day, making New York a report to colleagues in the Faculty of Economics and Commerce at Columbia University, Chinese Shu Zhang, speak excellent English, suddenly moved to the Chinese - it surprised both students and herself.
Zhang decided to find out why it happened - studies were conducted in collaboration with the social psychologist Michael Morris and other scientists.
Zhang and Morris set up an experiment in which students of Chinese who came to the United States less than a year ago, to communicate in English with computer models of Chinese men oriental type. The dialogues were recorded, and it was found that a "compatriot" Students spoke less freely and often wondered choosing his words.
To eliminate the influence of the image of the interlocutor in the dialogue, the volunteers were asked to come up and tell a story of a neutral, but this time they alternately showed logos Chinese or American companies, and symbols associated with the cultures of the two countries. It was found the following pattern: a reminder of China sharply reduced the Chinese have English language skills - they are more willing to translate Chinese concepts instead of using English words: for example, instead of "pistachio" the students say "happy nuts" (the literal meaning of the Chinese name).
Psychologist at the University of Southern California, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang sums up: "It's amazing how much we are all tied to the cultural context. Even national interlocutor is of great importance when we speak in a foreign language. " Michael Morris agrees: "If you want to quickly learn the language, try to talk to him only with native».