Holy Roman Emperor Charles V reportedly said, “Je parle espagnol à Dieu, italien aux femmes, français aux hommes et allemand à mon cheval” (I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men & German to my horse). Another version quotes him as saying: “Je parle latin à Dieu, italien aux musiciens, espagnol aux soldats, allemand aux laquais, français aux dames et anglais à mon cheval” (I speak Latin to God, Italian to musicians, Spanish to soldiers, German to lackeys, French to ladies & English to my horse). I guess it depended on whether he was riding a German horse or an English horse~!
I have studied seven languages over the course of half a century; it was only when I lived in Brussels and Paris in 1991-1992 that I began to dream regularly in French; many years later, I revived my French in 2003 as a political statement in response to the rampant francophobia of Republicans in Congress and the Bush administration as a reaction to France’s opposition to the Iraq war. In 2015, I began studying Korean and then took Norwegian in 2016 and 2017; in 2018, I began reviving my long dormant German. It was over the course of 2017-2019 that I began to dream in various languages other than English, increasing in frequency over the course of 2019, as this record of speaking and sometimes singing in my dreams show…
I woke up from a dream in which I said that ‘tollkühn’ means ‘foolish’ or ‘rash’ but that J.R.R. Tolkien — whose name is an anglicization of ‘tollkühn’ — was anything but. I then mentioned the fact that the last of the four ‘grands ducs d’Occident’ was called Charles le Téméraire and that his ‘téméraire’ nickname is translated as both ‘Charles the Bold’ and ‘Charles the Rash’ both of which the last duke of an independent Burgundy was.
I woke up from a dream in which I said “Il y a” and then “Il y avait…”
I woke up from a dream in which I described my mother as ‘unruhig’ — ‘restless’ in German — to my dissertation adviser…
I woke up from a dream in the morning in which I said “Die verkaufte Braut” — the title of Bedřich Smetana’s opera “The Bartered Bride” in German (which is “Prodaná nevěsta” in Czech”).
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I said, “Ils sont belges, les parents ou les grandparents?”
I woke from a dream in which I began singing or reciting “Nessun dorma” from Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” but I only got “Nessun dorma; tu pure o principessa” out before I woke up…
I woke from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in English and German with Volodymyr Zelensky, though I could not remember specific words and phrases that I spoke in German in the dream…
I woke up from a dream in which I quoted the line “Mann und Weib, und Weib und Mann, Reichen an die Götter an” from the duet “Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen” from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s last and greatest opera, “Die Zauberflöte”; it’s one of my favorite numbers from the opera, even if the text of the duet is as heteronormative and bourgeois as it gets in this or any other opera…
I woke up from a #dream this morning in which I sang “Nacht und Träume” — my favorite Schubert Lied — in the original German while accompanying myself on the piano.
I awoke from a dream this morning in which my brother introduced me to a famous German chef; when I met him, I made sure to say “Es freut mich” and then on parting, “Sehr gefreut Ihnen kennenzulernen” (which I went over in my mind to try to get right); I also asked him, “Was macht man?” while he was cooking…
Germans say “Alles gute” for ‘best wishes’ (literally, ‘everything good’); I woke up from a dream in the morning in which I said ‘alles bund,’ which they don’t say; ‘Bund’ means ‘federation,’ though it’s pronounced the same as the ‘Bundt’ in ‘Bundt cake.’
I woke up from a dream in the morning in which I was having a friendly chat with Vladimir Putin about what languages we spoke; I mentioned that I spoke French, German and some Italian and I tried to say ‘French,’ ‘German’ & ‘Italian’ in Russian as ‘Fransky,’ ‘Germansky’ and ‘Italiansky’ but when I got up and looked up the translation of those words, only ‘Italiansky’ was correct (‘French’ is ‘Frantsuzskiy’ and ‘German’ is ‘Nemetskiy’ in Russian); then again, I never studied Russian, so how would I know…? In any case, this is the first time I’ve spoken even a single word of Russian in my dreams…
I woke up from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in French, saying “Il faut corriger…” something; I also explained the da capo aria — in English, but using the Italian term…
I woke up from a dream in which I was in a big hall at Princeton University and saw a poster announcing a concert there by I Musici — which means ‘the musicians’ in Italian.
