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RE: Ask me anything - the social interaction experiment. 1SBD prize

in #life4 years ago

After many hours thinking in a question for you. I was inspired by this post from you and I think I got a question.

I’m bilingual and when I speak Spanish, I think in Spanish, when I speak in English I think in English, my brain doesn’t act as a translator thinking in Spanish to turn it into English or vice versa, so I wonder, in what language does a deaf person thinks? Because they read in a language (English, Spanish, etc.), but they communicate in another language (sign language). Do they have a voice in their mind or do they think in words or signs?

Maybe those were more than 1 question or maybe they are silly questions, but I leave then there.

Ps. In your other comment you said you are learning 5 languages, so if you are learning Spanish and need some help, don't doubt in asking.


I honestly didn't know answer to this( I do now because I just had to find out) but first here is my thoughts on the subject.
Our memories and thus one of the main ways we process though comes from linking ideas and thoughts together based on our senses. This is why some people learn better by reading and others by listening, and the combination of both will help reinforce and idea. There is usually a primary sense linked to certain ideas. For example if asked to count seconds in your head, some people will internally visualize a clock hand, or numbers moving, to indicate the change in seconds. other, myself included hear a 'tick' ,an internal metronome or similar. Same task, two completely different ways of mentally processing it and most likely it all comes from life experience.

I have learned some interesting things from a blind man I once worked with on a theater show(including how to pee standing up), but have never had an in depth discussion with a deaf person. I have experienced both temporary blindness and temporary deafness in my life and am quite happy to still have those senses. As much as I love self experimentation, it is not possible to simulate deafness, unlike the ability to remove all light sources, its not possible to turn off your ears, I personally find the sound of my own blood pumping through my head quite annoying at times. So the only way I could get a realistic answer to this question was to do a bit of research. Fun fact, did you know on 35mm film, the audio track is stored optically.

It turns out no surprise that most people who are born deaf think in some form of pictures, either they visualize written words, or 'see' Sign language. Interestingly one man said that as sign language lacks a great number of words, he often thinks in 'finger spelling' I do wonder at what speed this process happens.

Your comment about being bilingual and thinking in the currently spoken language answers a question I have had for a long time. One of my reasons for trying to learn other languages is to greater understand the idea behind 'lost in translation' (not the movie - haven't seen it) There are words and ideas that cannot be translated. Just like tribes that don't have a word for orange have trouble distinguishing the colour, I believe there are ideas that can only be had if you have the correct language to think them. I think I shall write up a blog post about my attempt to learn multiple languages and why I am doing it, incidentally yes español está en mi lista :)

I always thought a deaf person might think in written words, images and signs, as much as I thought a blind person might think in sounds and maybe even in textures or sensations.

And about not being able of turn off your ears, I believe the sound of silence is the loudest sound of all, I personally hate it.

I didn’t know about the 35mm film and the audio track. I also didn’t know the thinking in "finger spelling" because of the lack of words, it links with the idea of "lost in translation". I believe it’s a general feeling, no matter the language, sometimes we want to say something, but we don’t have the exact word for it, even if the word exist in our language. For example, I recently learnt the word petrichor (petricor in Spanish), it’s the smell of rain when it touches the dry soil, because I didn’t know that word and I just said the full sentence of “I love the smell of the rain when it touches the soil”, kind of long to say.

You should write it, I would totally read that post! I need some inspiration, I learned English by myself until I had a decent base and I took classes in an institute, my English isn’t perfect, but I try to improve it every day. I tried to do the same thing with German and French, but recently I have a lack of motivation for keep studying.

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