PDA

View Full Version : Does multilingualism interfere with your thought processes?



osias
10-05-06, 09:18
There are so many members here who speak more than 2 or 3 languages.

My question is: Does multilingualism interfere with your thought processes?

I speak at least three languages, and I sometimes find myself unable to continue with my train of thought, unable to speak freely..like a mental block. Speaking is more difficult than writing in any of these languages..

I'm wondering if this has anything to do with multilingualism.

I think I'm not very good at abstract thinking.. maybe this only shows that I'm stupid....:relief:

anyway...

nice gaijin
10-05-06, 10:24
It doesn't happen so much when I think in my mother tongue, but if I try to think of anything in Spanish these days it comes out in Japanese, but that's probably more from a lack of practice and motivation.

sl0thmachin3
10-05-06, 10:25
Does multilingualism interfere with your thought processes?

No. Once I start thinking in one language I tend to continue to think in that language. I can also think simultaneously in two languages but I can't tell whether my thought process slows down or not.

Speaking is also not a problem. You have to understand though that in our country Filipino and English (not to mention local dialects) are used interchangeably in conversations.

Mikawa Ossan
10-05-06, 10:35
It happens to me, when I want to express a concept that is easily expressed in one language but not the other. Unfortunately, I can't think of any good examples at the moment.

I think that it's very individualistic. I simply cannot think in two languages simultaneously. Heck, I have trouble thinking in just one at a time! But seriously, some people are more adept at switching from one to another than others.

Kinsao
10-05-06, 10:40
I can only speak English and French fluently. I'm learning Japanese but my ability is woeful. However, recently I've been to Spain and Germany, and I don't know Spanish or German but my brain went into 'foreign language mode' and I kept thinking in mainly French but with Japanese particles/sentence structure. :mad:

I think it's ok if you only speak 2 languages. Once you get to be fluent in more than 3 languages I'd say it might be a bit confusing sometimes! :relief: I guess it depends what the people around you are speaking; like in sl0thmachin3's case if they use the 2 languages interchangeably it wouldn't be a problem. If you're in a country where you speak that language, you could just switch to that, but I think it's when you don't know the language but your brain registers 'Hey! it's foreign!' that you get the problems... :p

Mike Cash
10-05-06, 15:01
Both my kids are monolingual Japanese, which normally isn't an insurmountable burden in my life. The one thing I've had to caution them about in the past is that I am incapable of listening to two people in Japanese at the same time, so they need to address me one at a time.

MeAndroo
10-05-06, 17:42
It doesn't happen so much when I think in my mother tongue, but if I try to think of anything in Spanish these days it comes out in Japanese, but that's probably more from a lack of practice and motivation.

I've had the same problem ever since I started learning Japanese. It seems like I'm always using Japanese particles instead of Spanish ones.

Then again, perhaps I haven't experienced the full impact of such a phenomena since I'm far from fluent in either Japanese or Spanish.

Ma Cherie
10-05-06, 20:42
I have issues with my Japanese interfering with my French and my English interfering with my French. It's not so bad with Japanese and English. But when I'm speaking French I sometimes forget about the le/la/l'. Because in English and Japanese there's no such think as masculine/feminine.

RockLee
10-05-06, 21:01
I sometimes have this problem like the OP said. It's because so bad my French has gone downhill and I tend to mix Japanese words in it. My English goes rather well, but my Dutch has gone downhill too. I think studying multiple languages can influence your think pattern. Good thread !

Ma Cherie
10-05-06, 21:09
Learning different languages at the same time can interfere with your thought process. :mad: Maybe it's some kind of psychological thing.:souka:

godppgo
11-05-06, 06:55
I sometimes find myself saying a sentence using two different languages. The thing is, there are certain things that are unique to a language and only that language can express what I really want to say.

What I have found out when I started learning Japanese is that sometimes when I first look at an English word, for that fraction of a second, I had the temptation to pronounce it in the romaji way....

Sianna
16-09-10, 00:15
Learning different languages at the same time can interfere with your thought process.

I have to respectfully disagree - as far as I remember from studies red it only interferes if the languages you want to learn are quite close like i. e. Spanish and Italian.

When I started working after maternity leave I had problems remembering some of the professional jargon at the right time.

I usually don't have problems with this in my strong tongue, but it happens more frequent when I'm speaking another one, although I quite often fill the gap with a word form another language.