Hold it together. Nobody wants to see their parents cry and particularly not their dad. I watched these farewells play out all weekend as other parents were going through the same ritual. A lot of moms were crying, not many dads, and few if any students. Similar differences played out across different ethnic groups, with affective cultures doing little to disguise their tears and neutral ones looking stoic.
Grace knows me too well to not have seen through my artificial smile and wavering voice but I kept a stiff upper lip as I gave her a final hug and watched her walk away. Emotions play a powerful part in every relationship - first and foremost among our family but also among our friends and colleagues.
But many of these tips will get you in trouble if blindly applied to colleagues and friends in a diverse and global world. So what do we do? Even if we could, those generalizations are often wrong. Emotional Intelligence is the first step. Emotional intelligence, the ability to detect and manage the emotions of yourself and others, is proven to play a critical role in being a strong leader, fostering team collaboration, and forging healthy family relationships.
And cultural intelligence is built from a premise of self-awareness, a critical part of emotional intelligence. Emotions are universal. There is a set of universal triggers that elicit the same emotion in nearly all of us. For example, the sight of something coming straight at you triggers fear, regardless of your personality or culture. A similar trigger occurs when experiencing the unexpected, such as rough turbulence in flight. There are important norms worth learning for various situations and cultures that guide how much we should unveil our emotions. We all make the same faces.
I was initially skeptical of this finding. But through a series of renowned, peer-reviewed studies, Ekman makes a convincing case that people all over the world signal happiness with the corners of their mouths up and their eyes contracted. Anger is expressed with the corners of the mouth down and sadness is expressed with the eyelids drooping. Even individuals who have been blind from birth manifest the same nonverbal expressions.
And Ekman found that indigenous tribes without exposure to outside groups used some of the same basic facial expressions as others around the world. We disguise our emotions differently. In the present study the subjects did not know what was being investigated, so they did not take note of the fact that language change might affect their expression of emotions. There is often discrepancy between human behaviour and the perception of this behaviour, which is why the current study was designed as a covert experiment.
The study was conducted during two weeks of classes at the university and consisted of three stages. In the first part, the subjects were given a task: a short text which they were to translate. They were randomly divided into two groups; one translated the text from L1 Polish into L2 English, and the other from L2 English into L1 Polish both versions of the source text are included in Appendix S1. The time to do the first part was not limited, but the majority of the participants finished it in under 20 minutes. In the next stage, the subjects were given a list of the swear words which had appeared in the source text.
Once all the questionnaires were analysed by the experimenter, a list of all the translated words was created and sent to the participants via Internet, as an online survey. In this way, each participant evaluated their own translation of the original words. Thus, the comparison of the level of offensiveness between the source and the target words was made by the participants themselves, which gave more insightful data than would a subjective judgment of the experimenters. The participants provided verbal informed consent to take part in the study. Such a form of consent is customarily used in Poland in studies on adult student samples.
The consent procedures were detailed in a description submitted to the institutional review board Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw , where they were granted final approval in June The participants were granted full anonymity of the data gathered for the analyses. The final results were subsequently available to them by request a possibility of which they had been informed before taking part in the study. The first step was to calculate the mean offensiveness of the source and target words in both groups.
Then, using Repeated Measures ANOVA, the levels of offensiveness between the source and the target words were compared for both groups. The within-subject variable was the words source vs. The dependent variable was the level of offensiveness. The results are presented in Figure 1. Ethnophaulisms included all and only those swear words from the text that referred to social or ethnic groups.
The within-subject variables were i the words source vs. It turned out that the significant differences in offensiveness between the source and the target words appear only in the case of ethnophaulisms.
The post-hoc analyses showed that:. These effects did not appear in the case of other swear words. The results are presented in Figure 2. Due to their explicit language which may have the potential of offending some readers, the most extreme examples of the effects observed are presented separately in Translation Samples S1 and S2.
The relevant expressions are in bold. In these translations some of the swear words were omitted, intentionally or not, while a lot of them were softened. In the last translation there are virtually no swear words, as none of the insulting words used there can be considered an expletive. It is the most extreme case, which, however, may result from the fact that this person generally does not swear or considers it unacceptable. It can be a premise that some people feel too limited by social norms and they are not able to breach them. In the remaining translations into English, the swear words supplied by the subjects were more offensive than in the source texts.
In some cases not only were the existing swear words strengthened, but also some more expletives were added. Some representative examples of the English translations are presented in point 2 of Translation Samples S2, with the relevant expressions in bold. The ERLC theory in the case of swearing implicates two different hypotheses: it is easier to swear in a foreign language either because it distances the speaker emotionally from the expressed content or it exempts them from the social constraints concerning using swear words.
The research confirmed the normative influence hypothesis. Bilinguals find it easier to swear and to offend out-groups in L2. Even though the participants were bilingual, the results of the study can reasonably be extrapolated to all people who know a foreign language at a communicative level. It transpires that the foreign language exempts us from our own or socially imposed norms and limitations and makes us more prone to swearing and offending others. On the one hand, our findings are consistent with those cited in the literature overview.
