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Thread: My language

  1. #1

    Default My language

    so when i "think" i would consider a idea/thought being in my "own language" because i have to essentially "convert" it or "communicate" it to a "language" that is understandable by the people around me. i usually have to communicate in the English language to get my ideas/thoughts through to other people. seems kinda stupid but i was wondering if anybody else thinks like this. "visual thinker" .when it comes to in taking information i usually dont have any "conversion" problems lets call it hahah!

  2. #2


    I don't quite understand what you're talking about (which is ironic given the topic I think?), but I have a weird habit of thinking in English, which is not my mother tongue, a lot of the time. I also find when trying to transmite a certain idea or concept sometimes I easily find words or sentences in English that sometimes I don't know exactly how to translate into my language as well.

  3. #3


    I think I know what you mean. I often have abstract ideas that are quite clear to me, but seem difficult to translate into words. And I visualise concepts in abstract shapes and geometric data structures... which can make it quite tricky to explain what I'm thinking. Sometimes I get a "flash" of an idea and, after writing three pages of text trying to explain that single thought precisely, I give up! It's so hard to explain what you mean to anyone who can't access your own brain directly!

    I seem to be fairly alexithymic, so interpreting my own emotional state can be tricky, let alone trying to explain it to anyone else...

    In a sense, we all have our own private language. Everyone thinks before they can speak, and (as Wittgenstein might have said), thoughts seem to have their own "language". There certainly seems to be a distinction between thought and language. Many people seem to believe intuitively that they think in the language of which they speak, but I suspect that's just because they have become so incredibly used to linking ideas to words that it happens almost instantaneously and automatically.

    Look at how fast people can read (and how much faster they can listen) and interpret what's being said. We're so well-trained in language skills, that when you see a word, the idea pops into your head without any perceivable effort. You don't have to study each individual letter carefully.

    So it's a mistake (in my opinion) to think that language and thought are the same kind of "thing", or that we can only think in terms of a spoken language. Are dogs unable to think? Or do they think in barks?! Surely not!

    What about the "private language" of pain...? If you stub your toe and cry out, I might assume that you're in pain. And I might assume that the kind of pain that you feel is the same kind of pain that I could imagine feeling if I stubbed my toe. But I've no way to see what you're thinking/feeling or what your mental state is. Perhaps we feel pain differently. Some people with certain neurological peculiarities are unable to feel pain... or they can feel "pain" but don't find it unpleasant.

    Wittgenstein's views changed throughout his life. To begin with he argued that we could only think in terms of (spoken) language, or that the meaning of language was in its function, but anyway... The story of Wittgenstein's Beetle is interesting, I think:

  4. #4


    hahaa sameee with me! and i agree with you that language and thoughts are not the same at all its very confusing i almost feel as though there are better ways to communicate with people and get exactly what we are trying to say across. i just dont think we as humans have evolved enough to lets say "unlock" or "learn" that ability yet.

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