How can speaking multiple languages affect your personality?
Being a student at a school that teaches more than two foreign languages has its perks as it has its disadvantages. Being in that kind of environment for almost fourteen years has led me to realise that the delay of learning makes it more difficult for the person to acquire the social and linguistic skills that this language has to offer. Personally, I am a native Greek speaker, who has been taught French since I was three years old, English since I was five and German since I was nine. Following that train of thought, watching my classmates being introduced to English at ten years old and a year later to either French or German, had me confused on why they found it more difficult than me. Years later, through research on multilingualism and bilingualism, I concluded that younger people get closer to the authentic part of the language than the older students of that language. Also, speaking more than one language offers many benefits both socially and to our health.
Social Benefits on:
– Viewing the world: Based on P. Athanasopoulos’ article on “How the language you speak changes your view of the world” I concluded that bilingual people generally have a stronger ability to see the world from more than one perspective. Especially, for decision-makers in particular, this may facilitate negotiations and the ability to see both sides of an argument and different points of view. Learning and therefore speaking many languages has been reported to increase the brain’s flexibility, which has been linked to being more open to other people’s perspectives.
-Analysing the world: On The Conversation, an academic rigour, journalistic flair, is reported that bilingual people are benefited on the way they analyse the world. Based on research published in Psychological Science, people react differently to the same environmental information when they are thinking in a different language than the one thinking before while processing the same information. Also, countless times, bilingual and multilingual people have stated that they feel like different people when they switch languages, even in the same environment. Language choice goes much further than just changing word choice. It also gives the speaker the choice of how to use those words in the context of the language they are speaking
Health Benefits on:
– Since switching between languages is a quite tiring activity, bilingual people’s brains are having a constant brain workout session. That leads to research whose findings showed that bilingual people are benefited from the delay of age-related brain illnesses, like dementia or Alzheimer’s for almost five years.
Overall, despite all the hardships that are required to be passed in order to speak fully a foreign language has many benefits that affect daily life. From social benefits on how we see and analyze the world to health benefits on helping delay brain diseases, to simply just being able to travel easier, without having the language barrier stopping you, speaking many languages is cool!