Why its easier to swear at people in another language

People who speak two or more languages often prefer to use one language over another, depending on the situation. This is especially true when it comes to cursing and insults. It seems that people prefer not to use their native languages to talk smack. Here’s why.

In a study published a couple of months ago in PLoS One, two Polish researchers at the University of Warsaw explain that linguists and psychologists have long wondered what causes people to switch back and forth between languages. Apparently, one reason is that people feel more emotionally connected to their native languages. As a result, they’re willing to say things in other languages that they wouldn’t say in their own. The researchers write:

Those who have contact with bi- or multilinguals often notice that it is easier for the latter group to express certain content in one language, while other content is more willingly conveyed in the other. What does this preference depend on? It has been noticed and proven that it is mostly emotional topics that cause slipping…

Read more | io9.com

Posted on juin 10, 2014 in Field of translation

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