Why Do Our Ethical Views Change When We Speak a Foreign Language

Have you ever wondered how learning languages change you, or if it does at all? The truth is language changes the way we think.

Post preview why do our ethical views change when we speak a foreign language

These changes can sometimes be seen in several areas. This includes our moral values, ethics, even our thought processes. Yes, it is true Learning a second language changes the brain. Keep reading to explore why these things are true.

Speak a Foreign Language

Have You Ever Wondered How Speaking a Foreign Language Affects Personality?

If you learn a foreign language, you truly may find that you undergo some very important personality changes. First, learning any new skill is a great confidence booster. Learning a new language is no different. It is an important accomplishment and comes with a true sense of pride.

However, that isn’t the only way this accomplishment can change your personality. That new feeling of confidence may also come along with a sense of curiosity and adventure. It’s much easier to travel and to interact with other cultures if you know you can communicate in the native language. This goes for traveling abroad, or even something as simple as eating dinner in an ethnic restaurant or going to watch a foreign film. The more languages you know, the more you become a person of the world.

What About Your Ethics And Moral Values

Learning a new language may not make you a moral or ethical person if you aren’t one already. However, it may cause you to let go of some assumptions, preconceived notions, and black and white thinking. This is because learning a new language nearly always involves learning about other cultures.

Here’s an example. Imagine being raised to believe that a certain country and your native land are enemies. Maybe there have been wars between to the two countries. Perhaps there is simply deep-seated rivalry and competition. In some cases, these conflicts may be due to differing religious or cultural values and practices. Whatever the case may be, you see the country and its people as the enemy, maybe even a threat.

Then, you decide to learn their language. Hand in hand with that, you learn more about the people and their traditions. You learn about their struggles and history. You begin to understand that the things that happened throughout time aren’t always objectively right or wrong. Ultimately you begin to understand that it isn’t moral or ethical to pass judgment on another culture without fully understanding it.

Learning a new language is a jumping point to putting your moral and ethical values into perspective. This opens the door to mutually respectful interactions between members of different cultures as well as citizens of different countries.

Foreign Language Can Impact an Entire Culture

The influence of a foreign language on culture can be stronger than people realize. This can be both bad and good. On the negative side, there can be a very reactionary negative reaction when some members of a community speak a different language. Some may express that those people should only speak the language that is most common in that area. Others may even go as far as being offended at having to listen to a foreign language. These sentiments often accompany other fears. Who are these people that don’t speak our language? Why are their customs so different from ours? Are they going to take our jobs? And yes, the sad truth is that there are prejudices often driving these fears.

Now the positive! These fears and uncertainties don’t always win over. In many cases, introducing a foreign language to a culture creates diversity. The prejudices fade away and cultures are able to intermingle with one another in the same community. Even better, they can do so while also maintaining their unique cultural identities. Some of the most vibrant cities and neighborhoods have several languages that are spoken within them.

Read also: How to choose professional document translation services for immigration?


Consider learning a foreign language. It could truly have a positive impact on your worldview, your values, and your confidence. If nothing else, embrace the value that different cultures bring to the places where you live and work.