How Language Shapes Our Personality

Topics: English language, Pope John Paul II, Second language Pages: 4 (1547 words) Published: October 27, 2012
Language Shapes Our Personality

Can language shape our personality? Tongues we use are indispensible factors of us. If you think about it, human beings use the tool in form of language in every possible aspect of life. In school, at home, while watching TV, playing sports, reading books, at the store, even on the walk. It is also a part of one’s heritage, cultural belonging and ethnic identity. Language surrounds us from every possible direction. It would be “silly” to say it has no influence on our personality. People are complicated beings. We are much more composed than any other creature stomping on this planet, and not in biological, chemical and physiognomic way. More than this, we are complicated in terms of consciousness, intelligence, self-awareness, mentality and personality. What shapes our personality though? It may be genes, background and surrounding we were brought up in, kind of music we listen to, people we hang out with? All of them in certain do shape who we are and how we act or behave. There are three ways to express how we really are: to do it, to write it or to say it. Two of them demand some kind of language to work, which indicates that language is something we need to shape and express our personality. Language serves as an intelligence indicator and gives tremendously vast possibilities. Through learning new words, for example both English and Spanish, linguistic activity trains our brains and opens up new intellectual possibilities, expands our memory and helps with communication what takes effect on gathering information. In one of his writings, “Discovering the power of the language” as a part of his Autobiography, Malcolm X describes a period of time when he was captivated in prison. Prior to then he could only speak English spoken on the streets by mostly blacks, lower social class and social margin. Dirty and urban alternation of how English should really sound like. Becoming more and more frustrated with his inability to...

Cited: X, Malcolm. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”, Discovering the Power of Language. New York: Ballatine Books, 1964
Hoffman, Eva. “Lost In translation”, A life in a new language. New York: Penguin Books 1989. 92-272
Tan, Amy. “Mother Tongue.” Personal Essays. The Norton Book of Personal Essays.
W.W.W. Norton and Company, 1997. 462-468.
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