In the last years I have stopped considering myself a specific citizen. I can’t say I am Romanian because of my roots and because of my way of thinking. I can’t say I am French because I do not have a paper that proves it or the perfect knowledge about their culture. I can’t say that I am Malaysian because I am just discovering Asia now and my lifestyle is not very Asian orientated. I guess the only thing that will work without any error is to consider myself a European…
Moving around for this last years helped me to learn a lot about other cultures and the most important about myself. Each new country thought me new languages, new ways to express myself. I can say that French language has become more my mother language and that English is my “working language”. What is funny to observe here in Malaysia is the change that I brought to my English knowledge.
Malaysians have a different way to express themselves in English and specific talking reflexes. When I moved here, everybody was telling me that my English will lose its value and soon I will speak the Manglish (Malaysian English). I have always said that this will not happen, but I must admit that my Chinese classes are playing a very important role to this change.
During a first Chinese lesson your teacher will ask you to stop thinking in English. Every phrase is different built and opposite to English language. This is how a regular phrase like “I am going there” will become more “Go there lah!”
Romanian people, and not only, the Est European countries have this pressure to talk perfect a foreign language and they will always try to correct others for small errors. It is funny to see how low the importance that this aspect is in some other countries. An advanced medium level of a foreigner language will always be considered the best thing to have. You want to show more? Then learn even more languages at the same level and this will bring you the value. It is impossible to speak 5 languages and have them all as mother tongue level. It is just impossible…
And here comes the discovery that I wanted to reach into this article: the mentality and expression changes while talking different languages. I do not know if you already noticed that once we change the language we will also change our way of thinking. I find it to be a very funny exercise. I remember when I started to speak French and most important, to write French emails, that I found that everything was sounding so precious and so respectful. It is a language that forces you to speak nice to people and to have a certain class while talking it. Of course, there is also the “bad neighborhood talk” but the regular talks are quite respectful. Romanian on the other hand, I find it to be a very direct language that sometimes can make us look mean. Your face expressions will play a very important role while talking this language. English… English I think that depends on the way that each one used to learn it and the most important, the people that you are talking it with. It is no1 international language but is interesting to notice the changes that is having depending on the area. Check my favorite video for a better understanding of Manglish that I was mentioning before. I couldn’t explain it better.
And there it is Chinese… The language without grammar, the language that will give you the sentences to learn it directly. So, I guess that not too much interpretation can be done here.
I hope this article will make you analyse your way of thinking and expressing your ideas while talking foreigner languages.
It 是 vraiment un lindo exercitiu！