Those who have learned a second language are guaranteed to consciously think of words and their corresponding meaning in your native language or vice versa.
This is common with more "complex" sentences, like "My favorite color is green.", rather than "Hi" or "Hello, how are you?" (The latter being a common phrase, so it needs no thinking in most languages.).
- Is it possible to stop the conscious act of translating your native language to your second language or vice versa?
- Is it possible to fully "think" in your second language?
Clarification: When you speak your native language you rarely think about the grammar and structure and it comes right out, I'm asking if that's possible with people who learned multiple languages.. can you think as if that language was native to you?
Wow, I love the answers! For clarification: You know how a beginner of a foreign language usually cannot speak rapid-fire and has to think through every word and it's syntax, instead of making a flow of words automatically, you have to 'think' and fill in each word accordingly.
Ex: When a person who natively speaks English talks, they can talk without having to think of word meanings as it is already implicitly processed by your sub-conscious.. but this flow usually stops when you..
Exx: Person A doesn't use the word "condescending" a lot, and has to return to the definition in her memory. She usually doesn't meet condescending people. She has met a person who has this attribute. In an argument she says "You're so --pause--, umm, hmm..", and in her mind she goes through a list of words (Mean, (I had to pause here to find a word for the example..) Defiant, Rude, etc.) until she reaches condescending.
That is the feeling of "thinking" I'm describing. A new learner of a second language has to "think" through everything, and my question is: Can you "think" in a second language without having to find and link words in your native language? Excluding young people exposed to both, but people who took classes and moved to a country to learn.
The interesting replies I've seen are the description of people who sometimes forget their native language, maybe because of thinking in it!
I love all the answers, I am just picky with it! I will +1 all of the relevant answers.