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Can bilinguals think in both of their languages?

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    (Original post by fg45344)
    1) Can you think in English?

    2) Can you think in Welsh?

    3) What age did you learn both languages?

    4) Can you think in any other language?
    I already answered these. Jesus
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    (Original post by EleonoraDi)
    Yes, you definitely can!
    I've gone to a bilingual school so I know both English and Italian fluently and I assure you, you can definitely pick which one you want to think in. Sometimes I start thinking half and half, and that's when things start to get confusing
    So do you think in Italian or English most of the time and why? Can you consciously choose your thinking language? Can you think in any other languages?
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    I'll give you the basics now.

    1. If you are basically fluent then yes, you can think in either language.

    2. The language you naturally think in depends on which language you feel closer to and the situation. E.g. if you live in UK and are surrounded by English people, you will think in English. If you go visit France and are surrounded by people speaking French, you will switch to thinking in French.

    This is simply because some words don't have translations or cannot be interpreted the same way so it is easier to respond if you are thinking in that language. So our brains adapt and switch.

    3. Yes, you can willingly switch between the languages you think in if you want.

    4. The age you learned the language does not really matter, it is the level of fluency which matters. Obviously, if you learned it at younger age, you will probably be more proficient in it compared to a language you started learning 1 year ago.

    Interesting facts:
    1.The accents people have while speaking a different language appear mostly because the tongue and mouth are used to certain movements. That is why people from the same country have similar accents. Example, Russian language is, what I like to call, a hard language (as in, hard in the sounds while French or English have pretty soft sounds). So when Russians speak English, they are used to the hardness and harshness of Russian and find I hard to add the softness that English requires.

    2. The more interesting thing to investigate is how speaking in different languages affect personality. There have been studies that the same person speaking in one language may act more polite, change their tone of voice to a higher pitch. And when speaking in another, they will act harsher and change their tone to a lower pitch.
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    (Original post by Devify)
    I'll give you the basics now.

    1. If you are basically fluent then yes, you can think in either language.

    2. The language you naturally think in depends on which language you feel closer to and the situation. E.g. if you live in UK and are surrounded by English people, you will think in English. If you go visit France and are surrounded by people speaking French, you will switch to thinking in French.

    This is simply because some words don't have translations or cannot be interpreted the same way so it is easier to respond if you are thinking in that language. So our brains adapt and switch.

    3. Yes, you can willingly switch between the languages you think in if you want.

    4. The age you learned the language does not really matter, it is the level of fluency which matters. Obviously, if you learned it at younger age, you will probably be more proficient in it compared to a language you started learning 1 year ago.

    Interesting facts:
    1.The accents people have while speaking a different language appear mostly because the tongue and mouth are used to certain movements. That is why people from the same country have similar accents. Example, Russian language is, what I like to call, a hard language (as in, hard in the sounds while French or English have pretty soft sounds). So when Russians speak English, they are used to the hardness and harshness of Russian and find I hard to add the softness that English requires.

    2. The more interesting thing to investigate is how speaking in different languages affect personality. There have been studies that the same person speaking in one language may act more polite, change their tone of voice to a higher pitch. And when speaking in another, they will act harsher and change their tone to a lower pitch.
    Wow, really informative. Thanks a lot.
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    I'm bilingual from birth in Portuguese and English, but I very rarely think in Portuguese as it is not as good as my English (despite Portuguese being my first language). It's quite strange because I understand Portuguese perfectly, but since I don't speak it very often, my speaking isn't as good as my understanding.


    I currently live in Japan though, and Japanese is the only language I communicate in, so I tend to think in Japanese. I'm not a Japanese native speaker but I'd say I'm trilingual, as I can comfortably switch between Japanese and English, and Japanese comes naturally to me (more naturally than Portuguese!)
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    Yes. Sometimes I even dream in another language than my native language.


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    (Original post by fg45344)
    So do you think in Italian or English most of the time and why? Can you consciously choose your thinking language? Can you think in any other languages?
    I can choose to switch language, yes, it's a quite fluid process so it's not hard to do so. I'd say that the language I speak in depends pretty much on who I'm speaking with. I won't generally think in English with my parents, but I might if I'm in school or going out with friends.
    I can also speak Spanish, though not perfectly, so if I'm reading or watching something is Spanish or speaking with Spanish friends I do tend to switch and start thinking in Spanish.
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    (Original post by Devify)
    I'll give you the basics now.

