Personality Cafe banner
1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed that I think in English, which is annoying. Thought shouldn't have a language in my opinion. Language is simply a developed tool to translate thought, yet, somehow I find myself stuck thinking with words, rather than thoughts; and I feel like that significantly slows the thought process.

Here is an example/test for you:

Think about what you did yesterday, your favorite color, your last social experience, and what you want to do today.

Now, while you were thinking about those things, were you narrating your thoughts to yourself?


Has anyone else noticed this annoyance, or am I alone and inefficient?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
I don't think you're alone in this. But since language (English) is a tool with which to communicate complex ideas and thoughts, I think it's natural for me to communicate using language in my thoughts.

I don't think in images. I'm sure some people do - and I think that it's possible to answer your questions with mental images - but if I was preparing an answer to your questions, I would have to use language anyway.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,444 Posts
Most of my thoughts are consciously abstractions. I think I subconsciously translate them into English words.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Swede

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Actually you can use language to narrow down your thoughts and make distinctions, a broad idea is nice but if you think in terms of language you'll have to fill in the details, which helps you kind of pinpoint said idea. So when reviewing stuff and like checking whether you're logically correct, language helps because you can review your thoughts, every and any part of it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,806 Posts
I've noticed that I think in English, which is annoying. Thought shouldn't have a language in my opinion. Language is simply a developed tool to translate thought, yet, somehow I find myself stuck thinking with words, rather than thoughts; and I feel like that significantly slows the thought process.

Here is an example/test for you:

Think about what you did yesterday, your favorite color, your last social experience, and what you want to do today.

Now, while you were thinking about those things, were you narrating your thoughts to yourself?


Has anyone else noticed this annoyance, or am I alone and inefficient?
How can you 'think' of objects or concepts without words? Maybe I'm just one of those stupids, but I don't understand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
971 Posts
I don't think in any ''language''. This might be due to the fact I speak French, English and Portuguese (and a bit of Greek, Latin, Spanish and Italian) and it would get confusing in there.

But I don't ever remember thinking other than with concepts or abstractions. While I do this and if I need to express something, I then find the correct or most optimal term (to my knowledge) to ''label'' my concept or abstraction. It sort of of reduces the burden and simplifies my ideas.

That being said, the more I've thought or analyzed a subject and I talk about it a lot, the more my need to process is smaller and the more quickly I ''think'' and sometimes, indeed, I just have the words pop up in my head.

The questions in the opening thread made it seem like I tend to think in mental images and because they were asking for stuff that can't really be deduced, I had the impression I was using Si or Ne only. Like ''think about you did yesterday'' just had me have several mental images of places I was during the day without even attaching words to it at first. It's like a blur of ideas of some sort. My thoughts are overall very disorganized at first and ''ungraspable'' in my head until I decide to organize them verbally or just by thinking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
191 Posts
Thinking in another language won't matter in terms of speed. I can be as clear and fast in English as I can in Dutch. I don't think up my posts here in Dutch, just to translate them later, for example. When things get really complex, I'll try my own language first. Having a vocabulary that meets the need for fine graded nuances is, in a way, very necessary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Slowing? No. Language is merely a different window to thoughts, this one cliché-quote about images isn't entirely truthful. By being a PoV rather than agents, thought process can't be reduced all the way down to language.

It's in communicating such thoughts where one would run into problems with languages if that's where you're trying to get at *duh*
 

·
Over 300 Confirmed Kills
Joined
·
11,428 Posts
l've thought about it before.

l'm convinced there are some benefits and drawbacks to thinking without words. l don't think l could be satisfied going either way, completely.

l have reduced the structure of language l use internally before, but the words never disappear completely. l think it can be much more efficient in that it can be faster. The most reductive form of thought and perception is not in words, IME and they can be an impediment.

After a certain point, though, l wasn't thinking about anything at all. l required verbal input.

l also think abandoning your typical narration or speaking style by shutting the f*ck up every once in awhile is effective, in revamping it.
 

·
Over 300 Confirmed Kills
Joined
·
11,428 Posts
How can you 'think' of objects or concepts without words? Maybe I'm just one of those stupids, but I don't understand.
A person who really doesn't use words at all would be primarily visual or ''conceptual''.

l'm more of a mix of everything, l'd feel extremely shaky with pure visual thinking or no words whatsoever.

As it stands l have something sort of like what Nujabes mentioned, l don't necessarily know what l'm going to say until l say it. l guess there are just words floating around.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,438 Posts
For a long time I've wondered if language, whether it be like English, mathematics, or some other variety, is necessary for conscious thought. I first had this notion when I read that Helen Keller said she didn't have coherent thoughts until the moment she first started consciously understanding language. What makes this so interesting is that, as a blind and deaf woman, she would have had no real base perception her brain could use to develop a sort of language, even a pictorial sort of language. Because she could only touch and smell, everything must have seemed to just exist in vague impressions, with no system and no dots to connect into thoughts. But when the subconscious pieces came together and she finally (and miraculously) began to understand the English language through touch, she was able to think.

That's at least how I've come to view it. The topic particularly fascinates me because as a child, I was very good with grammar and I practically used grammar and linguistic rules to understand other things, like math and music. It was really the system and mechanics of language that let me understand everything else, and I don't think it was specific to English (that just happened to be my forte when I was young). I would be that it doesn't really matter what language organizes one's thoughts in terms of the actual speed of one's thinking (though it may lean better towards certain branches of knowledge -- understanding the world through the language of math would certainly help one with math).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
OP, you bring up an interesting theory. When I was a lot more creative, I used to think in a more visual sense - in scenes, pictures, and sometimes motion. If I needed to extend the scenes/pictures/motion even further I'd add music. I'd think about things more in the visual sense rather than the lingual sense. Now I find that I'm unable to think that way on demand and I miss it, so maybe it's because I'm always talking to myself and/or trying to articulate my thoughts through interviewing myself.


I will try to test this out, practicing exercising my abilities at thinking visually/conceptually while getting my inner dialogue to STFU.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,560 Posts
I've noticed that I think in English, which is annoying. Thought shouldn't have a language in my opinion. Language is simply a developed tool to translate thought, yet, somehow I find myself stuck thinking with words, rather than thoughts; and I feel like that significantly slows the thought process.

Here is an example/test for you:

Think about what you did yesterday, your favorite color, your last social experience, and what you want to do today.

Now, while you were thinking about those things, were you narrating your thoughts to yourself?


Has anyone else noticed this annoyance, or am I alone and inefficient?
I thought about this as a child and trained myself to think outside language. It may be the reason I pick languages up so well, too.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top