3 Ways Speaking Different Languages Can Affect Your Personality

Statue of Tajikarao at Takachiho, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan

1. I know, therefore I am

The first influence is the easiest and can be felt by anyone picking up a new language: Your linguistic ability has a tremendous effect on your personality. This is what I call the expressive influence. You can’t be subtle, funny or sophisticated unless you have the linguistic tools to express those personality traits.

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“Learn the rules like a professional so you can break them like an artist.”

Yet even the most prolific artist will always be limited by the tools of their craft. That’s why complete mastery of a second or third language won’t mean you’ll express yourself in exactly the same way. There will always be differences.

2. I speak, therefore I am

I consider myself native-fluent in both English and French. In theory, I have the grammar and vocabulary to say the exact same thing in either language.

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3. They are, therefore I am

The final and most complex way in which language influences personality is through culture; the cultural influence. This is because what constitutes good communication is a cultural construct that changes from one region to the next.

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I am who I am

While these three influences are all similar phenomena, they take hold in different ways.

Travel | Humor | Language | Society. Writing out of passion. Tokyo-based polyglot with a degree in human rights. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @alexstwrites.

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