Do you dream in your mother tongue or other languages?

On Twitter, I posed the question, “Those of you bilingual (or tri, etc). Do you dream in your mother tongue or the other languages as well?”

Interesting and varied answers from some of my Twitter contacts are listed below (will update more as they roll in):

  • I dream in Lao and English. Less Lao now, since I’m not near my family.
  • both! weird, I just realise it. Brilliant question!
  • both, sometimes just the mother time, sometimes the other language, sometimes a terrifying mixture.
  • LOL, I wish. My father once said I should improve my English more so even in my dream I speak English
  • I don’t really remember but I think I dream in Indonesian since I don’t speak English daily.
  • I’ve dreamt in Arabic before, and I barely speak it!
  • I sometimes dream in another language.
  • its a stream of consciousness sometimes… but i think i do dream in two languages.
  • most of the time I dream in my mother tongue. Very rare I had it in English.
  • I’m a multi-linguist and funny thing my dream also in multi-lingual. Can be confusing sometime.

So what about you? Those of you who speak more than one language, do those languages seep into your dreams? Do they intertwine? During the day, do you find yourself thinking in only your mother tongue? When you read in a different language do you translate some of the words into your mother tongue involuntarily?

More responses:

  • no, I mostly think in English, speak in my own mind in English. When I see letters on billboard I write them in Korean in my mind
  • for me, what language to think in depends on the context. dreams are very mixed up and multilingual.
  • No I don’t. I can’t even think in Indonesian anymore without trying
  • not really. English mostly, Deutsch when it’s getting hard.

What is the purpose of my questions? Pure and simple curiosity. Care to contribute?