When we talk about emotions and plurilingualism


Une fois n'est pas coutume, je vous propose ici l'article que j'ai écrit dans le cadre du Projet Erasmus+ dans lequel je suis engagée.
Il parle des émotions et de l'importance de prendre ces derniers en compte car ils font partie intégrante de notre personnalité et donc de la manière dont nous nous exprimons et sommes en mesure de transmettre nos langues à nos enfants.


Bonne lecture et j'espère avoir vos retours et vos commentaires.




"Parler est une improvisation en continu dans laquelle


il faut décoder en permanence ce que l'autre veut faire, veut dire.


Il faut, pour échanger avec l'autre, être capable de prendre


sa perspective et c'est d'autant plus crucial


dans la communication interculturelle"[1]
Joëlle Aden




Living in Finland and using French at home, a Finnish mother married with a Frenchman told me: "Quand je me fâche, je le fais en finnois, pour être sûre qu'elles comprennent" (when I get cross, I use Finnish to be sure that they understand). It is interesting to notice that this mother uses her mother tongue, Finnish, when she gets cross with her children. When another day, I met a French mother living in Ireland, I was surprised to hear her say that she uses her Irish husband's main language (i.e. English) to get cross with her children; here's what she said to me:




Ça a été, c'était toujours en français. C'est l'affectif qui est plus… français


Isabelle : D'accord. A votre égard ?


A mon égard, ou moi, si j'm'fâche, je vais m'fâcher en anglais. {rires}


Isabelle :  D'accord.


Je sais pas pourquoi. Ça sort mieux en anglais qu'en français.


Isabelle : D'accord, mais s'ils tombent, c'est en français ?


Sinon, s'ils tombent c'est en français.


Isabelle : Consoler en anglais, c'est plus compliqué ?


Ouais, je sais pas pourquoi, c'est, ou même je vois, sur les terrains de rugby, je vais les encourager en français.


Isabelle : Ah oui, quand même. D'accord. Je dirais, en résumé, l'amour en français, rouspéter en anglais ?





Recently a mother from Mauritius who decided not to speak creole to her children told me she uses that language when she is getting cross with them. You could then wonder whether or not the children are associating the language that their mother is using with (the feeling of) anger which she has. Has Finnish or English or Creole become a language associated with anger for these children? 


Fear, happiness, disgust, sadness, anger, surprise, these are the six fundamental emotions. They are part of our daily lives. We are happy or sad; we all experience surprise or fear. Emotions such as shame, envy, love, empathy are linked to social and relational contexts. We all fall in love; we all hate something. We all express these according to the words and the culture we have been brought up in, as well as the language and the expressions of these emotions in the culture which we grew up with. Before we can talk about emotions among plurilingual families and the impact the use of a certain language can have on the emotions of family members, it is important to understand what a language is and to look at emotions from a psychological perspective.


Aden (2013) describes the language -the way we are talking and speaking- as an unconscious act which gives us the possibility to say, to think and to tell about us. This is paradoxical as we did not choose our "first" language, it was "imposed" on us. Languages are imbedded in our identities; they are part of our everyday lives. We cannot live without a language. We experience life through language. We have been immersed in our mother tongue which gives us a deep understanding of the way the language is used with certain people and in certain contexts. We know how to tell and retell such or such an event and to whom.  We know how to bite our tongues or to appreciate poetry. Beside our first language which we acquired naturally, it is possible to learn another language. When we do so, we are being given some useful "tool boxes" (Aden 2013) into which words, grammatical structures are equivalent to others. The learning processes of these languages are based on methodologies and approaches using those tool boxes. In fact, instead of acquiring tools, learning a language should be more about "understanding" that language, more about the affect behind the language, and behind the words. Aden quotes Cyrulnik (1993: 44)


"Avant de parler, il faut aimer. Pour apprendre une langue, il ne faut pas seulement assimiler les sons, les mots, les règles, il faut acquérir la manière d'y traduire les sentiments"[3]


The language that we use unconsciously on an everyday basis is intrinsically linked to the feelings that the words are carrying.


