Thursday, May 17, 2012

What Language do You Think in?

My sisters and I have been spending a good amount of time on Skype lately. As a result I've begun to think in Chinese. Trouble is, as I go about business, I don't notice what language I'm thinking with. Example: I stop at the post office, before I get out the car, I grab the mails, my purse and sunglasses from the passenger seat, at the same time rehearsing in my mind the questions I'm going to ask the post office clerks. Only one step away from the counter do I realize what is about to roll off my tongue isn't English. My mind moves into emergency mode, dives into a murky backroom and snatches the right English words, whips them into right order, send them onto the airwave. The clerk understands perfectly and answers my question, by which time my mind is all English and I am conducting a normal conversation with her.

Unless you speak two languages, you don't know the fun. Not to mention the languages you dream in.


  1. It's flippin' hard enough to think in ONE language, dearie...

  2. Neglected TeenagerMay 21, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Totally understand. I think in Pig Latin all the time. It gets intense!

  3. Jan, you should give it a try. Another language doesn't make it HARDER to think, it provides comic relief actually.

  4. N.T. Pig Latin? Is it a dead pig? I heard Latin has been dead. Well, I take it back. I hear it now and then at Mass.

  5. Ig-pay atin-lay is alive and ell-way, ear_day Izy... How fun that you've never learned this American oddity. But don't let any of your elementary students know or soon they will all be speaking it just to fun you!

    Simply put, Pig Latin is the insertion of the letters a and y, preceded by the first letter of the word, into a word. Hence, pig is pronounced ig-pay and latin is atin-lay. It's easy-peasy and one of the first tricks of the tongue that young kids learn :)


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