Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Dreaming in many languages

I have been travelling throughout Italy for the past several weeks and going between two languages-English and Italian. After several days and nights I have found myself dreaming in both languages. As I speak more and more Italian in waking day, I use more Italian in my dreams. I find myself and other characters speaking Italian and English. Interestingly, those people who only speak Italian (e.g. colleagues) are in my dreams only speaking Italian. Those who speak both Italian and English (e.g. my son) speak both languages in my dreams.

When I am in an English-only environment then my dreams include only English speaking characters, including myself. Of course this represents the continuity hypothesis which states that there is a continuity between waking day events and dream time imagery. However, there appears to be more complex circumstances here. As I transition between English and Italian, my dreams seem to be problem-solving, assimilating cultural differences, and helping me learn the language (I dream in both languages sometimes-as if I am teaching myself the language). Once again, the consciousness of dreaming reveals the complex layers of this mentation. Studies exploring cultural differences, language acquisition, and dreaming should yield fruitful results.


  1. E' molto interessane cosa può fare "la mente che sogna".
    E' come quando il bambino impara a camminare e prima deve "vivere" il movimento dentro di sé , forse anche sognando . L'immagine del movimento lo aiuta ad imparare .-

    Comunque buon soggiorno in Italia!

    Che il nostro sole ti aiuti a sognare anche quando è tramontato!

  2. This discussion bring up the question as to "who is dreaming"? Who is creating these images in consciousness and who is participating in this? Research and dream practice have taught us that the dreaming mind is far more complex then we yet know. The dream images appear to be between the physical world (we dream about our waking day experiences) and another state of consciousness not yet fully understood. This is what makes this new frontier of science so exciting; we have so much to look forward to learning.