Can you think in a second language or need you translate in your head first?

@thea09 (18321)
Greece
September 4, 2009 9:54am CST
I'm curious about this as I sometimes still need to translate the words in my head first. Yet other times I can have conversations in my second language whilst dreaming. So are you able to think in a second language or do you need translate it first in your own mind?
9 people like this
35 responses
@mysdianait (65104)
• Italy
4 Sep 09
I am never certain which is my first and which is my second language these days. When I am in Italy and talking in Italian every day, I think and dream in Italian. When I return to UK after I few days I think in English there too. It is not immediate though as I have less difficulty with Italian than English now as I use it more often.
3 people like this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi Mis, but you use English daily online even when in Italy. You have actually achieved the feat of thinking in Italian though which is fantastic, how long did it take you to feel that you were doing that if you came to the language at the same time as you came to Italy? Now I think about it for myself I suppose I do translate in my head a lot less than I used to but my Greek goes through phases of being fine or much less than fine.
1 person likes this
@mysdianait (65104)
• Italy
4 Sep 09
When I'm here Thea I think in English about what I am going to write but I don't actually say it out loud. I have a few English friends and when we get together we usually use English but we have to punctuate here and there with an Italian word as all of seem to forget how to say certain things My son was born three years after I arrived here and I can recall that I was thinking in Italian on that occasion Lamb which of the two do you use when you think (or does it depend on what you are thinking about?)
2 people like this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Mys it's obvious that lamb writes in English but thinks in gibberish. Three years wasn't long but were you away from the English language surrounded by mainly Italian, that does force it faster? I always speak English at home with my son as he uses Greek all the rest of the time. I also do your trick of throwing local words in when English is being used but they are the sort of words one automatatically uses here. I couldn't mylot in Greek though because I would have to turn the order of the sentence round to put the words in the Greek order which means I've still got a way to go to really thinking in Greek.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
English is my second language and feel comfortable expressing myself in this language. It is widely spoken in my family in between speaking my mother's tongue, chinese and our national language. It is rarely that I need to think first and translate my second language or any languages that I am proficient in. I am so used to speaking 'salad languages' at home that is more like jack of all languages, master of none.
3 people like this
@akuler (3534)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
I thought you are Kadazan or Dusun Rojak languages is the best to learn a few languages at a time
2 people like this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi zandi, you obviously had the advantage of learning these extra languages whilst young which I think is necessary to prepare one for a good aptitude in languages. An adult learner does find it much harder as at the beginning automatically translates everything in ones mind but with greater usage more words flow just naturally. The UK teaches other languages in the most ridiculous fashion, waiting until a child is about 12 before starting whereas my son is completely bi-lingual in 2, learns a third, and in one more year will start on Ancient Greek too.
2 people like this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
akuler - Yes, am a native (kadazan) but am quite a linquist. Are you a kadazan too or Malay?
2 people like this
@akuler (3534)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
Hi thea, I am not good in my second language and most of the time I need to translate it. Not only in my head but sometimes I need a dictionary to do that. It is more harder when it come to a grammar and when I had to use the words that I am not very sure about. It is hard for me because I hardly use my second language in my daily conversation. Most of the time I used it on the net and my second language is English. My writing skill might be improve but my speech and pronunciation will not change much.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi akuler, as I've already told you your use of English is excellent and any small errors don't need thinking about. You also write it much more clearly than many English speakers, I believe we've only had one language misunderstanding in all this time of communicating whereas others have left me baffled, particularly those who insist on using that nasty text abbreviation which only degrades a language. So how do you speak English, I'm curious. Personally I have no linguistic skills and am perfectly aware that I sound like an English person speaking Greek, whilst my son sounds more Greek than the Greeks. The other way round happens with me, I often go into a shop and ask for something in Greek and they answer me in English, this is in places where I am not known. What gives me away, my Greek pronuounciation, or the fact that don't look Greek. I realise now they do it from politeness but at first it used to drive me mad when I was trying to use my new language in public.