    1. If you are basically fluent then yes, you can think in either language.

    2. The language you naturally think in depends on which language you feel closer to and the situation. E.g. if you live in UK and are surrounded by English people, you will think in English. If you go visit France and are surrounded by people speaking French, you will switch to thinking in French.

    This is simply because some words don't have translations or cannot be interpreted the same way so it is easier to respond if you are thinking in that language. So our brains adapt and switch.

    3. Yes, you can willingly switch between the languages you think in if you want.

    4. The age you learned the language does not really matter, it is the level of fluency which matters. Obviously, if you learned it at younger age, you will probably be more proficient in it compared to a language you started learning 1 year ago.

    Interesting facts:
    1.The accents people have while speaking a different language appear mostly because the tongue and mouth are used to certain movements. That is why people from the same country have similar accents. Example, Russian language is, what I like to call, a hard language (as in, hard in the sounds while French or English have pretty soft sounds). So when Russians speak English, they are used to the hardness and harshness of Russian and find I hard to add the softness that English requires.

    2. The more interesting thing to investigate is how speaking in different languages affect personality. There have been studies that the same person speaking in one language may act more polite, change their tone of voice to a higher pitch. And when speaking in another, they will act harsher and change their tone to a lower pitch.

    So if someone spoke English and French fluently, say born bilingual....they could choose their thinking language? As in one moment be thinking in English and the next be thinking in French?
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    I can speak English and Polish fluently, and at one point I just realised that I think in English. I can choose which language I want to think in, but when I'm not focusing on it I just automatically think in English.
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    (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?
    Yes
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    (Original post by Fleming1928)
    I can speak English and Polish fluently, and at one point I just realised that I think in English. I can choose which language I want to think in, but when I'm not focusing on it I just automatically think in English.
    1) Can you think in Polish?

    2) Can you think in English?

    3) What age did you learn both languages?

    4) Can you think in any other language?
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    (Original post by fg45344)
    So if someone spoke English and French fluently, say born bilingual....they could choose their thinking language? As in one moment be thinking in English and the next be thinking in French?
    It goes automatically. Like someone mentioned above, it depends on the people you're with. If you hear something in French your 'language button' will switch over to French and you start thinking in French. I believe that even if you're bilingual, there will always be one language that you feel most comfortable with.


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    (Original post by fg45344)
    1) Can you think in Polish?

    2) Can you think in English?

    3) What age did you learn both languages?

    4) Can you think in any other language?
    1 +2) Yes3) Polish .. Well it's my mother tongue. I learned English when I was 84) Nope. But I'll be studying Russian at uni so I'll let you know how it goes
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    (Original post by Fleming1928)
    1 +2) Yes3) Polish .. Well it's my mother tongue. I learned English when I was 84) Nope. But I'll be studying Russian at uni so I'll let you know how it goes
    So you can keep changing between thinking in Polish and thinking in English in your mind?
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    (Original post by fg45344)
    1) Can you think in Vietnamese?

    2) Can you think in English?

    3) What age did you learn both languages?

    4) Can you think in any other language?
    I believe I have already addressed these issues.
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    (Original post by Fleming1928)
    I can speak English and Polish fluently, and at one point I just realised that I think in English. I can choose which language I want to think in, but when I'm not focusing on it I just automatically think in English.
    1) Can you think in Polish?

    2) Can you think in English?

    3) What age did you learn both languages?

    4) Can you think in any other languages?
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    I understand 6 languages, and am fluent in 4 of these. I usually think in English or Portuguese, but when I'm high (chocolate, ice cream, good music), I tend to speak English with a little French accent. I dream in all 6 languages, and think in 5 of them. And yes, there are times when I'm speaking one language, and I'm looking for a word, but I keep getting the word in all other 5 languages, except the one I'm looking for. And then, I have to say it, and repeat it till I get the riht word. Yes, I'm weird.
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    I speak English and German. I can think in both.
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    (Original post by cashcash871)
    I speak English and German. I can think in both.
    What age did you learn both languages? Can you think in any other language?
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    (Original post by fg45344)
    What age did you learn both languages? Can you think in any other language?
    From birth. No I can only speak English and German.
 
 
 
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