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Linguaholic
Accredited Online TEFL

Do you ever dream in the language that you are studying?


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I guess this question is aimed towards people that have seriously studied a language for a while and are reasonably fluid with it. Do you ever find yourself dreaming in said language?

I read somewhere that the two sings that you have completely mastered a language are: catching yourself thinking in the new language without even realizing that you were doing it and dreaming in this second language, as in, speaking and interacting with people in this second language.

Is this true? I would like to know this from people that actually are fluid in several tongues, yet I know that the definition of "dreaming in a language" is probably fuzzy at best, you could dream that you were speaking say, Japanese, and the words made sense to you but you were actually just dreaming gibberish. 

I would like to hear from you if you experience this, specially after prolonged and intensive sessions with the new language.

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I've dreamed in Spanish before. My first language is English. I find that the more I use Spanish the more likely I am to end up dreaming in Spanish too. It's not a definite that I will though. Sometimes I can be speaking in English all day and still end up dreaming in Spanish. Similarly I can speak Spanish all day and end up dreaming in English. I'll occasionally find myself thinking in Spanish too but that's not very often. Again, it seems to be more often the more I use the language. 

I've never found myself dreaming or thinking in French though. I'm not very fluent at all in French so that's likely the reason behind it. 

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Yes, I'm dreaming in Japanese a lot lately, though it's not frequent, since I dream in Dutch, Polish and English more often (I dream in English most for some odd reason).

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I have heard the same things. My French teacher, who also spoke German, told us about the time he first dreamed in German. He said that was when he realized he was really getting a grasp on it. I have never dreamed in French, but hopefully one day I will get to that stage where I am good enough that that happens!

 

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Even though English is my first language and my dreams are often in English, I find that some of my dreams are not even in any language. Like take last night for example. I'm currently studying Korean and I was able to communicate to my favorite Korean idol group in it, but I can't even tell you what language we were speaking in. It was more like our intent and actions are mutually understood.

This goes for my second language, Hainanese, as well. In my waking life, I only communicate with my parents in Hainanese, but when I dream about them I honestly can't recall a single time I used it in a conversation (I swear I am at least proficient in it). If dreaming in a foreign language is a sign of mastering it, I'm not quite sure what this says about me as a speaker...

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Yes, and is amusing. I remember people in my dreams talking in my target language, their speaking is natural and with elaborate clear sentences like a well-spoken native, and I managed to understand everything. But after awaking, I don't remember anything from that dream. Pretty curious, albeit frustrating, somehow It motivates me to keep it on.

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I don't because honestly I don't get practice enough and I don't feel I am immersed enough on my new languages to be able to have my subconscious pick it up that much. Probably once I move to the city where I am planing to live where I can use my new language a bit more and be surrounded by it constantly I'll start dreaming about it but for now I only dream about my primary language but I do hope that someday I'll be immersed in my new language enough that my subconscious wouldn't be able to tell the difference. 

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This is a brilliant question and topic of discussion. But to be honest, when I dream, I do communicate but I have never noticed in what language because I believe language in dreams is like mind-reading.

I doubt if I use a particular language because I presently speak two languages and I dream every time I fall asleep but the language is not defined.

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My native language is Setswana, but if I'm being honest, I rarely think and dream in Setswana. I'm also a near-native English speaker because I've been speaking the language for as long as I can remember. I learnt it as a small child and my family predominantly speak English. I learnt French and some Italian much later on, and can honestly say those are the languages I consider foreign as I have never actually mastered them. I have never once dreamt in either language.

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I learned French when I was a kid. Was almost fluent by the time I was 9 but never did speak the language from then on. From time to time however, I did dream in French. In the dreams I could understand every French word that was spoken though at the time I was learning the language I hadn't mastered it that well. Strange if you ask me.

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Yes, I was in a period where I was constantly watching k-dramas and had a dream where everyone was talking in Korean but me.  I didn't understand what they were saying so it was really stressful.  But in hindsight I'm pretty sure that it was just my mind mashing together all the words I had been listening to.  I haven't had a dream like that since but hopefully when I get more fluent it will happen again but I'll be able to pick out certain words.

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Whenever I dream, I only dream about me talking in my native language, and not in my secondary language, which is English. I have the most weird dreams at times, but it never involved me talking in another language.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Yes actually.  I have had dreams in French at least twice that I can remember and as of last night/this morning, I have had one dream in Yiddish.  And it was a very realistic dream too because I'm only an intermediate speaker and struggled with the fluent speakers in the dream and had to alternate between Yiddish and English to communicate everything I needed to say in the dream. 

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Hmm.. I dream a lot but I never really took note whether I was speaking in my native language or in another language. Every time I dream about something, they're usually fuzzy and when I wake up it's hard for me to remember the full details. It's interesting to know though that most of you do dream about the language you are trying to learn. I guess I'm just not that good in remembering my dreams. :)

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