A question for second language speakers...

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    Aug 27, 2012 10:44 PM GMT
    For whoever applies, bilingual, trilingual, multilingual:

    Do you ever find that your personality changes when you code switch between languages? Like maybe there are things you'd say in one language but never in another, or maybe you change your tone. Maybe you joke more in one and are more serious in another (though humor and especially puns may be harder if you're not fluent in the target language). I notice that when I switch from English to Italian, I speak considerably louder. Seem to project more, and I really noticed that with my past teachers. I also feel somewhat more judgmental...but also more romantic and poetic, and very intimate. icon_redface.gif
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    Aug 27, 2012 11:00 PM GMT
    Aside from English, my "languages" are Visaya and Spanish.
    I never learned Visaya so I know very, very little of it but I can pick up the gist of a Visaya conversation if I pay attention to it. I can understand basic sentences but can't speak a lick of it. My Visaya is heavily coated with an American accent.
    Spanish I learned in school and didn't grow up with. I can't do humor and puns in Spanish but I can laugh at some simple ones. So I just settle with a theatrical ¬°Ay ay ay! once in a while. A teacher once told me that my Spanish is "careful," whatever that means. When I'm lazy I don a mediocre Spanish accent because it's easier for me to say "th" instead of "ss".
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    Aug 27, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
    Yes! This is true when I was younger, like 15, but now I'm older these two aspects become more integrated and it's not so much of an issue. But the language is closely tied in with who you deal with, and these people in general have different culture background, so of course it will also influence your thought process, thereby have an effect on your personality.
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:14 AM GMT
    i tends to stress more when i speak english with all the grammar and tense,uggg this is hard.
  • DanOmatic

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    Aug 28, 2012 12:14 AM GMT
    Yes, I think it's true in some respects. I can't give many specific examples, but I feel that when I speak German that I tend to be more formal and matter-of-fact than when I speak English, and my sense of humor is definitely different--more ironic. When I speak Dutch, it's somewhere in between, but again, the humor is different.

    Then again, it could also be that even though I'm perfectly and completely fluent in those languages, they're still not my native tongue, and my range, though at the highest academic level, still can't weave around all the thousands of nuances that are part of being a native speaker.
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:17 AM GMT
    I'm much more formal when I speak Spanish than I am with English. But that's probably because (except for conjugations of "chingar") I don't know a lot of Spanish slang...
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:20 AM GMT
    i speak british sign language not "f;uent" yet but really picking it up and can converse with all but the most difficult.

    i find i am more free to express through facial expressions and body language when i sign. i love it. they are both kind of requirements for BSL but it really comes out more in my speech when im not signing now. i find it very funny i start whispering half way through a sentce and use facial expressions for the rest to the endless amusement of my friends and partner. lol
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:21 AM GMT
    This is a very cool phenomenon that looks at the root of language and human cognition.

    Every language gives us a different lens through which we can view the world. Each has its own idioms which force us to think in different ways. Every word is linked to a very long history that has molded and shaped its usage which necessarily affects and impacts us.
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:46 AM GMT
    I have to admit because I've lived most of my life in the US, I can joke and express my humor better in English than in Spanish. Just that slang here changes so often, so there are numerous ways to express yourself colorfully and humorously.

    When I speak Spanish, I tend to use my native Andalusian accent in most informal settings. But then I try to sound more Castilian (really just enunciate more s's lol) in more formal settings or when I want someone to understand me without question. However, it doesn't come naturally to me. It makes me sound awkward. Also, I don't use too many specific words (general and slang) from Spain on this side of the Atlantic because most people wouldn't know what they mean. Besides, having been among Mexicans and Central Americans most of my life, I'm a lot more familiar with their slang anyway. Their words are usually the first to come to mind in intense moments.

    Russian is a fun language for social occasions. Something about drinking vodka really brings out my Russian side.
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:48 AM GMT
    I'm nicer and more proper sounding in English, but I'm a lot quieter and reserved in Spanish although "gruffer".
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:52 AM GMT
    Neight said
    When I'm lazy I don a mediocre Spanish accent because it's easier for me to say "th" instead of "ss".
    Bleth you!
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:57 AM GMT
    This is one cool thread..
    I have seen my latino buds go from reserved+ chill when speaking english to Super Sassy the minute we run into the rest of the latino crew

    My dutch friends just sound like they're plotting my murder when they all congregate...
    And again..when they speak English..they sound..exotic, laid back and sexy!..

