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  1. #1
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    Default A Question To All Non English Speakers

    I was thinking of something. When people think, they have a voice in their head that sort of states it. That voice for me is in the English language.

    So, the question is simple. When you think of something, is the language your "inner mental voice" speaking in your native language?

    It would also help if I get a genuine bilingual(influenced by two languages concurrently while developing) instead of those acquired bilinguals answer this as well.
    Last edited by StrawberryClock; 04-05-2010 at 06:34.

  2. #2
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    Both.

    About 50/50.

  3. #3
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    I can only comment on what my friend has experienced since becoming pretty fluent in Japanese. He mostly thinks in English, but sometimes he thinks in Japanese because there isn't a direct translation.
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    I've only been living in Japan for about 7 months and know only very basic Japanese, but sometimes I am already thinking in Japanese (mostly just exclamatory situations, like "oishii" instead of "delicious" or "yadda" instead of... well that's hard to translate, maybe "ew?")
    Based on this, it seems to me that the environment you're in has an effect on which language you think in. I'm sure once I return to the US, my thinking will go back to 100% English.

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    Since Darkfall i started swearing in english in my head... besides that i am still thinking in my native language.

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    I have also always wondered this, myself. The question poses numerous practical successive questions on the nature of consciousness and sentient thinking itself, and invariably also the nature of learning, logic, and knowledge.

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    This poses a question. If a language is constrained to fewer words, isn't it much harder to remember/make concrete a concept or idea if that word doesn't exist within your language?

    Lets say for example, I speak French(I know the language a bit) and there is no word for capitalism, so I will not remember that concept as well, but if I spoke English and have a concrete word for it, I would remember that concept much better.

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    I've read an article where they tested the pre-motor functions of native Chinese vs. native English speakers, and found that different parts of the brain activated when the same mathematical question is posed.

    That probably means that language itself has a fundamental impact on shaping human learning and development. Its quite possible that its rather cultural though.

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    The universal use of Arabic numbers in mathematics raises a question whether these digits are processed the same way in people speaking various languages, such as Chinese and English, which reflect differences in Eastern and Western cultures. Using functional MRI, we demonstrated a differential cortical representation of numbers between native Chinese and English speakers. Contrasting to native English speakers, who largely employ a language process that relies on the left perisylvian cortices for mental calculation such as a simple addition task, native Chinese speakers, instead, engage a visuo-premotor association network for the same task. Whereas in both groups the inferior parietal cortex was activated by a task for numerical quantity comparison, functional MRI connectivity analyses revealed a functional distinction between Chinese and English groups among the brain networks involved in the task. Our results further indicate that the different biological encoding of numbers may be shaped by visual reading experience during language acquisition and other cultural factors such as mathematics learning strategies and education systems, which cannot be explained completely by the differences in languages per se.
    Last edited by StrawberryClock; 04-05-2010 at 07:56.

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    That depends. On english forums and when visiting english speaking countries, my inner voice is mos def speaking in english. At home it's always in danish.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by StrawberryClock View Post
    I was thinking of something. When people think, they have a voice in their head that sort of states it. That voice for me is in the English language.

    So, the question is simple. When you think of something, is the language your "inner mental voice" speaking in your native language?

    It would also help if I get a genuine bilingual(influenced by two languages concurrently while developing) instead of those acquired bilinguals answer this as well.
    I think a more interesting question is what is the 'inner voice' of people who have been deaf since birth. I assume they think in pictures, or pictures of words, but I don't know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAA KAPUTTMACHA View Post
    Since Darkfall i started swearing in english in my head... besides that i am still thinking in my native language.
    English vulgarities do have a certain rightness to them and just flow from the tongue.
    Last edited by Rokstarr; 04-05-2010 at 14:43.
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    Mostly English. I guess 60/40. The internet.. games.. movies.. music.. they have ruined me. My inner voice doesn't do maths in English though.
    Last edited by Viluin; 04-05-2010 at 15:10.

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    Usually nativ language, unless I imagine talking to someone who speaks english or think of a post on say, this forum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rokstarr View Post
    I think a more interesting question is what is the 'inner voice' of people who have been deaf since birth. I assume they think in pictures, or pictures of words, but I don't know.
    I've heard deaf people speak and they can communicate in English, although it doesn't sound like anything we say. The pronounciations are much different because they cannot replicate the sounds but nonetheless if one learns to speak they will speak it.

    I've always wondered what a completely illiterate person with no language abilities will think. For example, a feral child who was raised in the woods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Viluin View Post
    Mostly English. I guess 60/40. The internet.. games.. movies.. music.. they have ruined me. My inner voice doesn't do maths in English though.
    Some people somehow picture mathematical equations and representations. I really don't know how since it confuses the fuck out of me.

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