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Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 month ago

Question for people who've learned a 2nd language?

My first language is English, but I'm learning French.

When someone speaks to me in English, I don't have to think about what the words mean. It just comes to me like a 6th sense.

But when someone speaks to me in French, I translate it (in my head) back to English and then translate (in my head) my reply back to French.

For people who have learned a 2nd language, do you do the same thing as me?

Or am I doing it wrong?

10 Answers

  • 1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    I'm in the same case than you but reversed, since I'm French and I learned English. However in my head I don't need to translate the words English in French. The English words come already in English in my head** when I want to speak in this language.

    My current problem is that as I don't have the opportunity to hear and especially speak in English in my country. As a matter of fact I hardly understand when someone speaks it to me. I use English always in writing. 

    ** Maybe it is because I've been writing English for a long time?

  • i think i'm read this information when i was 

    The most difficult thing is translation because it take four processes or Operations

    first of all :

     listen to your friends may imaginesecondly : 

    process in your mind 

    thirdly :

    convert to your mother language what do you listened 

    fourthly : 

    say it that which you translated

    i thought that when you'er in the Beginnings of learn the second language 

    certainly you'll get-away when you'er using the second language more and more in any where and in any time you can


    now give me a rating for my article :) coz english aren't first of languages 

    take care about your self and be strongest in any area

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    It starts like what you are doing now.

    Soon, you are familiar with basic verbs and nouns and you start feeling the sentence structure.

    With that you can learn new words and they just fit into place.

    You just need to keep listening and speaking and reading and writing.

  • East
    Lv 4
    1 month ago

    If you went to a French-speaking country and were immersed in French, eventually you'd just accept the French words without having to translate.  That comes with being immersed in a language.

    I was an exchange student in Belgium and eventually you stop thinking in English, even.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    In the beginning you'll find yourself doing a lot of translation in your mind.  At some point during the second year, most students start thinking in the second language.

  • 1 month ago

    Most do that when learning a new language, but when you can start to think in the new language, you will become much better at it.  That will come, in time, but it is something you should work at, and allow (in your brain).

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Keep practicing to the point where you stop doing the internal translation. A great way to do this would be to spend some time in a French speaking country. It’s like if you learned a nice dance move or karate form. At first you have to think about everything. But do this series of moves say 50 times and then it is all automatic. 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    That's normal.

    It's often described as "thinking in your native language".

    People can overcome this and "think in a foreign language"

    but it typically takes many years living in that foreign environment

    to acquire that level (that maximum level) of fluency.

  • 1 month ago

    i know spanish from being born in south america, whatever language people talk to me in i dont translate it in my head

  • Hope!
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    You aren't doing anything wrong - this is how it is for those learning a new language.. think of a baby who has no language skills at all, and must learn from the very beginning.. they do the same thing, right? They see someone smile, and then 'interpret' that - 'this means someone is friendly'.. so they translate it in their head, and then respond in the same way.. by first thinking what they must do.. but, as you can tell from your own experience, with time and practice, we stop having to translate it - it will come automatically

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