A question for second language speakers...

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    Aug 28, 2012 2:16 AM GMT
    JR_RJ said
    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!



    Oh JR, forse una giornata avrai la capacità di capirmi quando ti parlo in italiano. icon_razz.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    Hmm hardly, although with Japanese it might be more noticeable but that's because the language itself is pretty composed, and I usually carefully structure sentences in that. Otherwise, I love to mix them icon_evil.gif like when talking to people who know Polish and English. It's the most fun.
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    Aug 28, 2012 2:25 AM GMT
    Great topic. I was thinking about this a while back and realized that in order to be fluent in another language, you sort of have to have another persona. I think that is why some people can be more fluent quicker when they realize this.
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    Aug 28, 2012 2:34 AM GMT
    When I'm talking with my Russian friends, I tend to stop at a random place, lightly suck my teeth, and let out a short breath, and continue talking, all in quick procession. I also don't open my mouth as wide when speaking Russian as I do when speaking English and I'm a lot more "formal".
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    Aug 28, 2012 2:50 AM GMT
    English - staccato, Russian (native) - legato: sing-song quality you only get with a 100 percent level of comfort, although after 20 years abroad, it is more like 90 percent, and i am getting tongue tied a lot, for example, using English grammar to form sentences in Russian (sometimes sounding foreign). Dreams - 60-70 percent in English, others - in Russian. As you can see, using foreign punctuation stillicon_smile.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 2:58 AM GMT
    themachine saidI 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.


    +1 just, French, not Italian. I switch from more introverted to more extroverted, and it used to shock me--as I became more comfortable speaking the language in the context of the culture, that donned personality slowly went away.

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    Aug 28, 2012 3:03 AM GMT
    Yes, when I speak Vulcan or Klingon, my personality changes dramatically. icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:04 AM GMT
    Clouseau saidEnglish - staccato, Russian (native) - legato: sing-song quality you only get with a 100 percent level of comfort, although after 20 years abroad, it is more like 90 percent, and i am getting tongue tied a lot, for example, using English grammar to form sentences in Russian (sometimes sounding foreign). Dreams - 60-70 percent in English, others - in Russian. As you can see, using foreign punctuation stillicon_smile.gif


    English is sing-song compared to Mandarin Chinese. For those of you studying Mandarin, you need to enunciate every syllable/character distinctly.
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:07 AM GMT
    I went to school in Germany, about a thousand years ago, and achieved fluency. But when I speak it today, I speak 1960's high-school idiom. Very embarrassing! I can't do it in English!
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:13 AM GMT
    TerraFirma saidGreat topic. I was thinking about this a while back and realized that in order to be fluent in another language, you sort of have to have another persona. I think that is why some people can be more fluent quicker when they realize this.


    What you say is Inspiring me cause i came to a point where i feel there is no language I speak fluently. I think in a strange mix of French, Japanese and English and it became difficult for me to speak only one language when I talk. Maybe I should take care of those different personalities that you mention in order to find again the boarders between the languages.
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:20 AM GMT
    When I communicate in French, I am more proper because I guess I feel I can't really be as lax or informal since it's not my native tongue and therefore don't really have the "right" to downgrade the language with street slang and such. It would be different if I lived in a french speaking region...then I can see myself adapting to the street vernacular.

  • Aug 28, 2012 3:21 AM GMT
    I think most of those personality changes have to do with not being fluent in your second language. I'm a lot less talkative in English but that's just because I can't speak in it as easily as in my native Russian. And when it comes to Italian... oh boy... you might think I was born mute lol.
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:24 AM GMT
    wetboypdx saidI'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...


    chingar is such an important verb in Mexico LOL

    by the way I agree, I study modern languages and one tends to change when speaking a different language, in my case for example, when I speak German people say it sounds like I were barking but I don't agree, German is one of the most beautiful and sexiest languages and I sound more formal, when I speak French I feel more elegant and even if I say bad words I still feel elegant and polite, LOL, in English I feel as I were talking to a friend, and Spanish (my mother tongue) I use lot of bad words and slang, so sometimes I forgot the politeness I use when speaking the other languages...
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:27 AM GMT
    Decided to reply with a voice note ....