Emotions help us do things or they prevent us from doing them. They can hinder us or push us into acting. Emotions drive us into making choices and taking decisions, which could have an impact on what we do. They are a reaction towards something or somebody. They are "moving us outside our position of balance" (Heuyer, 1952)[4]. Emotions are very important for what we do, what we say, what we talk about and what we share. They are necessary for a harmonious way of life. They are universal. Emotions are culturally and linguistically constructed. However, they are expressed differently across cultures and languages, and it is thus important to take these differences and the language with which they are expressed into account. Hindering our emotions because we cannot express ourselves in a language which is not ours, because we have to use the language which we are surrounded by, could sometimes have tonic-emotional[5] consequences.


Which language do we use to express ourselves according to the emotions we are feeling? Can a language affect our emotions? Can it impact the way we feel? Do we change language according to our emotions? Do bilingual people shift languages when they talk about emotions or are emotionally affected? Would the use of a certain language affect the emotions and the manner emotions are perceived among plurilingual families? Can a language affect the way we think, feel and communicate? These are some of the many questions that can be asked and should be asked, especially when working with bilingual and plurilingual children and families, as well as with migrants and refugee families.


The research has mostly focused on "the bilingual brain" and "the bilingual memory" – both linked to the neuroscience of bilingualism. It also focused on the emotions when learning a language (Puozzo Capron & Piccardo, 2013)[6]. We have decided to get interested in emotions in the bilingual lives, in the lives of the bilingual speakers, what they feel when using their languages, what language they use when their feelings are affected. This is a more psycholinguistic approach to bilingualism and emotions which would help to better understand the lives and reactions of people who are living with more than one language and between several cultures. Understanding the link between languages and emotions will also help us to be able to assist and support them. It is important to comprehend and acknowledge the importance of the emotions linked to languages when we are working with migrants, refugees and children from mixed bi-national families and trying to understand their problems and their needs. Very often when we (as language consultants, speech-therapists, educators, teachers, social workers, etc.) work with families using several languages, the links between the language which is being used and the emotions linked to that language are not understood, forgotten and/or even denied. Those links are important as they allow us to understand people's reactions, and thus their feelings and/or emotions when they are told something or they are explaining something.


In her article "Bilingualism and Emotions"[7], Pavlenko (2002) quotes the Polish-American writer Eva Hoffman (1989). In her novel, Lost in Translation, Hoffman recalls her own secondary socialization as a process that distanced her from her parents and their emotional world:


"My mother says I'm becoming 'English'. This hurts me, because I know she means I'm becoming cold. I'm no colder than I've ever been, but I'm learning to be less demonstrative. (Hoffman, 1989:146)" (Pavlenko, 2002, 9).


In this example, we see how Hoffman who is of Polish origin reacts to the English language. She sees it as a cold language, a language where people are less demonstrative.  In the same article, Pavlenko adds: "Wierzbicka suggests that it is not accidental that emotion verbs are disappearing from modern English, as the Anglo culture encourages people ‘to be glad’ rather than ‘to rejoice’, or ‘to be angry’ rather than ‘to fume’ or ‘to rage’."[8] Hoffman and Wierzbicka consider English as a cold language, a non-emotional language. Let's look at another example from the multilingual German Sinologue Christoph Harbsmeier (2004) (quoted by Wierzbicka) who explained how language can influence our thoughts and our ways of being and feeling:


"A change of language brings with it a change of role. When I speak French, I can't stop making gestures with my hands. I learnt Danish at Oxford, because my wife-to-be, who is Danish did not like my Anglophone personality: when I was speaking English, I was becoming too intellectual. Fortunately, she liked my Danish personality."[9]


Even as a late learner of Danish, his attitude and his way of being change according to that language when he uses it. The same happens for every bi- or pluri-lingual person, whether adult, teenager or child, depending also on the level of fluency they have in the language which is not their first one. There is a shift of attitude, we are entering a kind of "new self", of "different self".


