January 20, 2009

Read my mind

I figure everyone thinks in a different language, a language that may not be your thai-mozhi (mother tongue). I know I do. I think in English... Even when I pray to God or am mentally hoping for something, it's all in English. I think I saw it in Dasavatharam, where one of Kamal Hassan's dialogues says that he thinks in English. I totally identify with that. But that does not affect the delivery or the continuum of my speech or writing in any of the other languages that I am fluent in... But it does play a big role in French. Maybe part of the reason is that the sentence formations in the two languages are very similar. And do I find that I form a sentence completely in English and translate it word for word to French. And I realized that just today when I had a conversation in excess of 5 exchanges each with a colleague. I think for like a second before responding to the question. And in that second, there is a substitution process going on in my head. I don't know if I'll ever fluently think in French. It's unlikely. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I am learning a new language after eons and I never really paid any attention to techniques when learning the other languages as a kid. And now I know that's why some other people's English sounds funny. They are translating it from their own languages... I bet that's what my French is to them as well. Funny. So what language do you think in?


krish said...

Good one... I think in english too. And my, you've been on a writing spree haven't you? I was away on vacation in India with sporadic net access and I come back and whoa, there's tons to catch up on!

sivakumar said...

First of all,it depends on what we are thinking about. ;o) I think in Tamil(at home and with friends), English and French (only at work). I had the same translation phase when I arrived in France. But once you are fluent and you are familiar with all the words and phrases and its style, you would stop the translations. Because its at this moment that u might start realizing how bad we were in oral french because of those translations..

But sometimes while writing, I think in English to translate it in French.


Jaya said...

Krish -> Thank you.. been wondering where you've been. Hope the India trip was good. keep visiting!

Siva -> Well, while speaking the 3 languages that I am most fluent with (English, Hindi n Tamil), I don't think at all. but when I am pondering something or speaking French for example, is when I can distinctly "hear" my thoughts.. know what I mean? But I concur with what you're saying as well.

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