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She Conceals Her Fluent Spanish Skills, But When Her Boyfriend Calls Her a “Gringa” at Dinner More Secrets Unravel.

In an international romance filled with unspoken assumptions and hidden truths, the Original Poster (OP) navigates the complexities of cultural and linguistic barriers. The climax unfolds over a dinner, revealing a secret fluency in Spanish, leading to an eruption of anger and accusations. As emotions run high and accusations fly, the relationship hangs in a delicate balance, teetering on the brink of a painful revelation.

An International Romance

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OP, a 27-year-old woman from Berlin, has been dating her boyfriend, Jake, a 29-year-old Mexican American man, for several months. They met while Jake was on a job interview in Germany. He moved into her apartment shortly after he was hired.

The Relationship

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Jake, currently working in Berlin, takes night classes to learn the German language. He speaks English predominantly at work and also with OP, who is fluent. However, certain cultural barriers and assumptions linger.

An Unspoken Language

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Jake frequently communicates in Spanish over the phone, a fact not missed by OP. He speaks to his extended family frequently, who still live in Mexico. He is close with several of his cousins, and they catch up on a regular basis.


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Despite hearing him converse in Spanish several times, Jake never inquires if OP is proficient in the language. He assumes she is not, even though many people in Germany are bilingual in Spanish due to the proximity to Spain. OP decides not to mention her knowledge.

The Secret Listener

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Every night, OP watches a telenovela in Spanish, providing subtle hints about her language ability. Jake doesn’t seem to register this, never acknowledging her understanding of the language, assuming she is reading the subtitles.

The Respectful Partner

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OP respects her boyfriend’s privacy and never eavesdrops on his Spanish conversations. She is just happy with the knowledge that he is close with his family and prioritizes maintaining those relationships. She hopes to meet them one day.

A Special Dinner

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Jake’s Mexican-American friend comes from Houston to visit him in Berlin, and OP is invited to join them for dinner. The dinner provides a space for a fusion of cultures, with an underlying tension yet to be revealed.

A Conversation in Spanish

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During the dinner, Jake and his friend converse primarily in Spanish as they would back home, leaving OP in a unique situation. Should she admit that she understands what they are saying or listen to see how her boyfriend speaks about her?

The Assumption

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While conversing in Spanish, Jake’s friend asks if they should switch to English for OP’s benefit. Jake, however, assumes that OP doesn’t understand Spanish and refers to her as a “gringa.” This false assumption strikes a nerve, amplifying the disconnect OP has been feeling.

The Reveal

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In response to Jake’s friend, OP speaks up, revealing her fluency in Spanish. She asserts herself, challenging Jake’s unverified assumption about her linguistic abilities. This sudden revelation changes the dynamics of the evening significantly.

A Surge of Anger

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Jake is taken aback by OP’s revelation, and a wave of anger washes over him. After they drop off his friend at the hotel, Jake confronts OP about her concealed language proficiency. He accuses her of intentionally humiliating him by hiding this from him.

The Aftermath

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Caught in the heat of the moment, OP suggests that Jake return to his apartment until he calms down. The tension escalates, and Jake refuses to accept that he might have been in the wrong. The disagreement turns into a standoff, with Jake still insisting that OP should apologize for her actions.

Seeking External Opinions

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Feeling uncertain about the situation, OP reaches out to her friends for their views on the matter. Their responses are mixed, adding further confusion to the problem. The lingering question remains: Is OP wrong in concealing her language ability?

Was The Woman’s Behavior Appropriate?

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OP posts her story online for feedback. The readers in the forum had a lot of mixed views on the matter. Here are some of their responses:

Forum Responds

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One reader said, “He assumed you didn’t speak his language, referred to you dismissively to his friend, and is mad he got called on it. Find a better boyfriend.”

Another Commenter Thinks

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Another responder wrote, “You watch television shows in Spanish in front of him, and it didn’t occur to him you understand and can speak Spanish?”

A Third View on The Story

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A different person stated, “He never asked and just assumed that you don’t speak Spanish. He’s more upset that you embarrassed him.”

A Final Perspective on the Matter

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image credit: dean-drobot/shutterstock

Another reader commented, “He sounds like a real prize (sarcasm), but it is weird you never told him you spoke Spanish.”

What Do You Think?

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What are your thoughts on their actions?

What would you have done in this situation?

This story is inspired by a thread from an online forum.

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