Multilingual People Explain Which Language They Actually Think In
Speaking a second language is one of the most complicated, yet severly undervalued, skills you can learn. We're living in a global economy now and understanding the importance of communication across barriers could earn you a positive reputation someday. However, what is it like for those of us who already speak more than one language to think? What does it feel like inside their minds?
Reddit user, u/RyanXvel, wanted to hear how your brain operates when they asked:
Multilingual people of Reddit, what language do you think in?
Wow...marge simpson wow GIFGiphy
I don't know, sometimes I just begin a thought in a language ma poi passo ad einer weiteren Sprache i w mojej głowie gh'è unn-a gran confûxón.
Living In A Different Land Changes You
My Dad is Czech and My Mum is English. They split when I was little so I lived 50/50 with each of them. I only spoke Czech at my Dad's and only spoke English at my Mum's. Since I live in New Zealand, an English-speaking country, I have grown up around everyone else speaking English so I would consider English as my first language. I am 15 and have been to Czech Republic 4 times to visit my Grandparents and other family. I find that when I come back to New Zealand after spending a couple months speaking only Czech, I will sometimes slip up when speaking to English people.
In terms of what language I think in. Mostly English but I actually do occasionally talk to myself in Czech.
Dreaming In Another Land
English, my first language, but I've had dreams in Finnish sometimes, especially during times in my life when I'm speaking it a lot (like whenever my grandpa visited or when I traveled to Finland)
My English teacher always said if you start to dream in the second language you are officially bilingual. Not sure if it scientifically checks out
Speaking Changes The Thinking
My mother tongue is [German] and most of the time I also think German. But if i speak English a lot i start thinking in English
Use Each Language For What They're Best Known For?the simpsons art GIF by hoppipGiphy
Depends on the situation.
- Thinking about lab-work and friends: English
- Counting/numbers: Chinese
- Angry rant: Russian
A Mixture Of All The Things
It's a weird combination of my first language and English, sometimes its one or the other but more often its just a combination of different words that form sentences that kinda make sense XD
This is me with Spanish. Sometimes (even after 30 years of English) it's bad though and I might forget a word in English and say it in Spanish instead without thinking
Nobody Make Them Mad
English but Spanglish if I'm pissed
Math In Any Other Language Is Still Math
I still do simple calculations in Irish.
I'm not a great Irish speaker and rarely use the language, but I learned counting and sums etc in an Irish speaking primary school.
As Long As The Cursing Part Is All Sorted Out
Depends on what language I'm immersed in at the moment. If I'm having Spanish conversations my brain just flips over solely to Spanish, and will be like that until I'm back speaking English.
But I tend to curse in Spanish no matter what in my own head.
Is There Even A Language Thought Barrier?homer GIFGiphy
It's a weird question to me, since the only time my thoughts are "in a language" is if I'm practicing what to say or remembering something that was said or something like that. So my thoughts aren't in any language, generally. They're just thoughts.
Depends what language I was reading or listening or speaking in. If I am having a conversation in English, I will think in English. If I am reading in Italian, I will think in Italian. Sometimes I am reading texts messages in Spanish and my husband speaks to me (he only speaks English) I will answer to him in Spanish. It's weird.
Having said that, I don't normally think in words, more like abstract thoughts. I imagine a cloud of feelings and images that paint a picture better than words. Then, when I have to explain that cloud, I can put all of that into words.
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People Break Down Which Words Or Phrases Are Red Flags When Meeting Someone
Reddit user theevilempire asked: 'What words/phrases do you hear someone say and immediately know you’re probably not going to like the person?'
First impressions can be misleading, to the point of being dangerous.
After all, as Jane Austen taught us in Pride and Prejudice (whose original title was, in fact, First Impressions) the person who ends up being the love of your life might seem utterly loathsome upon a first meeting.
Even so, it's hard not to snap to judgment when meeting someone for the first time, particularly based on what they say.
Be it a difference in political or religious beliefs, or simply something shockingly rude or ignorant, all it can take is a few words or idioms to make us never want to see or hear from someone ever again.
"What words/phrases do you hear someone say and immediately know you’re probably not going to like the person?"
Is It Even Love?
