https://www.duolingo.com/Kalleca

I think I thought in French

I'm bilingual English-Spanish and today I was trying to say couch and I could not remember how to say couch while I was talking to my American mother in law. I paused trying to figure out for a second how to say couch but the first word that came to me was not in Spanish or English but French. I actually though of "canapé".

January 11, 2016

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/DragonPolyglot

That's a good sign! That means you're learning French. :) it can be weird at first, I know the feeling because I did that with Spanish several times (I'm a native English speaker learning Spanish) but it's good because it means that you're actually learning the language. Good job! :)

January 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza

Once I was speaking in english. I wanted to say the word "uncommon" but I couldn't remember. So I acted naturally and I said "ungewöhnlich" and I expected the person next to me to know what it meant.

January 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/TheQueenZerelda

Ha ha, sometimes I just throw in random Spanish words because I know the person next to me can't understand. You know, keys...warm....window...that sort of thing.

January 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/GuilloFuchs

That happens to multilingual people all the time. Sometimes, when I am speaking Spanish, for example, I might want to say something but I think it in English, so then I gotta try figuring out how I can convey the whole idea into Spanish, and sometimes I get the idea all mixed up.

It's just our brains trying to combine two different worlds to make sense of our daily lives.

January 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EnvyFangirl1

Thats cool! Has that happen to you before?

January 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kalleca

When I was learning English.

January 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/EnvyFangirl1

Cool

January 11, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/faithscott0

hello my name is faith i'm 10 and i and now following you

January 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Kalleca

Hi Faith, thanks for following me. I am so happy that you are doing duolingo and you are only 10. Please don't give it up, speaking a second language is one of the best investments you can do for your future. It will open so many doors for you!! :)

January 13, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Roody-Roo

Faith, that's so sweet but you should never say your real name or age on a forum. It's against the rules.

May 26, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/EricaHarley

Amazing! You gotta keep that up!

January 11, 2016

[deactivated user]

    Nice! Good work!

    January 11, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/linslovee

    that's awesome omg

    January 11, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/ArdeJohnson

    That's great! I have the opposite problem. Yours is better!

    Bonne continuation. ;)

    January 11, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Poissonnier

    Je pense je pense (accent a droit) en francais? Est-ce correct?

    January 11, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/annekat1

    Je pense que je pensais, I think (imparfait, and add a "que" for "that"). Feels a bit awkward to me, though; I would use Je pense que j'ai eu une pensée--I think that I had a thought. But I'm also not a native speaker by any stretch of the imagination.

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/ArdeJohnson

    You could also mix it up and use croire/penser instead of penser twice.

    Otherwise, if you have to, I'd (also a non-fluent speculating non-native) go with:

    • "Je pense que j'ai pensé en français"

    For imparfait it'd be more: "I think that I was thinking" as opposed to "I think [that] I thought".

    I strongly suspect croire/penser would be more accurate, though.

    But again, tragically non-fluent here.

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Poissonnier

    Thanks! I considered croire in this case since 'I think' could mean 'I believe,' though considering the root of croire, that might be too strong for 'I think I thought.' He doesn't believe he thought in French. To use 'penser' twice keeps the amusing mood of the original sentence, like 'these are things I think I think.' Two subtle shades of meaning in the verb there.

    At some point, I'm going to need an actual honest-to-goodness, real world, French class with real people and a real teacher. I won't forget 'que' if someone is rapping my knuckles with a ruler.

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/ArdeJohnson

    Haha, yeah, I'm excited to get to that point, too. The nuance will be part of the fun of really knowing a language.

    Reason I suspected croire would be better is because IMO in this sentence he is saying he experienced something, and he may be able to classify it as "thinking in French" or he may not. (Or she). But he explains the story and almost arrives to that conclusion. So he believes he did, but he knows it's not conclusive evidence, since it was just a single word.

    As opposed to "think" which is really just a opinion-free, emotion-free, non-subjective process, isn't it? Other wise it sounds like "A thought just came into my mind. I'm not feeling any way about it, I'm just thinking. This random thought. Let me type out the words that my head produced: je pense que..."

    While the humor, for me, was in the fact that this tiny thing happened and he went "I think... yeah! I.. I believe this must be xx, no?!"

    In English those meanings can both be expressed with to think, but I'm not sure if the same thing can be said for penser. :)

    I'm probably overthinking it, though, just thought it'd be fun to speculate :)

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Poissonnier

    This is fun.

    Mr. Google says pensais, the imperfect, mais qu'est qu'il connait? I think of 'to believe' as something more solid, something we're sure of, like 'Je crois au Pere Noel,' instead of 'Je pense que je t'aime.' It's like how 'parler' is different from 'dire', even though they involve essentially similar actions.

    Not like English teachers learning new languages overthink it or anything, or feel compelled to parse the meaning of every word. :-)

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am

    The clever comment made me laugh, and reminded me of a piece of classic wordplay written by the great George and Ira Gershwin: http://youtu.be/zZ3fjQa5Hls

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Poissonnier

    Let's call the whole thing off.

    :-)

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/Gp6am

    Quelle dommage, non?

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/katiefrenchtoast

    im learning french and sometimes i do that.

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/NtateNarin

    That happened to me as well! I was trying to tell a child how to spell "Beijing," but because I've been practicing the French alphabet, I forgot how to pronounce the letter "j" in the English alphabet.

    After pronouncing it the French way a few times, and looking confused, the kid corrected me. It was a bit embarrassing, but funny after the fact!

    January 12, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/MattMoran01

    I've had the same experience. I've found myself thinking about something in Spanish as I walk down a hallway or sit down for class. It's very different compared to thinking in your native language.

    January 12, 2016
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