I woke up from a dream in the morning in which I was conversing with Emmanuel Macron about Otto von Bismarck and said of him, “Il n’est pas une figure admirable; mais il est une figure exceptionnelle…”
I woke up from a dream in the morning in which I was singing “Nacht und Träume” — my favorite song by Franz Schubert — in its entirety in the original German; I also had an extended conversation in French in which I asked a woman how old her restaurant was; I think I said “Combien age a t’il…?”
I woke up from a dream in the morning in which I said “Danke für die Informationen,” which isn’t perfectly idiomatic German but was part of a long conversation in German with a German violin maker in Germany in which I used the word ‘Geige’ (German for violin).
I dreamt two words before waking up this morning — ‘alle akzeptieren’: German-language websites ask users if they’ll ‘accept all’ cookies, but I think I must also have been thinking of the acceptance the LGBT people in Club Q in Colorado Springs deserve…
I awoke from a dream in which I uttered just one word — ‘sein’ — which means ‘to be’ in German.
I awoke from a long dream in which I had an extended conversation in French; at one point, I said, “Je sais que cette division est la division culturale,” and then said, Cette une matière délicate.” I then said, “Je voudrais visiter Gaza, main il est presque impossible pour un américain; mais dans une délégation française, peut-être…” I dreamt many more sentences in French, but this is what I could remember upon waking…
I woke up from a dream in which I was singing Adolphe Adam’s Cantique de Noël (“Minuit Chrétiens”). I can remember singing the lines, “Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance. Noël ! Noël ! Voici le Rédempteur !”
I woke up from a dream in which I asked, “Il se trouve où…?” (Where is it…?)
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt the words ‘das Gegenteil’ (German for ‘the opposite’), ‘tramonto’ (Italian for ‘sunset’) and ‘tragédie’ (French for ‘tragedy’).
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt the words ‘wie schämt es,’ which literally means ‘how shamed it’ in German…
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt the word ‘besuchen’ (‘to visit’ in German).
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt the word ‘burrata,’ which is the name of a mozzarella-type cheese from the Puglia region.
I woke up from a dream in which I referred to the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauß as the ‘Vier Letzte Lieder’ (using the German).
I woke up from a dream in which I had a long conversation half in English and half in German and asked someone, “Bist du Englisch?” I told him, “Ich bin Amerikanerin”; ich träume seit zwei oder drei Jahren regelmäßig auf Deutsch…
I woke up from a long dream in which one of the sons of the king of Norway gave a televised address in which he came out as gay; he spoke in English but at the end said “alt for Norge” in Norwegian.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘Drachmusik’ — a mash-up of ‘Drache’ or ‘Drachen’ (dragon) and ‘Musik’ (music) in German — though I really should have been ‘Drachenmusik.’
I woke up from a dream in which I spoke of the ‘camino de Santiago de Compostela’ in Spain. I used the Spanish ‘camino’ (for ‘walk’ or ‘path) as well as the word ‘caminale’; when I woke up, I looked it up and discovered that ‘caminale’ means ‘walk him’ in Spanish,’ while ‘caminal’ means ‘walkable,’ though ‘caminale’ sounds more Italian; what I meant to say was ‘caminero(s),’ the word for those who walk the camino. What’s remarkable is that I’ve never really formally studied Spanish — except for a few lessons in sixth grade and two private lessons many years ago…
I woke up from a dream in which I said “Vive Bach~!” — ‘vive’ meaning ‘long live’ in French and Johann Sebastian Bach’s name meaning ‘brook’ in German.