"'Tough love' often seems to be used as an excuse to be a dick. I get it when it's like an intervention, but most times I've personally heard it this was just people who wanted to start sh*t." -Reddit
That Could Be ONE Reason...
“'People don’t like me because I tell it like it is'.”- MassiveProductions
Taking Others Down Is No Way To Pick Yourself Up...
"If a person humiliates others for the sake of boosting his own ego, I immediately stop communicating with that person."- AnastasiaFridmean girls ugh GIFGiphy
Or Just Brutal?
“I’m brutally honest”- -not-pennys-boat-
And That's A Problem Because...?
“You’re so quiet”- WearyPigeon
Not Everyone Likes Their Family...
"'We're a family here' in a work setting."
"Mother f*cker you just laid off 'cousin' Bill."- recoil669Hbo Are We Doing This GIF by SuccessionHBOGiphy
If You Think It Might Cause Offense, Then Maybe Don't Say It?
“'No offense, but…', just before saying the most offensive thing you’ve heard in your life."- lisathethrowaway
A Disability Should Never Be A Punch
“'I’m so bipolar' to explain why they are indecisive or to play off poor life choices."
"Or just to say to sound quirky."
"Really hate that."
"I’m bipolar and rarely tell anyone."- PerplexedPoppy
Then Don't Cause Any!!!
"'I hate drama'."
"I have never heard someone say this, unsolicited, and not been exhausted with their shenanigans within a day."- SpodsonDrama Reaction GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Definitely Not Something To Brag About...
"Describes himself as an Alpha Male."
"Tells you implausible stories about how tough he is/how many women he's 'Banged'."
"Yeah, me and you gonna fall out soon buddy."- Johhnymaddog316
"'Do you know who I am?'"- Brave_D*ck
A Handshake Is Always The Best Place To Start...
"Where’s my huuuuug?"
"Immediately no."- xPunkdaddyCome Austin Powers GIFGiphy
Never A Good Sign If They Always Need To Declare Who They Are...
"As an empath --"- paramidia
"Good vibes only and 'I’m such an empath'."- Blacklotusispunk
Where To Even Begin...?
"'Why didn't they just take the eagles to Mordor?'"- Calligasterlord of the rings no GIFGiphy
There's a reason our parents told us to choose our words carefully.
Sometimes the things people say can cause more pain and harm than physical violence of any kind.
The Best Pickup Lines People Have Ever Heard
Meeting someone new isn't easy, especially if it's someone you want to snuggle with.
How do you say "hi" and be cool?
How do we weed out the crazies who say "hi?"
There has to be a perfect way.
Who has used some good verbiage that set you aflame?
Redditor Educational-Coast304 wanted to hear the most creative ways we've all been picked up, so they asked:
"What’s the best pickup line you’ve ever heard?"
There is no magic line for me.
But I'm a lifelong pessimist.
Let's PlayMarcus Scribner Comedy GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"When I was teaching kindergarten, one of my students (who knew I love video games) dropped this one on me..."
“'You’re pretty. You should come to my house after school and we can play Little Big Planet. My mom makes great snacks.'”
"His mom and I had a good laugh about it at pick-up time."
"This girl I used to work with and I went to a bar after work and we’re having fun, and she leans over to tell me a joke. And she says..."
"3 boy mice and a girl mouse were all stuck in a room with no doors and no windows. One of the boy mice asked the girl mouse how to get out and she said 'Sleep with me tonight, and I’ll tell you in the morning.'"
"Next day he is gone. The 2nd boy mouse asks the girl mouse how he got out and she says, 'Sleep with me tonight, and I’ll tell you in the morning.'"
"Next day, he’s gone too."
"So now the girl telling me this joke says to me. 'Do you want to know how the last mouse gets out of the box?' And I say 'yes.' And she says, 'Sleep with ME tonight, and I’ll tell you in the morning.' All this while staring me in the eyes and smiling.
"I said,' 'Check please bartender!!' I forgot to ask her in the morning, but that was the best pickup line I’ve ever heard."
"A woman once told me 'Every time I drink tequila I wind up sleeping with someone' and then proceeded to take a shot of tequila while holding eye contact with me."
