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The Power of Language to Affect Our Behavior and Mind

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The Power of Language to Affect Our Behavior and Mind Essay

Language is the way people speak or communicate with each other. For instance, language can help us to describe a thing, and we can use our language to change the way we behave toward people. Does language shape our personality and thoughts? Language can shape our personality and thoughts by learning new languages and reading a literature. People’s personality can change and become better by reading literature and learning new languages. Literature means any kind of stories, such as fiction. Fiction can change our behavior towards people (Paul 322). According to Annie Murphy Paul, researchers found out that people who love read fiction are good at handling other people’s emotions (Paul 322). In real life, people may struggle on how to interact with other people, but when we read fiction about a character who knows how to deal with and react to people, we can interpret it into our life. Not only reading can improve our personality, but also learning new languages can change our behavior toward people.

In Catherine de Lange article “My Two Minds”, she states that people who have a second language not only can change their ability to solve problem, but also it can change our personality too (de Lange par.3). People who are bilingual act differently according to the language they speak (de Lange par.22). For example, in a study from Susan Ervin-Tripp, she tried to ask Japanese-English speakers to complete a sentence in English or Japanese, and it showed the speaker kept using a variety of endings depending on the language (de Lange par.23). To illustrate, when she was asked to complete the sentence “Real friends should” in Japanese the speaker said, “help each other out”, while in English the speaker said, “be very frank” (de Lange par.23). This shows that bilinguals have different personality when they try to finish the sentence and they think differently (de Lange par.23). Language also shapes people on how they think of the reality by learning new language and reading literature. People who learn two language can interpret differently in the reality base on an event.

In Lera Boroditsky video, she states that language can guide reason about an event (Boroditsky par.18). For example, there is an event about a man who broke a vase (Boroditsky par.18). An English speaker will think the event as, “the man broke the vase”, but a Spanish speaker will say, “the vase broke” (Boroditksy par.18). This is unique because the punishment for the man in each society will be different, as English speaker will punish the person more because he broke the vase unlike Spanish speaker m who sees an accident (Boroditsky par.19). So, when people have more language can think differently about an event. As people speak differently can change our thinking, reading also can change our thinking, such as reading literature. For example, a poem can change the way we think. In Tanya M. White-Davis article, she states about racism and use the power of language like a poem “Say Their Names” by Sandhira Wijayaratne to speak equality for all colour people rights (Tanya M., White-Davis et al. par.1). When people read the poems, it makes people to think what their role are in healthcare systems for justice especially the role for healers’ role (White-Davis et al. par.1). Thus, reading a literature can may help people to react on society, and they can think differently to society. To sum up with, when we read a literature and learn a new language, it can change our behavior towards people. By knowing these two things, we can change our behavior to become a better person.

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The Power of Language to Affect Our Behavior and Mind. (2019, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 27, 2023, from
“The Power of Language to Affect Our Behavior and Mind.” GradesFixer, 14 May 2019,
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