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  #21  
Old 25.10.2011, 14:59
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

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For the hosts I would take some Italian biscuits, expensive Swiss chocolates, and a small bunch of fresh flowers.
Or bananas.

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  #22  
Old 25.10.2011, 15:10
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

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Or bananas.

This unfortunately doesn't work anymore. Those bloody commies are all over tha planet (usually doing nothing but complaining about prices...).

Back on topic:

That's essentially why I prefer the EF over any other forum - people her know each other a bit more than anonymous internet user.

Frederica - if there has ever been a person I would not worry about in a situation as you described it: That would be you. Honestly: The chance that no relative could either speak a little English or in fact Italian is very slim in CH. And even if it is the case - you'll be fine. You aren't the shy wallflower that doesn't dare to talk to people you never met...

I manage to get through in-law parties where everyone except of me speaks nothing but Mandarin on a yearly basis...

And in the worst case: Have at least some fun! Wait till the gentlemen are a bit drunk - and trust me, they always will - and then start singing Italian classic with them. My pick for you:

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  #23  
Old 25.10.2011, 15:20
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

My in-laws are Portuguese, and I can't speak a word of it (I tried, but my tongue just won't twist like that...) so I know exactly what you mean!

My advice is: smile a lot, learn to say thank you and cling to your OH. If you're feeling lonely and isolated, go with the kids. They don't care if you can't understant them, they'll be all happy if someone is playing with them.

Hands gestures will be your friends too. You can communicate quite expressively this way! (and you're Italian, it's like a mothertongue for you )
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Old 25.10.2011, 15:32
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Many thanks to everyone for all the excellent suggestions and support! I will update after the fact, and hopefully that update will be a good one
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Old 25.10.2011, 15:46
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Ooops, wrong video - here is the correct one on drunk Germans singing Italian.

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  #26  
Old 25.10.2011, 16:28
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

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Hands gestures will be your friends too. You can communicate quite expressively this way! (and you're Italian, it's like a mothertongue for you )
remember, hand gestures are different in different countries.. so best not use it! you don't want a misunderstanding like the Italian and Indian one
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  #27  
Old 25.10.2011, 16:33
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Just be yourself, you are fun, gorgeous, and intelligent. What could possibly go wrong?

I think they will get really impressed by your baking so preheat the oven and get the focaccia ready! Im taking leftovers
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  #28  
Old 25.10.2011, 17:23
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

I think that the "communication/ language problems" are actually the best excuse for not being involved that much . I mean think about it...If your German were perfect you wouldn't be able to escape from an awkward/boring situation/discussion, but now you can . In any case you'll be just fine... don't try to skip it by faking illness or anything. You go there, be nice in any language you want, let them love you and I'm sure you'll like it at the end of the day. In my case the problem are my friends. My bf doesn't speak my language and although my friends-back home- speak English they can't help switching to their mother-tongue all the time. I understand them but it makes me sad for my bf and in that case I am actually the one who thinks twice before meeting with them.
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Old 25.10.2011, 17:36
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

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remember, hand gestures are different in different countries.. so best not use it! you don't want a misunderstanding like the Italian and Indian one
Can you be more explicit? I'm not a specialist in Indian hand gestures!
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  #30  
Old 25.10.2011, 17:43
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

btw, sometimes it does not hurt to "forget" some languages and play dumb
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Old 25.10.2011, 17:48
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Not being able to speak to the OH family seems like a great thing to me, I don't see any downside at all.
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  #32  
Old 25.10.2011, 17:51
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Only thing I remember about it, is that saying 'Ah, thank-you' in German when offered a tasty second helping tended to be translated as no. It cost me couple of delicacies before I realised and learned to say 'Ja, gerne' instead.
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  #33  
Old 25.10.2011, 18:20
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

My OH was in the same situation when we first met. He made a huge effort to learn as much as poss of my parents language (French) as quickly as poss before his first visit. Mind you - he did ask my dad if he could marry him. Everybody made an effort and it went swimmingly. My dad actually went to English lessons, and my mil to French lessons for a couple of years after we got married.

Did you ever see Love Actually - romantic chick flick?
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  #34  
Old 25.10.2011, 21:01
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Be you, you're lovely.
They'll love you because they will see how happy their son is with you.

Bring Italian wine, or a small food basket with Italian specialities that everybody can try.

Make sure your fiancé remembers to translate once in while and you'll get by just fine with warm smiles.
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  #35  
Old 26.10.2011, 12:20
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

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federica, don't worry in the least! germans ADORE italians and everything italian. they are ready to excuse even our most deplorable habits. it's the well known "Italiener-Bonus" which made me survive for all those years in germany with my german in-laws...
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  #36  
Old 26.10.2011, 15:12
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

We're loud? Naaaaaa

(Sad but true. Genau)
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Old 26.10.2011, 18:58
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

You've already gotten lots of great advice so I hope you're less nervous now. It will go well, promise. When I met my in-laws the first time, they picked us up at the airport. I had the flu, spoke no German and my OH had "forgotten" to tell them we were already married.

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They'll all be so busy telling each other the story about the time Onkel Jurg drank too much Schnapps and fell into the cow fountain that they'll barely notice you.
What is the worst that can happen anyway? You make a faux-pas? I've made many. In five years at another family gathering, it won't be Onkel Jurg and the fountain anymore but you will all be swapping stories about the first time you met the family and all the things that happened.
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  #38  
Old 26.10.2011, 19:08
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Fed, I think TidakApa hit the nail on the head. Its a positive sign that the OH wants you to meet his folks. He wont leave you in the lurch to fend for yourself - and I am sure that he has already told the folks something about you.

If you are really nervous, tell him exactly what you've written on here. The language barrier being the top of the list. See what he says - but again, I am sure he wont leave you in the lurch.

Present wise, if its a birthday, I'll play it safe and get the sister a bouquet of flowers. Ask the OH if she likes wine - if he shrugs his shoulders again, stick with the flowers. Any birthday girl will love a bouquet Marsano on Paradeplatz does gorgeous bouquets and is my favourite place to get flowers for friends and occasions. Simply tell them your budget/colour scheme if any, and they'll whip up a beautiful one for you. The girls in there are friendly, knowledgable and speak English if you request.

If there are awkward silences, simply belt out "these boots are made for walking......" *ahem* I wont say anymore You'll do fine sista!
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Old 26.10.2011, 22:38
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

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If in doubt, go hiking. Far, far away up above the tree line where no one can hear you scream.....
I did that.
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Old 26.10.2011, 23:28
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Re: German-speaking "in-laws"

Were you there? i missed who you were

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Fed, I think TidakApa hit the nail on the head. Its a positive sign that the OH wants you to meet his folks. He wont leave you in the lurch to fend for yourself - and I am sure that he has already told the folks something about you.

If you are really nervous, tell him exactly what you've written on here. The language barrier being the top of the list. See what he says - but again, I am sure he wont leave you in the lurch.

Present wise, if its a birthday, I'll play it safe and get the sister a bouquet of flowers. Ask the OH if she likes wine - if he shrugs his shoulders again, stick with the flowers. Any birthday girl will love a bouquet Marsano on Paradeplatz does gorgeous bouquets and is my favourite place to get flowers for friends and occasions. Simply tell them your budget/colour scheme if any, and they'll whip up a beautiful one for you. The girls in there are friendly, knowledgable and speak English if you request.

If there are awkward silences, simply belt out "these boots are made for walking......" *ahem* I wont say anymore You'll do fine sista!
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