Talking about this "new self" or "different self", it is interesting to reflect on what Wierzbicka calls a "trajectory of feeling". When we move, when we change country or change language, there is a shift of feeling. When working with refugee, migrants or bi-national families, we can then create a "map of feelings" which could help study and understand the emotions people have to the environment and the landscapes. In her research, Wierzbicka points out that the word "emotion" is being used instead of "feeling" because it is less subjective. 'Emotions', she writes, are something else than just "feelings"[10] (Wierzbicka, 1999), which are deeper. Emotions are more than just linguistic and cultural; they are local constructions. "Emotions" are more objective. They are biological and have a social basis, whereas "feelings" make references to a person's body; in other words, you cannot show or point out anger or joy to someone, but you can feel anger or joy. "Feelings" are not one "thing"; they are immaterial. Emotions are "conveyed by a particular linguistic means" which differs "not only cross-culturally but also across individuals, across contexts, and across emotions categories" (Pavlenko, 2002). Wierzbicka also underlines the fact that the word "emotion" does not have a translation in all the languages, whereas the word "feeling" does. This is an interesting remark as it shows the difficulties that some people could have when talking about emotions, since for them they may only be feelings. The immateriality of the feelings is very important to understand. Panayiatou defines “emotion as a subcategory of feelings (Levy, 1984) which help organise thoughts and behaviour (Lutz, 1988)”[11]. She adds: "Without negating the bodily component of emotions, I argue that emotions are language dependent (Searle, 1995), as the raw or bodily experience of an emotion must be filtered through a cultural meaning-making system (Parrot & Harre´, 1996), i.e. language, before it can be defined as an emotion. Language, then, is assumed to both actively construct and reconstruct emotions (Pavlenko, 2002a)”. We see here that emotions are not translatable in every language and thus the difficulty for some people to express them with words. Wierzbicka also insists on the fact that the vocabulary of emotions is different from language to language and that people's feeling are specific to a particular language (Wierzbicka, 2009), and thus a specific culture. Hereunder, we are going to use the word emotion, even though we are including the idea of “feelings” in the word we use.




Emotions among bi- and pluri-linguals


Recent literature (Pavlenko, 2004; Dewaele, 2004; Wierzbiecka, 2009; Chen 2012; Puozzo & Piccardo, 2013; Weinreb & Rofe, 2013)puts forward the idea that the language acquired first often has a bigger emotional importance and strength than the second language. For example, anger can often be expressed more intensely in the first language than in the second language. We can refer here to the Finnish mother quoted in the introduction; who wanted to be sure that her children understood what she was telling them.  If she had used a second (foreign) language to express her anger, there would then be an emotional distance. We have such a distance in the quotation of the French mother at the beginning who uses a second language to express anger. She distances herself from her mother tongue when she wants to get cross with her children. This distance which is called "a reduced emotional resonance of the language" allows some bilingual people to talk more easily about difficult matters or to take decisions in the "other language" because they do not have the same emotional link to that language. 


"For bilingual people, living with two languages can mean indeed living in two different emotional worlds and also travelling back and forth between those two worlds. It can also mean living suspended between two worlds, frequently misinterpreting other people’s feelings and intentions, and being misinterpreted oneself, even when on the surface communication appears to proceed smoothly"[12]


We see how important it is to take emotions into account and to let people use the language of their choice when they need to express themselves in happy moments, but also unhappy ones. Not understanding that emotions are expressed differently across languages and cultures would and could create misunderstanding and frustration. The emotional distance would then create a utilitarian use of the other language (Reiter, 2017) where emotions are absent and actions are taking precedence over feelings.


When a conversation becomes very emotional, bilingual people tend to change language. The emotions they feel can make them change language as they are better able to express what they want to say in the language they master best. When bilingual people use code-switching, or to be more exact, language-switching, it can also be a sign of emotions – it shows a preference for words either to express emotions, or to talk about those emotions. Panayiotou (2004) considers that: "codeswitching is particularly noteworthy because it shows that bilinguals are indeed ‘delving into the bag of emotion terms’ and choosing what they find as most appropriate when speaking with another bilingual, regardless of the language context."[13] In other words, it is because either they do not have the exact words in the language, or because they feel the words they are using would not have the same meaning. Panayiotou adds: “a change in codes (languages) implies, at least to a certain extent, a change in the cultural or social code used, but also vice versa / that a change in context implies a shift in language.”[14]. For her, “a bilingual can reach into the bag of emotion terms and pick out the one that is most suitable, provided that the interlocutor is also bilingual. This explanation would be consistent with what I was told in one of my interviews, that being bilingual is like having a palette with more colours: whereas monolinguals have some colours with which to paint their emotions, bilinguals have even more and can thus use a greater variety of emotions.”[15] Codeswitching is being used “when certain emotion terms were seen as more appropriate in one language versus the other. It appears then that bilinguals offer an optimal pool for cross-cultural comparison of emotion terms”[16]. These palette of colours and bag of emotion terms are important tools that we need to develop when working with bi-national, migrant and/or refugee families, as each of them would have a different palette and a different bag.


