Why does language influence emotions? Without a doubt, a word, a song or a scent can affect our mood. Human beings are highly sensitive to words, we know that hearing an “I love you”, “I care about you”, or “I miss you” can change our emotions in an instant. And it is that, the meaning of certain words arouses our emotions and the languages in which we pronounce and listen to them as well. The tone used in the words according to the different languages also influences and this is reflected in the reactions they cause. It can be perfectly observed in the case of small children and in the case of pets, the same word can arouse completely different reactions and emotions depending on the tone with which we pronounce them.
Emotions begin to be cultivated early, as soon as we enter the world and begin to perceive the feelings and words that resonate in our home. Therefore, for each person, the words learned in childhood have a particular emotional impact. Mom, dad, aunt, grandfather, grandmother, etc. These are words that revive memories and manage to make those past times take control of our adult lives again. But of course, it is not the same if we listen to them in our mother tongue, which translates it into different languages, where it loses part of that feeling. It doesn’t bring us back to childhood memories, so it doesn’t have the same result.
According to studies, native languages are acquired in emotionally rich contexts, something that does not happen with foreign languages, which are internalized in academic environments that are colder and more neutral in terms of emotions. It is shown that people are more emotional in our mother tongue than in a foreign one. We think more coldly in a foreign language than in the native one and our actions are less influenced by emotions when we use a foreign language. To conclude, it is important to remember Nelson Mandela’s phrase: “If you address a person in a language he understands, those words will go to his head, but if you do it in his native language, the words will reach his heart”.