Does speaking another language change your personality? The question has been asked and studied a lot. It is said that multilingual have multiple personalities. Some studies claim that speaking another language can change your personality.
Many research shows that languages go a lot deeper than communication. The way you speak impacts the way you think, how you make decisions, or how you interact with others. Studies show that your personality can change the language you speak.
At the turn of the 21st century, linguists Jean-Marc Dewaele and Aneta Pavlenko surveyed 1,039 bilingual people and found that 65 percent of them felt like a different person when they used a different language. In 2006, the University of Connecticut, assistant professor of social psychology Nairan Ramírez-Esparza and her team gave bilingual Spanish and English speakers a test that measured the “Big Five” personality traits: extraversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism. They found that when participants took the test in English, they scored higher in extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness than they did when they took the test in Spanish.
Back in 1964, University of California, Berkeley, sociolinguist Susan Ervin took a different approach. She asked 65 bilingual French adults living in the United States to look at a series of illustrations and make up a three-minute story to describe each one. In one test, the whole session was conducted in English; in another, it was directed in French.
The New Republic reports, “When she compared the two sets of stories, she identified some significant topical differences. The English stories more often featured female achievement, physical aggression, verbal aggression toward parents, and attempts to escape blame, while the French stories were more likely to include domination by elders, guilt, and verbal aggression toward peers.”
We know or don’t know the shape of our personalities. When you learn a new language, you’re not just memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules, you also have a chance to tap into new parts of your identity.
If you were born speaking a different language, would you be a different person? The impact of the language you speak can’t be understated. You may think in that language, but that language also changed the way you think?
Do you think to speak any other language than you’re mother tongue changes your personality? Let us know in the comment section below.