1 person likes this
@akuler (3534)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
If I speak to someone I knew, I think I can speak it well. I might stuck here and there during a this conversation but I can still manage to keep it on track. The problem is when I have to speak with someone in a formal situation like presentation or interview. Sometimes I lost somewhere and have a long pause or log ah......... in between my sentences. But they need to say it clearly and without slang. Otherwise I totally lost.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
I'm with you on that one akuler. I can't bear people who mumble and don't speak clearly, I have one Greek friend I've known for a few years and I never understand a single word he says as he mumbles, but fortuantely the Greeks also have difficulty understanding him too, so it doesn't make me feel silly. But I have to look round desperately for someone to translate. It is easier to ask people to speak slower when they are in front of you but the people who know how to do that forget it completely when they phone up and it can all end up in total gibberish. Did you get my pm akuler?
1 person likes this
@Iriene88 (5347)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
Dear Thea, I am a Malaysian, our national language is Bahasa Malaysia. Our second language will be English. Since we learned English from Primary One, one subject only ie. English Language... we are quite fluent in conversation...even though there are error in grammar, or past, present tense. I normally do not think it first in my head, I just speak out and it just flows. However, when I need to speak in Mandarin which I learned / pick up from watching televisions, at times, I need to think for the right words before I speak...lol I have been married for 17 years and we normally speak English at home. This has a very bad effect on my own dialect which is a 'Hainanese' (Hainan Island, China)...many times I really can't think of the right word for certain item that is not common...I really have a hard time thinking of the word when I need to converse with my mum All the best and do keep in touch !
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi Ireine, that is really interesting that you use English at home, is your husband Malaysian or English. Definitely when these languages are learnt from early childhood one is able to use them with much more confidence than when tackled at a later date. My son is completely bi-lingual in Greek and English and can also swap from one to another without losing his flow, whilst his third language of French will take much longer as he has no one to communicate with it in. I know what you mean about searching for a word you know and never use in your first language anymore, I've had that happen a couple of times and it feels a bit strange.
1 person likes this
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
Hi Iriene, I think we Malaysians are multi lingual. I am a native from the land below the wind and I do speak mandarin like the native chinese speakers. Bahasa Malaysia and English are core subjects in school so we do not have problems in our daily usage of these languages.
2 people like this
@Iriene88 (5347)
• Malaysia
4 Sep 09
Dear Thea, My husband is a Malaysian-Chinese too. Most Malaysian Chinese will either speak their 'mother tongue dialect' or English or Mandarin at home. And most Malays family will either speak Bahasa Malaysia or English at home. As what Zandi and Akuler (both Malaysian) mentioned, English is our second language..actually Malaysian are multi-lingual. Most of us can speak more than 3 languages plus other dialects. Due to this we have 'Malaysian English' which is we always like to put a 'lah' behind every sentence during conversation. Eg : "Don't be like that-lah!" or 'I also want-mah" -chinese style! That's why they mentioned 'Rojak Language' which means a sentence can have many languages / dialest in it!... Jack of all Languages but Master of None...lol Your son is very good with his Greek and English, keep it up!
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
5 Sep 09
Hi Thea, My first language is definitely English and I could speak Asian languages like Malay, the Bahasa (Indonesia), a bit of Mandarin, and some Tamil words too. Not that much, but I try. I only know bad words in Hokkien though, LoL.. There are lots of multi-racial people living in Singapore and I grew up with most races; you name it; Asian, Caucasian, Eurasian, Pan-Asian and whatnot. But all of us are united in the common language: British English. We learn British English here but those whom have studied abroad like in Australia and America; they've gotten their accents changed a bit due to a long time being abroad. I would love to learn fluent French and Greek though. Is it hard? I know this word someone taught me before: Volim Te.. which means I Love You. I think that's a gorgeous word.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Hi Zed, that's an awful lot of languages to be familiar in but it does seem to be an Asian trait and one which should be passed along to England, all these other nationalities learning English and the English hardly bothering with any in the main. I have no idea which language your Volim Te is but certainly the two languages you would like to learn sound very good whilst some languages can sound very harsh, Chinese for instance sounds as if two people are constantly shouting due to the shortness of the words. As for your question about Greek, they do say that Greek and Chinese are the two most difficult languages to learn. Being in Singapore the sounds of Chinese are obviously familiar to you so I would imagine Greek would be the hardest for you, but then again you already have linguistic abilities whilst I had none.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
7 Sep 09
Thanks, Thea.. I'm not really a linguist, but I try to be.. I'd love to learn Greek.. do you know how to say how do you do or something like that..? I'll try to compare to Mandarin and see whether they are quite the same in terms of hardness. But I think I might have a bit of a problem grasping Greek for the first part. Volim Te is Slovak or in Bosnian, I can't remember.. Portuguese is also another cool language. We'll do with the dictionaries for now..
