Dreaming in Chinese

They say it marks a significant stage in learning a new language – when you begin to dream in that language. In my case, I have been studying Chinese for almost two years, with up to 4 hours a day at times. Last night, I found myself engaged in a dream conversation in which I responded to my interlocutor clearly in Chinese. Can’t remember exactly what I said, of course, but I woke up quite conscious of the fact that I had done so.

Dream

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3 thoughts on “Dreaming in Chinese

  1. That reminds me of when I was studying French at A Level, in the late 1960s. I often struggled with translating books by the likes of Sartre and Camus. One night, I had a dream that I was talking to Albert Camus in a bar. We chatted easily, in French of course, and I understood everything he was saying. Shame it didn’t stick, after I woke up.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Having learnt Finnish to a functional level as an exchange student when I was 18, I’ve found it incredibly frustrating that I can speak it perfectly while dreaming, but can’t string a sentence together when awake. I encourage myself with the idea that if I went back I could pick it up quickly again, although this may be a delusion. Yes, I do occasionally still dream in Finnish, although it’s been 25 years since I lived there. Anyway, congratulations – it is indeed a milestone to dream in another language!

  3. Before I claim too much, it is worth noting that the Chinese word for ‘nonsense’ is menghua, ‘dream talk’. Often during the day, when I speak Chinese with people, they look at me as though I have just spoken menghua. The same goes for the many books I have written during my dreams, a chapter a night at times.

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