Summer lovin’ had me a blast, summer lovin’ happened so fast, met a girl we couldn’t communicate, phone saved our romance, Google Translate.
Everyone knows these aren’t quite the words to Summer Nights from the 1978 classic Grease, but if you’re reading Charlie Brooker and fancy interpreting this for the next season of Black Mirror please feel free to drop into my DMs.
Truth is stranger than fiction, but after a couple met on an Ibiza holiday and used tech to break the language barrier, this story is a little less San Junipero and a bit more San Antonio.
Two years ago Chloe Smith, 23, from Wolverhampton, met Daniele Marisco, 25, from Naples, Italy, and as if the blare of club music wasn’t enough to prevent communication they soon discovered they couldn’t even speak the same language.
Presumably speaking in tongues to begin with, the couple now live in Streatham, South London, and credit Google Translate along with watching videos with subtitles to help bring them closer together.
In just two years since meeting the couple have learnt each other’s languages simply by speaking to each other without the need for lessons.
There was something exciting about Daniele – the fact we couldn’t understand each other wasn’t a problem. We just clicked.
I made the first move and asked him for his number because I just found him so attractive.
Despite never having a foreign boyfriend before, I knew I liked him, and I knew he would learn one day. Sometimes you must do these things for love.
After knowing each other for a week, the pair went on a trip to Barcelona.’I just knew it would be the best decision I could ever make,’ Chloe said. Trips to Tenerife and Madrid followed soon after.
Within six months, we had probably been on more city breaks than some couples have in years. He is spontaneous and that’s what I love.
I went to live with him and his family in Naples in 2016 and it was a dream come true. It is one of the most authentic and beautiful cities I have visited in Europe.
The more time the couple spent together, the less they relied on Google Translate to fill in the gaps. While friends originally thought it was just a ‘holiday fling’, they insist they’ve proved doubters wrong and love communicating in both their mother tongues.
Chloe talked and laughed a lot, but I didn’t understand. The only thing I understood was that she was special.
We wanted to be together from the moment we met and that is why we worked. She helped me learn English and I have helped her learn how to cook Italian food.
We have proved any doubters that we’re meant to be.
From the very start I had a good feeling about Chloe. She is my soulmate.
Better than bringing back sun burn and an infection, I guess.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.