Example Of Essay On Language And Identity
The term identity is used to describe the nature of a person, who they are in terms of gender, personality, language, nationality and behavior. The identity of a person sets them apart from other people and makes a person recognized as the person they are. For instance, the name of a person also contributes to their identity in addition to their physical attributes, culture and character. Self identity defines the way I perceive myself. The language used determines my self-perception in different circumstances. Self-perception is influenced by factors that make the person fell good or bad about themselves such as dressing and language. The essay discusses the role of the choice of the language used by a person in understanding their personality. It also explains the different ways in which the language of a person could influence their personalty.
The language used changes self perception depending on the environment in which it is used and the context of the conversation. For instance, there is the common perception that knowing and speaking fluent English shows that a person is learned and smart, especially if applied in other countries besides the mother country where the mother tongue is the dominant language. For instance, whenever I am among my peers and out in the public, I prefer to use English because it is associated with a higher social status and being stylish. In short, English is the language I speak out in the public and during professional events.
However, during peer interaction, the English spoken is not always grammatically correct. We tend to mix up Arabic, proper English and slang. On the other hand, Arabic is the home language. I use it in the house when I am around family. Besides, there is nothing I need to prove regarding my social status or education level since they know me well. It may seem normal and unsophisticated to speak Arabic. There are cases in which I switch dialects immediately. For instance, when my peers show up, my dialect immediately shifts to English. The use of English makes me feel sophisticated and outstanding whereas the use of Arabic makes me feel comfortable and normal.
The Primary Shapers of my Identity
The society has put in so much emphasis on the “good” kind of personality, thus, forcing many people to be hypocritical of who they are. For instance, I do not think the length of the hair or the behavior of a person should be used to define their gender identity or moral status. They simply define their personal identity. However, the society has a strong influence in the manner that people conduct themselves. For instance, the society defines the roles that a particular people should engage in. The roles could be based on the family of origin or the gender.
There are instances in which the language I applied is one that is considered incompatible with a person of my gender, family and caliber. When relating with my peers, I tend to apply the trendiest way of speaking and the choice of words is sometimes one that the society would automatically disapprove. During my early teenage years, the use of curse words was common among my peers. My upbringing was strict and religious and the use of curse words and swearing words was prohibited. Hearing curse and swearing words made me uncomfortable. However, during early teenage, cursing and swearing was part of the everyday language that my peers used. The constant interaction with people that applied such words got into me and I brought myself to the use of those words. It happens until now. Such words identify a person with an easy and trendy lifestyle that us up to date with the latest language.
The rate at which I switch dialects is rapid and depends on the person I am interacting with. For instance, the language I use with my siblings is different from the language I use with the elders in my family. As much as Arabic is the dominant language around the house, the changing of dialects is common because of the different levels of interaction within the house. I could say that I switch dialects as much as I change clothes.
There are different levels of social interactions that I apply, and for each group, I apply a different language and different words. However, the use of improper English and improper language as the society puts it has become a part of who I am. Sometimes it slips through my tongue and people such as my parents are surprised because it is different from the person they think I am. However, the use of the common language, English, and the use of slang and curse words during expression portray my easy going personality. Language is very important in self expression.
I experience myself differently with the use of the different languages. For instance, the use of English in communication makes me feel like myself. It makes me feel free and unrestricted by societal norms and beliefs regarding how I should behave and who I should be. The use of proper English makes me feel official and serious. Whenever I want to assume a serious ad professional personality, I apply the correct English, expressions and posture. Such makes me feel more confident and bold. Speaking Arabic is okay but it does not give me the different personality characteristics that speaking English in different ways does. English is, thus, my public and professional language depending on the location of the professional assignment.
The language that a person chooses to use shapes their personality as much as it is shaped by their personality. Language use could be used to determine the social status of a person, their moral values and their conformity to societal norms. Extreme cursing, for instance, could be an indication of a rebellious personality and a bitter soul. Extreme courtesy in the language that is used by the person could also be an indication of conservativeness. However, different personalities express their personalities differently, and not only through language. A person could use pure Arabic to communicate because they do not know English. That does not mean that their personalities are affected by the use of the Arabic language. The use of English does not show that a person is outgoing automatically.