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

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    (Original post by fat_pam)
    What age did you learn both languages? How many languages can you think in altogether?
    Learned both since I was young, but I think the first one I was able to speak properly was Kiswahili. Only 2.
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    yes

    yes

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    that was such a long and well-thought out response on my behalf
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    (Original post by BookBird)
    Learned both since I was young, but I think the first one I was able to speak properly was Kiswahili. Only 2.
    So you think in English and Kiswahili?
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    Usually I don't even think in a language per se, but rather just concepts and nonlinguistic processes.
    I often think in Norwegian - my first language, but I easily switch when I travel. If I travel to Germany or Sweden, I often switch over to those. If I write a lot or frequently use English in any context, I might also go through phases of only thinking in English.
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    (Original post by fat_pam)
    Can you think in Punjabi? What age did you learn Punjabi and English?
    Yhh I can. I've spoken both since I could speak really
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    (Original post by fat_pam)
    So you think in English and Kiswahili?
    Yeah ok
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    (Original post by fat_pam)
    What age did you learn English and Polish?

    Can you think in Polish?

    I was brought up on both languages (probably more Polish up to the age of 3)
    Over time at school, speaking English every day at school and with my friends, having to write essays in it .etc. English became much stronger than Polish.
    I can think in Polish but it's slower and more difficult, that's why I think in English.
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    (Original post by cupcakes87)
    Yhh I can. I've spoken both since I could speak really
    So how many languages can you think in altogether?
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    (Original post by MilenaW)
    I was brought up on both languages (probably more Polish up to the age of 3)
    Over time at school, speaking English every day at school and with my friends, having to write essays in it .etc. English became much stronger than Polish.
    I can think in Polish but it's slower and more difficult, that's why I think in English.
    So how many languages can you think in altogether?
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    (Original post by fat_pam)
    So how many languages can you think in altogether?
    2 but one is stronger than the other
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    (Original post by fat_pam)
    So how many languages can you think in altogether?
    3, Hindi being the third which I only really use when watching movies
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    (Original post by MilenaW)
    2 but one is stronger than the other
    So you can think in your weaker language, right? But you have to force it?
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    I don't think in any language. To me it is like asking what language do you paint in. Thoughts are not sound, they are different. For me the experience of thinking is neither like speaking or hearing spoken language.

    If I was raised without any language, I would still be able to think.

    The only time I think in a language is if I am thinking about what someone has said or what I have said or am about to say. In which case, it is the appropriate language for the situation I am thinking about.

    Its just like how I can think about music or think about a painting but I wouldn't say I think in music or paintings in a general sense.
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    (Original post by fat_pam)
    So you can think in your weaker language, right? But you have to force it?
    Yeah I can force myself to think in Polish but it doesn't come naturally
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    (Original post by MilenaW)
    Yeah I can force myself to think in Polish but it doesn't come naturally
    Can you think in any other languages (apart from English and Polish)?
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    (Original post by MilenaW)
    Yeah I can force myself to think in Polish but it doesn't come naturally
    What do you mean it doesn't come naturally?
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    I think in my native language most of the time, but once I use English a little bit more than usual, I sometimes start unconsciously think in English. Though, I must say I prefer thinking in my native language haha.

    EDIT: sometimes you can dream in another language... that's also quite interesting
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    (Original post by Sternumator)
    I don't think in any language. To me it is like asking what language do you paint in. Thoughts are not sound, they are different. For me the experience of thinking is neither like speaking or hearing spoken language.

    If I was raised without any language, I would still be able to think.

    The only time I think in a language is if I am thinking about what someone has said or what I have said or am about to say. In which case, it is the appropriate language for the situation I am thinking about.

    Its just like how I can think about music or think about a painting but I wouldn't say I think in music or paintings in a general sense.
    Actually, it is debatable (amongst academics) that you would still be able to think (very much) if you were raised without any language.
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    (Original post by CharlieeS)
    I think in my native language most of the time, but once I use English a little bit more than usual, I sometimes start unconsciously think in English. Though, I must say I prefer thinking in my native language haha.

    EDIT: sometimes you can dream in another language... that's also quite interesting
    What is your native language?
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    I suppose by now English is my main language and German my mother tongue. I think mostly in English, but I have no problem thinking in German.

    Depends on topic I guess.

    ps btw, I would urge everyone to make sure their kid grows up bilingual. So marry someone with a different mother tongue :P
 
 
 
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