"LOL, I was on a date in Hawaii and she said 'Tequila either makes me h**ny or angry' and I replied 'Don’t be angry, be the other one' and she went to buy us more tequila shots."
"I was so drunk I fell asleep on the car ride and she dropped me off."
"They said ‘best pickup line’ not ‘best drop off line’ lol."
"I was at my friend's house and his 5-year-old brother grabbed one of our friends by the hand and asked if he could play her a song on his guitar. She said yes, he picked up his guitar but stopped just before strumming it, thought for about 30 seconds, and said 'I don't know any songs for princesses.'"
"That little kid had way more game that 19-year-old me had."
"When I was a student at University, I saw a pretty girl eating a particular brand of yogurt in the crowded dining hall before morning classes."
"I had the same brand of yogurt on my tray. I asked if I could sit at her table and she nodded. I looked across the table at her and pointed at her yogurt and said with a big shmucky smile 'Yoplait or mine?' It was said with humor and not as a pickup line. I ended up marrying that pretty girl. Amazing, given the horrible first line."
This is why I have never trusted any Yogurt.
Convince me otherwise!
I'm Hungry!hungry feed me GIFGiphy
"It’s not a pickup line as such, but this guy once said to me in passing, 'GIIIIRRRLL, I wanna feed you STEAK and GRAPES!' and I have never forgotten."
"Once was at a festival where an org was giving out free condoms at a booth. One of the ladies is talking to a guy and a girl saying 'the condoms are free by the way, take as many as you want... oh but we don't have unlimited stock so please don't take more than you need.'"
"The girl picks up a condom, turns to the guy, and says 'Wanna share?'"
"It was the first snowfall of the season. The person and I were walking around campus together - we were friends who were heading out to grab a snack in between classes. We were quietly walking when the person suddenly said to me: 'The snow looks beautiful today.' In my native language, my name means snow/frost/ice. Turned out they were hitting on me and I didn't realize until later."
Over the Shoulder
"On Halloween, a buddy of mine was dressed as a Viking. He asked a girl if she wanted to hear his Viking pickup line. She said yeah. So he literally picked her up and threw her over his shoulder and said he was taking her back to the boat. They dated for almost a year."
"Take note that many of the best 'lines' are not openers, but are relevant follow-up comments once you are already in the flow and have a friendly rapport. And they are not really 'lines' per se, so much as situationally appropriate wit and timing (which are always attractive). Always better to just be present and focus on connection and context, not memorizing and saving a particular line for some future situation that may never come."
SCORE!!!Moon Walk Dance GIFGiphy
"At a college Halloween party, I was dressed up as Kazooie (although everyone assumed I was an angry bird) and I walked up to a woman dressed up as a golfer and told her that she could score a birdie tonight."
Halloween is always an issue.
There are better holidays to meet people.
Nothing has more impact on our lives than the moments of adolescence.
Everything seems to be high stakes–especially in high school–where short-term goals like being popular and voted best-looking are the coveted status.
And when teens fall short of expectations, struggle with academics, and feel like breakups are the end of the world, they don't have the wisdom yet to know things eventually get better.
It's no wonder many successful TV series like 90210 feature teens. There's plenty of drama to entertain audiences who've either been there or are going through it themselves and find many of the plotlines are relatable.
But sometimes, there are plenty of unimaginable and horrific incidents that take place and are forever ingrained as part of the high school experience.
Curious to hear from strangers online about their teenage years, an anonymous Redditor asked:
"What was 'the incident' at your high school?"
Major school incidences ranged from the bizarre to tragedy.
Prank Gone Wrong
"Senior prank, someone dumped a few hundred pounds of flour and yeast into the school indoor pool, in hopes of turning it into a giant glob of dough (I guess). It didn’t work, just caused about 100K damage to plumbing, pumps, filters, etc. Prankster never caught."
"In high school Two kids both named Logan. Both last names were very similar. One was popular and the other was not. Unpopular Logan was drunk and ran across a road in the middle of the night and was killed by a semi-truck."
"The next day the principal announced that popular Logan had died. Popular Logan was late for school."
"Everyone was very sad. Then popular Logan showed up and all school rejoiced that unpopular Logan was the one who died. Was f'ked up."