On the other, they bring a fresh perspective into research on language choice in bilinguals. However, it must be underlined that whereas previous investigations in this area concentrated on establishing which language bilinguals prefer to express emotional content, we have revealed what exactly influences their choice. Additionally, Dewaele highlighted factors which might affect the use of swearwords in multilinguals and pointed out that the cultural background is closely linked to swearing in L2, as it released the speakers from the social stigma of using expletives.
Still, this finding was not contrasted with the emotional factor. Such contrasting was performed in our study and, as the effect was observed only in the case of normatively protected expletives, it turns out that it is social norms and limitations that really motivates bilinguals to swear in L2.
It thus appears that if the emotion-laden words are at the same level of social acceptance, there should be no difference for bilinguals as for in which language to express them. In relation to the ERLC study, the question arises whether the results were not caused by the context of the experiment—it was conducted in Poland by a Polish experimenter. Could it have been the fact that the subjects were in their homeland—the place where L1 is spoken — that made them too constrained by the applicable norms and as a result they softened the words when translating into Polish?
Given that the experiment was carried out at university in a class which would normally take place in the English language, this concern can be dismissed. Still, it is worth investigating whether, had the study been conducted in a different context, the subjects would have felt equally or more comfortable swearing in their L1.
There is also the problem of different constraints present in the Polish and English cultures, which are conveyed through the language. One may argue that in English-speaking countries it is more common to hear swear words in public, e. On the other hand, political correctness emanating from the Anglo-Saxon culture is definitely more rooted in English than in Polish. The subject were Polish-French bilingual students, with L2 French. Polish discourse was thought to convey values and judgments in a more explicit way than French, which was supposed to be more implicit and subtle.
Indeed the results showed that those participants who were asked to complete the prejudice questionnaire in L2 French ascribed more humanity to black people.
Thus, it seems that even if L1 and L2 may differ in their level of tolerance for swear words and ethnophaulisms, this kind of emotional content may always be more easily expressed in L2. The implications for future research should include conducting more experiments of this kind, but trying to make subjects produce texts spontaneously, preferably to express their own views, so that it will be more certain that the production of the material required activating emotional processes.
It is also worth considering carrying out the experiments in the contexts of two languages and comparing the results. The normative influence discovery undoubtedly opens new perspective in the research on language choice in bilinguals. It proves that there is something more to it than the straightforward emotional distancing explanation. The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to the completion of this article. We express our thanks to Barry Keane, Ph. Finally, our deep sense of gratitude goes to the students for their agreement to participate in the study.
Performed the experiments: MG. Analyzed the data: MG MB. Browse Subject Areas? Click through the PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Abstract Bilinguals often switch languages depending on what they are saying. Introduction Over centuries, language and its influence on the functioning of human beings has evoked wide interest and fascination. ERLC as the Way to Emotional Spontaneity An interesting real-life proof for ERLC being triggered by the greater emotionality of L1 can be found in the diary of famous bilingual writer Eva Hoffman, who describes her dilemmas concerning the choice of language for writing her memoirs — her native Polish, or English, the language of the environment she was in at the time when the events she wanted to account for were happening.
Overview of the Present Study Based on existing literature one could derive two alternative hypotheses about the easiness of swearing in L1 and L2. Methods Participants The participants of the present study were 61 students of Applied Linguistics and English Philology at the University of Warsaw, 11 men and 50 women at the age from 21 to Procedure and Measures The experiment is different from previous studies on swearing from the methodological point of view. Ethics Statement The participants provided verbal informed consent to take part in the study.
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Results The first step was to calculate the mean offensiveness of the source and target words in both groups. Download: PPT. Figure 1. Translation direction and perceived offensiveness of expressions used. Figure 2. Ethnophaulisms vs. Discussion The ERLC theory in the case of swearing implicates two different hypotheses: it is easier to swear in a foreign language either because it distances the speaker emotionally from the expressed content or it exempts them from the social constraints concerning using swear words.
Supporting Information. Appendix S1. Stimulus materials source texts in L1 Polish and L2 English. Translation samples S1. Translation samples S2. Acknowledgments The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to the completion of this article. References 1. Paradowski MB Multilingualism — assessing benefits. In: Komorowska H, editor. Issues in Promoting Multilingualism. Teaching — Learning — Assessment. Warsaw: Foundation for the Development of the Education System. Wierzbicka A Preface: Bilingual lives, bilingual experience.enter
34 Emotional Words and Phrases to Express Your Feelings in French
View Article Google Scholar 4. Int J Biling 12 4 : — View Article Google Scholar 5. Pavlenko A Emotion and emotion-laden words in the bilingual lexicon. Keynote article. Biling Lang Cogn 11 2 : — View Article Google Scholar 6. New York: Penguin Books. Pavlenko A Emotions and Multilingualism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Dewaele J-M Expressing anger in multiple languages. In: Pavlenko A, editor.
Emotional intelligence doesn't translate
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. J Soc Psychol 2 : — View Article Google Scholar Psychol Sci J Neurosci 32 19 : —9. Thierry G, Wu YJ Brain potentials reveal unconscious translation during foreign-language comprehension. PNAS —5.
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