Learning a foreign language is an activity human beings have been undertaking since antiquity. Alongside this activity we have been developing our knowledge of mechanisms beyond this learning. By formulating and addressing questions, researchers contribute to our understanding of such mechanisms. One such question is the issue of how a second language can affect thinking and associations. This is a very timely question in the European context because the societies which are coming closer to one another not only need to communicate but they also inevitably affect each other’s perception of reality. Language is one of the vehicles of this influence. This is not a new area of study and I myself have already attempted to demonstrate (Kuczynski 2003, 2005a) that changes in thinking (instantiated by the associative direction) caused by an L2 are observable in advanced learners, but there is a need for a more in-depth exploration of the phenomenon. This is the challenge this work undertakes: to examine how various factors, such as the learner’s proficiency, personal experience and the kind of meaning involved, affect associative processes in bilinguals.