You have often heard your friends abroad saying, “It’s crazy, I’m dreaming in French now!” Or they speak Spanish in their dreams. Or other languages! While this may seem annoying to “unilingualists”, the fact remains that the phenomenon is real.
Many people can testify to such experiences. But do we have scientific explanations?
What level of Spanish do you need to accomplish this? To begin in Spanish is it enough? Or do you need to be fluent? Can you take specific Spanish lessons?
Let’s take it step by step, and see what we can do to dream in Spanish…
Before starting with extravagant extrapolations all more crazy than the others or on this or that person’s experience… try to concentrate on tangible facts.
More exactly, do we have tangible evidence to prove that by a + b you, me, we dream in a foreign language at a given moment? Is there a tiny trace on the internet of a study that finally gives us the recipe for this mystery of life?
Catch dreams, control them… So many fantasies in front of which we are powerless.
Unfortunately, while we have just piqued your curiosity with these two highly important questions, we will have to settle for a negative answer… Indeed, despite many researches (perhaps you will find the Holy Grail somewhere.)
If they exist, do not hesitate to put it in comment! No trace of a surreal experience carried out by a mad scientist on a guinea pig. Nada!
Why do we often talk about this between expatriates then? Can we really dream in a foreign language? Can a Englishman, from one night to another, dream in Spanish, in this language which is not his, but which he masters?
The answer here is obviously yes. Nobody really knows why or when it starts, but many people can attest to such dreams! Speaking Spanish in your dreams is possible. It can happen after learning Spanish quickly.
From this double observation, what to do? What if we put together all the pieces of the puzzle to try to put in place the ingredients for a dream abroad? Let’s lead the investigation…
In any case, the phenomenon does not seem to have an age limit. It’s never too late to learn Spanish and try your luck.
This is the second question that comes to mind after worrying about the existence of scientific studies.
You will certainly agree with us, but the chances of dreaming in Spanish after only 2 ½ years of experience in learning the Spanish language, are relatively slim … You need to do better than know the conversational Spanish.
Moreover, it’s the same if you have just graduated in a Foreign Languages degree at University, but almost never having set foot in Spain, Latin America or Miami.
In short, let’s stop beating around the bush. To approach a phenomenon such as a dream in a foreign language, one must at least approach bilingualism, or be an advanced Spanish speaker and in total immersion. There is no point in hoping if after a “mojito por favor” you are at the maximum. On the other hand, if you are able to explain the composition of the mojito, its evolution through history and recite a poem by Pablo Neruda to the girl in front of you … All in Spanish … We believe strongly in your chances!
Test: if you can describe this landscape in Spanish, you may be approaching your goal!
If you’re just starting your Spanish tutoring, stop believing that you’ll be able to dream in the language soon. An almost perfect knowledge of the language is therefore in our opinion a minimum condition to hope to live the nocturnal phenomenon. So you know what you have to do even from a linguistic point of view. Take back your notebooks, your notes. Review your favorite movies of Pedro Almodovar and in their original version and with no subtitles obviously.
But why take Spanish classes in America?
And how long does it take to learn the Spanish language?
Another piece of the puzzle: the question of immersion in a foreign country. In this case, a Spanish speaking countries: Spain, Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica and all that counts the American continent of Mexico to Ushuaia, without going through Brazil.
It seems indeed impossible from our point of view to dream in Spanish without being at the same time in a Spanish-speaking country. Unless the Spanish language is your mother tongue. But in this case, it’s cheating.
At Superprof, we think you can have a great level, but if you do not speak the language or do not hear it everyday… It won’t work. 2nd step of our experience therefore: take a plane ticket without further delay for Buenos Aires.
By not strictly respecting this condition, it seems impossible. And what should also be mentioned is that a short week at the holiday club will obviously not be enough.
Step 3: Call your boss and tell him that you are about to stay in Argentina for several months or years. A long stay and a long acclimatization to your language environment are necessary.
From there on end, what should you do once you find yourself immersed? You will indeed be surrounded by Spanish speakers. At the grocery store, the cinema, the bars, the beach, the street … everywhere.
But it’s not enough to let yourself be carried away by the life around you. It’s about taking part, of course. Thus, dreaming in Spanish requires integrating totally into society on the spot! This means, among other things, shared housing with other Spanish speakers. You should do this as to never cut off Spanish, even when you pass the door of your plane.
Immersion is essential and must be total! As soon as possible, because there is no age to study Spanish.
“Hola chica, que tal …”
Another element to keep in mind during your immersion: work. How can you immerse yourself 100% if you’re not working?
Accepting a job abroad and practicing it in a language you are learning, that is not yours, is always a promise of tremendous progress.
Above all, you create an environment that will stimulate all your intellectual abilities, during several hours each week. Your brain will boil with Spanish.
Finally, we would say that having a Spanish-speaking partner is a great help too. Now it’s your turn, and up to you to see.
To get in shape and finally get to dream in Spanish, it can be interesting to learn Spanish in parallel. At a high level we hear, obviously. Something that is probably easier for children, so as to begin learning Spanish very early in life.
As we suggested just above, devoting all your intellectual and thinking abilities to this foreign language can condition you and help you to get where you’re going.
You who are learning in depth Spanish grammar, conjugation or phonetics, you think a lot in this language.
Adding this to a life abroad, immersion is total. And dreams could then happen …
What do we mean by that?
Let’s talk about daily life. If you have already spent several months in a foreign country, while living there fully (with roommates that are from the local population, a job on site, etc.), then you may have come to think with the language of this country.
Take the example of Spanish. In a context similar to the one we just described, you may have already turned, flipped and diverted dozens of sentences into your head every day.
Imagine a plausible situation at work or at home and how you pronounce in Spanish a banal phrase that you would say in English. Because this is also becoming bilingual and learning a language: starting to think in Spanish every day and every hour.
It’s anticipating a conversation with a friend to talk about a story that just happened to you.
By doing this, once again, you are asking a good part of your intellectual faculties to “work in Spanish”. Thoughts, environment, discussions, job … Everything is in original version Spanish around you: enough to trigger your first dreams!
If we have not found any study to prove the existence of a miracle solution to dream in English, Spanish, German, etc. On the other hand, we found many articles on the interpretations of dreams. This is something that men and women have been looking for ever.
On our side, without being eminent scientists or philosophers, we are aware that what happens in a day can resurface in your dreams the same evening or a little later. Short-term memory tends to condition dreams.
Make friends on a beach in Argentina!
Thus, the people you meet day by day, many times in a week, can quietly come to take a walk in your head at night. It is your discussions and the situations in which you will spend together that may be the little miracle cure for a dream in Spanish.
Finally, last argument that should convince you to make Spanish friends: you’ll never hear any English being spoken. Their reality, and yours when you’re together, is Spanish. They express themselves thus, laugh thus and communicate with you in words that are 100% Spanish. You therefore minimize the chances of seeing them appear in your dreams speaking in English! This is obviously possible, we all know how our dreams can be (often) weird.
But if there is a chance for you to finally dream in Spanish, know that it will certainly be through your friends and other acquaintances with who you share your daily life. You may dream then of conversations with them or great adventures, of which only the subconscious has the secret …
To put you on the trail of phenomena, here are some tips to improve your Castilian …