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Dreaming in target language

Hello fellow Duos! I want to know how the languages you're learning have appeared in your dreams!

In past couple of weeks I have noticed some of my target language (German) leaking from my self-conscious into my dreams. I have been studying German nearly everyday since around March this year, and I am far from fluent at this point (despite Duo's infamous 52% 'fluency' rating), though I have been practicing my listening comprehension more lately.

There is no way to know if the 'German' I dreamed was correct or not (I doubt it!) but I think it is kind of cool that it even showed up at all. I know for a fact that is was indeed German, and not French or any other language I have experience with.

In one instance I remember my dream-self speaking in German, but resorting to English when I didn't know how to say a word. In another instance, someone said something to me in German and it took my dream-self a second to understand what was said before I recognized it as a compliment, so I responded with "Danke." Who knows if that was really the correct response, I could just be flattering myself!

Some believe that once you dream in a different language, you've become fluent. I don't think that's necessarily true, but I know it does mean that you are becoming more immersed in the language, though sometimes your dream really is only gibberish.

So what do you all think about dreaming in different languages? What are your experiences with your target language(s) when it comes to dreaming in them? I'd love to know!

September 2, 2017



I'm no expert on the subject, but my high school engineering teacher taught us that sleep is one of the best ways to fully absorb information. If we ever had to make up a quiz, he'd make us wait a day to sleep on our studying as a chance to learn it better. He also told us that scientists have theorized that during sleep, our brains transfer the short term memories of the day to long term, so some of those instances surface in our dreams.

So I think your language dreaming could mean that you're immersing yourself more and more, and all the practicing that's currently short term is becoming long term. You're really learning and understanding more of the language (always a good sign).

But scientists have never been able to put their finger on the science of dreams or what they mean. Last night I dreamed I had to leap from window to window of an apartment building, and then suddenly realized I was being followed by a basketball player. I can't imagine what the meaning of that is.

Either way, it's great that your language learning cropped up in your dreams. :)


I've had some dreams where French crept into the dream, but it was either faux French or very bad French. (But my dreams are kind of weird anyway.)

I do find myself drifting into French phrases as I'm falling asleep or right after waking up, but again it's either imperfect French or very simple French.

Either way, I do consider this progress. Our younger son was running a triple major in college (Mathematics, Computer Science and German) and remembered well the day he started dreaming in German. He wound up studying in Berlin for 7 months and now works at Google/YouTube


There is no way to know if the 'German' I dreamed was correct or not (I doubt it!) but I think it is kind of cool that it even showed up at all.

I doubt when you dream in 'English' (or whatever your mother tongue is) it makes sense. The brain doesn't process language fully in dreams as it does waking; dreams are wordless thoughts (everyone's true 'native language'), and when spoken languages appear in dreams they are usually just a superimposed idea of a language. I have many times been 'told' (and understood) something terribly significant in a dream and held onto the words whilst waking only to find them to be meaningless syllables from which all understanding had now dissipated.
Dreams tend to incorporate things that the brain has recently been preoccupied with—in your case, German; had you been playing Tetris instead, you'd probably dream about that. I'd not read too much into it!


That's quite cool, you even remember some words you said in your dreams! English is my second language, and after several year using it I started dreaming and even sleep-talking in English. But in duolingo, my target language is Spanish, i haven't dream it yet, hopefully someday.


At few times I have been dreaming in Swedish (my native language), English, Spanish and Esperanto in the same dream. The other night I was dreaming about reading books in Esperanto. I'm not even fluent in Spanish or Esperanto.


I find dreams by themselves very fascinated and am eager for the day when languages will be in my dreams!


Outside of English, the language I dream in the most is American Sign Language (ASL). Sometimes, I wake myself because my hands crash into one of my cats or the bed. Even in my sleep, it is my favorite language. :)

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