People

Does something sound better in a foreign language?

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Have you ever wondered about this? For you, for example, in your opinion, does for you something sound better when you hear it or read it in a foreign language? Let me give you an example, I am from Venezuela. I speak Spanish and (as you can see) I try my best to understand English and a little bit German. In fact, I found languages something outstanding. Language can shape your understanding of the world, there are some people that say that physics are just the language of nature, putting the whole science in just another… language. Isn’t that awesome?

The other day I was reading on TED Ideas something called: “How languages can affect the way we think“. I found it marvelous. If you are out there, let’s say… in the UK, you will not be looking for someone that speaks Spanish (I am talking here to the people that speak Spanish) you will be looking for someone that speaks English. If you are in Germany you will be interested in the local people and in the local tongue, isn’t that right? Well, but, let’s put this a little bit tinier. Why are we so interested in the foreign languages instead of enjoying our own language? Is it because of culture? Is it because the foreign is attractive to us? Or why is that?

I will not put here something scientifically proven, because, let’s be clear here, I have no idea of nothing called “The science of mind”, or neuroscience or even Psychology. I am… someone that you would call “student”, but not a teacher. And I will speak to you from my own experience.

When I was in Mérida, Venezuela, in December of 2014 I met a German guy that was really nice and open to meet new people. We spent hours talking about several topics, religion, money, and politics and even how difficult was to learn German or Spanish. He thought that Spanish was way more difficult than German, as you can imagine, I agreed, but I need to admit now that I am learning German, that this language is not kid’s stuff either. We were talking (also) about girls. I said to him that because he was blonde and was foreigner he will have a lot of girls curious about him and he would find “easier” to have some girls. I was not wrong; at least he admitted to me that I was right about the whole point. He said to me that girls in Germany were interested in brown-skinned and dark-eyed men. I haven’t still proved this of course. I have never been in Germany, but perhaps he’s right. Of course relationships and people’s interactions are much more than just physical. But we were mainly talking about physical contact and attraction, not about deep stuff. Does not sound weird this for you? Perhaps not, because you are accustomed to these kind of things. You can see how something that is “foreign” for us is always attractive, because we are curious and curiosity often leads us to new unexplored places. But let translate this into language and into expressions. If you hear someone around you talking on your mother tongue you will not blink an eye, but if you hear someone speaking in another language (it does not matter what language is) you will turn your head or at least pay some attention to these people… and something much more curious happens when you know at least one foreign language. If you are a, I don’t know, German speaker and you speak French too, if you hear English you will turn your head to see if you can guess what language is or what those people are talking about.

This is the way curiosity works, at least when we hear something “strange”.

If you do not speak another language besides your mother tongue, I encourage you to do so, for me, for example, I speak Spanish… I try to speak English and now I am trying harder to speak German. Tschüss, dear amigos!

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