I was talking to a friend yesterday. She came to Canada a few years ago from Zimbabwe. We got around to languages, and how many languages our children speak compared to us. I asked her about the language of her dreams. She couldn't answer. She said she supposed she dreamed in the language of her country, but that she had never thought about it. She added that dreams are mostly action, so she was not conscious of language.
Thinking about this made me realise that my dreams are a lot about words and language. I speak only English (grade 12 French does not count as a functional language), so I don't know about dreaming in more than one language. But I know that words and conversation are huge in my dreams. In fact, I have lots of dreams that I remember only as auditory experiences. Loops of words or phrases or even whole conversations, with no visual element whatsoever. Often I'll remember what someone said in the dream, and that will trigger my remembering of what I saw in the dream. The language is foremost. People in my dreams say things, and often tell me things that I remember and think about when I wake up. Sometimes it's more like a song - a repetition of words that I wake up with, ringing in my head like I just heard them on the radio.
When I dreamed about the birth of our son, shortly before he was born, he did a vaudeville act from the gurney on which we were lying in the dream, "And now, for my very first song," he said, "I will sing Happy Birthday - now isn't that appropriate heh heh!" In the dream, I thought to myself, "Hey, new-born babies don't sing happy birthday!" but it was a dream, so it was okay. I also have vivid dreams of people who have died, in which they have conversations with me just like when they were alive. My father-in-law visited me regularly in my dreams, especially while we were living in his house in the months after his death. He talked to me about Andy's mom - hoping she would be okay and saying he was very close and keeping an eye on her, and also about our next baby. I felt reassured by these conversations. They ended shortly before our daughter was born, in a wild dream in which my father-in-law sat beside me on a bench in the sun, and shrank down into a tiny baby in my arms. He said, "We've all been waiting for this. Now it's time."
I've always paid attention to my dreams. Clearly I have lots to say to myself in them.
question: in what language do you dream?
mompoet - I would never make it as a mime