Do people change in personality depending on what language they are speaking, especially when they are bilingual? I think many times they do, as the culture of the language spoken can also be an influence. A good example is UCSD’s dean, John Moore — or, as he’s known to others, Juan Moro, flamenco guitarist. He’s one man who leads two very different lives.
By day, Moore, 63, is Dean of Undergraduate Education. By night and on weekends, Moro is a talented Spanish flamenco guitarist who plays at different venues. On Saturday mornings, he plays for a dance class. On Saturday evenings, he plays at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town where he accompanies flamenco dancer Lakshmi Basile and singer/dancer Bruno Serrano. The three present an evening of authentic flamenco entertainment. Finally, on Sundays, he plays at Costa Brava in Pacific Beach.
The night that I met him at the Cosmopolitan, he was in full Spanish mode, introducing himself as Juan Moro and speaking fluent Spanish. He explained to me how in classic flamenco, the guitarist follows the singer and dancers, so he needed to know the structure and forms of flamenco.
Later when we communicated in English via email, I learned he had a doctorate in linguistics. [Read more…]