    Audio recording and upload >>
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:48 AM GMT
    yes, i yell a lot in hebrew
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:49 AM GMT
    I used to work at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, one of the top three graduate programs in the world for translation and interpretation. I'm fluent in Japanese and can confirm that my personality does change when I speak in Japanese, but it is not so much another personality as the fact that after living in Japan for 16 years, I developed a strong sense of communicative competence in a variety of linguistic situations.

    Many linguists would say that what you are describing is the ability to employ a spectrum of registers - a sociolinguistic concept used to describe the differences in speaking style.

    Most people can move easily between registers in their native language, but it takes some degree of proficiency to do the same in a language that you acquired though studying or immersion.

    In the most basic sense, register is the idea that you know how to linguistically comport yourself in terms of formal language use and when. Register actually encompasses more than just formal/informal speech, but those are the most common to understand.

    It is the difference between the ability to joke around with your friends in one casual register or tone and also be able to instantaneously turn around and then make a formal presentation, like a powerpoint at work - a one-way information dense stream of speech with few no interruptions, technical vocabulary.

    Another example might be your ability to engage in the formal style that we all use when meeting strangers, but then to know when more casual speech is appropriate. Or at a funeral where ritualized language is much more important than literally understanding what the words mean.

    OP, it is enough to say that you are very learning to deploy your communicative competence and that will only continue to grow and grow! Congratulations!
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:55 AM GMT
    Hikari saidin spanish i find it easier to flirt, in english i get tongue tied..



    +1

    on top of that when I get tight at people and can't say anything out loud i just quietly speak to myself in spanish. When I'm speaking spanish im probably feeling some kind of intense emotion when I speak english I'm chilled out.
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    Aug 28, 2012 3:56 AM GMT
    A lot of times when I'm pissed off, silly, or vulgar I'll go right off in "andalú." A lot of people these days seem to know most of the common curse words in Spanish, but not nearly as many on this side of the pond know words specific to Spain or even to Andalucía for that matter. When I don't want people to quite understand me, that's when the Andalusian accent comes out, haha. Andalusians are obsessed with shitting on religious things when it comes to insults. Just look out for: "Me cago en ____!" (e.g. Me cago en el agua del Juan el Bautista!)
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    Aug 28, 2012 4:01 AM GMT
    This is an interesting topic, I find that there are many things Im more comfortable to say it in English than in my first language. For example, I can say I love you but it just sound very cheesy If I say it in Viet, at least I feel that way.
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    Aug 28, 2012 5:19 AM GMT
    no
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    Aug 28, 2012 5:47 AM GMT
    I tend to take on personality/talking traits of the person in which I am speaking. I have also been mistaken for an international student (here in the USA) even-though I am a native speaker. In general, my other languages sound "proper" due to me learning them in an academic environment, but I don't think I have a personality change.
    icon_evil.gificon_twisted.gificon_evil.gificon_twisted.gificon_evil.gificon_twisted.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 6:11 AM GMT
    nicodegallo said"Me cago en ____!"

    ¡Ay ay ay!
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    Aug 28, 2012 6:38 AM GMT
    My voice changes [pitch] with each language that I speak...and I go with the flow, as far as slang/jokes goes in each -- it's just part of being truly fluent -- the art of knowing when it's appropriate to use colloquialisms, etc. icon_wink.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 6:45 AM GMT
    Yes this is a great topic! I notice when I speak spanish I am a bit more animated. This past summer it also seems that once I have had a few drinks that I like to speak to people in Spanish haha. I am definitely more animated and outgoing when I do that.

    This semester I am brushing up on my spanish for the first time since I graduated high school and I also started French today icon_biggrin.gif
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    Aug 28, 2012 7:18 AM GMT
    when I speak german my voice drops in Pitch and it's already quite deep as it is icon_neutral.gif

    If I am speaking swiss-german I am incredibly informal
    If I am speaking High-german I am incredibly polite a lot of the time
    I am also quite blunt when I speak either German.