Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 38

Thread: Different personalities with different languages?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Native language
    Ecuadorian Spanish - Canadian English
    Age
    36
    Posts
    773

    Different personalities with different languages?

    Do you feel that you have different personalities when you speak in different languages? Sometimes I feel that I am a slightly different person when I switch from one language to another, or to say it in another way, I feel that the use of a certain language emphasizes some charateristics while it shadows others. For example, people tell me that I am more optimistic and outgoing in English than when I speak in Spanish, where I tend to be, (according to the perceptions of other people who speak both langauges) more reserved and pessimistic. (This isn´t a matter of fluency becasue I grew up speaking both languages.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    New York
    Native language
    Guatemala, Spanish
    Posts
    150

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    First, I feel that the level of confidence in the language has a lot to do with it. Obviously, it feels more natural speaking in my mother tongue (Spanish) rather than my learned one (English). This sense of comfort allows you to be more spontaneous when speaking in your language, since your actions, perceptions, and emotions are a given.
    Secondly, I might portray myself as being more serious in English at times, but it's mainly because sometimes I don't get the double meanings, jokes, etc.
    Saludos desde New York, Karla

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mexico City
    Native language
    Spanish
    Posts
    12

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Hola Vanest:

    Sabes, yo escuché este tipo de inquietud de un gran amigo que estudió lingüística aplicada y hablaba varios idiomas muy bien. El sentía que en español su comunicación influía para tornarse más amable (porque era menos directo y enfático que en inglés). Supongo que además de la personalidad, tiene que ver con la relación cultural que estableces con el idioma y con el ritmo de que un mismo idioma pueda tener, me explico: a veces mi amigo y yo jugábamos un juego en que él expresamba la misma idea en portugués hablado por un nativo de Portugal y en portugués con el acento de un brasileño. En mi opinión el portugués brasileño sonaba más 'musical'... o quizá es la idea que tengo de un Brasil pleno de sensualidad.

    A mi en lo personal me ocurre que hay cosas que prefiero expresar en español y otras ideas/emociones/temas que me vienen en inglés. Aún hablando español, me comunico un poco diferente con mexicanos que con extranjeros. Esto es porque, en general, la comunicación y el protocolo de los mexicanos de la ciudad de México tiende a utilizar más rodeos, a ser menos directo al expresar ideas, información, etc.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    USA
    Native language
    Spanish
    Posts
    304

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    I find that is much easier for me to "cantinflear" in Spanish, but not so much in English. And I can express myself more logically in English than in Spanish. I think it depends on what kind of vocabulary (the register, I mean) you are accostumed to utilize in specific situations. Regardless, I'm pretty much the same hard case butthole in any language. I'm just gabbier in Spanish.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Native language
    Ecuadorian Spanish - Canadian English
    Age
    36
    Posts
    773

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Quote Originally Posted by snila View Post
    Hola Vanest:A mi en lo personal me ocurre que hay cosas que prefiero expresar en español y otras ideas/emociones/temas que me vienen en inglés. Aún hablando español, me comunico un poco diferente con mexicanos que con extranjeros. Esto es porque, en general, la comunicación y el protocolo de los mexicanos de la ciudad de México tiende a utilizar más rodeos, a ser menos directo al expresar ideas, información, etc.
    Sí, yo también he sentido eso. Tengo amigos con quienes nunca hablaría en inglés apesar de que lo hablan perfectamente. No sé, se me haría raro. Es algo así como que siendo que crecí con ambos idiomas, no me comunicaría en inglés con alguien para quien no es su primer idioma, pues siento que lograríamos una mejor comunicación en español. Y al revés también. No importa qué tan bien un angloparlante hable español, yo le hablo en inglés, porque es lo que se me hace natural... Y una pregunta chistosa, ¿por qué respondiste en español, siendo que la pregunta estaba en inglés? Y siento que esta 'preferencias' idiomáticas marcan ciertas relaciones... ¿qué opinan?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Native language
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Posts
    28,006

