https://www.duolingo.com/Rockilana16

Skipping Your Native Language- Advancing Your Thoughts

I was wondering if there are any specific words that when you see this specific object or think about this specific word you skip over your native language and you think it in your target language.

For me, (for some odd reason) this happens to me when I see a duck. I automatically think anatra instead of duck. However, this is the only word I have noticed that this happens to me when I am thinking of it.

I don't know, I was wondering if anyone else has specific individual words that they think of in their target language before their native language.

I hope everyone understands what I am trying to say. Sorry, it is not explained the best. :(

May 14, 2019

43 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/SandraStea1

Oh yes, I do. Those animal words are especially interesting and I find myself thinking in the more novel (and fun) words in Romanian or Italian which I just learned rather than the old ones in English or even French I have been using for years and years.

Bufniţă is the Romanian word for "owl" and I like the way it sounds (it's a great example of that "ţ" sound which is like a a "tz", "boof neetz uh". It was also one of the first really interesting nouns I learned (of course...Duo is one!). There are so many others. I think animals are easy to picture in our minds and putting a word to them is an effective way to learn a language. I guess that's why they teach them among the first things in books for babies and children...lol.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

Maybe it happens when a word turns up a lot when learning your target language which you rarely use in your native language? In this case "duck".

In real life you might see ducks from time to time, but you might not have said "there's a duck" since you were a kid. :)

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rockilana16

This is probably true. Now that I think about it, how often am I saying duck in my day to day life.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AlinaSomething

For me it's the other way around, my mind switches to other languages (English, Spanish and now German) for the little simple things like: hello!, bye!, why?, i know, i don't know etc. I haven't said the Romanian (my native language) version of "hello" to people in years, for example. Luckily, that one is easy for everyone, even for my grandma :)

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/WinterSoldier.

When I see a penguin I think "Pinguino" and when I see a house I always think "дом"

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/CodyORB

My head jumps to "manzana" sometimes when thinking of an apple, simply because it's one of the first words I learned in Spanish. It's been frozen in there since.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TJTitmus

Frozen manzanas sounds very painfull.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/TravelingHeather

And Duolingo really likes to use those manzanas for the first handful of lessons :D

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/IgneousGeologist

That oddly happens to me with "duck" too. I think I just like the word "pato" more. It also applies to me with instead of horse it would be "caballo".

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rockilana16

Maybe Duo is brainwashing us with the word duck. ;)

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ericsonn0

Quack quack!

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Lord love a duck. You say this when stunned or dismayed and no other words come to mind. "Chúa yêu một con vịt." Vịt is duck in Vietnamese.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

Is that actually a Vietnamese phrase? I'm surprised it's even an American phrase.

I've always thought of "Lord love a duck" as a particularly Northern English phrase. :)

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

It came from James Joyces "Ulysses" as there is no source earlier than that.

I translated it into Vietnamese. I would probably get a blank stare if I said that to someone.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Davey, and I thought it was pure cockney:-)

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

I think you might be more right, though, Linda...I think the black and white telly in my head might have been confusing Steptoe and Son with Hilda Ogden's ducks on her wall... :)

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Davey. Hilda Oh! And I'm still watching Corrie! I do remember "Fools n Horses" doing the duck occasionally, bless em! Also the great Victoria Wood and Julie Walters B&W wartime clips where they remained chirpy midst the rubble. Humour is vital no?

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/GeoPlayer123YT

wait why are the trees talking?

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda7Italian

Totally understand you. Strangely "anatra" is one of my words that I no longer translate, it just is. Then there are "muro" and "bici" amongst others. It comes from thinking Italian and seeing only l'anatra, il muro e una bici. Tanti auguri... Ps. Perhaps we have a special affection for l'anatra and il caballo, who knows.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ddeck22

I see a lot of ducks on the way to work, so I still think "duck"

However, "pozzanghera" is what I associate with a puddle from watching many episodes of Peppa Pig in Italian. In every episode, they jump into a "pozzanghera di fango".

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/ma.ks.x

I'm Russian native, but recently mostly think and speak to myself in English. It's not my target language, but I use it so much lately, because almost all my friends are Europeans, that I think I speak more in English than in Russian now, so this could be the case. It has an insteresting side-effect in long-term perspective though: sometime I speak weirdly in Russian because it seems like English started to influence on my speech in native language.

There is also another interesting thing: if you learned some termin in another language, you most likely will always keep it in mind in this language, not in your native. It can be the same for words that you normally don't use often and, because of this, think about them quite rare ("Duck" in your case).

