At what point can we start to have bilingual conversation? We have heard of people who have never picked up a textbook and still be able to speak two languages just by listening to conversations of others and surrounding themselves with foreign language speakers. Language is what we use to help us make sense of the world we live in and communicate our needs to others. This need to communicate and get along with other people is what causes us to start picking up new sounds connected to the language. We do not speak fluently at first, but we make sure we know enough to get us to the level where our needs can be met when we express them in terms that others can understand.
How would you know if you are actually having bilingual conversation with yourself?
1. When you struggle to find the right words in order to express yourself in the second language.
2. When you ask others the meaning of certain foreign words in your native tongue.
3. When you start asking how to say things in a foreign language.
Unfortunately, people stop working after their first questions are answered. The learning stops abruptly and the subconscious mind that first urges them to find out about things turns to another path of work. The conscious mind that translates thinking, from the subconscious mind, into physical activity is not needed. In other words, the process of acquiring a new language is interrupted. This in turn tells the subconscious mind to stop telling us to think about the matter. When this happens, the whole process of bilingual conversation comes to a naught.
How can we prevent this from happening?
Start using the new words by writing or speaking them everyday. Writing and speaking are physical activities that are prompted by the conscious mind. The conscious mind needs tools to get us to speak and write. These tools are found in the form of books, cds, tapes, stationery and videos. To use these tools, we use our hands, mouths, ears and eyes.
Is there any other way to have a bilingual conversation without actually doing it yourself?
Yes. You can by using an interpreter or a translator. The result of this is that the person you employ as the interpreter or translator becomes more competent in two languages, as one would expect.
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