"A sophomore (my classmate) dropped unconscious in gym class and was rushed to the hospital. 3 days later they took him off life support and he died from a brain aneurysm."
"Edit to add: his funeral was held in the high school gym and damn near everyone went. Never in my life did I think I’d attend a funeral AT school."
In The Nick Of Time
"A friend of mine in high school had a brain aneurysm, also as a sophomore. He'd been complaining for a few days about sudden, brief, very intense headaches. He was on the JV football team and went to play a game. Took a hard tackle and the aneurysm ruptured."
"That actually turned out to be the luckiest possible time for it to happen, because the school always had an ambulance on call at the side of the field during football games, so he was in the hands of EMTs within a minute of people realizing something was wrong. He was rushed to the hospital, they removed part of his skull to reduce the pressure on his brain and he spent a week or two in an induced coma. But in an absolute damn miracle, he made about as complete of a recovery as one can from that kind of injury; the only long-term effect was some very minor loss of muscle control in the left side of his face, so his smile was a little crooked."
"That was back in 2000."
"He just died three weeks ago from an accidental drug overdose."
"A kid came to school with a machete and tree saw and slashed 7 students the day before Thanksgiving break."
"And a girl fell through the gym’s acoustic ceiling tiles and had to wear a halo."
Incidences were not limited to just the students.
"A science teacher was beaten, chased and fatally set on fire by her husband who then shot himself."
"A teacher at the school I attended was being chased by her abusive husband. She drove to a police station with him following and tried to go inside but the doors were locked (it was some holiday). He shot her dead there and drove off. After that they made a rule to always have someone on staff and the doors unlocked."
There's no avoiding the brutal shaming that accompanies the high school experience.
Special Gym Class
"We had so many pregnant teen girls that they had their own gym class."
"A friend of mine who had a fake leg— he had a solid metal rod from mid thigh to mid calf from childhood leukemia so he couldn’t bend at the knee, was in the same class. Just this one poor guy and 30 pregnant 16 year olds."
"I was a teenager in the late 90s and grew up in the southeastern United States. It was a suburban area where a ton of people (still) identify as Evangelical Christians, it’s also called the Bible Belt. The required sex education classes didn’t teach anything but 'Just Say No' so there were girls who thought jumping up and down would prevent pregnancy. Not kidding. These were really sheltered girls who would attend Purity Dances, so it was quite a scandal that so many were pregnant at the same time. Most of the baby daddies were just dumb teenage boys who didn’t know the facts of life."
"Remember that there was no internet at this point so it’s not like teens could get information on their own especially if they were from a super religious background. A girl on my street was 'sent away' to live with an aunt when she got pregnant."
"Also, the pregnant girl gym class was technically for the physically disabled kids, hence why my friend was the lone guy in the class."
"His leg, from what he explained to me, had cancer in the bones of his knee. They didn’t want to amputate his whole leg so they removed the knee and grafted a rod in place— this would have been back in the late 80s so I’m sure they do stuff differently now."
Students Can Be So Mean
"a girl had an epilepsy attack and she lost control of her bowels. Not a pretty sight."
"Mean girls type made fun of her, and she transferred to another high school."
Teenagers deserve more credit than they're given.
These days, they are forced to grow up fast and learn important life lessons earlier than their parents like for them to experience due to various circumstances unfolding on campus.
If they can survive high school, they can survive almost anything in life past graduation.
One would think we're in a place in time where all conversations should be easy.
But that is not the case.
So much is still too "taboo" to be truthful about.
It is so frustrating.
There is so much to discuss.
Being shy is understandable, but it's something that we can all get over.
Redditor No_One_Special34 wanted to breakdown some barriers with a few simple conversations, so they asked:
"What is a taboo subject that should be talked about more?"
"Child/infant death. When my daughter died a bunch of people just... stopped talking to me altogether."
"I'm sorry to hear about your child."
"A 7-year-old was hit by a truck last week near my son's kg. I've never met the boy but I have had nightmares about it. I can't imagine what the parents are going thru right now. I can't imagine what you are going through."
"This happened to my mom when my brother died. Nobody knew what to say so few people said anything, and then it was treated like it didn’t happen."
