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Video: These couples speak the language of love

By
TODAY.com
updated 2/8/2012 8:58:10 AM ET 2012-02-08T13:58:10
Producer's notebook

It’s not always easy getting people to talk. I know this first-hand as a video producer who often tries to convince people to speak on camera: It can be like pulling teeth.

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So when the idea came (at an evening Spanish class), to report on people who have learned another language for love’s sake, I was concerned that I had set myself up for a trying process.

But this project revealed an exciting truth: People love to talk about love. Simple email inquiries resulted in piles of stories in my inbox from people willing and excited to share stories of how they learned another language for a loved one — and how their love then blossomed.

Video: These couples speak the language of love (on this page)

The true test came when I stepped outside to record man-on-the-street interviews. On midtown Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue, there are plenty of international people, but getting them to stop amidst the hustle and bustle is typically a nearly impossible feat. For this piece, I was asking people to say “I love you” in their native tongue.

So I hit the street with a sign that read “Do you speak another language? Come say ‘I LOVE YOU’ to TODAY.com.” To my shock, people arrived in droves. Typically, I have to beg people to stop and listen — and, after a couple of hours and a handful of interviews, I sulk back into the office, frustrated. But this was easy — even fun. I felt like I was in another dimension.

What a revelation! Love is an inspiring topic and it makes people want to express something positive.

Is there a better Valentine’s Day discovery?

The enthusiasm shown by the men and women I spoke with actually compelled me to alter the direction of the video piece. Originally, I wanted to report on both the good and the bad, including the complications and difficulties experienced by couples who come from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. But this fervor to share smiles and happy words, in any language, about love — on the streets of New York City, no less — made me shift the focus of the story to show how language can strengthen the bonds of a relationship.

App teaches you to flirt in 10 languages

Maybe it's love's power that makes it an easy topic to talk about. "Love really can overcome a lot of obstacles," relationship expert Ian Kerner told me. "Love is the thing you resort to; the foundation."

Working on this project put a smile on my face every day, from its shoots to the final edits. It also taught me a valuable lesson: Love really does conquer all.

How do YOU say "I love you"? Tell us your love story in the comments!

© 2012 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Photos: Awkward Valentine's Day photos

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  1. Love, awkward-style: Awkward Valentine's Day photos

    Two childhood friends, Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, started a blog of Awkward Family Photos after discovering a strange picture hanging in Mike's family's house. Soon it became an Internet craze.

    What's more awkward than love? Nothing, at least according to these photos. Click through 25 pics of courtship in all it's weird glory.

    This photo: Wet seal (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Bugs and Elmer

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Thumbelina

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  4. Shadow puppets

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  5. Hooked on a feeling

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  6. Training day

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  7. Duct tales

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  8. Love meter

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  9. White out

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  10. The toast

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  11. 'Til death

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Heart

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Playing outhouse

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Engagement man

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  15. Bananas

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  16. So happy together

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Head games

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Leatherface

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Friends of the realm

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  20. Bag it

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  21. Kissy face

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  22. Mullet

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  23. Love triangle

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  24. No way out

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  25. Islands in the stream

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Phantom of the engagement

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Oh baby I love the way

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Easy riders

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Groom tube

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. His and hers

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  31. Happy days

    (awkwardfamilyphotos.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  32. Happy Holidays, from our family to yours!

    Order the new Awkward Family Photo Holiday Book () Back to slideshow navigation
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  2. Editor's note:
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  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

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  4. Editor's note:
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