Tag Archives: sleep

dreaming auf Deutsch

Lately, bits of German have begun to peek through my dreams. After several years of studying the language, to have a phrase, sentence, even a conversation appear in my dreams feels like I have passed a sacred milestone. Looking a bit more into the link between language learning and dreams, I found this New York Times article, which reads:

“…dreamtime fluency is a metaphor for becoming an insider, someone for whom the language isn’t foreign and whose own nativeness is neither feat nor achievement; it just is, as natural as breathing.”

I wish I could say German is no longer foreign, but that probably won’t be the case for many years. One curious thing, until the last six months I have never thought about language consciously while dreaming – in what I assume was English, my native language. Something about the appearance of German in my dreams causes me to actually register the change. It’s an “Aha, this is something different, but I know it” moment. Strange, isn’t it? Do you speak any other languages? Have they ever appeared in your dreams? (image via)

To Fall Asleep…

The English expression “to fall asleep” is apt because the transition between waking and sleeping is a gradual drop from one state of being into another, a giving up of full self-consciousness for unconsciousness or for the altered consciousness of dreams. Except in cases of exhaustion or with the aid of drugs, the movement from one world to another is not instantaneous; it takes a little time. Full waking self-consciousness begins to loosen and unravel.

— Siri Hustvedt, in the NYT article All-Nighters: Failing to Fall (via The Literary Piano)