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Personality and Languages

September 15, 2012

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I always feel like I have a different personality when I speak a different language.

For example, when I speak Korean, I’m not so shy and I feel really brave, when I speak in Chinese I feel more outgoing and talkative, and when I speak Japanese I feel very polite and collected.

Is that strange? When I learn a new language, I always feel like I take on the responsibility of maintaining the culture and values, which I guess leads to me to link languages with personalities. The next time you speak in a foreign language, keep track of your tone levels and your word usage and compare it to your native language! I’m sure you’ll be shocked as well

Do you have a personality change when you a speak in a foreign language?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. September 16, 2012 11:48 am

    That’s true. When I speak korean (and English), I am more emotional than with my native language.

    • September 16, 2012 4:45 pm

      Wow, that is really interesting! I think we feel more emotionally attached to the words in these foreign languages since we actually learned them manually – so we understand the meaning and connotation more clearly than our native language.

  2. Julia permalink
    September 17, 2012 2:46 pm

    Same here! I wouldn’t say that I *change* my personality when I speak in different languages, but I do tend to favor certain sides of my personality over others. For example, I’m a lot less blunt about my opinions in Korean than I am when I speak German or English. I think it’s a natural process that comes with learning a language, as you automatically learn about the native culture and society, too. I once read that it’s a sign of being able to quickly adapt to unfamiliar environments/social situations, mhhhm. Quite interesting, really! ^^

    • September 17, 2012 9:44 pm

      Nice point, Julia! I think you’re right in that learning a new language doesn’t give you a new personality but instead makes certain aspects of it more/less prominent.

      And having the ability to adapt easily to certain environments after being able to conform with certain language/culture customs is definitely realistic! How cool is that?!

      Thanks for sharing ^^

  3. September 19, 2012 3:37 am

    HAHA i actually wrote a post last week about the same thing!!! (not published yet). I’m so much nicer when I’m speaking in Korean ><

    • September 19, 2012 3:45 am

      Shanna, I think we are in sync >:D

      Wow~ you feel nicer when you speak in Korean? For some reason I happen to be a bit more blunt and a loud when I speak Korean D: I think it’s because my college friends are have such interesting personalities bahaha


  1. My different language selves | Hangukdrama and Korean

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