What language do you dream in?

I’m a big dreamer both in the conscious daily life, but also in the unconscious life. When I wake up, I have a whole story about what happened in my head during the night from driving through canyons to going out with friends, dreaming that we got a few feet of snow in LA and all sorts of things like that. I am what psychologists call an active dreamer that falls right into REM from the first minutes of sleep and spends most of the night in REM. Now that’s good because I have a deep sleep and I wake up super rested, or because I can sleep on planes, trains, automobiles and pretty much anywhere I need to. Not so good because sometimes I wake up frazzled from my dreams, because I laugh in my sleep and sometimes wake up the person next to me, because I’ve woken up sobbing due to some random event that happened in Sandman’s land.
Dream CatcherLately however, I’ve been noticing an interesting phenomenon. By all accounts, my first language is Romanian and for the first 25 years of my life, I spoke it 99% of the time, but for the past few years, it has given way to English, which occupies about 99% of my life right now. And somehow my dreams keep toggling between Romanian and English with the occasional additional language from time to time. So what happened there? Did I become a bilingual dreamer? Most of my dreams seem to be in English though…even if they involve people who don’t even speak English. And the other day I was having a dream conversation with someone in French…and I’m definitely not fluent in French, but somehow it worked.

And then there are the other circumstances when my boyfriend (English speaker) wakes me up and asks me something and I promptly answer in Romanian without hesitation. Sometimes, he asks the same question again thinking that maybe he just didn’t hear me right and again I give him the answer in Romanian without even realizing that I’m speaking Romanian and that he has no idea of what I’m saying.

And as I get better at more languages, I’d like to believe that my dreams will become poli-lingual too and that the variety of dreams will only get bigger with the variety of languages. For now, I dream in colors expressed in two very distinct languages, carried through channels of my subconscious into vivid images and words.

One response to “What language do you dream in?

  1. Hi Lavinia,I read your story about the dreams. It is very interesting, is not it?
    It is nice to learn that in native from a neighbouring land of me, from Rumania. My parents immigrated from Bulgaria during Balkan War. I was born in Turkey. Anyway, nice to meet you. I will keep you read your blogs.:)))
    Hikmet, Bosforwonder-Ebay


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