand the language so they feel comfortable navigating it, before slowly giving them more and more to consume. 

One of the most basic signs of affection is displaying patience with each other which is the answer to your question- How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan.

Overwhelming someone with information and getting upset at their inability to understand will make both parties feel worse and lead to a catastrophe! 

Television shows and movies are a fantastic way to learn a new language, provided you are there to help them learn as you go along. 

It provides a fun way to distract yourself from the fact that you are learning something, as well as teaching language through visuals and feeling, which are far more intuitive and accurate with providing context, than a translation. 

Go slow and test your approach, and back away where you find too much resistance, and work on it slowly and gently, and give your partner a wide berth to understand and make mistakes, and learn from them, without the fear of looking foolish. 

Help them laugh at their mistakes, and soon enough they will be laughing at your most obscure jokes! 

Learn, Learn, Learn.. but also Teach

While it is fantastic that you are taking the effort to learn about your partner’s language and culture, do not forget to teach them about yours as well! The distance that you need to close is halved if they take the steps towards you as well, after all. 

It not only improves your communication over time and makes the multilingual relationship between you two stronger and it will also give each person an equal understanding of the other’s side of life. 

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Learn and teach is the answer to how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan if language is a barrier!

Sometimes, it can be easier to relate two things that are specific to each culture but stem from similar roots, which would be much harder to explain via words. This especially applies to idioms and sayings, which often do not translate well. 

However, a native Japanese speaker is more likely to understand an old saying from India for example, than a native English speaker, due to the closer similarity between the Japanese and Indian cultures. 

Making things relatable also makes them seem much simpler and easier to get into, and promotes a healthy learning environment where making mistakes is okay, and not a cause for mockery. So use every tool at your disposal, and close that gap.

Laughter is Good!

How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan with laughter?

It is hard not to laugh when someone pronounces something wildly different from what you are used to, much less the person you are comfortable enough to pick on. 

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This can be a fun and memorable moment that can strengthen your bond, just as easily as it can be the first step to long-term resentment. How to make multilingual relationships work in Japan is just laughter!

Try and keep the mood jovial and kind, and stay away from mockery and ridicule. Laughing at the situation with your partner is a warm and bright memory, but being laughed at as you try to learn something and being ridiculed for failing, will only discourage any interest in wanting to learn. 

finding love in japan
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The last thing you want to do is make the person who is making an effort to get to know you better, feel like they just got a smack on the face! So laugh away the funny moments, but make sure you do it together! 

And most importantly, remember not to turn it into a stressful chore, and have fun with all of this! Laughter and de-stressing is other key factor in how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan.

Curiosity Helps 

Being curious about your partner and trying to learn more about them will always help in the long run. You can share about your culture and ask them to share about their to form a connection. Try to listen to music and artists that they like to understand what their language is like. 

Being curious will not only help you understand each other but also help you avoid miscommunication. Initially, it might seem a little condescending as you share about cultures, music, and other things but it can help you build a stronger connection.

How To Make Multilingual Relationships Work in Japan: FAQ

How are relationships in Japan?

Relationships in Japan are easy as the partners are polite, humble, and good with each other. They aren’t so expressive and don’t argue a lot but that is only because they are shy and hide it.

How do Japanese show affection?

大好きだよ (daisuki da yo) which means “I love you/like will be used too often by your partner for you. Daisuki is a combination of “big” and “like” in Kanji and it means to have a strong affection towards someone.

How do the Japanese express their love?

Japanese usually express their love by the means of kokuhaku 告白 こくはく which literally means confession. This is done in the hope to declare their love for the other and hopefully, asking them out on a date.

How do I have a relationship with someone in Japanese?

Relationships can work if you’re a non-Japanese and you’re looking for a Japanese partner by finding common grounds like speaking in a common language that you both know of, showing affection by touching, flirting, and kissing. Be polite and present yourselves well.

How do you overcome language barriers in a relationship?

You can use apps or devices that translate whatever you speak into it and help in easy communication with your partner. You can also use non-verbal communication with your partner.

Can a relationship work if you speak different languages?

Slangs in colloquial languages are a great way to communicate in an informal way and relaxed way. You can learn them on the internet. 

Multilingual Relationships

I hope this article- how to make multilingual relationships work in Japan helped you! What according to you makes a multilingual relationship works? Have you faced any major challenges? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

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Written by Ava Sato

Hiya! I'm the main author of Japan Truly. I love everything Japan and love testing out Japanese products, be it skincare and makeup or gadgets! You'll find reviews of some of the best selling Japanese products (tried and tested) right here!

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