I live in an area of the country where English and Spanish are the predominant languages, and even though I know a lot of Spanish, I am not that fluent in it to carry on a detailed conversation, but I can get by. A few times, though, I have had dreams where I talk fluently in Spanish to others in my dreams, but don't ask me to repeat what I said when I wake up. I've even been amazed, myself!
I dream pretty much equally in Spanish and English. When I'm studying another language, I'll dream in that one if I've been using it a lot during the previous few days, but I tend to wake up when I need something I haven't mastered yet. To me, one of the signs of becoming reasonably fluent in a language is dreaming in that language without having interrupted sleep.
Well, it's funny... since I got to Australia, my nightmares are in English
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 7/23/13 10:44 P
The correct term would be non-native English speakers. ESL is a subject that is studied, not a label for people. I teach adult ESL, and when I have asked my students this question, most tell me that they dream in some combination of both/all languages.
The question could apply to any of us who are multilingual, could it not?
My life is English-dominated at the moment...I probably speak English 75% of the time in my daily life now. I live with a Spanish-speaking person, but since we speak such wildly different dialects of the language, we mostly communicate in English at home or else we end up fighting about stupid things like which is the correct word for "cabbage." For me, emotional things tend to happen in my head in Spanish and more scientific or analytical things tend to get processed in English. I guess I would say that I probably dream bilingually most of the time, and a little more in Spanish than in English when there only one language involved. Other languages show up in my dreams too--especially Russian and Arabic--though I am not really fluent in either. I had a dream the other day where there was a lot of French--oddly, because it's a language that I understand somewhat, but have never studied or lived.
Also, in my dreams, people I have known who don't speak a common language seem to be able to communicate with each other seamlessly.
Fitness Minutes: (167,691)
11,304 7/23/13 8:50 P
English is my mother tongue but I have lived in Germany and Hungary and knew the languages there well enough. When I lived in Hungary, I used German a lot when I couldn't communicate sufficiently in Hungarian and the person spoke German. I had some crazy dreams in Hungarian, German and English. And I did dream in German when I lived there because I rarely spoke English.
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