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Langues et cultures

You are more likely to deny the truth in your second language

Mis à jour : 11 Avr 2018

Source: The Conversation, January 9th, 2018

Whether you’re speaking in your native tongue, or in another language, being understood and believed is fundamental to good communication. After all, a fact is a fact in any language, and a statement that is objectively true should just be considered true, whether presented to you in English, Chinese or Arabic.

However, our research suggests that the perception of truth is slippery when viewed through the prism of different languages and cultures. So much so that people who speak two languages can accept a fact in one of their languages, while denying it in the other.

Bilingual people often report that they feel different when switching from one language to another. Take Karin, a fictitious bilingual, for example. She might use German informally at home with family, in the pub, and while watching football. But she uses English for more structured, professional aspects of her life as an international lawyer. Read more... >>>>>>

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