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
11 Sep 09
oops, 5 days late but better than never. we say Kala esai, for how are you. I'll have to pop some workds for you in the Greek section!
1 person likes this
@ShepherdSpy (8562)
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
4 Sep 09
Hi Thea! As part of my Job training I lived and worked in Germany over 18 months..That's many years ago now,but although my speech may be getting a little rusty from being out of practise,I'm still able to think in the Language..I was listening to the Duet Nena did with Kim Wilde today of her hit "Irgendwie,Irgendwo,Irgendwann" and was thinking about the Lyrics and how a direct translation wouldn't work..there's a line "Ich bau' Dir ein Schloss aus Sand",the rhythm of which is lost translated directly into English (I'll build You a Sandcastle!) Being able to think in a Language is how I'd define being fluent in that Language..I would have some knowledge of French and Spanish too,but not enough as yet to think in those..
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi ShepherdSpy, I like your definition of fluency very much but it leaves me confused now with what exact stage I'm really at in my own second language. I've realised through this discussion that I don't really translate much now, as I used to do, when I actually communicate, I can express myself without having to first translate in my mind, I suppose it's second nature now, and the less time I actually study it now the more easily i can express myself. But I don't sit around thinking in that language when I'm not using it, and I still have trouble understanding it. It's interesting that you've retained your ability to do that in German even though it sounds as if it's not a language you acutally now use for communication.
• Omagh, Northern Ireland
4 Sep 09
I don't use it much for communication nowadays,but thankfully the interwebs makes it easier to keep up with a second Language,what with streamed radio shows from your preferred country,language podcasts,and educational programmes being available for free!
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
What on earth is a language podcast? I should explain I don't understand technical things. I will read it tomorrow if you reply as almost sleep time over here. By the way the deleted box remark was not directed at your box but a previously deleted box, sorry for any confusion.
@stvasile (7317)
• Romania
4 Sep 09
I'm used of thinking in English when I'm reading English articles or listening to English audio books, or writing something in English. I think I'm able of switching to thinking in English any time I have to. It's not the case for some of the other languages I understand, like French, Italian or Spanish. I have to spend some time in an environment where that language is spoken before I start thinking in that language, without having to translate in my language in my head.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi stvasile, no real suprise there at all that you have several European languages under your belt.Actully this is a really lazy question but something I never thought about before, does Romanian have the Greek or English alphabet system or some other one? Until I asked this question I didn't really notice that I have stopped translating in my head most of the time but I still have a long way to go without making many many mistakes.
@stvasile (7317)
• Romania
4 Sep 09
The Romanian language uses the Latin alphabet, the one we write in here on myLot. There are a few extra signs that express some special sounds, but it's basically the Latin alphabet. That's not much of a surprise as around 90% of the Romanian words are of Latin origin (that's also why it's easy for me to understand some of the other Latin-based languages such as the French, Italian and Spanish language). I've studied some Russian in school for 3 years, so I can also read and write using the Cyrillic alphabet, and I know most of the Greek letters because they are internationally used as symbols in mathematics or physics. It is, however, very difficult for me to read Greek (I read the words letter by letter first ), and I have no idea on when a letter or another is used (for example, if I know correctly, the sound "i" is marked in some words by the letter iota and in others by the letter ita. The same goes for the sound "o", represented by omega or by omicron).