The language used by parents to speak to and talk with their children as well as to express their emotions will in turn influence the way children will experience emotions and have feelings in and about a language in particular (Chen, 2012). It is important for the emotional development of the children to let the parents use with their children the language they feel happier to use and the most confident into. If parents cannot express their feelings and emotions, because they are lacking the words in a language, it would affect the children's development, the tonic-emotional dialogue we mentioned earlier. The emotional aptitude of a child is shaped by the multilingual environment in which it lives. In programs designed for migrant and/or refugee families, it is very important to take into account the fact that the emotional development is linked to languages as the use of languages has an emotional impact.


Let's imagine a bilingual family where the mother is Italian and the father is British. The mother would speak Italian to her children and the father English. Suppose the mother uses English when she gets cross with her children; then the children will associate English with anger and will think this language is a language for unkindness. The mother has changed code to talk to her children; she also changed as she was not happy. This create an association between the language and the emotion. At the same time, she was using a language-code she may not master fully to express her feelings about the anger she has. It is thus very important that we, as language professionals, allow and encourage parents to use their mother tongue, their first language, to express the feelings they have, especially to their children. When people speak, they improvise all the time, they do not repeat something they have learned. Speaking in a language which is not your first language hinders improvisation, the flow of what you want to say, because you have to think about the words you are using and the meaning of those words in accordance to the manner you have learnt them.


Let's imagine a family where Dutch and French are being used. Words that you could use in Dutch would have no equivalent in French or would not have the same meaning. The Dutch language uses a lot of diminutive to express affection, which cannot be transferred into French. Words such as "mijn zusje", mijn broetje", literally mean "ma petite sœur" (my little sister), "mon petit frère" (my little brother). However, in Dutch, they have affective connotations, because the "zusje" is the "little" sister, but she does not have to be younger, she can be older. She is the sister that you affectionate, for whom you have deep love feelings. To express the same in French or English, we would have to create a periphrasis. The flow of the language would then not be as smooth. We can see that the use of some words, the vocabulary to express emotions do differ from language to language. Thus, a Dutch speaker who is talking about his/her "zusje" implies more than just talking about his/her sister; there is some affection in the word used which cannot be translated directly into another language, since the affection resides in the word itself. It shows a cultural gap between the language used by the Dutch and the expression of the same feelings by people of another language.


Besemeres (2004) quotes: "Take the word ‘happy,’ perhaps one of the most frequently used words in Basic American. The Polish word for ‘happy’ (and I believe this also holds for other Slavic languages) has a much more restricted meaning; it is generally reserved for rare states of profound bliss, or total satisfaction with serious things such as love, family, the meaning of life. Accordingly, it is not used as often as ‘happy’ is in American common parlance. The question one hears at parties / ‘Is everybody happy?’ / if translated literally into Polish, would seem to come from a metaphysical treatise or a political utopia rather than from social chitchat. (1990: 12)"[17].


These are just two examples showing how the use of one word can have deep meaning in one language and is not translatable in another.


The way people are talking and the words they use are very much linked to their language and culture. When talking, even about simple things, Italian people need their hands to talk; they use them a lot more than someone from Ireland for example. This is part of their culture; this use of hands can be seen as aggressive in some other countries and cultures, where the use of hands is "not-permitted" when talking, whilst an Italian person who has to keep their hands still would not feel that he/she is talking "normally". These are only a few among many examples, however they show the importance of feelings and emotions which are behind the words and culture using them. Their expression must be taken into account.  Another important sign of emotions can also be found in the non-verbal communication of feeling. The smile is a good example of non-verbal communication. Strange as it may seem, smiling means different things across cultures and in our work with migrants, refugees and bi-national families, it is also important to take into account those differences we encounter in the non-verbal communication of feelings. Research on non-verbal behaviour carried out in non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic) societies, show that the "positive perceptions of smiling individuals" is not universal (Krys, 2015). This would need another article. However, let’s just mention the fact that in Japan for example, smiling is not accepted as a normal show of kindness; the Germans, like the Americans, smile often, it shows politeness; smiling at strangers is perceived as a sign of stupidity in Poland; in Russia, smiling is rare and only for a good reason.[18] Smiling is done according cultural norms and values, a point we must not forget when we work with bi-national, migrant and/or refugee families. Smiles "are used to communicate a range of different psychological signals, including positive emotions, social intentions, or a person’s social status" (Matsumoto and Willingham, 2009)"[19].