    Don't even get me started on the Germans..!
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    Aug 28, 2012 12:57 AM GMT
    Scotticus saidFor whoever applies, bilingual, trilingual, multilingual:

    Do you ever find that your personality changes when you code switch between languages? Like maybe there are things you'd say in one language but never in another, or maybe you change your tone. Maybe you joke more in one and are more serious in another (though humor and especially puns may be harder if you're not fluent in the target language). I notice that when I switch from English to Italian, I speak considerably louder. Seem to project more, and I really noticed that with my past teachers. I also feel somewhat more judgmental...but also more romantic and poetic, and very intimate. icon_redface.gif


    Only change that I notice is that I'm raspier in Spanish icon_confused.gif
  • O5vx

    Posts: 3154

    Aug 28, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
    When I speak in my first language(Yoruba), I find that I am more sarcastic, humorous, and just generally more lively. However, when I speak in English, I tend to be more serious, more realistic, and more introverted. Also, there are quite a lot of words that I would generally not say in my first language the way I will in English. For example, the word you is regarded as disrespectful to an elderly person, hence there is a separate word for it.
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    Aug 28, 2012 1:17 AM GMT
    I think this is more to do with a person's desire to step outside their comfort zone, based on their beliefs of themselves and the culture/language their speaking of/with. Some people want to be someone else; or they see others in a better light so they entertain those ideas when talking to them; while others still make no difference between one culture and another other than words and remain the same person in either language. my favorite="favorite" i="i" will="will" say="say" knowing="knowing" rapid="rapid" fire="fire" speaking="speaking" spanish="spanish" with="with" big="big" complicated="complicated" words="words" is="is" great="great" when="when" listening="listening" and="and" learned="learned" to="to" absorb="absorb" those="those" qualities="qualities" into="into" my="my" english="english" so="so" that="that" have="have" a="a" change="change" of="of" no="no" longer="longer" its="its" easy="easy" feel="feel" puffed="puffed" in="in" terms="terms" others="others" until="until" you="you" come="come" find="find" always="always" know="know" the="the" face="face" people="people" who="who" really="really" understand="understand" all="all" said="said"
    ... and done.*
    IDK wtf just happened to my sentences? icon_confused.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 1:18 AM GMT
    I find that it's not the language that causes the switch, but the cultural context. If I speak Italian with my brother in Germany, I am calmer, duller, more factual. If I speak Italian with my brother in Italy, I am louder, funnier, exaggerate wildly, and tell the most amazing stories.

    When I speak German with them, it's the exact same thing, so it's mostly language independent. The change that I do notice, though, is that my sense of humor is language-dependent. I would joke about certain things in Italian, about others in German, and then I have a separate sense of humor for British and American. Same language (more or less), different jokes.
  • Splendidus_1

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    Aug 28, 2012 1:18 AM GMT
    I noticed that everytime I speak in english, I tend to joke a lot more, because that's how I battle my nervousness.
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    Aug 28, 2012 1:20 AM GMT
    in spanish i find it easier to flirt, in english i get tongue tied..in japanese.. well... everything is just so "straight to the point" at least what ive learned lol.
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    Aug 28, 2012 1:21 AM GMT
    Hikari said in english i get tongue tied.


    I'll tie a tongue in you good icon_twisted.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 1:35 AM GMT
    Ariodante said
    Hikari said in english i get tongue tied.


    I'll tie a tongue in you good icon_twisted.gif


    im waiting ;)
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    Aug 28, 2012 1:52 AM GMT
    not really....spanish is just a little harder for me than english, so sometimes i resort to spanglish
  • TampaENFJ

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    Aug 28, 2012 2:02 AM GMT
    I've been told my voice gets deeper when I switch to Spanish.


    Great topic!
  • bischero

    Posts: 847

    Aug 28, 2012 2:08 AM GMT
    Fantastic topic! icon_biggrin.gif

    When I switch over to Italian, my tone completely changes. As for my personality... I don't think it changes that much. I sing-talk a lot more with Italian than I do with English. xD
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    Aug 28, 2012 2:08 AM GMT
    bischero saidFantastic topic! icon_biggrin.gif

    When I switch over to Italian, my tone completely changes. As for my personality... I don't think it changes that much. I sing-talk a lot more with Italian than I do with English. xD

    I'd love to misunderstand everything you're saying to me!
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    Aug 28, 2012 2:09 AM GMT
    I have gotten remarks from friends that I sound so different in German than in English. Well yeah! My brain is computing in overdriving trying to get all those fucking word endings, grammatical genders, and separable prefixes where they are supposed to be. It's no wonder my speech slows down and sounds deliberate. And getting my mouth around those words is a trick too. Jesus! Thank god for the Vikings!!!