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Russian as well. I did think you'd have the Latin alphabet but a few extra symobols were rather expected to. Greek whilst appearing very difficult is absolutely phonic and words are pronounced as they are written unlike in English, however it does take a while to come to grips with a language which uses five e's and all the different dipthongs, plus the certain combinations of letters which are impossible for a foreigner to get their tongue round, such as ft, I can never ask for something cheap in a shop as cannot pronounce it properly so have to ask for one that is not expensive. Anyway 'cheap' is a dangerous word to use as it is the same as the verb 'to spit' so it could sound like I want to spit on someone. So is mastering Greek too a future plan?
@Humbug25 (12551)
7 Sep 09
Hi there thea09 When I was first with my husband (now ex) we used to communicate in French because English wasn't his first language, and I would be like at work and think I must remember to tell him something and then I would have like the conversation in my head but when it came to actually talking to him I never had to think about what I was going to say, it would just come out! Only today actually I saw some ants and was talking to my son but the word for them in his father's lanuage came to me first but I did actually say ants or else my son would have looked at me really funny!
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
7 Sep 09
Hi humbug, please drop the 09 when you talk to me. Some words just come out naturally first now in a second language when they are used on a daily basis. Yesterday I was answering a cookery topic and the word eggplant came up which is of course an Americanism I never use as know it as an aubergine, but I never use that word either now in daily life, to me it is now a melitzane and probably always will be. You have an excellent chance now to teach your son to be bilingual and I hope you do so, the difference between catching a child very young with a language and waiting until later means the two languages are just a natural part of their vocabulary so off and tell him what ants are in French.
1 person likes this
@Humbug25 (12551)
7 Sep 09
Sorry thea it is force of habit for me call mylotters by their user name! My husband and I split up 3 years ago now and we stopped communicating in French about 4 years before that because we lived in England and he wasn't advancing in the language at all. My son used to understand me when I spoke to him in French but when we dropped it because of his father he soon forgot. Now my youngest is 4 and feel it is a bit too late but at least I can help them with their French homework eh? haha
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
7 Sep 09
Hi Humbug, I think 4 is the perfect age to introduce a second language but as you are now in England and not exposed to the language it may not be possible to do it in a way where being bi lingual would result but children so young so absorb these things with tremendous ease. When we moved to Greece my son just absorbed the new language around him and when after less than three months exposure he actually opened his mouth to speak it he came out with full sentences in perfect Greek and has been totally bi lingual from that moment.
• India
4 Sep 09
Shouldn't Be A Problem If you Speak The Language . - I Can Easily Speak Vocally ..
If You Can Speak That Language,it Shouldn't Be Much Of A Problem Communicating .. Some People Have the Habit of Making Completely Sure Of Their Grammar, Such People Do take their time Once the Speech Goes on in the Mind And then it Becomes Vocal .. I Can Speak 3 Languages Very Fluently .. I Never Do Mind Speaking With These Languages at All .. Am I Short of Your Expectations For An Answer ..
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi Prash, so when you never do mind speaking in three languages you mean you think in them and don't need to translate, is that right. That is an enviable achievement. When I speak to someone in my second language I don't compose first what I am going to say as I know others do, but then I usually have to backtrack to correct tenses and verb ends. As you speak three languages fluently I presume one of them is your own so what age did you start with the other two, as I know it is much easier to start as a child.
1 person likes this
• India
5 Sep 09
I Learnt the Languages When I Was A younger .. Surely Not A Recent development .. My Vocabulary Too Correspondingly Improved .. So I Don't Complain Of First Translating To My Native Language And Then putting My Words Across .. I Am Very Happy Knowing all these Languages Well ..
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Bravo Prash.
