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There’s something fascinating about languages that keeps surprising me more and more. Have you ever noticed how your behavior changes a little (or a lot) when you speak in a foreign language?

That’s extraordinary!  Isn’t it? I´ve seen it and I’ve experienced it and there’s also a little bit of science behind it but I won’t bore you with all the studies made by researchers, what I am going to tell you is my experience with languages and some changes in the way we behave. I work in a place with an international team and environment, we have people from different parts of the world. A normal day for me is greeting someone in Spanish, then transition to English and listen to conversations in German or French…and honestly that’s music to my ears!

Languages are captivating, they are not just a form of communication, they define culture and deep self expressions so there’s no surprise that every language has a specific mindset that imprints in the consciousness and behavior patterns of the speaker.

When I speak in my native language which is Spanish I feel a little shy and people could tell I’m more like an introvert, always kind and polite because this is how i was raised but never very outgoing.

A different story comes when I speak in my favorite language which is English. I started learning English when I was pretty young, I was probably around 4 or 5 years old. I remember how I used to listen music in English and try to sing along with the lyrics, I also remember I watched tv series from English speaking countries so I got very interested not only in the language but also in the Anglo culture. This memories are sweet to me, they bring me back to my childhood and that feeling of accomplishment when I could express myself in a different language so I guess that’s why I feel more confident and outgoing when I speak English.

So I knew there wasn’t me te only one experiencing this so I asked a few friends at work how they felt when they speak in different languages. For example, I have a German friend whose parents are from Vietnam, so even though she is German she was raised listening and speaking Vietnamese. I asked her how her behavior changes when she speaks Vietnamese, German, English or even learning Spanish, and here’s what she said:

“My personality definitely changes, also my voice tone (…) I sound sweeter when I speak in Vietnamese because that’s the language I use to communicate with mom and dad, it’s different than when I speak German because I don’t feel deeply connected to this language. With English I also feel more confident, I use more slang words and jokes and I’ve been told that my accent is a little goofy because it doesn’t sound European or American. Even though I used o hate English when I was in high school now I really like it because i can get to know people and places and make new friends”.

I also had this conversation with more friends and their answers were pretty similar, they feel connected in different ways to a foreign language, their behavior changes and their perspective to the world and culture. This change in personality and behavior occurs at a subconscious level and its programmed and influenced by the experiences and the environment in which that language is spoken.

As a deep seeker of the Self and human development I am going to learn more languages to know me more and  to develop new brain connections.

So if you are wondering 

How to change your behavior or personality to know more about yourself?

Learn a new language! 

Anna Hernández

Marketing Officer in Zaloa Languages

Me gusta tomar fotos y contar historias. 

WORD  MEANING
Mindset An attitude, disposition, or mood.
an intention or inclination.
Imprints (To imprint) To impress (a quality, character, distinguishing mark, etc.).
To produce (a mark) on something.
To make an impression; have an effect.
Consciousness awareness of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts,surroundings, etc.
the thoughts and feelings, collectively, of an individual or of an aggregate of people.
Full activity of the mind and senses, as in waking life.
The mental activity of which a person is aware as contrasted 
with unconscious mentalprocesses.
Behavior patterns A recurrent way of acting by an individual or group toward a 
given object or in a givensituation.

 

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