Do different languages confer different personalities?

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Did you know that your personality may be different when you speak another language? That your worldview may change if you are multilingual? That the language may shape your thought?

In an  article published by The Economist about the advantages of bilingualism, it is mentioned that bilinguals are not only capable of a better performance at tasks involving “executive function” (which involve the brain’s ability to plan and prioritise),”, but also that bilinguals have a better defence against dementia in old age and—the obvious—the ability to speak a second language”. Furthermore, it has been revealed that “many multilinguals report different personalities, or even different worldviews, when they speak their different languages.

According to the American linguist Benjamin Lee Whorf (who died in 1941), each language encodes a worldview that has influence on the behaviour of the speaker. This idea has had its sceptics, including The Economist itself in the past, but the newspaper acknowledges now that “there are still good reasons to believe language shapes thought.” I find these topic quite  interesting and worthy to be explored and shared.

To read the whole article published by The Economist, click here