New series ‘Love & Translation’ explores what it takes to make a romantic connection when language is a barrier

American singles from left to right: Kahlil (24) from Texas, Tripp (30) from California and Dylan (21) from Florida who star in ‘Love & Translation’. Picture: Supplied

American singles from left to right: Kahlil (24) from Texas, Tripp (30) from California and Dylan (21) from Florida who star in ‘Love & Translation’. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 14, 2024


As a leader in love and relationship series, channel TLC is breaking outside the mould with it’s newest offering ‘Love & Translation’.

TLC is known for relationship series that push boundaries such as ‘90 Day Fiance’ and ‘The Single Life’ that show love can be found anywhere and the lengths people go through to make relationships work.

On their newest offering ‘Love & Translation’ which premieres on Valentine’s Day - fittingly, three American bachelors travel to paradise in the search of love - but there’s a twist.

In paradise, they are joined by twelve women from nine different countries who don’t speak English.

Without a shared language or the use of a translator, this series explores how singles looking for love come together in an attempt to find a connection. Is it possible to make a love connection when you can barely have a conversation?

With challenges that include utilising the five senses such as uninterrupted eye gazing and pheromone attraction tests, as well as adrenaline-pumping group date activities, these singles will try to learn about each other without relying on language.

The show is hosted by Sangita Patel, who explains that she enjoyed all the challenges on the show and seeing the girls smell the blindfold after a workout, was quite the laugh.

Sangita Patel hosts ‘Love & Translation’. Picture: Supplied

“The most exciting part of this exercise was how all the ladies gravitated towards smelling the men's armpits. All of them went for the armpitS.

“I found that fascinating,” she remarked.

IOL Entertainment spoke to the American singles about how they navigated the show.

The singles are Texas’ Kahlil, 24, California’s Tripp, 30, and Florida’s Dylan, 21.

Dylan, who is the youngest of the three, travelled quite the bit before participating in the show, which exposed him to different cultures, languages, and people.

Dylan from Florida is on the social experiment relationship series. Picture: Supplied

“I came in as an open-minded person who loved experiencing different people and being open and keen to interact more with people from different countries and cultures was appealing.”

Kahlil, admits that if he was asked before joining the show if language is a barrier when it comes to finding love, he “would've said Heck Yeah!”

“But after my experience, it is proven to be an obstacle you can work around.

Kahlil from Texas is on the social experiment relationship series. Picture: Supplied

“Naturally, it is a barrier, but if you care about someone, you'll find ways to navigate around it, find alternative ways to communicate, and work towards finding alternative ways to communicate,” explains Kahlil.

He jokes that everything was challenging but also depended on the person you were talking to. Especially at the start of the show, where the bachelors couldn’t even ask the ladies simple questions such as "Are you hungry? What would you like to eat?"

“It got more manageable once you got a feel of the person's personality and communication style. The first date was the most challenging!,” Kahlil said.

When language is a barrier between two people, you need to learn how to communicate somehow.

Tripp admits there were many challenges, but the biggest challenge was listening and observing body language and deciphering what that would mean across different cultures.

Tripp from California is on the social experiment relationship series. Picture: Supplied

“Listening was the challenge because everyone tried to communicate in a way they saw as best suitable. They were listening and communicating beyond words.

“Energy, eyes, body language, and tone were the best ways to communicate and navigate the listening challenge,” said Tripp.

Kahlil added that having patience to work through the process was essential for navigating the show, and seeing if a connection was worth it.

“You realise that no barrier can keep you from being with someone you care about,” he said.

Dylan also agreed that patience was the big secret to making a relationship work in any situation and also the willingness to be understanding.

“Not everything will be exactly how you want, you'll have to learn along the way to compromise.

“Understanding that everyone comes from different places, cultures, and backgrounds and how they communicate and receive kind gestures is different.”

Tripp discovered that he needs to work on being patient while on the show and that his true sense of confidence goes beyond speaking, he also discovered a new strength: understanding people.

International singles top row from left to right: Sara (20) from Italy, Assia (21) from France, Jhenyfer (24) from Brazil, and Jin (32) from South Korea. Middle row from left to right: Airi (20) from Japan, Tulay (25) from Germany, Jhuliana (23) from Bolivia, and Leidi (28) from Colombia. Bottom row from left to right: Yam (29) from Mexico, Imane (21) from Morocco, Gisele (29) from Brazil, and Joceline (28) from France. Picture: Supplied

Patel explained that she wants people to watch the show and figure out how to learn how to connect to people and reshape their approach to connecting with people.

‘Love & Translation’ is going to bring TLC audiences a rollercoaster of emotions which they love especially when genuine connections in unconventional relationships spark.

‘Love & Translation’ premieres across Africa on February 14 at 8pm on TLC Africa.