Research in linguistics suggests that when bilingual people switch languages, their emotions switch as well (Chen, 2012). Bilingual parents may use a specific language to express an emotional concept because they feel that this language in particular provides a better cultural context for expressing the emotion. For example, a native Finnish speaker may be more likely to use English to tell her children that she loves them because it is uncommon to explicitly express emotions in Finnish (Chen, 2012). It is also sometimes easier to curse in a language which is not your mother language because of the emotional distance you may have with the language.


Anxiety is an important feeling; people who feels anxiety would often question themselves as anxiety would challenge them; it could also make them underestimate themselves. People who are anxious could then lack confidence and have difficulties in acting and entering in contact with people. Anxiety is a feeling you encounter amongst migrants and refugees who do not know what tomorrow will be made of. Thus, the change of language would allow them to protect themselves from the feelings they have. Letting them express themselves in a language that they master best and asking for the help of a translator could help them better express what they really feel and what they are looking for. It is thus important to let people use the language of their preference, usually their first language, to express what they are feeling and what affects them. However, it happens that some refugees and migrants are wishing to forget about their past and choose to make a complete language shift.




Emotions in the bilingual education of children


"Words play a central role in the emotional interactions between parents and children" (Chen, 2012). Language plays an essential role in the development of a child’s emotions. The language choice of the parents would have an influence. It is thus important to let parents of bilingual children use the language of their "heart" to talk to their child(ren) –usually their first language- because it allows them to be more articulate as well as to discuss feelings with words that they – both parents and children – understand.   The "small space" (Veslázquez, 2019), i.e. the private space of the family, is a place where communication is full of emotions "conveyed through lexical choices, languages choices and code-switching" (Pavlenko, 2004). When parents are choosing a language strategy for their family, this "small place" is of great importance as this is where there is freedom to talk freely in a more emotional manner. We must also not forget that the use of a language in particular (by the parents) to discuss and express emotions also has a huge impact on the children's emotional understanding and experience. For parents, it is essential to use a language with which they are more confident and that they master better, as this would have influence the children's development, a language they have fully integrated, because parents are then able to be more articulate or discuss topics and feelings in a manner they would not be able to in a language which is foreign to them. Moreover, when parents can verbally express their emotions, they contribute to the emotional development of their children and they do that better in their mother tongue or L1. In addition, they give a model on how – according to their own culture – emotions can be articulated, regulated and/or controlled which they cannot necessarily be able to do in a foreign language, even if they master it properly. Some experts believe that bilingual individuals may use a specific language to express specific emotions because that language may provide for a better cultural understanding. It is "an emotion-related language choice" which is made in some families (Chen, 2012), even if some facets of emotion are non-verbal (e.g. facial expressions, autonomic responses, smile…) as we mentioned earlier. Chen adds: "parents’ verbal expressions of emotion can provide children with a model of emotional response in various situations, thus contributing to their children’s understanding of appropriate emotional behavior (Campos & Stenberg, 1981; Halberstadt, 1991; Kennedy-Moore & Watson, 1999)."[20]


The choice of words to convey a specific idea also has a great impact on the emotional development of the children, especially with regards to parents-children relations. Experts and professionals working with immigrant families must not forget that the use of languages has an emotional impact and that denying the right to speak the mother language would and could then have an emotional impact on the parents which would have repercussions on the development of the children. We all infuse our language with emotions. We are thinking here of generations of young people whose parents emigrated and were "forced" to use the local language and not their own. Some young people grew or are growing with parents who were or are denied the right to give their children their language, and what comes with it, i.e. the emotions and the cultures linked to these languages. This would create emotional problems in the new generation because they had or have parents who never really expressed what they were feeling in the language they could express it better into. This created a disconnection between the feelings, the emotions and the language used which then had consequences on the emotional development of the children.  These language gaps in the expression of emotions and feelings can also have consequences on the family cohesion (S. H. Chen et al., 2012; Costigan & Dokis, 2006; Liu, Benner, Lau, & Kim, 2009; Tseng & Fuligni, 2000). The family cohesion and unity are lower when parents and teenagers cannot communicate their feelings and emotions in the same language (Tseng and Fuglini, 2000). Chen (2012) adds:


"parents’ use of their L2 can facilitate the discussion of negative emotional topics and may also serve to diminish the expression and experience of negative emotion. In contrast, parents’ expressions of positive emotions may have more beneficial effects on children’s emotional outcomes when expressed in a shared L1."


