What language do bilinguals think in and can they think in their weaker language?

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jeuiuiu
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jeuiuiu
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jeuiuiu
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phatshame9
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i hope bilingual people reply, i'm interested too
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jeuiuiu
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Anonymous #1
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I've asked this to multiple bilinguals in the past and they all say the same general thing. Most are flexible with what language they think in but certain situations are more likely to trigger thinking in one of the languages over the other. For example I knew a girl who would switch to her first language if she got really angry even if she had been speaking and thinking in fluent english for an extensive period of time. Of course this depends on the person and the situation though.

Lots of people will just think in whatever language is convenient. For example one of my old french teachers said that whenever she was around English people she thought in english and whenever she was around french people or anything french (e.g films, books) she would think in french.

It is definitely possible to think in your weaker language as long as you are fluent enough to string at least a short phrase together but if you mean to think completely in the weaker language and just let random thoughts flow through without the need to actively translate to their first language then obviously greater proficiency is required.

Hope this was useful
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UWS
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You again.
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jeuiuiu
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(Original post by UWS)
You again.
Ni hao ma
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Dodgypirate
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I'm multilingual, I speak English (native), French, Spanish, some Italian (I understand it more), and bits of Dutch.

I can think in the three first, not the others.

I also have dreams in all three too.
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jeuiuiu
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(Original post by Dodgypirate)
I'm multilingual, I speak English (native), French, Spanish, some Italian (I understand it more), and bits of Dutch.

I can think in the three first, not the others.

I also have dreams in all three too.
What age did you learn these languages?
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Dodgypirate
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(Original post by jeuiuiu)
What age did you learn these languages?
I went to French school from ages 7 to 18, and during that time I also learnt Spanish.

I taught Dutch myself for 3-4 months.

I've had Italian friends around, and I've been able to pick words up from them, but since it's so close to Spanish and French, it's been far easier. Again, I understand it more.
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jujubov123
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I'm bilingual (French and English) and it depends on the language I've been speaking in previously to my thoughts. So if I speak in English I'll think in English ...
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jeuiuiu
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(Original post by jujubov123)
I'm bilingual (French and English) and it depends on the language I've been speaking in previously to my thoughts. So if I speak in English I'll think in English ...
What age did you learn these languages? What language do you think in when thinking to yourself on your own?
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jujubov123
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I was born in France so I've known French since I was born, I learned English when I was 5. If I'm on my own I would tend to think in French. I've never really thought of what language I think in
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jeuiuiu
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(Original post by jujubov123)
I was born in France so I've known French since I was born, I learned English when I was 5. If I'm on my own I would tend to think in French. I've never really thought of what language I think in
Can you think in english?
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yaaaas
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When I'm at college and speak English then I think in English. When I'm at home where I speak Polish I think in Polish. But it depends really
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jujubov123
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Yeah I guess I usually think in English if I'm watching a movie or speaking to people in English
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jeuiuiu
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#18
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(Original post by jujubov123)
Yeah I guess I usually think in English if I'm watching a movie or speaking to people in English
How many langauges can you think in?
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Craghyrax
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I've always wondered about this. And whether you can think/feel some things in some languages that you can't in another
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jeuiuiu
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