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit für das deutsche Vaterland” — the first line of the Deutschlandlied — Germany’s national anthem since 1922, with lyrics written by August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben in 1841 with music written by Franz Joseph Haydn in 1797…
I woke up from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in French; I said, “Je suis attaché au ministère de la défense…” & “Je suis attaché à la Défense…”
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “Da hab’ ich ihr gestanden mein Sehnen und Verlangen” — the last line from “Im wunderschönen Monat Mai” — the Heinrich Heine poem set to music by Robert Schumann in one of the most famous songs from his song cycle, “Dichterliebe.”
I woke up from a dream in which I told an Italian union organizer, “Sono nasce in Corea ma genitato negli Stati Uniti” but immediately corrected myself when I realized I should have said ‘elevato’; upon waking, I discovered that ‘genitato’ is Latin.
I woke up in the morning from a brief deep sleep in which I dreamt the words, ‘ein Biß’ (‘a bite’ in German).
I woke up in the morning after falling back into a very light sleep and may have dreamt the words, “Hier wie du, Blob?”
I awoke from a dream in which I mouthed the words to the entire poem “Nacht und Träume” by Matthäus von Collin — set to music by Franz Schubert; throughout, I was thinking about singing the song and accompanying myself on the piano; “Nacht und Träume” is my favorite Schubert Lied…
I woke up from a dream in which I was thinking of “Heidenröslein” — the Lied by Franz Schubert based on a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe about a boy who sees a wild rose in the heather — and I was frustrating trying to sing it and accompany myself on the piano but without success…
I woke up from a dream in which I thought of myself consciously as a ‘rara avis’: a term used in English that appears in dictionaries but that is nonetheless unadulterated Latin (for ‘rare bird).
I woke up from a dream yesterday in which I dreamt the words ‘am Strand’ — ‘on the beach’ in German — which reminded me of one of my favorite Lieder of Richard Strauß (“Morgen”) as well as the name of my favorite independent bookstore in Manhattan.
I woke up this morning dreaming the word ‘Schildkröte’ (‘turtle’ in German) but inexplicably spelled it out ‘Schildcroute’ in a quasi French manner.
I woke up from a nap in which I dreamt the word ‘sinkt,’ which is the present tense form of ‘to sink’ in German.
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt the words ‘Seidenstrump’ (silk stocking), ‘Strumpfhosen’ (tights) and ‘Politik’ (politics or policy); perhaps this related to my post two days earlier when I posted an image of the collage entitled “Seidenstrumpf” by Kurt Schwitters (1943).
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt the word ‘Entwurf,’ which means ‘blueprint’ or ‘draft’ in German. I also dreamt a word that I thought was ‘Sczozi,’ but when I woke up, I tried to identify it but without success; when I posted about it on Facebook, wondering if it was Polish, a Polish friend said the only thing he could think of was ‘szosa,’ which he said was a word for a country road in Polish.
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “Io sono americana” — one of the few dreams in which I’ve spoken — rather than sung — in Italian.
I woke up from a dream in which I said “Notwending ist es” (‘it is noteworthy’) in German…
I awoke from a dream in which I uttered the word ‘Bewerbungen,’ which only upon waking did I realize meant ‘applications’ in German; it’s not a word I can recall actually having ever used…
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “Mio italiano è limitato,” though I should have said, “Il mio italiano è limitato.” I said a few other things in Italian but couldn’t remember them upon waking…
I woke up from a dream in which I was in Paris for the French éléctions législatives and had a confrontation with Emmanuel Macron, who was pissed off at me for supporting Jean-Luc Mélenchon and working with his La France Insoumise to try to deny Macron a majority in the new parliament; I looked down and saw that he had no pants on; he then stormed off and I had a conversation with some friendly lefties; I was then joined by a nursing student who wanted to interview me for a school project and I asked her, “Faut-il m’interviewer très tôt?” in the course of a conversation in French.