A bilingual person speaks two languages. They use a language which is their own and a language which is foreign to them – children born in mixed bi-national families are living between two languages from birth, but might have a preference for one language over the other depending on the environment they are growing up into. Even if they are born with parents having two different languages, they live in one country having a language and a culture. The latter could take precedence. Wherever they inhabit, bilingual people are often living with people who have different experiences through the language they use according to the place they live in. The words that are used have a meaning that bilingual people may not know or may not have experienced. Even if they master the other language very well, there are always concepts and experiences behind the words which are not part of their own experience. In other words:


when bilingual immigrants speak to people who share the same two languages (for example, to their bilingual children) they have to make linguistic (or lexical) choices, but when they speak to monolingual speakers of the host country, they have to choose communicative styles (regulated by different cultural scripts).[21]


In the case of emotions and feelings, the use of certain words or phrases has an emotional or affective impact that the bilingual person may not be aware of, and vice-versa.


Some cultures may be more individualistic than others, other are more collectivist or interdependent (Hofstede, 2011) The discussion of emotions or their expressions can then be viewed as either irrelevant or very important. Asian favour the non-verbal expressions of love and would praise their children less than American or European parents. This would not mean that they love their children less, it is simply because their culture and their verbal expression of feelings are different.  


"A parent’s expressions of affection may be endorsed in one culture because they serve to affirm social relationships; in another culture, these affirmations may be viewed as unnecessary. Likewise, a parent may devote little of a conversation to discussion of emotional states, because they are viewed as less relevant than behaviors and social obligations." (Chen 2012).


When living abroad, bilinguals who are wishing to express feelings and emotions have to "appeal to lexical borrowing and code-switching" (Pavlenko, 2002); they have to use their "bag of emotion terms" and "palette of colours" (Panayiotou, 2004), because their emotional discourse may not be the same than the community they are living into. Pavlenko quotes:


"to understand the meaning of an emotion word is to be able to envisage (and perhaps to find oneself able to participate in) a complicated scene with actors, actions, interpersonal relationships in a particular state of repair, moral points of view, facial expressions, personal and social goals, and sequences of events." (Lutz 1988: 10)




To conclude, we would underline the fact that it is important to consider a more psycholinguistic approach to bi- and pluri-lingualism, as it would help to better understand the lives of people who are living with more than one language and between several cultures. Understanding the link between languages and emotions is important when working with migrants, refugees, children from mixed bi-national families, especially because trying to express one's feeling in a 'foreign" language is not always as simple as it seems, mostly because words have different meanings in the different languages, and emotions and feelings, whether in verbal or non-verbal communication, are expressed differently across the different cultures.




Aden, Joëlle (2013) -
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Chen, Stephen H. Kennedy, Morgan & Zhou, Qing (2012) Parents' Expression and Discussion of Emotion in the Multilingual Family: Does Language Matter? - in Perspectives on Psychological Science 2012 7:365


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Panayiotou, Alexia (2004) “Switching Codes, Switching Codes: Bilinguals’ Emotional Responses in English and Greek” – In Languages and Emotions: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development   J MULTILING MULTICULT DEVELOP. 25. 93-93. 10.1080/01434630408666522.        https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249024475_Languages_and_Emotions_A_Crosslinguistic_Perspective (pages 35 – 50)


Pavlenko, Aneta (2004) “Stop doing that, Ia Komu Skazala!” Language Choice and Emotions in Parent-Child Communication-  in Languages and Emotions: A Cross-linguistic Perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development – J MULTILING MULTICULT DEVELOP. 25. 93-93. 10.1080/01434630408666522 - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249024475_Languages_and_Emotions_A_Crosslinguistic_Perspective (pages 90 -


Pavlenko, Aneta & Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2004). Languages and Emotions: A Cross-linguistic Perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development – J MULTILING MULTICULT DEVELOP. 25. 93-93. 10.1080/01434630408666522 - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249024475_Languages_and_Emotions_A_Crosslinguistic_Perspective


