Monday, 20 April 2009

Language and Personality Revisited

More than a year ago I wondered whether Lilia & Ines would have "split personalities" based on language like I do. My guess was they wouldn't and I closed saying "we will have to ask them one day."

I have now done the next best thing: I have asked my colleague Nicolas who grew up in an OPOL/MLaH setting similar to ours: German mother, French father, born in Finland.

His answer: he does not see any difference between his German-speaking and French-speaking self.

He picked up Swedish, English and Spanish later, and he does feel differences when he speaks those languages.

The real question is: while my daughters won't be different when they speak another language, will they notice that I am? And will they use that knowledge? Will they use German when they ask a favour?

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting thought! I feel that way too, for myself in French vs. English. But, I have wondered as well how my children will express their personality in either language. Maybe a slight difference since they are raised in one culture as the minority, but less than the gap that I feel? Interesting idea.

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