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
5 Sep 09
thinking in different languages is quite a possibility. it would depend on how comfortable are you with the language. there are many people who are bilingual or even multilingual on a daily routine basis. Here (India) formal language is English. so in offices we communicate in English and during breaks we talk (with our colleagues) in native language. so almost everyone here knows atleast two languages which they use in routine. i personally know three languages which i am comfortable with and can communicate and think more or less equally well.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Hi sunny, I am being continually amazed here by how muli lingual so many Mylotters are, just look at yourself, comfortable in three languages and able to chop and change between them. Obviously your educational system puts more value on these things than either the UK or USA system does which means that the English speakers become lazy expecting everyone else to know the English language.
@sunny68 (1327)
• India
6 Sep 09
you have a point there. yes much depends on education system. in my school days i was taught four languages (because of certain reasons). it was not an easy task and we used to mix up languages. but at the end of schooling i was very comfortable with three of them and the fourth language, not being in routine use, faded away.
@Xzcess (176)
• India
5 Sep 09
Growing up in a place like where I am from, It was made sure that i understand a number of language. Like, I can converse fluently in about 3 languages (English, Hindi, Punjabi), and i can understand 5 (English Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Sanskrit). I can write in 3 (English, Hindi, Sanskrit) different languages as well. apart from these i want to learn German as well, maybe Spanish someday too. So it is not hard for me to think in a language which is different from my mother tongue. I find myself thinking in all different languages depending on the company or the situation i am in.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Hi xzcess, that is certainly some fine liguistic talent you display there, I wish I had your language skills. No matter how hard I try I still find the hardest part of my second language is actually understanding it. Writing it is a doddle for me even though it was a completely new alphabet and I can speak it okay, I just usually have to have a lot of things said back to me twice. To be able to think in multiple languages, I'm just 'hats off to you'. Bravo
@Xzcess (176)
• India
5 Sep 09
I blame this fine linguistic display on the countless teachers whom i harassed with my inability to pick up a language or my unwillingness to try hard with grammar .. while they stood near me threatening me with harsh words and a menacing look on their face which usually meant a long assignment, forcing me to read one more line. (: .. :P
@malpoa (1218)
• India
5 Sep 09
I have married a person from a diffrent state in India and before marriage we used to converse in english but after coming to this state, and staying with his parents I slowly started learing the local language...It wasnt a problem, I picked it up in less than six months, now I can fluently converse and think in the language...I feel if you want to be very free with the second or new language, you need to think more in that language. But I am most comfortable in my mother tongue, more in english and okay in bengali which I learned recently...and while trying to learn a new language, I most of the time translate so i understand better.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Hi Malpoa, I knew you lived in a different state before you married but didn't realise the move meant a new language was involved. I am making an absolute presumption here that two Indian languages share many words or are similiar enough to pick up easily, as opposed to a completely foreign language. So if your father in law doesn't speak English you could communicate with your husband in English without him understanding perhaps but no doubt that would be considered rude.
@malpoa (1218)
• India
6 Sep 09
I cant deny the fact that there are many words which are similar to the ones we use in kerala. But it has nothing to do with our language. It is linked with sanskrit. I have learned english and hindi(national language) as first and second language in school so I found bengali easier to learn because I knew hindi. Also the presence of many familiar words helped. The prononciation is entirelly diffrent. It is true that many languages are similar like malayalam (my mother tongue) and tamil (of tamil nadu)are similar and because kerala and tamil nadu are neighboouring states down south. Here in the western part of india, bengali oriya and assamese are similar because these three states of bengal, orissa nad assam are neighbouring states. The general diffrences are diffrent names for vegetables and other commodities also the diffrence in prononciation.
• Malaysia
5 Sep 09
This is a very interesting topic. If you need to translate it into your native language first before speaking in another language, then you are using the Grammar Translation Method of learning.The response time is twice as long as compared to a person who think and respond in the same language. You should use the communication method;just get the gist of the message and then you respond. I do not know about dreaming in languages. Someone may have to do a study on that tone.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Hi gracefuldove, I think you could have hit the nail on the head with this one, I must be the of the grammar translation school but when I started to learn my second language I started self taught and didn't really know how to go about it. I communicated quite well straight off but once I got bogged down with grammar and things like that it did pull me up rather short. I really don't know how to just go about going with the communication method as the other way is so ingrained. I do now communicate quite easily but always backtrack to correct my verb endings as Greek is very complicated. What I do know is that I haven't actually studied it this year and find I am communicating better.
