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Thread: Something I had always thought about myself

  1. #1
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    Default Something I had always thought about myself

    Please read this and post your thoughts! I would especially love the input from those of you who speak more than 2 languages!

    Last edited by ScottJ; 06-25-2008 at 08:54 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Frank van den Eeden's Avatar
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    Default switching languages CHANGES your personality

    I couldn't agree more !

    Speaking a different language - especially if you try to do it properly -
    does not restrict itself to simply translating.
    You often have to use other intonations and idiomatic expressions.
    It involves a different culture.
    e.g.: Spanish is spoken very rapidly,
    we have do adapt ourselves and speak faster than we normally do.

    I find myself a different person when speaking French, and what's more,
    the next time I speak French, I become that same person again.

    Yo soy un hombre sincero and I have to admit that
    unconsciously I think we try and copy some role model...
    beste groeten - sincères salutations - kindest regards - atentamente - mit freundlichen Grüßen

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    Maybe I'm an exception but I see myself as the same no matter which language I am speaking or what country I am in. There are actually different cultures within the same country speaking the same language. In the US, as I am sure there are in many countries, there are a myriad of different cultures...urban, educated people; rural, uneducated people; rich, privileged people, poor people; law abiding, religious people; a criminal culture; a northern culture; a southern one, not to mention all the various ethnic cultures..

    I could go on and on but the point is that language, to me , has nothing to do with the way you respond to being exposed to different cultures. It has more to do with how you identify with a given culture. For example, if you are an educated person who grew up in the streets and spoke the street lingo then when you return to your old neighborhood you identify with that culture even though you now live in a diffent world.

    When I travel to Spanish speaking countries and engage people in Spanish I do not "change my stripes", so to speak. I am what I am. My personality doesn't change.

    I hope I haven't missed the point here!

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    I find this terribly interesting and I don't think it should be dismissed quickly. It's not just about being able to speak or understand two languages but switching between two cultures. I wouldn't go as far as to say my "personality changes", but there are definite and subtle differences. I am sure I am more sarcastic in English than in Spanish, a lot more polite and less direct and definitely not as loud!. Another difference is that I find sexual references for example very taboo in Spanish and find it difficult to say some words, because of the connotations they have, whereas in English the connotations are "learnt" rather than "felt" so I am less easily shocked.

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    I agree it doesn't necessarily address a personality change. It was pointed out to me yesterday by a coworker who saw me speaking in English to one person and immediately after speaking Spanish to another that I use my hands to express myself only in Spanish, not in English. I hadn't noticed it myself but I know culturally it is more common for Latinos to use their hands than for Americans.

    This deserves some good scientific investigation.

    "El verdadero objectivo de la vida no es el destino final, si no disfrutar el camino."

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