Breaking Down Language Barriers | Dating Asian Women

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Learn more about how to overcome communication barriers when dating Asian women.

Communication barriers exist when there are factors affecting effective communication. This is something to be expected by men from the West who are looking to date Asian women. There are many contributing factors leading to communication barriers. Here are the factors and the ways on how to overcome them:

English Literacy in Asian Women

While literacy in English is something Asian countries have been thoroughly investing in for years, a decline in English proficiency is still evident. For countries like Singapore, who ranked the highest amongst Asian countries, English proficiency remains high. Some Southeast Asian countries have been steadily fairing well in the rankings; however, a drop in English proficiency for these countries has been evident due a lack of access to quality education.

According to the EF English Proficiency Index (EF EPI), the top 5 Asian countries ranking highest in English proficiency are Singapore, Philippines, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and India. All top five Asian countries are considered fairly proficient in English; However, all have dropped places in the current global rankings for non-native english speaking countries.

Language Barriers

Language barriers exist when there is a struggle to communicate using one common language. Asia has a wide linguistic diversity. Every country in Asia has its own native language and, even within their very own borders, have lots of other local dialects.

The first type of language barrier is an incomplete barrier. This essentially means that you and the person you’re dating have a common language that you both can use to communicate; however, there is still a struggle in achieving effective communication.

Assuming the language you both know is English, the best way in overcoming the language barrier is to use textbook English. What does this mean? It means that you have to use English the way textbooks say you should.

Leave the slang, the jargons, and other figures of speech behind. Using flowery words will only add to the communication problem and might even cause a misunderstanding.

The next type is a complete language barrier, which means that both you and the Asian woman you are dating have no common language to use. This is quite common when you’re dating a woman from developing countries where access to education is difficult. This is also possible in more developed countries like Japan and Korea, to name a few, where the mode of communication in the educational system is Japanese and Korean respectively.

Overcoming this barrier will prove to be more difficult compared to an incomplete barrier. For this, both you and the woman you’re dating will have to invest time and effort in learning a common language. You can both learn the language of the other if you have time. However, studies have shown that instead of investing time and effort into learning the language of your partner, it is a good idea that both of you can instead learn an auxiliary language.

Languages and Cultures

Another contributing challenge to effective communication is called a cultural barrier. Now how do languages and cultures affect each other? During the 1940s, American Linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf studied the correlation between culture and language. According to Whorf’s findings, people speaking different languages think and perceive things differently.

Language and the use of language can be greatly affected by culture. Both you and the Asian woman you are dating may use English as a common language, but the way you use English will differ. The use, the utilization, and more importantly the perception will vary.

In order to achieve effective communication, you will both have to be culturally sensitive. There are words or phrases that may sound offensive to you but are very much acceptable for the other.

The best way to overcome cultural barriers in communication is to first ensure clear and concise communication. This ensures that we get the message delivered exactly as it is. Avoid complicated slangs, we never know how they’ll receive these words or phrases.

The next important step is to learn about their culture. The more you immerse yourself in their cultures and traditions, the more you will understand how they communicate. This will give you a clear understanding of how their cultures and traditions contrast those of western cultures.

Understanding the effects and importance of language in culture will give you a better view on how you can achieve effective communication, not just with the woman you’re currently dating but towards her community as well.

It’s also a good opportunity for you to learn their native language. Learning about their culture won’t be enough to overcome cultural barriers. Instead, share your knowledge. Accommodating both cultures will help the both of you adjust accordingly and share the workload of achieving effective communication.


We all have our own respective life experiences. Those experiences influence our morals, values, and general outlook and perspective of how things are. Seeing things from our unique perspectives might cause us to have our own misconceptions or might lead to forms of stereotyping.

Since western culture and Asian culture differ, our outlook and perspectives will also be different. The tones in our voice and the volume will affect how we communicate and how we receive the messages.

For some countries, the tone of voice might sound harsh, and for westerners, it might sound as if they are angry. For other countries, some tones sound melodic, almost like they’re singing. Body language will also affect our perceptions of communication. Some cultures express verbally and through their body language as well, and if we take our own unique understanding without taking into consideration their culture and personal perspectives, this will cause misunderstandings.

To overcome this, you have to be mindful with your own non-verbal gestures and be sensitive with how they may be received. Communicate with genuine interest. Furthermore, be mindful of how your messages will be received and be receptive to their personal perspectives as well.

Effective Communication Can Build Relationships

Communication is essential in dating an Asian woman or generally to make any relationship work. Effective communication cannot be achieved when only one person is adjusting. Both you and the woman you are dating will have to bear the load of adjusting accordingly.

Communication is only one of the many challenges to dating Asian women, but it is also the most important to overcome. Understanding how communication works and how to overcome language barriers will ensure a successful relationship.

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