How a French Quebecer and a Spanish-speaking Colombian beat the language barrier and found true love

Lissner Orjuela remembers the exact moment she met Guy Lampron, eight years ago.

"It was June 19. It was Tuesday, at 7 p.m." 

Orjuela, originally from Bogota, Colombia, had moved to Quebec City a month and a half earlier. She spoke next to no French.

Lampron had just moved into a new apartment, and Orjuela rang his doorbell.

She thought the former tenant was still living there, and she had dropped by to pick something up.

"There she was on my doorstep," Lampron recalled.

"She tried to talk to me in French — or she thought she was speaking in French," he joked.

"My French was not good," she agreed.

Submitted by Guy Lampron

The Spanish speaker and the francophone switched to English, a language which neither of them really spoke much of either.

Lampron offered to help Orjuela with her French. She gave him her number.

"One hour later, he called me," she said, laughing.

The two hit it off, but communication remained a problem.

"When we were dating at the beginning we spoke in English. It was the only way, because her French was nonexistent, and my Spanish was nonexistent," said Lampron.

Orjuela was taking French courses in her spare time, and true to his word, Lampron did end up helping her improve.

"After that it was me who started to learn Spanish," he said.

Today the couple has a two-year-old daughter. Luna speaks French and Spanish at home, and her father says she will learn English once she starts school.

"She will be trilingual," he said.

Listen to CBC Breakaway's interview with Lissner Orjuela and Guy Lampron here: