I recently posted an entry about how Swedes speak amazing English. I thought I’d post a follow-up on learning Swedish and how it’s impacted me.
First of all, I’ve been here 3,5 years now. I took lessons sporadically for about 2 of those years – my work paid for a private tutor who’d come to the office and teach me for an hour and a half roughly every week. Of course, the nature of my work meant that sometimes I’d have unavoidable client meetings or I’d be travelling somewhere, so I’d have to schedule for when it was convenient.
I am finally at a level where I can understand most conversations if I’m paying attention – at least the context of the conversation. I can speak reasonably well too (at least I think so) and I’m doing my best to write it also.What does this mean for me day to day? Well, for one, it means that I can follow along most lunchtime conversations, which does wonders for your social network.
It also means I can function in society, since everything is in Swedish. And that’s a fantastic feeling – to feel more integrated with the society that you’re in. It took me a good amount of time, but now I actually feel like a part of the country I’m living in, instead of just a temporary being appended to it.
However, I was in for another surprise. Never did I expect that I’d start DREAMING in Swedish, though! I don’t really dream in Mandarin or Taiwanese, and I learned those languages even before speaking English (albeit I have lost a lot of it).
It was Sunday morning. I woke up at 7.00 to do my laundry – I know, rough. Read my other posting about laundry times! But as soon as I woke up, I realized that I had been dreaming a scene in Swedish! In the dream, I was in the middle of a conversation with a friend, in Swedish, until my alarm clock went off. It was nothing significant, it was just so weird to have been speaking Swedish in my sleep. Not to mention that this was the first dream I remembered having in a very long time.
How Truly Swedish am I, really? So much that I dream in Swedish, apparently.
What about you? Do you dream in foreign languages? Are those dreams more colorful or vivid?