Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Do different languages confer different personalities?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12050
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 17, 2013 8:24 pm    Post subject: Do different languages confer different personalities? Reply with quote

I know that whenever I attempt French, I feel more - how can I put it - well, debonair. So, what do YOU think?


http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2013/11/multilingualism


Chaleureusement,
Jean
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 969

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would think it's more to do with the culture a society speaks than the language it speaks.

For example (sweeping statements coming), France is often associated with high culture, fine dining, romantic evening etc. Where as, forgive me, Russia is associated with freezing snow, communists and potatoes. So I think those perceptions have more influence than the language itself. When I try and do a French accent I project those images and I sound quite 'posh', I could be an artist sat, sipping wine over a sunset. When I do a Russian accent I project myself as a surly soldier, drinking vodka and standing outside in the cold. But maybe that's just me...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 205
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Shroob"]I would think it's more to do with the culture a society speaks than the language it speaks.

But doesn't language itself influence culture?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Sashadroogie



Joined: 17 Apr 2007
Posts: 8640
Location: Moskva, The Workers' Paradise

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is all this reactionary nonsense?! Piggie propaganda!!! Off to the re-education camps with all of you! Claims that language or culture could possibly affect personality, eh?! All such mistaken thinking will be scientifically eradicated by our trained professionals in the Department of the Enlightenment, and that is ABSOLUTELY FINAL!!!!!!

Hic!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 9132
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
France is often associated with high culture, fine dining, romantic evening etc. Where as, forgive me, Russia is associated with freezing snow, communists and potatoes.


What??!!
TolstoyDostoyevskySolzhenitsynPushkinChekovGorkyPasternakNabokovRimsky-KorsakovBolshioFabergeChagallIvanovSt.Basils'MoscowKremlinIberianGateKolomesskayeSmolenskCathedralTeremPalacPeterhofCatherinePalace MenshikovTower and more and more and more....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Shroob



Joined: 02 Aug 2010
Posts: 969

PostPosted: Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="MuscatGary"]
Shroob wrote:
I would think it's more to do with the culture a society speaks than the language it speaks.

But doesn't language itself influence culture?


I'm not sure. I'm no expert (yet).

But my intuition would say not. As far as I see it, language is just a way of getting a message across. Languages will vary how the message is conveyed, but the same message still gets conveyed.

Language and culture are definitely interrelated. I'll browse around this evening, see if I can find some journals on the subject.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
corniche



Joined: 04 Jun 2012
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely, John. And it also changes your face because of the way you use the muscles.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FreakingTea



Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're thinking of your personal associations with the language. The language isn't "conferring" anything except the functions you're (hopefully) conveying. All the communist literature I've read was in English, so I don't particularly associate Russian with communism. Other aspects of Russia, sure. But if anything, Russian is more greatly influenced by the system and culture in which it developed. The development of Modern English correlated with the rise of capitalism in England, and further developments came from colonialist and imperialist influences. But speaking English isn't spreading capitalism unless you're speaking it with a gun in your hand.

I will concede that certain cultural concepts can be legitimized in the mind of a monolingual speaker if those concepts can only be expressed in a language in a particular way. But the concepts themselves didn't originate in the language. Gendered and racial slurs come to mind.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Teacher in Rome



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 1202

PostPosted: Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Corniche

Quote:
Absolutely, John. And it also changes your face because of the way you use the muscles.


That is so true.

Would also explain why a generation of Brits (or ten) are perceived as being haughty, reserved and generally up themselves, speaking as they did through gritted teeth.

(Before anyone gets overexercised here, I'm a Brit myself.)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ntropy



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 639
Location: ghurba

PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, it does. Even within a language, the synonyms you choose can change the tone and personality of something dramatically. Look at Orwell, or the Nazis.

In Japanese, for example, the word for wife literally translates as the "person in the house" while the word for husband literally means "master." How can these literal meanings not effect the way the language makes us think and the way we think affects the way we act.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
FreakingTea



Joined: 09 Jan 2013
Posts: 160

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ntropy wrote:
Yep, it does. Even within a language, the synonyms you choose can change the tone and personality of something dramatically. Look at Orwell, or the Nazis.

In Japanese, for example, the word for wife literally translates as the "person in the house" while the word for husband literally means "master." How can these literal meanings not effect the way the language makes us think and the way we think affects the way we act.


Those roles ("person in the house" and "master") were described by the language. The words didn't come at random and then determine social organization.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sparks



Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 457

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't Pinker fairly successfully argue down Whorf, or Sapir-Whorf, in the Language Instinct. Kind of rehashing something that, I would say, has been shown to be untrue a while ago.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
JN



Joined: 17 Jan 2008
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:39 am    Post subject: Re: Do different languages confer different personalities? Reply with quote

[quote="johnslat"]I know that whenever I attempt French, I feel more - how can I put it - well, debonair. So, what do YOU think?


I think my personality does change a bit when I speak German, but I think the culture has a lot to do with it. I look at how people act and listen to how they use language. When I attempt Russian, which I am not fluent in, I don't feel any different.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12050
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear sparks,

"Kind of rehashing something that, I would say, has been shown to be untrue a while ago.

As the use of the past tense shows, what was "untrue years ago" (I think the past tense would have been the better choice) is usually true now (e.g.
Years ago, I thought that Whorf's theories were totally untrue).

Whorf certainly went too far, but the other extreme (which is, "that all languages share the same deep structure of thought and that thought has a universal quality separate from language . . . . that languages express thinking and perception in different ways but do not shape the thinking and perception.") may also be too "black and white."


http://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=29489


http://www.economist.com/debate/days/view/626

Regards,
John
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> General Discussion All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC