Personalities in Different Languages 不同語言中的個人特質

(附中文) I believe people have different personalities when speaking in different languages. In Mandarin, due to the etiquette rules embedded in Chinese culture, I am sentimental, indirect and polite. In Taiwanese, because I only speak this language with grandparents, I talk like a spoiled child with a childish tone. However, in English, because of the proficiency constraint, I am direct, bold and sometimes impolite (unrestrained?)

For example, “I miss you” is a simple sentence in English, but I can hardly imagine myself saying this in Chinese. The emotion in “wish you were here” is also too direct in Chinese, so I usually say something like “you should come here someday” and hide the desire of being together with the person here. I guess the reason why I like talking in English when feeling tipsy is that I can reveal my enthusiasm and affection more.

In Mandarin, why not just say “I love you; I miss you” directly to people we love? Why do we hide our love in so many irrelevant sentences and expect others to understand? Hmmm… Hey, I miss you! 🙂

使用不同語言的自己是那麼不同。受到中華文化的禮俗規範,講中文的我是委婉的、多愁善感的、合乎禮節的。另外,因為跟阿公阿嬤講話才會用到台語,所以那是我最會撒嬌的語言。而在英文裡,受限於字彙與文法,說英文的我非常直接、情感奔放、有時可能相當無禮。

“I miss you” 這麼簡單的一句英文,我卻很難想像自己用中文說「我想念你!」”Wish you were here” 這樣的情緒,在中文裡也會被轉化成「有空可以來看看喔」般無關緊要的話語。回想起來,喝酒後特別愛講英文的自己,或許就是潛意識中希望藉此表達熱情與親切感吧… 有時候想,為什麼我們就不能用中文好好地跟心愛的人們說聲「我想念你、我愛你」呢?我真的想念你阿!:)

 

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