Saturday, February 22, 2014

Disrupting Dutch thoughts

I was chatting with my Dutch friend and asked him to bring some things from Holland when he visits this weekend. He kindly agreed and wrote one of the words on his hand as a reminder. He then started laughing, saying that he had been speaking English so much with me that he even wrote the word in English.

I love language, linguistics, and neuroscience. It's so interesting how switching among languages can even change how we think. I've talked to my friend and my Dutch colleague about their experiences speaking English. They're both completely fluent, so I was curious if they ever have to think about English as they speak or if it just comes out. For both of them, they can just speak it on the fly and they don't have to think about it. However, if they have both been speaking English a lot, they have to really switch gears to return to Dutch as even their interior thoughts switch to English.

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