https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

Thinking Bilingually

The other day I was knitting and thinking, and pretty soon, without realizing it, I was thinking completely in Spanish. My mind wandered, and soon enough, I arrived at this thought:

A veces una persona necesita tiempo para algo importante para la persona. No necesitamos comprendemos por qué necesitan tiempo, solo que lo hacen.

I realized how true it was, and hopelessly spit these words out to the poor unfortunate monolingual soul sitting next at me, and I said: "¿Es verdad, si? ¡Es verdad!" They looked at me and said: "What are you saying?" then I realized: I was not speaking in English.
For me, this is a great milestone on my language learning journey, my mind switched and my thoughts were able to be just as real as they are in English.
Moreover, ever since this, I have thought hard about what I thought in Spanish, and have come to really think it is true. Brought on by winter break, anxiety set in regarding going back to school. Now that day is upon me: tomorrow. My mind was beginning to heal and revert to itself, free from the needless stress and suppression that it succumbed to in that environment. For the first time in months I was able to compose music on my piano, write poems that were not painfully angry with the way I was treated by the very people who are meant to educate me, draw with emotion-evoking detail. Think! Oh, the joy of thought, I was able to further my fractal research and develop new ways to assess what the Hausdorff dimension has to relate to the iterative equation of a fractal, Fibonacci-dependant or otherwise. I was also able to read five books cover-to-cover (two of them highly academic, one questionably so (Sorry Ben Orlin, but Math with Bad Drawings... eh), the rest fiction), not to mention knit. I really needed time to allow me to do these things that are misunderstood and disregarded by many. We as people should be understanding of these things and the human need for personal time, even if we do not really comprehend why it is needed. Then I got an email with my ELA teacher irate due to the fact that my op-ed seemed more suited to a biomedical engineering journal as opposed to the general public and I was reminded all over again and felt how little people understand each other, be it a language barrier or some other roadblock. My goal this year is to continue my language learning so that I can elliminate barriars between myself and others. I digress. My take-away is this: I thought in another language without realizing it! ¡Feliz añyo nuevo!
~Luna

1 week ago

23 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/unithorn
unithorn
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How long have you been practicing Spanish? I'm curious how long it takes to get to that point.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

I honestly still think of myself as a beginner in Spanish, and to my standards, I am. I am far from fluency, and still use relatively simple sentence structures; I have not been practising Spanish for very long, but I am an extremely fast learner and I can focus intensely on one thing for an extended period, while still retaining information. My guess is it really depends on how you personally learn best compared to how you are learning your chosen language. From day one of really learning Spanish (I have dappled in and out of learning Spanish from the time I was six or seven, never knowing more than colours, numbers, and basic objects) I spoke in Spanish, which I believe helped immensely. Reading and writing in a language is one thing, speaking and thinking in a language is something altogether different. The amount of time it takes to get to this point is certainly variable from person to person: it depends more on how constant you are in using the language than how long you have been learning it.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jr.Foraker23

Okay, this is getting downvoted by others, but I thought this was muy interesante. I wish I could do that, literally think like that, with an overlap that's not English. I have some kind of cool theory that was on another thread, but it's gone now. Overlap is the way your conscious thinks, like in English or Spanish, but it has a common way of thinking in your subconscious. I thought I'd just mention that.

Good luck and happy New Year!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Jr. Per favore, stop being so negative re: dv. There's no need. You're OK.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/VballGurl9

Are you pretty advanced in Spanish? Sounds like you are, that's the only way you would be able to think in another language, That's really cool.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LaurianaB
LaurianaB
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Luna! Good to see you. This is really great...people say that when I am angry, I start to spit out Spanish words and phrases (mixed with other things, of course). I do not notice.

The more this happens, the more your brain is "switching over" to thinking fluently. Felicitaciones! Congratulations!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

Thanks! Happy New Year Lauriana!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/1Tareeko

I'm glad that you have received good feedback since the earlier comments, I believe that the mentioned downvotes may have come from people who were too envious at your achievements. You should be incredibly proud of that as it can take people years and years of study before even getting close to that point.

