Language changes us?
-----People who are bicultural and speak two languages may unconsciously change their
personality when they switch languages.
Researchers from USA studied groups of Hispanic women, all of whom were bilingual, but with varying degrees of cultural identification.
They found significant changes in self perception or "frame-shifting" in bicultural participants —women who participate in both Latino and Anglo culture.
"Language can be a cue that activates different culture-specific frames," the researchers said in a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research.
They found that people who are bicultural switched frames more quickly and easily than people who are bilingual but living in one culture. The women classified themselves as more assertive when they spoke Spanish than when they spoke English. "In the Spanish-language sessions, informants perceived females as more self-sufficient and extroverted," they said.
In one of the studies, a group of bilingual US Hispanic women viewed advertisements that
featured women in different scenarios. The participants saw the ads in one language — English or Spanish — and then, six months later, they viewed the same ads in the other language. Their perceptions of themselves and of the women in the ads shifted depending on the language.
"One respondent, for example, saw an ad's main character as a risk-taking, independent
woman in the Spanish version of the ad, but as a hopeless, lonely, confused woman in the
English version," said the researcher.
In my opinion, maybe English is not a form of forcible culture imperialism but an inevitable result when we learn it. Since language changes our personality, it's possible to change a country's characteristics which in some ways most of us wouldn't like to see, though.
Do you find you have been changed when you speak or learn other languages?
Sounds like it's easy to get dual personality nowadays. :)