Do we think in the language we speak in?

I had to travel frequently to the UK on business, meeting clients, partners, and designing solutions. That meant, making numerous presentations.

On one of those trips, my good friend David Gardner David Gardner asked me a profound question.

Which language do you think in? while making presentations, and answering questions, striking conversations.

And he followed up with another question. Which language do you use to doing your mental math?

I really had to think hard to figure out how I was “thinking”. I was sure that I was doing my mental math in my mother tongue, which was the medium of Instruction during the first 5 years of school Education.

I am still unsure If I think in a language different to the language I use when making presentations.

Essentially, I was thinking in English, if I was making a presentation.

Back in India, and when in internal meetings, we tend to almost seamlessly, and intuitively switch between speaking in mother tongue and English.

I guess our mind is innately conscious of the situation and other people in the room. The language we speak in and the need to intertwine words, and phrases in between two local languages or a local language and English, is on Auto mode.

Only experts in languages and cognitive science can possibly provide an answer to how this happens?

About the author

D Sudhanva is the founder and CEO at Excelsoft Technologies, a globally renowned eLearning Solutions Company. With a focus on transforming education across the world, Sudhanva has steered Excelsoft to be a thought leader in Education Technology with robust products delivering innovative solutions.