Ignoru la malamon. :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IanMSpencer

If you are going to speak fluently, then you will need to think in the language. From experience in Welsh, you don't have to be that fluent to have second language thoughts pop up and they are immediately comprehensible without a translation process. After all a lot of time you don't really think in language at all, you just think.

In fact, just thinking about this, I think that there are (at least) two thinking processes, one which is simply processing the world around you and then you also have conversations with yourself. Similarly, consider speaking your native language - you don't really think about what you are going to say much of the time, it just pops out, so the "idea" process is not a language one so once you can produce another language there is no reason why your brain cannot produce in a second language without going through the original language. Whether you do this out loud or internally doesn't really matter. Think about typing on a keyboard, that is an entirely separate mechanism for producing yet your body and brain manage to do it (and I do definitely think the words as I type them but I don't think the letters, they just happen).

The problem with Duolingo is that it doesn't exercise the speaking well, if you did a spoken learning course, this effect would come around much quicker.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

Yes, I agree completely, the first thing I did when I decided to really learn Spanish instead of simply dabbling was to speak. From day one I spoke to myself and connected the words I learned to the things I saw: "Dos perros"; "La leche"; etc. and it is thins method that I believe, allowed me to begin to feel so comfortable with the language.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Kateincarnate

Good suggestion, thanks.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

No problem; I hope it helps you!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ycUvuSap
ycUvuSap
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Upvoted for iterated function systems.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

Lol, thanks!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linethmlg

I wish there was a chat here! My main language is spanish, I would love to have someone to practice my english with and help them with spanish!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/susannafulcher

Wow! That's amazing! I have a feeling that the most difficult thing for me to do will be to start thinking in Spanish. ):

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Destiny25507

This was a beautiful read. I had my first bilingual dream in English and Mandarin ( after learning it in high school for 4 years) and not interacting with it for 3 yrs. I was so shocked and amazed, I woke up in tears. Such an amazing experience.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CHHsP

I love this!

A few years ago I had the opportunity to participate in a 5-week immersive French course based in Quebec, Canada where we spoke French 100% of the time.

It was challenging at first, but it all paid off about midway through once I began to think and dream in French!

Because of school and work commitments, I had to put my French learning on hold and have since lost that skill. I'm hoping a few dedicated months of Duolingo will help me get back on track! :)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/CHHsP

Oh - and for those of who are interested, the program was called Explore and it was a free program funded by the Canadian government. So to my fellow Canadians - check it out!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndesSky
AndesSky
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Hi Luna, I saw several downvotes on your post; but yours is a great post and I wanted to tell you that. And congratulations.

(By a similar effect, readers please have a look at how DL rule allows those negative people to do to posts such as this.... https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/30208943 With -7 in a few minutes it couldn't be on the list of new posts for anyone else to see. How can fair-minded people help? )

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Linguistic relativity is when your world view or cognition is affected by the structure of a language. I know of no language that makes one a pseudo-intellectual snob.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Free-Quark

I do not mean to come off as snobbish, but I can understand where you may get that feeling. I do not mean to offend you or upset you in any way, and I do understand what you mean. I have trouble expressing myself often in a way that does not come off like that, though I never mean it to. As far as it goes with being a "pseudo-intellectual", you can interpret it as you will, but it is part of who I am and how I commonly express myself. The only reason I even bring up my education is due to the struggles I have faced as of late due to being a non-traditional learner. Again, I apologize if I came off as arrogant or snobbish in this post: that was not my intention. https://forum.duolingo.com/comment/29768045

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AndesSky
AndesSky
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Free-Quark, You sound perfectly fine to me, not an iota of anything to apologise about. A great mind. Freed. Humble. And great writing. I hope you keep being your true gem. :-)

2 days ago
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