The Aging Process
"We are a disgustingly ageist society. No wonder people pay BILLIONS for plastic surgery, hair color, and fitness, etc to stay relevant and not be thought of as useless or 'other.' It’s so very hateful. I think our society fears old age and death. It’s a f**king pathos."
"THANK YOU! I'm a 20-year paramedic. One of the things that I really hoped COVID would shed a light on is the absolutely abhorrent treatment of our elderly and infirmed. The 'treatment' in far too many nursing homes is negligent to a criminal level."
"Household budgets and finance - how much your parents make, how much is the mortgage, car insurance, car payment, and so on."
"That's easy. House, two cars, three kids, stay-at-home wife, pets, college tuition for everyone in the bank, a summer cottage home by the lake, and a hobby like golf should all do if you're a hardworking drug dealer nowadays."
"Agreed! We have gone into detail about our finances with our kids. We have them pick jobs on LinkedIn and a home on Zillow and budget so expenses and have them watch as they realize they can't afford expensive stuff on a crap salary. It's been really great."
Look for the Signs...
"Many people tend to assume that abusive people look creepy/scary and behave badly in general, but they don't seem to get that anyone can be abusive, regardless of appearance or demeanor. An abusive person can easily be charming, attractive, funny, witty, etc."
"Just because you think someone has a few positive qualities does not mean they're incapable of abuse."
"If someone's child 'seems' happy and well behaved, it does not mean that they are automatically OK or safe. There are many signs of abuse, and I wish that more people educated themselves on this issue. We can literally save lives by doing so."
The Girl Truth
"Girls need to know everything there is to know about menstruation before they experience it. At my school we were only given a quick 'every month you will bleed out your vagina, you can use pads or tampons to absorb it.' Nothing about any of the other mental or physical effects, nothing about how to deal with them, and nothing else reassuring."
Why are girls not taught more sooner?
Like what year are we living in?
"Number one for me, especially out-of-order deaths (young deaths). My husband died when I was 33 and he was 38. It's been almost 3 years and people still struggle with how to talk to me. We need to talk about death more as a society."
Only Legal One
"Alcoholism, especially in older generations."
"The biggest drug in the world, the most dangerous, only legal one. Alcohol has been disguised to make society believe it isn't even a drug. Now we're all hooked and can't go a week without a drink, funny because the cravings come back within a week."
"I quit drinking 18 months ago and it kinda sucks because if you want to go meet new ppl or go on a date it usually involves alcohol."
"Comprehensive sex ed. My mother never had sex ed and was convinced that vaginal discharge wasn't normal and that your crotch didn't sweat."
"My mother had a condition that requires her to use a catheter. She was shocked to learn that she doesn't urinate from her vagina, and that the opening to her urethra is actually slightly above it. She's 75. I'm a dude, and I've known that since I was 14."
"She was raised Catholic, and her mother taught her nothing. Not even what her period was. She was convinced she was dying."
Follow the Money
"Financial debt. In my line of work, I see people's bank accounts and credit reports every day and it is very rare that someone has zero debt. Excluding mortgages (which is a given) the vast majority have car finance, personal loans, and credit card balances. Mostly it's manageable, credit is mostly a convenience for which a person pays interest."
"But debt can also destroy a person. It can keep you up at night feeling like you're literally suffocating. It can lead to suicide. I know because I was close at one point. I don't know if I would have actually gone through with it but I had planned it to the point of measuring rope from the timbers in my attic to my neck and to ensure my feet wouldn't touch the ground."
"If you are in debt you are not alone, you're in the majority. If it's a struggle, notify the lenders/creditors; they're legally obligated to offer options to help you. It might reduce your credit score a bit but please don't ever reduce your life instead."
"Life is precious and money isn't. If you're struggling financially please speak to someone. There is no shame in it, pretty much everyone is struggling financially so someone will understand but please don't let a credit card balance be the reason your life ends."
"Pooping and poop problems. Colon cancer is so common and relatively treatable, but like all cancers, it's so much better to catch it early - yet so many people are too embarrassed to talk about poop problems, and they don't bring it up with their doctor until it's too late."
"I have ulcerative colitis and make sure all my friends know I'm totally comfortable talking about poop if they ever have any questions about whether something happening to them is normal or concerning."
Speak more. Speak louder. We've all been quiet too long.