French is usually considered the language of love and given that today is St. Valentine’s Day, we thought we would bring you our greetings in tune with the occasion. It is, after all, interesting the effect that language can have on our communications with one another.
Language is, undoubtedly, an important component within any given culture, and as such, affects the way that each and every one of us see the world. However, to take this even further, it has been questioned whether a person’s personality can actually change depending on the language they are speaking?
In a study through Hong Kong Polytechnic University, psychologists observed that native Chinese students who were also fluent in English seemingly become “more assertive, extroverted, and open to new experiences” when using their second language. These researchers argue that those traits are all more typical of English speakers than Cantonese, indicating a link between language and personality traits.
In this study, the personality traits also seemed to be affected depending on who the subject was speaking with. It was observed that when the students spoke English to a Caucasian interviewer, rather than a Chinese interviewer, the “English-speaking” personality traits became even more pronounced.
Perhaps then, our personalities are more fluid that we like to think and are heavily affected by the language that we are speaking.
Enough reason to stick with French for Valentine’s Day?