I’ve yet to reach the point where I can seamlessly switch from speaking English to speaking Norwegian. Where I can confidently answer and chat in the language of the country I now call home. Speaking Norwegian, for me, still takes effort, thought and time. In one language I can express my thoughts and feelings fully and in a myriad of ways, injecting humour and a sense of myself in every sentence. In the other I feel constricted, fumbling around trying to pick out the appropriate word and trying not to sound like a toddler. Feeling incredibly self conscious when I do put in the effort doesn’t help one bit.
“That moment when you start to think in two languages at the same time”
I do find moments where the words come to me, when I know exactly what to say and how to say it. When I know my thoughts are fully formed with words that occasionally include the letter Æ, Ø or Å. And it’s a fantastic feeling but those moments still don’t occur often enough.
Other than in some of my dreams.
I’ve woken up several times in the past year from a dream where the words flowing out of my mouth were not English. And not just in dribs and drabs, a short phrase here and there. Oh no. It was a full on torrent of ideas, thoughts and feelings. A roaring waterfall of words flooding out of me. Though I never remember what I had been saying, there is no doubt I had been speaking fluently in Norwegian. Or at least what my dreaming mind considers to be Norwegian.
One of my Norwegian language teachers had said that when you start to dream in a foreign language that’s when you really begin to integrate the language into your everyday life. A sure sign of fluency. Not sure what it means if in my dreams I’m speaking some kind of dreamland, made up Norwegian which may or may not actually make any kind of sense or bear any kind of resemblance to the actual language.
Has anybody else experienced this? Have you started to dream in the language you’re learning? And did it make sense in your dream?