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Not so much different personalities, as different intonation. For example, I often feel that my voice has a higher pitch when I speak French. But there may be some truth to the personalities idea. Until you are comfortable in a language (if you ever get there), you tend to mimick native speakers in some ways. I guess that involves stereotyping them ever so slightly, though it's mostly subconscious.
    Deuparth gwaith yw ei ddechrau.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wien, Austria
    Native language
    german Austria
    Posts
    753

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanest View Post
    Tengo amigos con quienes nunca hablaría en inglés apesar de que lo hablan perfectamente. No sé, se me haría raro. Y siento que esta 'preferencias' idiomáticas marcan ciertas relaciones... ¿qué opinan?
    Yo creo que sí tienes "personalidades" diferentes cuando hablas diferentes lenguas porque es que no solo hablas la lengua sino que emerges de cierta forma en la cultura de la lengua que hablas. Yo crecí con dos lenguas - aleman y frances - y hay definitivamente temas que prefiero en una lengua y otros que prefiero en otra. Y tambien hay personas con las que prefiero hablar una u otra lengua. No sé si es por costumbre o por el tipo de relacion .....
    DER WEG IST DAS ZIEL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Jerusalem
    Native language
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Age
    60
    Posts
    23,275

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    OH, I like this question! I've thought about it a lot.

    I grew up speaking three languages. One of them is no longer familiar to me from decades of disuse, but with the other two, Hebrew and English, there is definitely a difference. In English I am jokier; in Hebrew I am more diplomatic. In English I more intellectual; in Hebrew I am warmer and more outgoing. I make wordplay jokes in English, situational jokes in Hebrew.

    In daily life in the monastery, I speak French. I am not as comfortable in French as in the other languages, but that aside, I find I am more polite, speak in a higher pitch, feel myself to be more reserved.

    Great thread!
    When you want to fight fire with fire, remember that the professionals use water.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Native language
    Ecuadorian Spanish - Canadian English
    Age
    36
    Posts
    773

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nun-Translator View Post
    I grew up speaking three languages. One of them is no longer familiar to me from decades of disuse, but with the other two, Hebrew and English, there is definitely a difference. In English I am jokier; in Hebrew I am more diplomatic. In English I more intellectual; in Hebrew I am warmer and more outgoing. I make wordplay jokes in English, situational jokes in Hebrew.
    Hello once again everyone and thank you for your answers! What you say above, about differences in the way you are in English and Hebrew, do you think that has something to do with the culture as well, or do you think it is just the langauge that can mark these differences.
    Your case is particularly interesting because -I am guessing- you spoke English and Hebrew in the same country. I´ve sometimes wondered if my differences in 'personality' in English and Spanish were due to the fact that I grew up in two different countires: Canada and Ecuador. So I have thought that the culture more than the language has created this difference. Of course, language is a part of culture, but I guess what I´ve always wondered is if language all by itself has the power to mark a person´s personality... ¿qué opinan?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Arizona
    Native language
    American English
    Posts
    39,023

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    I don't feel like I'm a different person, but I certainly sound like a different person. The pitch of my voice changes when I switch languages -- as my mouth changes shape to form the sounds that are unique to each language -- and my voice sounds different to me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Daddyo View Post
    I'm just gabbier in Spanish.
    Is that possible?
    Ignorance --> fear --> anger --> hate --> violence. || Knowledge => tolerance => acceptance => love => peace.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Paris
    Native language
    French
    Age
    47
    Posts
    22

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Yes, it sure has a influence on one's way of acting, I totally agree.
    I was born half French/Pole, and I feel definitely different when I speak Polish. I feel happier, and my words reflect a different personality through the melody and the affectionnate part of my Subconscience.
    How strange ! I was just talking to my polish mom about that as I spoke to her on the phone no later than today.
    I also learned many other languages, and I notice as much as other people do, that I seem to be a slightly different person. :-)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Native language
    Ecuadorian Spanish - Canadian English
    Age
    36
    Posts
    773

