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Intimacy, Curiosity Beyond Words

A Language and Arts Collaboration in Intimate Communication

  • The Flashcard gallery is now open: click here
  • Listen to the Podcast Amour et relations Canada-France: les malentendus de la communication by Cathy Intro: click here
  • Listeners: to download the free flashcards click here: download

    We can often hear or read that “love has no language” or that “the language of love is universal''. Yet humans use language to communicate in all their relationships. Verbal, sign or body language: there are many words and gestures of love. But they cannot always convey the full meaning of a concept, especially between two partners from different cultural backgrounds. Love may be universal but the language of love isn’t. So how can we communicate what we mean? 

    Andrea Cook, a bilingual Canadian from Vancouver, BC now established in Montreal, QC, has experienced many misunderstandings in her personal life as well as her practice as an Art Therapist specialised in intimacy and sexuality. A highly visual person, concepts often come to her as images first, before words. She believes, as the proverb says, that “a picture is worth a thousand words” but also that pictures may spark an insightful conversation. 

    In this project, she shares a collection of images depicting a few common miscommunications related to intimate communication between French and English speakers, the two worlds she knows best. Each flashcard presents a word or concept in either French or English related to affection, intimate communication, and dating. Each side illustrates the meaning for each respective language, for the sender and the receiver of the message. There is room for interpretation. The images aim to provoke discussion and thoughts about intimate communication.

    To balance the visual effects with the oral dimension, the situations and words in this series were chosen and discussed in collaboration with Cathy Intro of My Polyglot Life, also bilingual in French and English with a dual cultural background from France and Canada. As a Neurolanguage Coach, she has a strong focus on active listening, cultural awareness and self-understanding to help expats, especially in French-speaking regions, improve their language skills to live their life and socialize in French with confidence.