lushlala

Do you find that being angry or upset affects your linguistic ability?

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Whenever any strong emotions overwhelm me, I often use Russian words without even realizing it. I just put one word here and another one there because they come into my mind immediately and thinking about how to say it in another language will take up time. And I don't want to take time when I'm angry :)

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I think it doesn't mater how many languages you learn. We will always have that core language that will come out under a extreme situation or when our emotions get the better of us. It's the language that is you don't have to think about, the words come out without you realizing that you said anything.

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I've definitely been in similar situations. Normally, my thoughts are always in English, but if I'm feeling really, really sad or upset about something, I start to think in Bengali. I actually just noticed it a while ago. Also when I'm really frustrated with someone, I usually mutter something in Bengali, but I feel like that's not really the same thing at all. :P

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Yes. I always want to talk in Chinese when I'm angry or excited. I don't know why it happens, but it does XD I've been trying to not do it though because it confuses my friends, lol.

 

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This can be explained by Krashen's Affective Filter Hypothesis

This had me laughing:

"Are language learners unsuccessful because they are bored, angry, and stressed? Or are language learners bored, angry, and stressed because they are unsuccessful?"

Excellent question!

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Oh yes, especially when I am telling my kids off. I use our native tongue so that other people won't know what we're talking about. :laugh: They're both fluent though in English since they study in an English School but they can understand Filipino. My eldest can even speak it though not as fluid as when she speaks English. As for me, I feel more comfortable speaking in my language when I get too stirred up especially when I want to keep the conversation between my family and me. :smile:  I get cautious though when I speak our language in the presence of other nationalities as it might sound rude to them. 

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I definitely had many such experiences. But the funny thing is, I`m reverting back to English when I am angry and overly emotional and what to put my point across. Even though my native tongues are Hungarian and Romanian, I cannot help but use English words and sentences when I`m really really angry and talking with somebody else. Weird I know.

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The answer on this question is yes because whatever you do when you are angry or upset you will make at least an error or two. It does not to have to be speaking or writing. But we will stick to these two. Even in your native language you tend to mix things when affected by anger. Additionally, when you are angry or in high emotional state you can hardly focus or take it easy and slow like you would do when you at peace. That said, it is normal to have some problems in conversing. When it comes to a foreign language that you learn or have to speak situation is usually worse, because another factor is finding its way to your abilities and that is insecurity that is growing bigger when you are upset. Example for this is when you are watching your favourite team playing football. If they score or concede a goal you are probably going to scream something on your mother's tongue and not in that other language you are learning or have to speak. Reason for this is because your brain is set by default to produce thoughts in your language and you barely have to think, it is already there.

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I was often in a situation of anger, and more often of sadness, when indeed I had a lot of trouble making an utterance. My tongue will twist and I would also get the impression that I was saying something but nothing was coming out of my mouth. Even in my mind I would get pretty much suffocated, meaning would get confused what or how to say something. I am not just talking here about my second  language, which is English, but also in my mother tongue, Serbian. Maybe it has to do something with psychology of the mind, or else it is purely linguistical problem due to intense emotions. I bet some medical expert would have the answer. I would really love to know.

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I definitely had many such experiences. But the funny thing is, I`m reverting back to English when I am angry and overly emotional and what to put my point across. Even though my native tongues are Hungarian and Romanian, I cannot help but use English words and sentences when I`m really really angry and talking with somebody else. Weird I know.

Now that you've mentioned it, I realized that sometimes I do the same. I don't know why it happens but sometimes, when I accidentally burn a finger with the frying pan or can't find my keys, I say "Damn" or "Ouch" instead of using exclamations from my native language. That's weird now that I think about it.

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What's with this crazy influx of Serbs all of a sudden? haha 

It depends on the situation, if I'm speaking in English I'll probably get angry in English and vice versa. Although I have caught myself swearing in Serbian when I get a little tipsy and angry in English.

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I definitely think being angry affects my linguistic ability.  When I am angry I don't think clearly and use dumbed down words I would other wise try to avoid.  The same goes with speaking a foreign tongue.  I can't think clearly enough to use the words I want to use and scramble to think of sentences that go together. 

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Whenever any strong emotions overwhelm me, I often use Russian words without even realizing it. I just put one word here and another one there because they come into my mind immediately and thinking about how to say it in another language will take up time. And I don't want to take time when I'm angry :)

Hehe I know, Anna! Sometimes I think it's because there's no true equivavelent in another language, and to translate what you want to convey, you lose some nuances, making what you're saying not quite as effective.

