https://www.duolingo.com/AlexisLinguist

New Language = New Personality?

Unscientifically wondering if any of you have a "different" personality of sorts when you speak other languages besides your native tongue. Also, is this intentional or unintentional?

I've noticed that I feel more "bubbly" speaking Spanish, but more business-like speaking Chinese. I haven't tried speaking too much Dutch or Portuguese, so I can't answer for those. But for French, I'm more uptight and precise. These are unintentional switches.

Anyone else? Would you recommend doing this to help keep languages straight in your head? Is there something else you do instead?

November 6, 2014

19 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/JaneEmily

When my fiancé speaks Dutch, he seems more serious - especially with his tone, even if he is saying something that's meant to come across cute, it sometimes comes out more...serious? xD But comparing it to when he speaks English, he seems more free (it's his second language) and is very light and playful XD

When I speak English, which you know is my native language, I'm usually sarcastic or come out witty (I'm one of those with a lot of dry humour). But when I speak Dutch (slowly getting the courage to just randomly blurt stuff out), I always try to go for sounding polite and as nice as I can even if it is to my fiancé but I am getting better at inflicting emotion into my sentences - I can now sound sarcastic in Dutch too apparently (oops? :3)

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/TatianaBoshenka

I feel the same way, that I am somewhat different when I'm speaking Spanish (even though I don't know it well). I feel like a funnier, more vivacious person in Spanish. I feel like I'm being more teasing and silly. It's weird. And totally unintended. It just comes out that way! I kind of like Spanish me more than English me. lol!

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

"I kind of like Spanish me more" <---that's adorable! :)

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/StephenRawr

I've noticed that since I've been learning German and French I've become more sensitive to the difference between formal vs. casual interactions with people. There are times now when I think, "I don't know you; why do you think it's okay to talk to me like that," and then when I think about it later, I realize that never used to bother me. Things like using nicknames without asking me if it's okay first and just cussing in general.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/tnel1

The hardest part is not being able to transfer enough of my personal stories over into other languages. That is what makes me feel a bit like another person, I feel like don't have the same "material" to draw from! But for now my German seems to be entertaining enough for others, they are amazed at how much I learned so quickly which is nice and makes up for the times I feel kinda dumb when I mess up with it! ;)

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Darchy77

My husband is biligual, and "sounds" different when he speaks in danish that in spanish... so I guess it's normal to have "new personality" with the new languages

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/writchie4

I'm definitely more serious (less sarcastic) in Spanish, but it has more to do with me being scared that my tone will be misunderstood than anything else.

It wouldn't surprise me if certain languages tend to evoke certain personality traits though, especially if you immerse yourself in the culture as part of your learning. Difficult cultures on the whole definitely have different "personalities" and it's only natural to pick up mannerisms of the people you are surrounded by, after all.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/KansasBurri

I feel like I get more to the point in German. For example, in English I feel like I have to explain the entire backstory of something that happened with explaining every detail. In German I describe something but I don't say every little detail (this may change when I learn a lot more adjectives).

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/peter.kristof.hu

I's a very interesting question.
I think language doesn't change the personality rather our thinking. Here is an article about it.
I highlight only one aspect: The homonyms. E.g. in English and in Spanish there are a lot of homonyms wich meanings depend on just its context. In contrast for example, in Hungaran you can hardly find some homonyms.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/hildaoquendo

I agree with this completely. I am constantly telling my friend how I am two different people when I speak Spanish (native) and when I speak English. I am usually more free and witty when speaking English, and a little more reserved in Spanish. I feel like I am funnier in English, too. Weird. Also, it has happened that I can flirt better in English, and shoot out innuendos and double entendres by the minute. It's harder in Spanish for some reason. The brain is a funny funny thing. :)

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Hohenems

I don't talk a lot in any language, but I'm extra quiet in French and joke around a lot less. As a kid, it was the other way around. I joked around a lot more in French than in English.

No idea why for any of it.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/remoonline

I am not sure switching one's language will change their mood or alter their personality in any way. I have native proficiency in 3 languages and basic survival knowledge of at least 2 more. Its pretty much business as usual whatever be the language I find myself speaking. It's just a way of communicating. But then, its been the case for a very long time, learnt them as a kid. So I may not notice much difference. Speaking in a mix of 2 languages usually perks me up though. But then I guess that's coz it happens, most often, around friends.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/davidvdb

I seem to be more social, but very formal in French, funnier in English, and quite quiet in Dutch :/ I don't know why, but I guess I love to show off my language skills, although it doesn't happen very often that I'm chattering with everyone in Dutch :p I guess it changes me a little :)

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/wara357

When I speak Spanish, my native language, I'm more up beat and direct in the way I speak, like sometimes I make 'rude' comments without intending to. In English I'm more calm and polite but I have some outbursts of weirdness around friends, also I'm more likely to swear in English, which kinda goes against how calm I am, but meh.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/GrandApple

When I speak French I feel like a food addict. That's the only thing I talk about when I speak French.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Rewjeo
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I'm not really good enough at anything other than Japanese to have developed a personality, but I have noticed that I'm a lot more polite/humble in Japanese... which makes sense.

I have noticed, too, that I have very different personalities when I switch around different dialects of English (which I only do around a certain group of friends). Irish me is more relaxed than American me, and English me is less inhibited than Irish or American me.

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/CharmingTiger

I haven't studied much french, but tend to sound rather amorous when attempting to speak it. All those dropped consonants and flowing sentences... I think there is a reason it is called the 'language of love' ^_- .

November 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Jayway223

When I speak English I'm very grammar crazy because improper grammar bothers me for some odd reason. When I speak Portuguese with my friend I'm very care free and get very happy for some reason. In Spanish mode, I get very serious and my tone of voice changes. At times I even prefer to speak Spanish for certain situations because I get a lot more serious.... Except for the fact that my family gets completely confused when I do. x3

November 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/earthkissed

i do the same thing, but i think it has less to do with a personality change, than the way language learning outside of real life immersion works. we hear a few voices who teach us over an audio course or website dialogues, and we mimic them to get pronunciations and intonations right, and thats the way we learn to speak it with very little variety in speaking types.

November 7, 2014
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