Author Topic: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?  (Read 1165 times)

xSilverPhinx

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Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« on: March 07, 2016, 01:16:48 PM »
The cognitive aspects of multilingualism is a subject that interests me and there are quite a few people who frequent this forum who speak more than one language, so I thought I'd pose this question here.

Do you guys tend to mix up languages when you think? How do you think, generally? Do you insert foreign words into a sentence, using one language's grammatical structure and do you mix grammatical structures in one sentence?

For instance:

Language A language A "language B" language A language A.

Language A language A language A language A,  language B language B language B language B.
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Tom62

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2016, 05:41:01 PM »
I start to think less in my mother tongue (Dutch), but more in English and German (since these are the languages that I use most in daily life). If I do speak Dutch with friend and family, I tend to insert English or German words in my sentences.
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OldGit

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2016, 08:55:33 PM »
There are just a few ideas which I tend to use the German for, while speaking English.  When I mean "fogged up", as in windows or glasses, I always used to say beschlagen.  I'm beating it now, but it's still my first impulse.  Also Büroklammer for paper-clip, and one or two others.

I have a weird ear-worm: when I see a weak winter sun, I always start mentally reciting the opening paragraph of Thomas Mann's Tonio Kröger, which describes such weather. 

Die Wintersonne stand nur als armer Schein, milchig und matt hinter Wolkenschichten über der engen Stadt...

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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2016, 10:54:22 PM »
Interesting answers so far. :)

I tend to do both, replace words (some foreign words really do express some concepts better) and replace entire parts of a sentence, so I get a weird hybrid, but one that still makes sense, as in no part of it is agrammatical.
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Magdalena

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2016, 06:11:21 AM »
^^^
The “weird hybrid” that you’re talking about, we call it Spanglish in the USA. This is a combination of both, Spanish and English. It’s used by some people who speak both languages. Many are not happy about Spanglish because we butcher both languages:
To rent: Rentar
The correct word is alquilar.
To park: Parquear
The correct word is estacionar.
Supermarket: Marketa
The correct word is el supermercado.
Bills: Biles
The correct word is cuentas.
To check something: Chequear
The correct words are verificar or comprobar.
Ticket: El ticket
The correct word is boleto

My emotional side is more connected to Spanish, my native tongue. There’s nothing more delicious than using all the loving and/or bad words in your native language to express what you’re feeling. :smileshake:  I have a difficult time expressing what I feel in English, I don’t “translate” anger from Spanish to English very well.  :(

I express myself better when I speak Spanish, I don’t express myself very well when I write it.  In English, it’s the opposite, I don’t think I express myself well when I speak English, but I do express myself "Aite" when I write it.  :)

I guess I have Spanish in my heart, and English in my brain.  8)

French? Je ne sais pas. Mon français est seulement dans ma tête. J'ai besoin d'un dictionnaire tout les temps.  ::)

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2016, 11:22:35 AM »
That happens here too, especially with more recent words related to computers and the internet.  :smilenod:

Deletar, for instance, is a "portuguesement" of the word delete. :airquotes: Googlear...well... it's just awful, I refuse to use it.  :nu-uh:

Then there are foreignisms, which will really make a purist squirm.

Instead of saying baixar, most people prefer download. Upload instead of carregar or enviar.

And a variety of other examples.

I express myself better when I speak Spanish, I don’t express myself very well when I write it.  In English, it’s the opposite, I don’t think I express myself well when I speak English, but I do express myself "Aite" when I write it.  :)

That's interesting. Do you read a lot in English?
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Magdalena

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2016, 03:07:00 PM »
I do read more in English than Spanish.
Maybe I should read more in Spanish. :chin: ...That would increase my vocabulary.
Do you have a similar problem? Do you express yourself better when you speak Portuguese, or when you write it? How about in English?

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2016, 09:29:45 PM »
In Portuguese, definitely better when I speak it than when I write it. There are a whole bunch of grammatical rules that apply to its written form that people outright disobey when speaking (and each region of Brazil has its particularities), that make writing correctly a bit more difficult, IMO. And Portuguese grammar is slightly more difficult than English grammar:



So yeah. ::)

As for English, I express myself better when writing, compared to speaking. I don't get that many opportunities to speak it but get plenty of practice reading and writing.

I express myself best when I speak a mixture of both, whichever word or phrase comes into my mind first is what goes. :grin: But of course, in order to communicate effectively I would have to be talking to other people who are fluent in both, and most Brazilians who live in Brazil are not fluent in English. So the best of worlds is a small place.  :weepy:
 
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Magdalena

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2016, 10:06:18 PM »


I know what you mean.  ::)
Is Portuguese your native tongue? You're so good at both of them, I can't tell.  8)

http://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation/hacer :panic:

This is the reason I'm in an English speaking atheist forum. I tried one in Spanish, but one guy made fun of my Spanish.  :cryandrun:
He said, "You've made an excellent point, but you have grammatical horrors, not errors!"  :grrr: I didn't go back.
But he's right.  :sad sigh:

xSilverPhinx, can I sit next to you, right now?
 :weepy:

OldGit

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2016, 09:35:08 AM »
OK, English is not so heavily inflected (all those endings) but it has its own problems.  The worst may be the tension between speech and correct writing, but also I think we rely much more on idiom than many other languages.

xSilverPhinx

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2016, 11:26:11 AM »
I know what you mean.  ::)
Is Portuguese your native tongue? You're so good at both of them, I can't tell.  8)

I think it is, it was the language I learnt first. I learnt English when I was 4 or 5, though, and have been speaking it since.

Quote
http://www.123teachme.com/spanish_verb_conjugation/hacer :panic:

Yikes! Verb inflections make me shudder.

Quote
This is the reason I'm in an English speaking atheist forum. I tried one in Spanish, but one guy made fun of my Spanish.  :cryandrun:
He said, "You've made an excellent point, but you have grammatical horrors, not errors!"  :grrr: I didn't go back.
But he's right.  :sad sigh:

You're not alone.  ;D

Quote
xSilverPhinx, can I sit next to you, right now?
 :weepy:

Of course.

:weepy::weepy:
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


xSilverPhinx

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Re: Bilinguals And Polyglots - How Do You Think?
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2016, 11:46:59 AM »
OK, English is not so heavily inflected (all those endings) but it has its own problems.  The worst may be the tension between speech and correct writing, but also I think we rely much more on idiom than many other languages.

I think that's true.
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.