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Assassin7

Question for Non Native English Speakers, or I guess English Speakers that speak other languages fluently

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this is something I've been wondering about for a while, I only speak English, so I wouldn't know.

but basically, when speaking in English, if you aren't a native speaker, especially if you also still speak your native language often, but when speaking in English, do you sort of like "think" in English or in your Native language? and when speaking/hearing English so you just know what it means or do you translate it to your native language to understand it? Same story but in reverse for native english speakers that speak other languages. 

Same question wjth writing, do you read english and just understand it, or read it and translate it in your head?

its just an interesting subject that I am intrigued about, like, how does it work?

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I think in English, even half the time when writing or speaking my mother tongue by now, actually.

For French it's different, there I kind of translate and figure out the grammar most except the most commonplace expressions.

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Bilingual in English and Mandarin.

I guess Mandarin is my native language, since my ethnicity/race is Chinese... I probably grew up learning Mandarin first, but honestly here in Singapore exposure between mother tongue and English is rather 50/50. Almost everyone speaks English, unless if they did not get much education. I am far more proficient in English though.

My thoughts are almost exclusively in English, thinking in Mandarin seems weird to me but not impossible. I sometimes translate to English when doing my Mandarin exams to understand the text better, sometimes I translate from English when writing in Mandarin.

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You can say I'm multi-lingual...

My mother language is a dialect of mandarin which I stopped speaking but I still understand, then mandarin, English  and lastly French (if that count; studied 4-5 years of French).

I think 50/50 in Mandarin/English

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29 minutes ago, Xen said:

I think and even dream in English more often than in German

If thats the case, what happens when you speak German? 

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When you speak a language fluently.. you just understand what is being said, there's no translating going on mid conversation.

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I think in italian when I speak italian, I think in english when I speak english. I try to do the same for german, but unfortunately I'not that proficient anymore, so sometimes I have to think too much before saying a decent sentence...

Thinking in the foreign language you are speaking is probably the best "forma mentis". If you manage to do so, it means you REALLY know that language, otherwise you would need to translate everytime. At least, that's how I would measure someone's knowledge of a language

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I am thinking in English then. When I am reading a book and someone asks me if it is in English, I actually have to take a look, because I don't know :)

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1 hour ago, PityFool said:

When you speak a language fluently.. you just understand what is being said, there's no translating going on mid conversation.

this ^^^^

So basically thinking in English if I'm in English. Not when reading/writing Latin, though.

Hungarian is the aliens' language anyways (go learn Hungarian you filthy monolingual :P ):

Spoiler
 

 

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58 minutes ago, Assassin7 said:

If thats the case, what happens when you speak German? 

It depends really. I derp a lot when speaking German because my brain is in English mode for whatever reason. Happens less frequently now than it used to, though, because I barely use English anymore and speak German all day at work.

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What pity said, If you know a language well you can think directly in it.  Most common reason for translation is when I can't a word in one language, but can think of one in the other that fits perfectly.  Tfw not sure if making up a word.  Especially since its English/French and there are a lot of shared words, gotta be sure its part of the intersection.  

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Learning Dutch... When I construct a Dutch sentence in my head I'm thinking/speaking to myself in Dutch (because not fluent). Same goes for Englando... Except the English just flows out of me; it's like riding a bike.

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When speaking english I think in English, when speaking spanish I think in spanish, there isnt nead to translate during the conversation (though at this point my spanish probably sucks because I havent used it in a while). I suppose the only issue I have is when someone speaks spanglish, and unholy combination of english and spanish that shows up in southern florida and parts of puertorico, I either think in English or Spanish so I dont understand most of the sentence and I have literally no idea what is being said to me.

Edited by Inciatus
Damn mobile cant type well
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I speak and write English so much the last couple of years I have trouble with my native language xD Most of the times when I speak Greek I keep using English terms and people keep making fun of me heh

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I can think both in Mandarin and English without much problem. Thinking is Vietnamese is slightly harder (but I try to think in Vietnamese), and I can't think in Malay at all (probably due to infrequent usage).

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I use to be fluent in Spanish and when I spoke it, I thought in Spanish.  Unfortunately if you don't use another language, you lose your ability to speak it, so all I remember now is how to ask for a cold beer and where the bathroom is.  Its been about 15 years since I had an actual conversation in Spanish.

The same thing when I spoke Pennsylvania Dutch, I thought in Pennsylvania Dutch.  I wasn't 100% fluent in it and the family members I had who spoke it died years ago.  The language is dying off, so its rate to hear "Make wet?" "Mox nix. Spritzing nau. Hurrieder maedel" or even modern Dutchie which is mostly English with German sentence structure and a few Pennsylvania Dutch words thrown in.

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I speak French pretty much all the time, write in french all the time, and read in french and english. (I sometimes hear italian from my family)

When I think, it's either and hybrid of french and english with some sparkles of italian words here and there, or completely english or french.

 

When it comes to speaking, I can pretty well just switch from french to english on the spot. If you practice the languages you speak enough, there is no real way of losing the touch with them. The only difficulty I ever felt was when I came back of my first year of english college, I had only spoke english for 9 months, came back to an exclusively french world, was a bit searching for my words the first few days, same happened when I got back in it 3 months later and had only spoke french for 3 months.

 

The key to mastering, or at least being fluent, in several languages is to practice them every day, or at least a couple times a week.

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23 minutes ago, Bavor said:

The same thing when I spoke Pennsylvania Dutch, I thought in Pennsylvania Dutch.  I wasn't 100% fluent in it and the family members I had who spoke it died years ago.  The language is dying off, so its rate to hear "Make wet?" "Mox nix. Spritzing nau. Hurrieder maedel" or even modern Dutchie which is mostly English with German sentence structure and a few Pennsylvania Dutch words thrown in.

A person I spoke with once described Dutch as "drunken British sailors trying to speak German" :P

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When I speak a foreign language, I don't translate nor think of, e.g. a phrase mid-conversation, just what pityfool mentioned, know and understand what other people saying.

However in the case of english this is pretty simple and easily adaptable hence the grammar while in spanish or french you just have to practice a lot:kjugh:

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I speak english with everyone I know outside of RL basically, sometimes even with RL people.

Sometimes I think about something and don't know what it means in german, only in english. :feelsbad: 

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12 minutes ago, KingYoshiLuca said:

Sometimes I think about something and don't know what it means in german, only in english. :feelsbad: 

IMO there are a shitton of words that can't be simply translated, but you still just feel when it's appropriate to use them in that language.

e.g kurwa

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Basically what Miros said. I use English so much nowadays that I often think in it even when not using it. I do not have to translate anything in my head, I can understand it just fine. It's actually gotten to the point where I know more words in English than in my native language, at least when it comes to topics such as IT, or video-games (obviously).

Different for Russian and German though, with them I sometimes have to translate stuff in my mind, 'cause A) I'm not that good at them and B) I rarely use them.

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