Translating sentences from thoughts to words when we speak

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Irulan
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24 Mar 2024, 5:21 pm

Do you have this problem, too? More precisely, I often - very often (to tell the truth, practically always) - speak just too slowly because when I try to speak, I have to look for proper words being the exact equivalents of my thoughts – the language of mine I use is the language of my thoughts, of my mind and not the one of words. I think in pictures and not in words and that’s why I have to deal with this problem. It’s as if I tried to translate my words from one language (the one of thoughts) to another one (the one of words) in the same manner I translate sentences from English to Polish (and the other way round) which has to take some time, after all. And how about you?



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24 Mar 2024, 5:30 pm

I used to have difficulty with this.

Not so much these days.



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24 Mar 2024, 5:44 pm

I tend to think in words but i wonder what my thoughts would have been like if i didn't have a language. How would i think about things without the words to describe them? Especially abstract concepts.

Then I wonder whether the language you learn determines the thoughts that are possible? Are there thoughts that are only possible in French? Korean?

Are there thoughts that no one can have because the words don't exist in any language?

*Edit because I went off on a tangent and forgot to answer the original question

I also speak quite slowly because i try to use very precise language so I'm not misunderstood. It's a fear of mine. Unless it's a subject i think about a lot - like a special interest - in which case i think i probably talk too fast.


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Fenn
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24 Mar 2024, 6:30 pm

Irulan wrote:
Do you have this problem, too? More precisely, I often - very often (to tell the truth, practically always) - speak just too slowly because when I try to speak, I have to look for proper words being the exact equivalents of my thoughts – the language of mine I use is the language of my thoughts, of my mind and not the one of words. I think in pictures and not in words and that’s why I have to deal with this problem. It’s as if I tried to translate my words from one language (the one of thoughts) to another one (the one of words) in the same manner I translate sentences from English to Polish (and the other way round) which has to take some time, after all. And how about you?


I can relate to this. It happens most often when I try to write.


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24 Mar 2024, 6:30 pm

Articulation!

The best speakers take time to compose their thoughts to be intentionally crafted.

I have a very simple mind vocabulary, but it takes me a while to compose what I want to say in a way that makes sense and cannot be misinterpreted.



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24 Mar 2024, 7:17 pm

I'm a fairly visual thinker and that can make things difficult to explain. I would love the ability to just project the visual image I have in my head into the real world so I could talk through it.

People get frustrated with how I explain things because I have a tendency to misplace words and take the most convoluted route to explain my thoughts.

If I'm really struggling don't be surprised if I summon a sketchbook or a notepad and start drawing things.

For some reason, sometimes I can spell a word if I have a piece of paper in front of me but if you were to say 'Hey, no paper, just tell me the letters in that word. Sound it out' then I can't do it! I can't recall the letters unless I start writing them and I don't know why.

I had all sorts of trouble at my last job because I really struggled to retain or make sense of verbal information. When people start using the phonetic alphabet my brain gets really confused because I forget that's what they're doing and I have to be really careful to not start copying it exactly. E.g. OK brain, they are using A for apple. Do not write apple. Apple is not included in the information. It is just an example and not relevant. Just write A. But then somewhere along the way I end up forgetting that and accidentally writing the words being used. I don't know why I'm like this. It made me wish that the phone had a transcription that I could visually read because I would have had such an easier time.

Admittedly I had to ask a customer to text me what they were spelling because I was having such a difficult time with it. I think it's to do with my attention span and my brain just blurring sounds together after a while.

I honestly need to physically move about or be doing something to retain information. Doodling actually really helps me pay attention even though it might not seem like it. Otherwise my brain just kinda... *dial up noise* :lol: you know?


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jogashill
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25 Mar 2024, 2:40 am

yes, i have this difficulty, too. this happens when also trying to speak other languages. i know the words i want to say and can see the words but they just don't come out. when i am writing, the words make sense and putting them down is easier than trying to pull them out of my mouth with sounds. it is very frustrating, and so often not speaking is just easier.



