Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Languages, Personalities and "I love you"

I had a conversation with my good friend Sariah about languages and how people are different in different languages. Not just that other people from other countries who speak different languages are different, but I noticed that when I speak French I literally have a different personality. I act differently, I think differently and I speak differently. Perhaps this is because the culture I was in was different as I immersed myself into the French language. There was only one missionary I knew in the whole mission who spoke French almost the same way that he spoke English. He was the oddball I guess. Well we got to talking about the phrase I love you. She said that she can throw the words “te quiero” around and it doesn’t mean as much to her as the words “I love you.” I can throw the words “Je t’aime” around a little easier than I can in English, however I think that is because during my mission we were encouraged to show our love a bit more. So I had no problem telling that to fellow missionaries. I do remember though when I had a girlfriend and from time to time I would say “Je t’aime” and that definitely had a lot of meaning. Maybe it was amplified by the fact that it was one of my attempts to be romantic. But on the grand scale I was more comfortable saying “Je t’aime” in more situations that I am saying “I love you” in English. On the English side of things I rarely say the words. They are directed towards my parents when I talk to them. Every once in a while I will say it to a couple of my really good friends. However, we wouldn’t want to damage our manly egos so we find ways to cloak it as a joke somehow. Our manly image is very precious to us. Other than that I don’t use the words much else at all. However, to me that just means that when I do say it, the intended recipient of those words can know that it’s not just a casual spouting off of some clich├ęd words. I think that fits me better anyways.