Hollywood actress Ashley Judd was anxious when she started dating her Scottish husband DARIO FRANCHITTI - because she could barely understand his accent.

When the married couple of more than three years first visited Franchitti's native country, the KISS THE GIRLS star admits she found it impossible to communicate with her race car-driving beau.

She says, "The language of love is international! When (Dario) is in America his accent is pronounced, but it's more subdued than when he's at home.

"When I went home with him for the first time, we were all going over to the footie - that would be a football match, which would mean actually soccer - and he was on one side, his brother was on the other and I think his sister and I were in the front seat and everybody had raging hangovers.

"They just started talking in the way that they talk. The three of them of are very close. I couldn't understand a word and I was like, 'Am I ever gonna understand my boyfriend again?' It was intense for me. It was when I realised that I was really in a foreign country and this person was from a different culture with a different heritage and background.

"But eventually I got through that and now I kind of run interference and help translate for others. And I know a lot of slang - the slang is fun!"

24/06/2004 09:16