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English is the only language I'm fluent in, and it's my native tongue. I've been speaking it all my life, and I still feel that being angry impairs my linguistic ability. Being in an enraged state relocates the body's resources to other functions, so higher thinking processes are lessened. I think this is definitely one of the reasons people constantly advise not to make important decisions while you're angry.

I personally tend to stutter all over my words when I'm upset. I find myself struggling to find the right words to say, and this is coming from someone who makes words his main source of income (I'm a writer). Interestingly enough, when I write while angry, the product is usually quite clear and concise. I think writing allows me to filter the anger into drive, whereas speaking doesn't really go through a filter.

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Now that you've mentioned it, I realized that sometimes I do the same. I don't know why it happens but sometimes, when I accidentally burn a finger with the frying pan or can't find my keys, I say "Damn" or "Ouch" instead of using exclamations from my native language. That's weird now that I think about it.

I think it has to do with the fact that we are so exposed to English swearing words through TV and the Internet, that it has become like a second nature to us and just comes automatically. And when you are angry or emotional, you usually say the first things that come to mind. Which in this case, are words like "Damn" or others. :D

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When I am angry, I notice that I have a more difficult time taking my thinking from my mind to speaking my words. The emotional part prevents me from being able to speak effectively. This happens in both English and Japanese. Although in the case of Japanese, I manage to throw out some complaints using fast English so no one will understand. I think in recent years, I have become better at trying to speak more rationally and say my thoughts despite my emotional state, though. I don't know if time changes things, but it is definitely something you can improve if you work at it.

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It's funny, but I've heard of people who actually use English (unconsciously) when they're steaming mad and berating someone. They even swear that their fluency improves when they're mad. Strange, huh? I wonder if they're telling the truth, and if the explanation to that phenomenon is similar to why I drive better when I'm angry.

anna3101 likes this

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I do find it easier to speak a language when I am mad or angry, somehow I became a very good English speaker when I have to be mad at someone. Last time I was on the bus, in the morning hours coming home from a house party and my language skills not that good when tired and tipsy and I had to ask a girl to not sit down because and old lady hasn't got a seat a feeling unwell. I did fine, and was a little angry but did a little monologue in english, I was real proud of myself.

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On 11 November 2015 at 1:57:37 AM, Chris_A said:

I definitely had many such experiences. But the funny thing is, I`m reverting back to English when I am angry and overly emotional and what to put my point across. Even though my native tongues are Hungarian and Romanian, I cannot help but use English words and sentences when I`m really really angry and talking with somebody else. Weird I know.

I think this is a definite positive for you, Chris_A! I think what it says about your English language acquisition is that you've reached a level where you are very comfortable with your language skills. I wouldn't necessarily say it's odd; if anything, I'd actually say it's commendable. Way to go. I also think you're probably at native speaker level.

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Yes I am a Czech and I teach kids in an international school, most of them speak Czech as well but all of them speak English.. Once I had to yell at them because of something they did and I just couldn't express myself in English! It was terrible and made me even more upset!!

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11 hours ago, lushlala said:

I think this is a definite positive for you, Chris_A! I think what it says about your English language acquisition is that you've reached a level where you are very comfortable with your language skills. I wouldn't necessarily say it's odd; if anything, I'd actually say it's commendable. Way to go. I also think you're probably at native speaker level.

I think that is true, as well. I think, through the influx of English from everywhere I look, in my country, it has become something like a second native tongue. But not just for me, but also for many of my friends. We constantly use quotes from popular TV shows, video games and the Internet in general, when talking or making jokes. This just goes to show that the media can actually help you learn a new language.

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Yes and no, it really depends on how often I use the languages I know.

But there have been often times recently where my language abilities got rusty bc of me being upset and sad, bc of the feeling of discouragement.

But eventually no matter what, you've got to pick yourself back up.  

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Hahahaha! Good one!

Well, I've completely converted myself from my native tongue - Czech - to English. I rarely even think in Czech.

So no I do not have this problem (not with my native and new native tongue), I feel perfectly capable expressing myself in English when I'm upset. I would find it hard to do that in Czech if anything.

For the record. I've never lived in an English speaking country.

However, for my other languages - Japanese, Chinese - I find it really hard to express myself when I'm upset. All the words come up in English. So if I'm really upset I just revert to English. I can't even bring myself to think in another language.

So yeah I know what you mean. But it doesn't really concern my native language but rather all the languages besides English.

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