Thursday, October 05, 2006

Language and national character

After reading this book and some other materials for my intercultural management I've been able to slightly refine an old idea I had about how different languages express and modify the characters of the people that use it. Even though I'm not a linguist I think it's relatively accurate for some, for others I might as well get grilled. Comments are more than welcome.

  • English: good for business and action-oriented. Also good for fantasising.
  • Italian: temperamental.
  • French: philosophical.
  • Finnish: communicate the largest amount of information in the shortest amount of words possible. Also good for creating words.
  • German: precise, pünktlich.
  • Portuguese: playful, but at the same time rather melancholic.
  • Spanish: baroque, but also depends on the speaker. Spanish speakers use it in a much more direct way than, say, Mexican speakers (because their culture is much more direct).
  • Dutch: I'm having my first class today, so maybe I'll be able to tell you something in a year.

Could a Japanese speaker please explain what does no mean?

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