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Quote Originally Posted by stefiks View Post
    Yes, it sure has a influence on one's way of acting, I totally agree.
    I was born half French/Pole, and I feel definitely different when I speak Polish. I feel happier, and my words reflect a different personality through the melody and the affectionnate part of my Subconscience.
    How strange ! I was just talking to my polish mom about that as I spoke to her on the phone no later than today.
    In your case, your father is French and your mother is Polish, right? Do you think that the fact that you are more affectionate in Polish is because of the nature of a person´s relationship with his/her mother? I mean, typically, a mother is more 'affectionate' than a father (I know it´s a terrible generalization, but...) Maybe that`s why it´s called a 'mother toungue'! Do you, for example, have any friends whose situation is the opposite of yours: French mother and Polish father? Which language do they feel more comfortable with?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Japón
    Native language
    Born and raised in Japón, soy japonés
    Posts
    1,427

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    I'm basically the same as what I am.
    If people were meant to pop out of bed in the morning, we'd all sleep in toasters.
    Please correct my Eng.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    France
    Native language
    français
    Posts
    8,964

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    I feel to be the same, speaking a language or another, but which I often noticed, I feel my friends are different when they speak their own language or when they speak mine, though their french is nearly perfect !
    I found out a reason to that : to me, a person speaking italian seems always cool, smiling... a very kind person... which is different in french !

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    USA
    Native language
    Spanish
    Posts
    304

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Quote Originally Posted by fenixpollo View Post
    Is that possible?
    No, es que la verdad, pues ya viendo cómo son las cosas, y con todo lo que los demás dicen, que en realidad no es muy diferente de lo que yo pensaba pero que no había dicho y que ahorita me tomo la oportunidad de expresarme y pues así como quien dijera, explayarme un poco más que hace rato, sí siento como que el castellano me abre las puertas para poder decir, o más bien como expresar o explicar con un poco más de libertad pero sin ser muy directo, sino más bien como con más espacio vital, como dijeramos, con una libertad que uno dice "ah, pero qué libre me siento", ¿no? Porque luego uno va por ahí tratando de decir lo que uno piensa o más bien lo que uno siente, porque los sentimientos son importantes, tan importantes como los pensamientos, como quien dijera que lo de un lado no es tan importante que lo del otro lado cuando en realidad son como la misma cosa, más o menos, pero decía que luego uno se va por ahí tratando de dar rienda suelta a lo que trae uno por dentro y mejor ponerlo por afuera, como quien dijera, decirlo de dientes pa' fuera y luego pues como que uno dice sí, pero no, porque como que en otro idioma no se puede explicar uno a uno mismo igual de fácil, y digo fácil por decir algo, porque ni que fuera sencillo, eso sí, pero al menos más sencillo que tratar de explicar a alguien más que no sea uno mismo. ¿Me explico?




    In English:
    Yes, it is.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    France
    Native language
    français
    Posts
    8,964

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Please Daddyo, what means "gabbier" ? (I'm just gabbier in Spanish) I cannot find this word ! Thank you.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    USA
    Native language
    Spanish
    Posts
    304

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    More than "gabby" (definition). In French (as per WR).

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Jerusalem
    Native language
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Age
    60
    Posts
    23,275

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vanest View Post
    Hello once again everyone and thank you for your answers! What you say above, about differences in the way you are in English and Hebrew, do you think that has something to do with the culture as well, or do you think it is just the langauge that can mark these differences.
    Your case is particularly interesting because -I am guessing- you spoke English and Hebrew in the same country.
    Yes, I grew up speaking all three languages in one place, in Jerusalem. I think some of the differences may have to do with the adults who spoke each language, with the fact that I spoke Hebrew mostly at school and with friends my own age. As I grew older (and more impudent) we spoke more and more Hebrew in the family, but then we moved to the US and I pretty much stopped speaking Hebrew for about 15 years.
    When you want to fight fire with fire, remember that the professionals use water.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Native language
    EEUU-English
    Posts
    74

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    There is a great book out there about bilingual/multilingual people. I believe the title is "the Language Imperative". A great read for "language people".

    Yes, this IS a great thread!

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Native language
    Russian
    Posts
    370

    Re: Different personalities with different languages?

    Hello!
    This is an interesting thread; thanks, Vanest.
    I am different when I use English. Perhaps worse, in a way. I love English so much that I can say or answer something I'd never say in a similar situation in Russian for the mere reason of practising some recently discovered new expression, which is so enjoyable. Actually I do not know if this is a worthwhile sacrifice...Quite often I have regrets. But I can't help it.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •