Thinking out Loud – (In English)


I had a funny thought today whilst travelling home from the office. I heard two people having a conversation in a different language, possibly Italian. I was thinking how I am impressed at those people who can speak a number of different languages, and some so fluently.

It must take some amount of time and dedication to learn  new language, one that you have not been brought up with, one that breaks the rules of the language you know.

It got me thinking. The Italian couple I over heard on my commute, hear each other in Italian, the same as I do. But they also think in Italian, assuming this is their native language. I think in English, I can so some basic thinking in French, but my mind automatically translates this.

If there is anyone reading this who is fluent in a few different languages, please share.. Do you think in the language of you native tongue? or do you sometimes think in a foreign language ?. What decides which language you think in? .. If you are having a conversation with someone in a foreign language, do you think in your own and translate before you speak.

Thinking about this (in English), is what lead me to my final thought on language with thought. One I cannot get my head around. If I speak to my dog, he recognises certain words, only because he associates them with a certain behaviour. But .. when he hears me say something and he follows the behaviour or action I have commented.. how does he think?

If animals do not speak, and do not communicate verbally, how do they think?. If they do not have a spoken language, then what language do they think in? Do they not have conscience ? Do they not think but only do or do not?.

What do you think ?



2 thoughts on “Thinking out Loud – (In English)”

  1. Just swam over from the community pool. I am a Swiss, who lives in Australia now for almost 10 years. In Switzerland we learn at least one of the other 3 languages of the country in school. So for me, as I grew up in the German speaking part, it was French. As I never really used French a lot after school, it was just a different language but never thought in French even when I was speaking it. I also had learned English and I had to use it so much more due to work. But until we moved to Australia it was still just another language. I always thought in Swiss German, not even in German. You know, Swiss German is not a written language. So all our books are in German. The official language in school in the German part of Switzerland is German. We read and write in German. But we think in our dialect.
    I have to say thought, that now, although Swiss German still is the dominant language for me in my head, I realize that there is a slight shift. As an example: I struggle to write a comment on a German blog in German now. I used to work in media so writing in German was never an issue for me… There is a shift happening and I wonder how far it will go…
    Thanks for this post! I think it’s a really interesting thought!

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