Reiter, Carla (2017) – Communicating in a foreign language takes emotion out of decision-making  - University of Chicago- https://news.uchicago.edu/story/communicating-foreign-language-takes-emotion-out-decision-making


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Weinreb, Amelia Rosenberg & Rofe, Yodan (2013) -  Mapping Feeling: An Approach to the Study of Emotional Response to the Built Environment and Landscape – Journal of Architectural and Planning Research , Summer, 2013, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Summer, 2013), pp. 127-145 


Wierzbicka, A. (2009). Language and metalanguage: Key issues in emotion research. Emotion Review, 1, 3–14.


Wierzbicka, Anna (1999), Emotions Across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


Wierzbicka, Anna (2009) Emotional Universal - Australian National University




[1] "Talking is like a non-stop improvisation during which you have to continuously decrypt what the other wishes to do, wishes to say. To exchange with the other, you have to be able to take his/her perspective and it is all the more important in intercultural communication" (my translation) – (ADEN J. 2013)

[2] my translation: It has always been in French. Affection is more in… French // Isabelle: towards yourself? // Towards myself, or, if I get cross, I will use English (laughs)// Isabelle: I see. // I do not know why. It gets out easier in English than in French. // Isabelle: But, when they fall, you are using French. // However, if they fall, it is in French. // Isabelle: Is comforting more difficult in English? // Yes, I do not know why, and, even when they play rugby, I will encourage them in French // Isabelle: I see. Could I sum up in saying, kindness in French, anger in English? // Think so.)

[3] my translation: "Before you can talk, you have to love. To learn a language, you have to absorb sounds, words, rules, you have to acquire the manner you can translate feelings using it"

[4] quoted in "Contribution à l'étude psychodynamique du développement de la pensée de l'enfant sans langage en interaction" https://www.cairn.info/revue-devenir-2009-1-page-61.htm

[5] the tonic-emotional dialogue is a transmission of feelings between parents and children – if the parents have to deal with their feelings, they are affecting the emotional dialogue with their children. Bachollet, M. & Marcelli, D. (2010). The Tonic-Emotional Dialogue and Its Development. Enfances & Psy, no 49(4), 14-19. https://doi.org/10.3917/ep.049.0014

[6] Isabelle Puozzo Capron et Enrica Piccardo (dir.), Lidil, 48 | 2013, « L'émotion et l'apprentissage des langues » [online], put on line on May 1st, 2015. http://journals.openedition.org/lidil/3305; DOI:10.4000/lidil.3305

[8] id. page 11

[9] page 5 – Wierzbicka, Anna – Preface: Bilingual Lives, Bilingual Experience in Dewaele, Jean-Marc & Pavlenko, Aneta. (2004).  In Languages and Emotions: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development –  J MULTILING MULTICULT DEVELOP. 25. 93-93. 10.1080/01434630408666522. - https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249024475_Languages_and_Emotions_A_Crosslinguistic_Perspective

[11] page 35 – Panayiotou, Alexia “Switching Codes, Switching Codes: Bilinguals’ Emotional Responses in English and Greek” (2004) –  In Languages and Emotions: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development –  J MULTILING MULTICULT DEVELOP. 25. 93-93. 10.1080/01434630408666522. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249024475_Languages_and_Emotions_A_Crosslinguistic_Perspective

[12] id. page 102

[13] page 43 – Panayiotou, Alexia “Switching Codes, Switching Codes: Bilinguals’ Emotional Responses in English and Greek” (2004) – In Languages and Emotions: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development –  J MULTILING MULTICULT DEVELOP. 25. 93-93. 10.1080/01434630408666522. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249024475_Languages_and_Emotions_A_Crosslinguistic_Perspective

[14] id.

[15] id page 43

[16] id page 45

[17] page 53 – Besemeres, Mary “Different Languages, different Emotions? Perspectives from Autobiographical Literature – In Languages and Emotions: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development –  J MULTILING MULTICULT DEVELOP. 25. 93-93. 10.1080/01434630408666522. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/249024475_Languages_and_Emotions_A_Crosslinguistic_Perspective

[19] quoted by Krys, K. (2015)

[20] Parents' Expression and Discussion of Emotions in the Multilingual Family: Does Language Matter?


[21] id. page 101



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