1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Your experience with thinking…


Your experience with thinking in another language

I was wandering about thinking in another language when it started how you got there did it surprise you and how has it changed the way you view the world

January 14, 2018



When: from three weeks to three months depending upon the language and exposure. How: intensive training and reading. Changed worldview: emphasized that everyone everywhere has the same needs and desires, we are more alike than we are different; gained self-confidence and increased comfort-level when dealing with people from countries/cultures other than my own.


By now I'm so used to thinking in my first foreign language that I don't notice when I switch; I can't remember the first time it happened naturally rather than consciously anymore either. Certain topics are just much easier in that language than in my native one.

I do remember the first time I dreamt in Japanese, after a period of several weeks of very intense study and immersion. The Japanese was actually correct and made sense after waking up, which felt like a huge break and step of progress. Ironically, I have not once dreamt in Italian yet, despite being much more fluent in it, though I do often practice thinking in Italian.


At one point, I just began to think in English, since I was reading a lot in this language : it would just continue when I was going to bed. The strange thing is that I was not fluent yet, that’s how I understood how important it is to have a word for it when we want to think about a concept. Today I kinda have different uses, like thinking in English when I relax and in my native language when I have to work. It’s pretty useful, but sometimes disturbing.


I used to dream in French sometimes. It happened to me when I was spending a few weeks there. It was sporadic and in no way fluent and happened after a few years study and being in an environment of constant exposure.


I found that it happened gradually, for me. I am able to read without translating (there are occasional words I still need to look up, so it's not complete), understand SLOW Spanish, and pretty much find the words I want to use, but not necessarily the correct form of those words, without going through English. It's a work in progress. Change my world view? Well, it really hasn't, not a lot.

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.