Join TSR now and get all your revision questions answeredSign up now

Can bilinguals think in both of their languages?

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by nucdev)
    Started learning English and Gujarati together from a very young age; Hindi from the age of 12 or something.

    I think in all 3 depending on context, but I'd say I think more in English than the other 2. Kinda complicated :lol:
    Can you consciously make yourself think in any of your 3 languages? So like....hey, I'm going to think in Gujarati for a bit.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I wasn't raised bilingual and I am still learning German, but yes I can think in German and English.

    Quite often I do ''accidentally'' think in German because then I end up speaking German instead of English by mistake.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I speak more than two languages but I always think in English before translating it all into whichever language I want to use.

    At least that's what I think happens in my brain :lol:
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fg45344)
    What age did you learn all your languages? If someone asked you, "What language do you think in?"....how would you answer?
    I was 4 when I moved to France and it took me about a year to become fluent in French. Whilst I was here I would think in French when I was around my friends or when I was at school but I would think in English when I was at home with my family. I would say I think in English since I now live in England.
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fg45344)
    Can you consciously make yourself think in any of your 3 languages? So like....hey, I'm going to think in Gujarati for a bit.
    I can, but most of the time it just happens without thinking tbh

    (Original post by ZuluK)
    And the language of pyar with me
    Should really be "And the language of nafrat" :teehee:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    I know I still need to reply to your WA msg. I shall.


    Maybe in 2 weeks
    JK :lol:
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Yes.
    Offline

    3
    I think in English but i think that is because 90% of the time i speak English rather than Polish.
    Offline

    2
    (Original post by nucdev)

    Should really be "And the language of nafrat" :teehee:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    I know I still need to reply to your WA msg. I shall.


    Maybe in 2 weeks
    JK :lol:
    Nafrat? Why are you lying to yourself? You know you love me really!

    Spoiler:
    Show
    touché! It was a genuine mistake on my part! Take your time. Not like I'm waiting or anything :lol: you can't last 2 weeks without
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fg45344)
    So here is my question....

    If you speak only english, you will think in english. If you speak only spanish, you will think in spanish. If you speak spanish and english fluently, say being bilingual from birth, can you think in both languages?
    Personally, I think you can if you are fluent enough. I speak 3 languages and I have thoughts going around in all 3 of them, so yeah
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Blackstarr)
    I think in English but i think that is because 90% of the time i speak English rather than Polish.
    What age did you learn both languages? Can you think in polish? If someone asked you what language do you think in, how would you answer?
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Indeterminate)
    I speak more than two languages but I always think in English before translating it all into whichever language I want to use.

    At least that's what I think happens in my brain :lol:
    If you try and learn a language via another language (e.g. I try... haven't for a while.... to learn French through German, so I'm always translating back and forth between only those two languages) then you overcome that 'issue' - I know you didn't call it an issue, but I can't think of a term.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Inexorably)
    If you try and learn a language via another language (e.g. I try... haven't for a while.... to learn French through German, so I'm always translating back and forth between only those two languages) then you overcome that 'issue' - I know you didn't call it an issue, but I can't think of a term.
    I did that during GCSE, to translate from Latin to English. I would go from Latin to Italian then translate it into English. I thought it was weird but I guess I'm not the only one. But it actually helps to improve your vocabs in these languages
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by fg45344)
    You wouldn't say, "Spanish and English" ?
    Well yes, but people often want you to specify in which situations you think in a certain language.
    Offline

    3
    (Original post by fg45344)
    What age did you learn both languages? Can you think in polish? If someone asked you what language do you think in, how would you answer?
    I started to learn English from about the age of 7-8 back in Poland but i prefer to speak In English and think in English rather than Polish because i am more fluent in English and my family speak English most of the time which has influenced me a lot.

    Generally speaking though, it really all depends on the individual because some people may not be as fluent in whatever language so they can't necessarily think in that whatever language as opposed to English.

    Edit: My polish is not fluent.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Blackstarr)
    I started to learn English from about the age of 7-8 back in Poland but i prefer to speak In English and think in English rather than Polish because i am more fluent in English and my family speak English most of the time which has influenced me a lot.

    Generally speaking though, it really all depends on the individual because some people may not be as fluent in whatever language so they can't necessarily think in that whatever language as opposed to English.

    Edit: My polish is not fluent.
    But polish was your first language? So surely you can think in polish?
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Since English is my native tongue I tend to usually speak English to myself.

    However I speak fluent French and Spanish. I do find myself speaking French and Spanish to myself.

    I've had a dream in French too
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RK1998)
    I did that during GCSE, to translate from Latin to English. I would go from Latin to Italian then translate it into English. I thought it was weird but I guess I'm not the only one. But it actually helps to improve your vocabs in these languages
    Yeah it is certainly weird, like if someone asked me to translate voiture from French, I'd have to go to German (Auto), then English and it's peculiar.

    "Laddering" as it's called is meant to be good as it reduces the possibility of you confusing languages.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Yea I can.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by The Roast)
    I've had a dream in French too
    Dreaming in a foreign language is both incredibly bizarre and awesome. I've only had it happen twice but I was very surprised when I woke up
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I'm bilingual but usually think in English.
 
 
 
Poll
Do you have exam superstitions?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.