Quantcast
Bilingual people: What language do you *think* in??

Forums - General Discussion - Bilingual people: What language do you *think* in??

Troll_Whisperer said:
JEMC said:
My native languages are 2 (Spanish and Catalan) and I do my best with English.

When I'm here I try to think in English as it's easier to post.

In "real life" I mostly think in Catalan except when I'm really angry, then I use Spanish, don't ask me why but to me, insults sound better (or worse, depends on how you look at it) in Spanish.

Yeah, in Basque happens the same. We don't have any actual swear words, so if you want to swear you have to do it in Spanish.

Oh, in Catalan there are swear words, lots of them, but they are either too soft or seem translations form Spanish. Besides, using Spanish gives it another vibe, makes your words a bit angrier.



Please excuse my bad English.

Currently gaming on a PC with an i5-4670k@stock (for now), 16Gb RAM 1600 MHz and a GTX 1070

Steam / Live / NNID : jonxiquet    Add me if you want, but I'm a single player gamer.

Around the Network
JEMC said:
Troll_Whisperer said:
JEMC said:
My native languages are 2 (Spanish and Catalan) and I do my best with English.

When I'm here I try to think in English as it's easier to post.

In "real life" I mostly think in Catalan except when I'm really angry, then I use Spanish, don't ask me why but to me, insults sound better (or worse, depends on how you look at it) in Spanish.

Yeah, in Basque happens the same. We don't have any actual swear words, so if you want to swear you have to do it in Spanish.

Oh, in Catalan there are swear words, lots of them, but they are either too soft or seem translations form Spanish. Besides, using Spanish gives it another vibe, makes your words a bit angrier.

Well, we really don't have swear words. Maybe something like 'madarikatua' which means 'damned'. That's it.

But I understand, Spanish does sounds more aggressive for some reason.



No troll is too much for me to handle. I rehabilitate trolls, I train people. I am the Troll Whisperer.

hatmoza said:
Forget where I read this, but the language you speak in your dreams (bilingual people of course) is your primary language.

The same perhaps could be said about thought.

You didn't answer my question.



Some pretty interesting answers here, not what I expected

Like I assumed you only used one language to think in. To people who think in multiple languages, what does it depend on? What about when you're all alone?



Troll_Whisperer said:

I speak three languages and I'm learning a fourth. I'm native in two.

As I said in the other thread, I don't actually pronounce words in my head, the ideas are concepts.

When I dream, the language I speak depends entirely on who I'm talking to in my dream.

First time I've ever heard about anything like this, I can't imagine thinking without words myself

Also, I found your soulmate! :D



Around the Network
miz1q2w3e said:
Some pretty interesting answers here, not what I expected

Like I assumed you only used one language to think in. To people who think in multiple languages, what does it depend on? What about when you're all alone?


I like how you think! I have thought about this to myself. I speak both English and Spanish and tend to speak Spanglish among my family and English in school. When it comes to what language I use the most when I think it would be without a doubt English. I'll put it at 95% English and 5% Spanish but it tends to change depending if I am in a mostly Spanish or English speaking evirnoment, but when I'm alone it's mostly English.



 

        

Solid-Stark said:
Mostly English, sometimes Spanglish.

What's Spanglish?



I'm French and I live in England. I think in English because I am fluent enough for that (or rather I am fluent because I can think in English).

When I go back to France or talk with French people here I think in French but there always are expressions that more easily come up to mind in English for the first few days. Same when I come back to England, some expressions come more easily in French because I spent more time thinking in French the preceding week(s).

Of course there are always times when I can express a thought in French but not in English, or at least not as concisely, as while I may be fluent there still are expressions that are near impossible to translate and there are colloquialisms that I may not know or only have met often enough to understand them but not enough to have them spring to mind when talking.

I thought in English to make this post.

Et j'ai pense en francais pour cette phrase. Desole pour le manque d'accents mais mon clavier qwerty n'est pas pratique pour cela.



"I do not suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it"

 

I also think in terms of concepts and abstractions instead of words.

Words themselves are basically shortcuts average people use to think (at least I believe so - there are some who think language itself goes forward to define thought processes and it's velocity, but for me that's as simplistic as saying one's physical strength depends solely on one's weight).

See, you don't speak english as much as your own interpretation of it, and the same is true for everyone. It's mostly the plasticity of the brain that allows mutual comprehension.



 

 

 

 

 

I am native bilingual aswell and I usually start to think in the language of the people I am around, the transition takes a couple of months though. Also I even think english sometimes (which I learned later) if I am around english speaking people for longer time.

But I often dont think in language at all, kind of. Only if I have to give my thoughts structure. Also my dreams are more or less feelings with pictures.