Has anyone here learned a second language to the extent that they can speak and understand it fluently? Despite it being something anyone can learn to do, I've always been impressed and rather fascinated by the ability. My fascination lies with trying to understand how a person 'hears' and processes a language which is not their own. For instance, if someone says to me, "Would you like a cup of coffee?" I don't need to process those words, or at least I'm not aware of processing them. I know instantly what I'm being asked and how I need to respond. But when a person who has learned to speak (for instance) German to a fluent degree, is asked the same question in that language, does their brain accept and understand it in the same way it understands their native language? I think what I'm trying to ask is do people who speak another language - even as fluently as the people from that country - constantly have to mentally translate when using it?