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The language of thinking
1.       ikicihan
1127 posts
 20 May 2012 Sun 02:25 am

In what language we think, our native language?
if yes, is it possible to think in more than one language
or to change the language of thinking?

I met someone who lived in united states for about 50 years but he was born and raised in turkey. his native and first language was turkish in his early life. he still speaks and understands turkish. anyway, someone asked him in turkish, in what language you think when you are walking on the road alone? He answered "in english" even though his first and native language was turkish.

2.       Abla
3647 posts
 20 May 2012 Sun 10:55 am

A very interesting question, ikicihan. I guess after living abroad for a very long time a person still tends to think in his own language, especially if he still uses it for speaking, reading and writing. But the language of the environment slowly makes a nest in his head. It shows occasionally when the first word that occurs his mind is the foreign one. This happens more and more often until the native language becomes the foreign one.


It´s good to grow international and learn new languages. It´s vital if you are away from your own country. But at the same time you should take care of your brain and keep using the native language. Nowadays there are many ways to do this. Thinking is prior to speaking and we should always keep the tools of thinking in a good condition.

3.       alameda
3499 posts
 20 May 2012 Sun 05:05 pm

This is an interesting question. Actually there are several stages of thought. There is the flash thought, then the words thoughts. IOW we get the concept, but after that it is translated into words.

A interesting book on that is Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. While I don´t agree 100% with Mr. Gladwell, I have noticed thoughts are minus language. When we internally verbalize our thoughts it helps stabilize and give form and possible to transmit our thoughts

4.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 20 May 2012 Sun 06:24 pm

5.       barba_mama
1629 posts
 20 May 2012 Sun 06:24 pm

It depends... Usually I think in Dutch or English. That is why my Turkish isn´t good enough yet When I start thinking in Turkish I´ll be fluent. When I think about stuff in my family it´s usually in Dutch, when I think about work it´s usually in English.

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