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Notice personality change depending on the language u speak?

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Notice personality change depending on the language u speak?

Postby Kimi » Sat, 20 Aug 2005 5:43 pm

I must admit when I speak in my first language esp. with people my age, I often use the slangs that was originated from the capital city and most likely was spread out by the media, such as magazines and TV, so I probably sound very informal.
However, some would say I still don't really sound that natural and that's probably cos I had been speaking my second and third languages quite often these past 7 years. Actually during my stay in Japan, I used my first language less compared to my second and third languages, English and Japanese respectively. So as if I sounded "proper" :lol:

The thing is, what I have noticed the most is that I look shyer as if when I speak in Japanese and I wonder if it's the influence of the personality of most Japanese people (or my perception of it) which also influences the nature of the language itself. One of my best friends who is from an English-speaking country said that she feels she sounds more girly when she talks in Japanese and was told by her sister even that she sounds less sincere *ouch*. For one I do notice that I use higher pitch sound when I speak in Japanese and probably that's just imitating well or more of adopting after observing how Japanese women speak when they speak in Japanese when I lived there. Same happens to the same friend.

I do feel that I sound more direct and as if more confident or probably more assertive when I speak in English and definitely in my first language which is one of the Asian languages as well.
However, if I would like to talk about topics that can be quite emotional, such as expressing how you feel, I find it easier to do so in English rather than in Japanese nor in my first language, and I wonder if it's again because of the nature that in Asian languages there are not that many expressions to express our emotions or feelings as we don't really do so so explicitly. For one, my own parents during nearly 20 years of marriage only got to say the sentence "I love you" to each other only once and that was only in the wedding ceremony.

On the other hand, I wonder for people who speak more than 1 European languages don't notice such personality change apart from maybe some loss of wits just becos of lack of vocabs etc.

So the question is do you notice any personality change when you speak your first language and your second or so language and what kind of change is it?

Oh and before anybody bothers to ask what first language I speak, please don't hold your breath... as I won't tell here in public anyway. As open as I can be, I am quite private with these things.
Plus I don't reckon it's that important as I'm asking more on what you notice from the languages you yourself can speak.

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Postby banana » Sat, 20 Aug 2005 7:13 pm

How comfortable you are with a language probably reflects a level of confidence as well. As you said, when speaking your non-native tongue you have a tendency to imitate and hence come across as unnatural. An individual's personality tend to correspond with their circumstance too hence as one grows older and hopefully more stable, so does her personality.
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Postby Shabu-Shabu » Mon, 22 Aug 2005 9:50 am


I'm chinese, but my mandarin stinks.
However, I notice when I'm speaking to the locals (SG or Malaysia, wherever) , especially if they are chinese, they seem to be much more comfortable with me. They'll treat me like "one of them" and I get preferential treatment in the sense of that I'd probably be one of the 3 people they'd rescue if they could rescue 3 out of 5 people, because I'm chinese, that sort of thing.
They also assume I must suck at English too. I don't know why. This applies mostly to Malaysians.

However, If I speak in English, I'm better at it anyway, chinese-speaking people or the people around me, unless they speak good english, get uncomfortable, and I become somewhat 'alien' to them. I wouldn't be such good friends with them, and they somehow think I must be "smarter" (even though I know I'm a dumba$$! :lol: ) or something, because my "english is good".

I'm also perceived as 'cooler', more aloof when I speak English. I also get ripped off alot in Malaysia for speaking English, not mandarin.

However, i'm at my best when conversing with english-speaking people, I can express myself better, and I don't find saying those F-words (because they're meant to be informal, very casual and expressive rather than used exclusively as an expletive.) as offensive as using expletives in mandarin - in mandarin it just sounds so dirty and offending, and makes the person seem very....well...uneducated.

But it seems to always be that the english-speaking group is somehow smarter, cooler and more "popular", not to mention perceived as richer.
I guess it stems from the fact that we're expected to speak our native mandarin, and those who actually speak good english are relegated to those having the money to learn and speak good english, and not to mention being smart enough to absorb and pronounce something so different from mandarin.

But I can't stand speaking mandarin. It's nice, but its akin to a 5 year old kid speaking in a second language. Yeah, that's it. Even a 5 year old native mandarin speaker has better vocabulary and grammer than I do.
It's so shameful. :cry:
Meowing out,
- Shabu-Shabu -

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