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Post Reply if you are born deaf, what language do you think in?
Posted 2/17/15
just thought of this when i was working, do they still think in English, or their own language?
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Posted 2/17/15
The question really becomes, do you even think in English? Or is it just a series of reactions that are interpreted to fit your environment?
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Posted 2/17/15
Well, typically you think in the language you learn. Also, words are useful for describing the characteristics of an object (E.X: You see a 'Wooden, Brown Table,' ... The only things that change for different languages are the phonetic sounds used to label that 'Wooden, Brown Table')

Hmm, not sure if this answers; Take this as my two cents.
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Posted 2/17/15
If they don't think in words, then they must think in visualizations, right?
Posted 2/17/15
when you see an object you can't remember the name to... what do you call it? You don't really call it anything, you just sort of know what it is.


like the little dot on top of the letter "i" has a name to it. But i don't even remember or care to remember what it's called... it's so insignificant... so i don't call it anything. but to communicate to others, i call it "the dot on top of the letter......".
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Posted 2/17/15
I'd think they think the same way everybody else does.
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Posted 2/17/15 , edited 2/17/15
There are actually studies on this. Lots of people who are deaf have problems with a socially constructed reality existing, being able to know a language to think in is actually very important to think in itself, if you don't have a language to speak in you are going to have a lot more problems. For example there is a study of a girl who did not ever learn language or go outside until she was past the fundamental age of learning. Although she was also probably abused this is still a good example of what happens when you don't have society around you to construct a reality with. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genie_(feral_child)
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Posted 2/17/15 , edited 2/18/15

GayAsianBoy wrote:

when you see an object you can't remember the name to... what do you call it? You don't really call it anything, you just sort of know what it is.


like the little dot on top of the letter "i" has a name to it. But i don't even remember or care to remember what it's called... it's so insignificant... so i don't call it anything. but to communicate to others, i call it "the dot on top of the letter......".


Its called a tittle. That is one of my favorite random facts.

As for my two cents, I would think that they think in sign language. Of course if the deaf person can speak they may or may not be able to think in something close enough to a language but I think they would probably still think in sign language for the most part.
Posted 2/17/15 , edited 2/17/15
Assuming they went to school and was taught to read and write in English or any language, I'm quite sure that's the language they think in. They may not know how to sound them out, but they will know things by their written names. Have you ever visualized a word? Like thought of it and saw its spelling in your head. It might be like that. That would be my guess.
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Posted 2/17/15 , edited 2/17/15
God damn it Noah I actually thought about this a lot.
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Posted 2/17/15
ya'll come up with some interesting questions i just sit here with a blank mind everyday all day


_MissTake_ wrote:

Assuming they went to school and was taught to read and write in English or any language, I'm quite sure that's the language they think in. They may not know how to sound them out, but they will know things by their written names. Have you ever visualized a word? Like thought of it and saw its spelling in your head. It might be like that. That would be my guess.


i like this idea. imma go with it
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30 / M / In a world that d...
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Posted 2/17/15 , edited 2/17/15
A friend of mine had a girlfriend that was deaf since birth. I don't think we ever covered what language deaf folk "think" in BUT I can offer this piece of insight.

Those that are deaf usually refer to people that know in sign language symbols that are have something to do with an outstanding feature that the person finds about them. My name in sign language became "hair" because I was rocking long hair at the time. I'm sure there are signs that do actually refer to English names but personal acquaintances are usually called out in the aforementioned way.

She also muttered in English word sounding like vocalizations when she talked in sign. They DO learn the written language and they can feel the vibrations of sound and their own voice but they have no ability to correct themselves since they cant hear their own voice.

It might be accurate to think that they might think in a combination of visualizations and their native language, especially in sign language, given that it is a symbolic gesture based code.

Edit: Stupid spelling mistakes.
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Posted 2/17/15
Thought about this before, it's extremely interesting. If you are completely fluid in 2 different languages, which one do you think in? This question probably can't be answered.
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Posted 2/17/15 , edited 2/17/15
you can teach a child the basics of a language and there are some that actually can talk in there native language after years of learning.


SacredBlood77 wrote:

Thought about this before, it's extremely interesting. If you are completely fluid in 2 different languages, which one do you think in? This question probably can't be answered.


the one that was first learned or used more often during the phase of their life that they spent learning would be the biggest factor i would say.
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Posted 2/17/15
you think in French
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