----- Original Message -----
From: QUANTAS LÍNGUAS VOCÊ FALA?
Sent: Monday, July 07, 2008 11:04 AM
Subject: Quantas línguas vc fala?
I recently read an article by Reuters/New York entitled: “People who are bicultural and speak two languages may unconsciously change their personality when they switch languages”. The article was based on a study conducted by the Wisconsin-Milwaukee University.
People who speak more languages are more likely to change their personality. The change is more evident and faster in those individuals who, besides speaking two or more languages, live two ore more cultures, being, consequently, bicultural and bilingual.
I found the study quite interesting. Nevertheless, it does not mention that people who speak this or that specific language tend to evoke archetypes and paradigms, mediatic in most cases, that are representative of the culture related to the language and respective labels, prejudice or “pro-judice”.
In this sense, Japanese tend to be more contemplative, Americans are more consumerists; Italians are seducers, British women are workaholic; Indians this, Brazilians that.
Thus, besides speaking two languages, a person who lives in two different cultures would switch personalities even faster (e.g.: a Brazilian individual who works and lives among Americans.).
The article did not go through the level of spiritual maturity or “self awareness of the reality” of people who speak more than one language. Certainly, the more “mature”, the less noticeable will the change of personality be. The person will only communicate in another language but will remain unchanged in its core contents.
In this context, it is quite inevitable not to think of LOVE, the language of the Gospel. If LOVE is only some information re-mixed by the religious ghetto, then our transformation will only occur within the limits of church service and correlated environments. It will be limited to the moral or behavioral aspects of what we learn to be the associated culture (manners, words of order and emotions).
The multicultural ones who speak, or rather, live the language of love makes the person invisible while spreading spice and light in whichever environment. We can do that whether being a “polyglot” or unable to speak.
Faith, hope, meekness, love, charity, compassion, forgiveness and mercifulness have no language barriers, while churches and religions do. When they are triggered, they activate a “one-language specific area in our being”. Here lies the depth and the greatness of the parables, the stories told by Jesus. An everlasting A, B, C; the words incarnated in the language of love.
I am still learning (LOL): “Hey you down there in the last row of desks, pay attention to the board where the words of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John are being taught”.
Habib, My beloved brother!
Grace and peace be with you, Nat and children!
Bro., still learning? Yeah, we are always learning.
Your words are exactly what I see in you before you even mentioned it. Incarnation precedes the words!
Nietzsche said that he examined the Gospels and did not see “a drop of soul” in Jesus. It is obvious he could not see it. The “Jesus of one soul” would not be the Son of Man or the Son of God.
Jesus did not have “one soul”. If he had “one soul”, he would only be understood by “natural Jews”. He would be identified only with those like him.
If Jesus were Aztec He would still be himself!
You answered, in other words, that the language of love is universal and unchangeable in its ways: always seeking the neighbor’s well-being.
Where Nietzsche did not see “one soul”, I see “all souls”.
That’s why Jesus loved all of them even when they confronted him.
It is the case of the Rich Young Man who left sadly, not knowing that he was loved. But Jesus loves to the point of “letting go”. Jesus loved all in the spirit of the “one-soul”. The souls are many, but “the love” is one. Thus, love is also spirit, because God, in spirit, is love.
What really modifies the personality is love, hatred and its many variations like aloofness, arrogance or the opposite, an inferiority complex.
Nevertheless, the “trans-cultural” experience has its strength exactly in the way people are or feel.
When I was 33 I moved to California in order to learn English and be able to preach around the world. I started as a little child, like a clumsy stammer. I felt like a little boy but I was eager to learn. So, I went through all kinds of apprenticeship.
Months later, I was able to preach in English. I adopted the language and spoke it at home for more than 6 years. This way, my family could keep their English speaking skills updated.
But did we change our personalities because of that?
Well, I guess that we faced some changes.
As for me, English became a “linguistics jiu-jitsu”. Yes! Jiu-jitsu gave me relative physical confidence and English gave me the “universal-communication” confidence.
Did it change my day-to-day life? No! It gave me confidence to travel all around.
Learning another language is like swimming in a river, in the sea or in the ocean – it all depends of the scope of the language.
It certainly gives more freedom to the person, not to mention that it opens many worlds and alternatives.
I agree with you, as always. After all, you speak The Language of love, in which no faults are found.
Hugs and Kisses,
July 8th, 2008
From the original "QUANTAS LÍNGUAS VOCÊ FALA?"
Translation: Wanda de Melo
Correction: F.R. Castelo Branco