@sk66rc (4261)
• United States
5 Sep 09
I came to U.S. when I was barely 14 years old. There's a term regarding immigrants, 1st generation, 2nd generation & so forth. I'm considered 1 & 1/2 generation Korean. I was born & raised in Korea long enough to know the language & be fluent in it to hold an everyday conversation with anyone. Also I've been in U.S. long enough to understand & fluent enough in English to hold everyday conversation. It goes for other aspect as well. There are times I think & dream in Korean & others I think & dream in English. But most of the times, I find myself think & dream in both languages. Granted that at this point in my life, I've lived in U.S. longer than I have in Korea, English pops into my head first. That's not to say I have any problem with Korean. One thing though, being that I was 14 years old when I came to U.S., my korean is pretty much at 14 year old level & haven't improved as much & as fast as I'd like it to since then. Growing up with mom, dad & siblings of course helped a lot but I still find myself get stuck on few Korean words & expressions that my mother is used to. I don't know, it's weird. I don't have any problem switching back & forth but at times, I do have to think about what I wanna say in one language or another & translate it, weather it's Korean to English or vise versa.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Hi sk66rc, you've raised some really intersting points there especially about your Korean language skills not really progressing beyond where they were at the time of your arrival in the US. It's of particualar interest as my own son is totally bi lingual in English and Greek but he has much less exposure to English in his everyday life which he basically conducts in Greek. He uses English at home but with few other people but has advanced beyond his current years, but he reads mainly in English for pleasure and does ask the meaning of lots of English words. Also I would say his English is better than the Greek adults who do speak English so thinking about it I don't forsee the difficulty you encountered with keeping pace with Korean. My son is ten by the way. Maybe you still find you have to sometimes translate just because the Korean language isn't so much featured in your life. I'd be interested to hear how your parents adapted to English as they were obviously older than you and I find it is much harder generally for adults to learn a new language as we get so caught up with things like grammar rules.
1 person likes this
@dianmelydia (2272)
• Indonesia
4 Sep 09
For common words and conversations, i don't need to translating it in my head first. But for certain words which are not common used by me, i usually have to open my electronic dictionary. Usually i use my mobile phone which i have installed a dictionary software on it. Although it's just a common and not a complete dictionary, but i think it really helpful for my quick translation. I'm sure which one is my second language because i have learnt many language and most of them are using on my daily activities. I think i have a double second language. Good luck and have a nice day. Happy mylotting.
1 person likes this
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi dianmelydia, another responder with more than two second languages, there are indeed some talented linguists within the mylot community. I don't carry anything around with me generally to translate with unless its an appointment for something where I think I might need a bit of help and then I just take along a pocket dictionary. But you can think in the second languages and reinforce them with an electronic dictionary when the ocassion arises.
• Brazil
4 Sep 09
I think, i dream I do many things in my second language. Most of the time I use it even more than the first language cause I work with it. So sometimes I forget in what language I thought, read or wrote something and have to get back to remember. It´s funny to be like that. Also sometimes I know a word in my second language that I forgat in my first so I have to use a translator to discover it in my own language and vice-versa.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi deborahkat, that seems to be a recurring theme here that often first language words can get forgotten and I do fall prey to that one myself. It must be great to be so fluent in a second language though that it comes so naturally to you. Even as I become more confident in using my second language though i could never imagine the day when I could pick up a novel and enjoy it in Greek rather than translation.
• Brazil
4 Sep 09
Living abroad helped me to achieve that. For about one year I lived in another country and if it wasn´t my second language I had no clue how it would be. After some time it was really difficult for me to speak my own language. I started to have a strange accent... hehehe.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
It's difficult to type as I'm laughing so hard at the box under yours It sounds as if you didn't have much exposure to your first language whilst you lived abroad which is a quick way too learn. It is taking me longer due to everyone, well quite a few, wanting to speak English.
