- "We got to know each other in English, so it would feel weird to change the language now."
Yes, it feels weird, but you'll get used to it. It's just adding a new aspect to your relationship! You might even learn something new about each other, and if you learn something that you don't like, it's good to know now than later, right?
- "I'm afraid s/he'll make fun of me and my Finnish."
Well, s/he shouldn't. But if that happens, make it stop, unless it's actually really funny and worth the laugh. Don't take it too seriously. It's just Finnish.
- "My partner doesn't have the patience to listen to my Finnish."
S/he should. I'm guessing that his/her English (French, Spanish..) isn't always music to your ears, either, so it's just fair that you both get to practice.
- "I cannot express myself fully in Finnish and I don't feel like myself when speaking Finnish."
You'll get used to it, and over it, and will learn to love your Finnish personality!
Add the Finnish gradually: Start texting in Finnish. Decide one hour a day or afternoon a week when you only use Finnish, or a room in your home where English is not allowed. Ask your friends to send you messages and emails in Finnish, or in both languages at the same time. If your partner doesn't know the answers to you grammar questions, ask your teacher or send them to me! It is quite common that regular Finns cannot explain why something is like it is even if they can say whether something is correct or not. Also, be active and ask help with your Finnish.
If you have a Finnish speaking child, take advantage of it! There is so much you can do bilingually: read picture dictionaries together, play memory games, watch childrens' programmes and movies in Finnish - and keep on making sure that you both know the words in both languages. Just be careful that you don't get too excited about it and make your kid annoyed by your Finnish studies.:)
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