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  1. jutfrank's Avatar
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    #41

    Re: Do you think learning a language requires empathy?

    I don't think Paul Bernard is using language particularly. He's using a whole set of manipulative techniques.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #42

    Re: Do you think learning a language requires empathy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    I've been thinking about another case of how empathy correlates with using language. What do you think about sociopaths?
    Two points. I believe that empathy certainly affects the way we use language. But that's a bit different from learning a language. I'm sure that the empathy between a parent and child is a huge facilitating factor in the child learning language. Also, the empathy with which one views a certain foreign culture would affect the learning of that culture's language.

    The second point is that a lack of empathy is pretty much a sin qua non of being a psychopath. What we see with psychopaths is not empathy (which is a type of sharing in the feelings of others), but learnt linguistic behaviours that draw upon a more cognitive, rather than affective, understanding of what to say and how to say it in a way that is likely to get the psychopath what they need. It's an acting role in which no actual correlation between feeling and language need exist.

  3. Senior Member
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    #43

    Re: Do you think learning a language requires empathy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Also, the empathy with which one views a certain foreign culture would affect the learning of that culture's language.
    I couldn't agree more. My personal story confirms it (for me, at least).

    Back when I was in primary school, I was to choose the language I would be learning as my school subject. Because of the huge disproportion between the children who wanted to learn English, and those who wanted to learn other languages, the school decided to do a background check. Only the kids with prior education (I wasn't one of them) were allowed to choose English as their subject. The other two alternatives were Russian and German. I wasn't thrilled to have to learn either of them, to say the least.

    The Polish have a certain level of aversion towards anything that has to do with Germany or Russia because of hundreds of years of not exactly friendly relationship between our countries. There are many extreme stereotypes about Russia and Germany, which is somewhat comparable to the "inherited hate" between the English and the French. When I was in primary school, I felt as if I were being forced to learn "the language of the enemy" against my will, which definitely demotivated me to learning it.

    When I went to high school, I lied in my application that I had been learning English and wanted to continue it. This placed me in a group of students who had had at least 9 years of experience with learning English, while I had none. I felt like I was finally given the opportunity I'd always wanted to be given. Unlike how it had been with learning German, I didn't treat English as just a subject I had to learn at school. I sincirelly wanted to learn how to speak it. I started doing my own research, and quickly went ahead of my peers, becoming the best student in my class. I was absolutely fascinated and awestruck by how different languages can be, which prompted me to learning other languages. I learned Latin, Dutch, Spanish, and any language I could lay my hands on. I believe the English language was what made me develop that passion, and I can only wonder how it would've turned out had I been given the opportunity to learn it in primary school.

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    The second point is that a lack of empathy is pretty much a sin qua non of being a psychopath. What we see with psychopaths is not empathy (which is a type of sharing in the feelings of others), but learnt linguistic behaviours that draw upon a more cognitive, rather than affective, understanding of what to say and how to say it in a way that is likely to get the psychopath what they need. It's an acting role in which no actual correlation between feeling and language need exist.
    Thank you. This was almost a textbook explanation, which is precisely what I needed. I feel I now understand how it works.
    Last edited by Glizdka; 03-Jun-2019 at 13:59.

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