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
4 Sep 09
Happy friday Niece, i don't speak but one language & don't always do it well, lol.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hello Aunty, got to tell you the humidity is rising out here to unknown levels and it's supposed to be cooling off by now, very sticky. I think on the whole Europeans, except for the Brits, are taught languges early and are often skilled in several, whilst the Brits and Americans tend to employ the practice abroad of speaking loudly. But if you're not travelling there isn't much point, what on earth would be the use of you speaking fluent Dutch in the middle of Tenessee.
1 person likes this
@ANTIQUELADY (36471)
• United States
5 Sep 09
I do wish y'all could get a break in that awful heat. U are so right i'm not planning on going anywhere i can't speak english, lol.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
5 Sep 09
Yassou Aunty, that's just hello in Greek
1 person likes this
@jellymonty (2354)
4 Sep 09
Depends what I'm thinking about... but since I speak 8 Languages I damn sure think in all of them and if I need to translate into English then I do so..
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hi jellymopnty, with eight languagues under your belt you must have a real lingustc aptitude, that's amazing, and to think in all of them too. Which languages do you actually have and did you learn them as a child?
4 Sep 09
I mainly speak English and Portuguese as I'm half Portuguese and well think in them too. I actually learnt how to speak English when I was 18. As a youngster I spoke mainly Portuguese, Spanish and Afrikaans. I'm Half south African, half Portuguese, Half Egyptian and half Spanish. I also speak Arabic, Swahili, French and Zulu.
1 person likes this
@zed_k4 (17624)
• Singapore
5 Sep 09
Awesome.. you can become a translator and earn big anytime..
@Downwindz (2229)
• Netherlands
15 Sep 09
I speak Danish and English fluently (danish beeing my native) And i do also think, dream and so forth in the languages. Then when i have to use German i need to translate the sentences first before i say them, and the same more or less counts with the very little Dutch i can speak (Though i will soon begin on real Dutch lessons, so eventually i will be fluent in Dutch aswell)
@Downwindz (2229)
• Netherlands
17 Sep 09
I certainly need the luck for the Dutch lessons, if everything goes well i should be starting on them in October when i have finished my thesis. Dutch has the same issues as the Danish language, they do not pronounce the words as they are spelled, I simply dont see how they can make G, J and K's sound like R's :o
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
17 Sep 09
@Sandra1952 (6052)
• Spain
4 Sep 09
Hello, Thea. I found that when I'd spent six months in Spain, I was actually thinking in Spanish. And I impressed both the expats and the locals when I was working out the answers to a Spanish gameshow which was a bit like Countdown. I even surprised myself, as I don't really consider myself fluent in Spanish.
@thea09 (18321)
• Greece
4 Sep 09
Hello Sandra, good for you grasping Spanish so quickly. I must say that I was probably more confident in Greek for the first six months and later on when I started intensive Greek lessons as opposed to being self taught I started to realise just how many mistakes I was making so it did make me think a lot more before using it, but luckily it didn't put me off. The main thing is that we use it which many Brits, as I'm sure you find in your area, don't even bother trying, which I think is rather ignorant. It is only possible to integrate properly into another culture by using their language.
1 person likes this
• Spain
5 Sep 09
Good morning, Thea. I'm avoiding professional Spanish lessons for exactly the same reason as you. Some of our friends over here who took lessons for a year or even longer before moving out actually don't speak as much Spanish as I do, as they're frightened of getting it wrong and being laughed at. However, the locals appreciate that people make the effort, and never ridicule anyone for getting things wrong, as I'm sure is the case where you are. Too many English expats just want to recreate England in the sun when they move abroad. Not only is it ignorant, as you point out, it means you don't get the full benefit of the move. Let's face it - if England was so perfect, we'd still be there, wouldn't we?