Edna3362
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25 Mar 2024, 4:25 am

I can relate and have the same issue.

Words, to me, feels... Unnatural.
And it definitely feels like translating several layers.

To visualize, imagine translating an initial sentence via google, copy pasting results with different layers of different languages for more than 2-3 times consecutively.

Except instead of languages, it's thought processes (nonvisual and nonverbal abstract concept, abstract pattern, concrete visual, concrete auditory, sensory, memory vocabulary, language verbal, etc.)


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Comet Zed
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26 Mar 2024, 5:43 am

Oh yeah. I'm not afraid to tell someone to wait while I try to articulate a response to something they've said; it's important to me to be precise in my choice of words so as not to give the wrong impression or be misunderstood which can happen easily. Most people get very uncomfortable waiting while I do this though. Writing feels easier.


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FleaOfTheChill
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26 Mar 2024, 7:44 am

I'm not a visual thinker. That said, I don't think in words either...not at first anyway. Words are not my native tongue. I think in concepts/ideas, if that makes sense. Then I have to translate them into words if it's something I want to communicate with anyone else. I feel I trip over my words a lot and never really know if I've done a decent job expressing my thoughts or not.

I take a lot of pauses when trying to speak to others. I have to figure out what I'm trying to say, then I just blurt it all out. Sometimes I speak fast when blurting...it's like I don't want to forget what I'm trying to say so I say it as quick as possible. I'd say my speech is more broken.. choppier. I suppose slow does work as a description as well.



vergil96
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26 Mar 2024, 1:44 pm

Yes, I experience exactly the same thing, I think in pictures, schemes, geometrical figures, it doesn't quite translate to language.



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26 Mar 2024, 2:35 pm

Yeah I always thought that was a me thing but apparently it's not :D When people are talking or the teacher is teaching I often think of what I think is a perfect answer but when I actually open my mouth to speak I can't seem to get the actual words out which makes me look kinda goofy especially because I thought I had the perfect answer and I end up not knowing what I should say :P The concept exists in my head and I somewhat imagine it, and the only words that actually "play" in my head is just "oh yeah say that" referring to the concept forming in non-word form so I usually just don't speak and prefer texting because speaking is rather stressful. The other option is to plot out everything I want to say and then say it, but it takes time and either I say it slowly which can be weird or I mess it up and even though it might technically sound ok it's not what I planned and then I stumble :) so I usually just stay quiet to avoid inconveniences of speaking with a brain that doesn't think in words ._.



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26 Mar 2024, 5:02 pm

I do this as well. My thoughts never correspond perfectly with words and I often struggle to explain things that make perfect sense in my mind. I think it would be nice if they developed technology to communicate telepathically through thoughts instead of words.


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Irulan
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26 Mar 2024, 5:46 pm

Thank you all for replying to this question of mine; I was very curious if anyone else also shares this particular difficulty with me. :) I'm a visual thinker so that's the source of this problem, its very root. Here is where the dog is buried, as I would have said in my language :lol:

https://www.reddit.com/r/poland/comment ... _phrase_i/

Btw, When I was in college, I once asked my friend whether she used to think in words or in pictures - her answer was a VERY unexpected one. According to her, she did this "in light spots" but I don't remember any more what she meant by this simple statement. And, I must add, she was as neurotypical as one's heart could wish for :) .



AnanstrixG
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26 Mar 2024, 5:50 pm

I do not speak words well. All but given up on trying. I look for metaphor at this point.

I have not read all responses, it would be nice for me to now. Have trouble.

Good at quick clever wordplay.

(editing since fast skimmer and nobody read yet)

I'm not alone.

I just gave up. Was good. For over 50 years. So tired. So much change now. Im the only optimist I know. So I'm sad.


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AnanstrixG
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26 Mar 2024, 5:57 pm

Irulan wrote:


where the axe hits the bone. Where the grind hits the gristle. Where the question becomes the answer. Where the flow becomes the source. Where the answer becomes the question.


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