Bilingual Lives Bilingual Experience Analysis

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In her article, Bilingual Lives, Bilingual Experience, Anna Wierzbicka is trying to demonstrate that the “vocabulary of emotions is undoubtedly different from language to language”. Each language has its own distinct and specific words that are meant to express particular things that maybe could not be translated or could not have the same meaning in another language. By that the speaker could not interpretate the word as he would do in his native language, due to his perspective. She argues that by being bilingual you are expressing yourself in two different ways, shifting from one language to another. As the writter suggests, “emotions are central to human life and bilingualism provides a new perspective on emotions”. Thus, by speaking many…show more content…
Thus, by saying a word which represents an emotion in a foreign language, we do not feel that the meaning and significance of that word are the same as in our mother tongue. It could be due to the fact that the vocabulary of emotions is dissimilar from language to language. When speaking in a foreign language we are often tempted to describe something using our native language. I found that by using words from my native language, for exemple : “Eu urăsc mincinoșii” translated as “I hate liars” has not the same meaning for me because in my perspective, the word “urăsc” is more powerful and has more meaning than”hate”. That may be because I am more familiar with it and I am used to say it only in my mother tongue. As Anna Wierzbicka writes ,“two languages of a bilingual person differ not only in their lexical and grammatical repertoires for expressing and describing emotions but also in the sets of ‘emotional scripts’ regulating emotion talk” . Perhaps, for a bilingual person, a word has not always its authentical meaning in a foreign language as it has always been thought it would have in its native…show more content…
Thereby, when a speaker “shifts” from a language to another he has the opportunity to become someone else. A different language means that the speaker has to adopt a different attitude and personality, a different way of speaking and thinking. As the czech proverb says: "Learn a new language and get a new soul." So, the speaker feels that he becomes someone else, someone who belongs to that language. Speakers of different languages are constantly changing registers from their native language to foreign language. This is called “code-switching”. It is used either for expressing something that has not the same meaning as in your native language, for replacing a word or maybe just because we are very familiar with one language that we shift to by accident. Besides, “studies shows that bicultural bilinguals may exibit different verbal behaviors in their two languages and may be perceived differently by their interlocutors depending on the language they use in a particular cotext” . As the writer suggests, for these bilinguals “the two languages may be linked to different linguistic repertoires, cultural scripts, frames or expectation, autobiographic memories, and levels of proficiency and
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