Poll: Do you ever think in your source language(s)?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 20:52
SITE STAFF
May 26

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Do you ever think in your source language(s)?".

This poll was originally submitted by Natalia Pedrosa. View the poll results »



Curri Barcelo Avila
 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 04:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other May 26

I lived in Brussels for 20 years and after a few months there I started thinking (and even dreaming) in French, now that I’m back in my home country it still happens from time to time but less so. When I’m traveling I tend to think in the language I’m speaking in.

P.S. A funny thing happened to me when I moved back to Lisbon in 2015: at first when I heard people speaking in the street I couldn’t help thinking that they too were Portuguese like I used to reason before and as if I was still in Brussels…

[Edited at 2018-05-26 10:05 GMT]


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:52
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Yes - in one of them May 26

One of my source languages is Portuguese, and I spoke it exclusively at home with my husband. He told me that I talked in my sleep in Portuguese.

Though I work mostly from Spanish (the market I work in heavily favors Spanich), since I'm not exposed to it in my daily life, I'm much less likely to think in it.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:52
Spanish to English
+ ...
Very often May 26

I'm in the UK just now and missing my Spanish-speaking environment terribly. I usually only come back here at Christmas, so it's nice to see the city and countryside in a different light, and the weather has been unusually mild and rain-free for the west of Scotland.
I had lunch in a little seafood restaurant yesterday, and had to restrain myself from striking up a conversation with two young ladies speaking Spanish at a nearby table.
Although I'm enjoying this time in the old country, I'm looking forward to going back to Valencia in June, where I can freely indulge in the local banter every day icon_smile.gif

[Edited at 2018-05-26 09:21 GMT]


 

Philippe ROUSSEAU  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:52
Member (2006)
English to French
+ ...


Posted via
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Now and then May 26

I automatically think sometimes in a foreign language, especially English and German, when i have linguistic activity (correspondence, forum, translation...). Vocabulary and expressions suddenly come back. Even out of these periods, i can think in another language. In this context, it does not depend on language practice, but on thought heigth or abstraction. I lived these experiences much before being a Proz member !

 

Peter Simon  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 05:52
Member (2013)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Always, May 26

but with a difference, perhaps: I always try to think in the language I'm learning or of the country where I'm living, and now that I live outside my home country, I'm always in this situation. Besides, all my 3 languages are also my source languages, so whichever I use for thinking, I always think in one of my source languages. As I've been living away from my home country for most of the last 18 years, the interesting question would be, have I not stopped thinking in my mother tongue? Well, not, actually. But this is all behind my answer and some more.

 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:52
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
All the time - I live here May 26

I regard it as a second native language - or at least a 'language of the heart'.

When you live in a language, bring up children in it and speak it round the clock for half a life time or more, it gradually takes on a different status from just another acquired language.

That is the stage where you also have to work hard to keep up with your true native language! There are plenty of opportunities with English, apart from visiting the UK a couple of times a year.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:52
Member (2007)
English
+ ...


Posted via
ProZ.com Mobile


Some "never" responses? May 26

I find it hard to imagine that a translator might never think in anything but their target language(s). Surely we're all sufficiently involved in our source languages to spend a fair amount of time thinking in them, aren't we? I know I often reflect on conversations in French or Spanish, only to then realise that that person only speaks English so they couldn't possibly have used those words!

 

peter jackson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:52
Spanish to English
Very often May 26

I think it’s impossible not to if you live in a country where your source language is spoken. Although I have British, American and Canadian friends in the town where I live, my home life and much of my social life is conducted in Spanish. Inevitably, I frequently think in Spanish, dream in Spanish and often talk to myself in Spanish, too. I have been here for more than half my life ...

 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 21:52
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Thinking in source language May 26

How could you not?

 

Yetta J Bogarde  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 05:52
Member (2012)
English to Danish
+ ...
Nearly all the time, May 26

But it's not something I choose, it just happens this way, and despite the fact that I live in my native country, where the surrounding society speak my target language.

However, I raised my family in my source language and like someone mentioned, it has become the language of my heart.


 

Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 02:52
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Very Often May 27

Not only because I went to an American school, so I was practically educated in English, but also because it's absurdly easier and more logical to think in English than it is in Portuguese. It takes a lot less time, too. Although my first language is Portuguese and it is my native language, and I don't consider myself a native English speaker, I still think automatically in English many times. Curiously enough, it depends on the subject. I also dream more in English than in Portuguese, for the same reasons, and that's not a conscious act.


[Edited at 2018-05-27 03:03 GMT]


 

Diana Obermeyer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:52
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
Yes Jun 21

Well, I translate both directions.
But when I'm speaking to someone in German, I think in German.
When I'm speaking to someone in English, I think in English.
I could never be an interpreter.

When I'm by myself and have mostly communicated in one of the languages in the days before, that's the language I think in.

What's even more interesting, I talk in my sleep.
My husband tells me I do that in English when we're in the UK or America, and in German when we're in Germany.


 

Valeria Fuma
Argentina
Local time: 01:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Quite often Sep 2

I use English almost all day during the week: emails, phone calls, chats, etc. So quite often I'm thinking about a concept or idea, and the English word comes to my mind instead of the Spanish one. I also dream in English. I wouldn't say this is a problem, thoughicon_smile.gif

 


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