If you are bilingual or multilingual, have you ever felt different when speaking in another language?
You don’t only feel different; your tone in your voice changes too.
I started to realize while having international friends. I used to speak English with them, but once I hear them speaking in their mother tongue language, they completely change personality, and perhaps it has a lot to do with the pronunciation and the tone they take.
I used to think that it was just me being more sheltered in another country, but it goes beyond that. It is peculiar to say this, but I feel more comfortable speaking or writing in another language than mine; even if it is not perfect and I tend to do mistakes. I officially think that I have 3 personalities, and they all depend in the selected language. Yesterday, while practicing my German, I realized that the tone of my voice was utterly different, and that is the magic of learning a different language; you don’t only learn how to speak it, but the culture behind it, the history, and a new reasoning methodology.
Now, I have one of my biggest challenges ever; working in French. I was stubborn in finding an international company, to be able to speak in English, but I like to complicate my life, so I found a French/International one. For me, this is the only way to learn, to mitigate my fear, and to be immerse in a business type of language that I wouldn’t be able to learn elsewhere.
When you work in a language that you don’t handle well, you don’t have the same confidence and you are afraid of doing a grammar mistake in front of your coworkers. That is why people who speak a different language tend to filter their thoughts before speaking, delivering a more structured and accurate response than someone who’s speaking in their own language.
The brain is a muscle that must be trained and going back and forth from one language to another is a trivial training to it, giving it several cognitive benefits. So, if you want to improve your Neuroplasticity (create new patterns in your brain) to be able to focus more, retain information, and some other abilities, it is never too late to start learning a new language.
I used to pretend that I was learning languages because of my professional future, but the truth is that I am passionate about them. It is more a personal thing. Being able to be multilingual is being able to be open minded, having different mindsets, communicating better with foreign people and if you are lucky, being able to use it at work.