Love has no barriers – Even that pesky language barrier!


One of my favourite things to do around Christmastime is watch the classics. I’m sad to say I include Elf in my favourite films, along with Home Alone and Die Hard (ho-ho-ho). One of my yearly traditions is Love, Actually. I have watched this film every year for over a decade, but this year I enjoyed the language element of one of the ‘couples’ in the film.


For those who haven’t seen the film (might be a handful of you out there), we follow a collection of Londoners in the run up to Christmas. Characters range from newlyweds, a widower, the Prime Minister, actors in a movie, a singer and various others finding love and failing at love. Love for some of these is love of family and friends, as well as, of course, that special partner.

Jamie and Aurelia

The characters I want to talk about are Jamie and Aurelia. The language element to the film. At the start of the film Jamie’s girlfriend gets caught cheating on Jamie with his own brother. He decides to take some time away from the city and goes to France. There he is introduced to Aurelia, a Portuguese housekeeper. Jamie has a rough idea of French, but no Portuguese really. Aurelia does not speak English. During the film we watch both attempt to communicate with each other. Without each other knowing they match very well. Jamie will say something in English, Aurelia will say something similar in Portuguese. For the viewer it is great to see such a connection, and hilarious to know the other person does not understand what’s being said!

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What would you do for love?

Jamie leaves to return home to family for Christmas, and Aurelia goes back to her town. We then follow just Jamie. We see him trying to learn Portuguese. He attends a London language school and is actively trying to learn phrases, even while Christmas shopping. On Christmas eve, he flies out to Aurelia and asks her father for permission to propose! Her father takes him and a crowd of people to the bar where Aurelia is a waitress, and in broken Portuguese he finally has his first proper conversation with her.

“Beautiful Aurelia, I’ve come here with a view of asking you to marriage me. I know I seems an insane person – because I hardly knows you – but sometimes things are so transparency, they don’t need evidential proof. And I will inhabit here, or you can inhabit with me in England. Of course, I don’t expecting you to be as foolish as me, and of course I prediction you say ‘no’ but it’s Christmas and I just wanted to… check.”

This is after only a few weeks of learning! It’s a very impressive attempt. Little did Jamie know, Aurelia has been learning English.

“Thank you. That will be nice. Yes is being my answer. Easy question”

Once again, not too bad! Once try finally embraced after a Romeo and Juliet style proposal from the balcony of the bar, Jamie said: “You learned English”, to her reply “Just in cases”. A quote I absolutely love to say!


So, there you have it! Language is no barrier for love! And as Jamie and Aurelia prove, you can have some grasp, albeit a grammatically incorrect and at times hilarious display of the language in weeks! If you have the determination to try that is!