People always say: When you speak English, think in English.
What does 'think in English' actually mean? What is your understanding of it?
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Dear Orpheus,

I have no idea whether I'm imagining it...but I think I did have the experience of thinking in English. When I spoke English, English words would naturally come up in my head. This happened almost all the time when I 'forced' myself to use and be exposed to only English every day for three months.

Ryan
Basically it's about NOT translating from your first language into English. You associate everything in English.
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I think you can say you think in English when you start dreaming in English. I remember kissing one of my children when she was asleep and she started saying "stop mummy, stop mummy" then I knew she was thinking in English as she was dreaming in English.
A lot of people associate 'thinking in English' with 'not translating' but isn't that a bit 'underestimating' translation? 'not translating literally' is maybe a more appropriate phrase.Emotion: smile
If it's about 'not translating literally', would it mean the same, for instance, if I say 'Use English sentence structure, use English vocabulary, use CORRECT English'? Is it just a nicer way to tell people to use correct English?
When you translate things in your own native mind definetly you will be translating sentences in a different pattern. and FLI or first language influence also affects your way of speaking...so practice makes perfect and don't expect an overnight change
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i agree with most of the already given answers. think in english and don`t translate everything as you do at the very beginning of learning a language. it makes sense and with english it`s rather easy. i got the problem that i`m trying the same now with spanish, but gosh, it is so much harder than you concentrate on two languages at the same time.
Maybe you should try to think like the EnglishEmotion: smile If I am not really concentrated I speak German using English words because of the fact that I am not actually thinking in English and it doesn't sound well, rather confusing for the audience. But it can happen to everyoneEmotion: smile The total killer is although a German text mindless translated into English. I could cry, when I see one. And the worst total killer was a contract I had seen that nobody could really understand. Three lawyers tried and failed. This contract had been written without thinking in English and it wasn't helpful that the writer had used English words, in fact the using of English was the reason for the issue.
Thinking in English ,it's a very interesting subject. It's verry important for some languages which didn't have relations to the others such as Asian languages and European languages. I always face this difficult situation. When I want to answer immediately something, I usually think the reply in my mind and then I translate into English instead of finding some structures to be suitable to the question.So, I used to make a lot of mistakes and I can't speak fluently. If I immitative some structures that I have learned by heart, I can speak easily and I have a good condition to pay attention to the intonation, the accent and the pronunciation as well instead of thinking about grammar and some ending" s" and" ed". And I always feel very happy with the eyes opened of some foreigners as we used to be surprised when we met an American with our northern accent, middle accent or southern accent no matter how mistakes they have made.
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