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Zia177448

Sometimes when I see a cat, my mind just supplies me with a delighted Finnish "KISSA!". (And then I feel like a three-year old... XD)

I'm pleasantly surprised that my brain often skips the translation phase with Spanish nowadays and just jumps straight to the meaning (and then I often find myself struggling to put it into English for duolingo). That's a stage I definitely didn't expect to find myself in after just a couple of months. Thank you, duolingo!

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AnkadeRozzo

Aaa! Kissa - yes) I usually define cat as kissa and strangely also strawberry as mansikka in my brain. And yes, i also feel like a three year old.

May 18, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/discoplum

I'm learning Italian as well and "farfalle" for butterflies for some reason really stuck with me. Especially strange as I strongly dislike butterflies lol

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Did one bite you when you were a child or tried to sew your lips like dragonflies?

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

Interesting and unique Discussion. I'm still pondering that and will get back with an edit. One thing that comes to mind is swearing. I have been swearing in Vietnamese for the past year. But I discount that as I have a vast repertoire of swearing in different languages acquired over many years and not a great thing to brag about.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Kim208424

This happens to me, but not always the same words, and not always the same languages. I'm a native English speaker, with a Russian degree, a lot of history with other Slavic languages, as well as with Spanish, a bit of Greek and French, and currently going a little nuts with German. I will occasionally stumble coming up with words and they'll fight to get out of my head in whatever language the thoughts latch onto (example: late April I was in a Swiss taxi trying to speak German with the driver and any negation came out in Russian. Not a word/thought of English--just my random on-the-fly Germano-Russian hybrid). It's quite funny, actually, and I've just learned to appreciate that quite a bit has lodged itself in there.

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Sunny.Kay

Absolutely! Mostly with words that are simply fun to say --

tortuga (Sp for turtle, and really, how fun is that?? Tortuga tortuga tortuga...)

mariposa (Sp for butterfly),

papillon (Fr for butterfly and also an adorable breed of tiny dog that I loved to watch prance around the ring during my dog show years),

bouger (Fr for to move, another great one -- boojay, baby, boojay!),

boulangerie (Fr for bakery and an odd mix of Halloween and lacy underthings -- boo lingerie!)

Mmmm, suddenly craving some pain au chocolat from the boulangerie!

May 14, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/mwbrand1

My target language is German and I now think of a smart phone as Handy. I have to remind myself not to do this when speaking with friends.

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

I must do German next. Vietnamese generally have very short words but they combine many for one. " điện thoại di động" does not exactly easily roll off the tongue like "handy".

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/yermasya

absolutely! my native languages are Russian and Ukrainian but I actually tought myself to think in English. I see this as an alternative to having regular conversations with natives (:

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Charlotte816532

For me, when I learn a new, but out-of-the-ordinary word in German it sticks in my head. Words we might not have in English are very common in German as they use long compound words to express more complex ideas. For example, Schadenfreude is a word meaning to be happy about someone else's pain.

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Davey944676

And "bildungsroman" will be familiar to anybody who has ever taken English Lit.

It's a much quicker way to say "a novel dealing with one person's formative years or spiritual education" :)

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Rockilana16

Yeah, that’s a lot more concise than the original phrase.

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Kim208424

"Sehenswürdigkeit" is one of those that stuck for me ;)

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/MuchMyriad

In fact, Schadenfreude is so useful that it has been adopted into English. Wir alle lieben eine gute Schadenfreude.

May 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Donna498531

Duck was definitely one, and cane instead of dog.

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/LesVeuves

Mine is a bit weird, but I often say out loud that "I don't have ganas to do something" which basically means I don't have the incentive to do something. (This is a spanish thing) It's odd but it really makes sense to me. The wonders of language.

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Jillian926339

For me, it is the french word for fridge, "Frigo". I think it might just be because when said in an English sentence it sounds like some cool nickname for the fridge, I don't know.

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Flurs

My mom I do the same thing with a lot of Spanish words. For example, instead of referring to my cats as cats, she just calls them los gatos. Or I'll often greet her or tell her I'm hungry in Spanish.

May 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/peartreeguy

It happens to me with the word "small/little" ("pequeno" in my native language), I always think - and sometimes I even say it - "piccolo/piccola", in Italian. Haha. I think it is funny.

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Lemmonems

I was probably a year into the Rosetta Stone Spanish course when I opened my fridge one day to look for something to eat. There was a giant chicken in there that my mom was getting ready to cook, and I took one look at it and thought, "Ah, un pollo." It hasn't happened since with any other words, but sometimes when I see a chicken my brain still automatically goes to pollo.

May 16, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/Songve

I just thought of a variation of this theme. When I was at a party in Vietnam, I was moved by the beautiful voice of a singer. The woman with me noted my arms and said I had "da gà" chicken skin or goosebumps. Whether in Vietnamese or English, I now automatically say "chicken skin". After all this time, that still cracks me up.

May 15, 2019
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