I woke up from a dream in which I uttered the Old English word ‘monnum,’ which I immediately recognized as coming from Cynewulf’s “Cryst” (Christ), the poem that inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s creation of his character Ēarendel — the beginning of the creation of his legendarium: “Ēala Ēarendel, engla beorhtast,Ofer middangeard monnum sended…”
I woke up from a dream in which I was explaining the reason why North Koreans call North Korea 북조선 & South Korea 남조선 while South Koreans call North Korea 북한 & South Korea 남한.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘árabe’ (the Spanish word for ‘Arab’) at least three times.
I woke from a dream in which I thought the word ‘banlieue’ (suburb) in French.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘Sächsische Revolutionär’ though I should have said ‘Sächsischer Revolutionär’ (Saxon revolutionaries).
I woke up from a dream in which I sang “Che gelida manina” from Giacomo Puccini’s opera “La Bohème” twice, both times starting with “Per sogni e per chimere e per castelli in aria” and singing the rest of the aria to the end.
I woke up from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in French but all I could remember upon waking was saying, “Il a indiqué que tu était son mari…”
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘Münter,’ which is the last name of the artist Gabriele Münter; but it’s virtually the same as the word ‘munter,’ which means ‘perky,’ ‘jaunty’ or ‘spunky’ in German.
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I was in Urumqi & spoke the Chinese name Xizhe 稀哲 for some reason; the dream was creepy & all about I was with a Chinese friend and was walking down a long hallway with a series of bolted doors that opened when he knocked on them; at the end of the hallway, there was a room filled with young Han Chinese; I suddenly realized I was undressed and so we left under the glare of their collective stare; the political content of the dream was clear — it was all about Xi Jinping’s ethnic cleansing & pursuit of genocide against the Uyghurs of Xinjiang — but this may also have been the first dream in which I uttered a word (or two or three) in Chinese, even if they were only names; upon waking, I discovered that ‘Ürümqi’ actually means ‘beautiful pasture’ in the Oirat language of the Dzungar people.
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I had a conversation about ‘déshabilitées’ with three Frenchwomen on a subway or Métro train…
I woke up from a dream in which I mentioned both “Ombra mai fù” from Händel’s “Serse” & the Irish folk song “Éamonn an Chnoic” — the first time I’ve dreamt words in Gaelic & Italian in the same dream…
I woke up from a dream in which I asked someone, “Das war Deutsch oder… Rumänisch…?”
I just woke up from a dream in which I explained to someone that ‘carrosse’ is the French word for carriage.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘Volkskrant,’ which is the title of the daily published in the Netherlands & means ‘people’s newspaper’ in Dutch; I’ve never studied the language & this is the first time I’ve dreamt any words in Nederlands. I also had a dream in which I was telling two others that the word ‘tante’ means ‘aunt’ in both French & Norwegian; I neglected to mention that ‘Tante’ also means ‘aunt’ in German as well as other languages (Danish, Dutch, Latvian).
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I said 이남 in Korean.
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “Il faut que nous nous parlions français ensemble” as part of an extended conversation in French…
I awoke from a dream in which I sang the ‘A’ of the ‘ABA’ da capo aria “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Georg Friedrich Händel’s opera “Rinaldo” (HWV 7) (1711).
I woke up from a dream in which I said “femti år,” which means ’50 years’ in Norwegian; it’s “femtio år” in Swedish…
I woke up from a dream in which I said “Ei, du~! Gelt?” — three words from “Ging heut’ Morgen über’s Feld” — the second song of Gustav Mahler’s “Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.”
I woke up from a dream in which the word ‘Mond’ figured prominently in a dispute between the Polish and Lithuanian halves of the 17th century commonwealth, perhaps inspired by seeing a beautiful half moon over Manhattan the night before.
I woke up from a dream in which I said the word ‘norrønt,’ the word for Old Norse in Norwegian (‘norrønt språk’ meaning ‘Old Norse language’).
I just woke up from a dream in which I was sitting in front of a Belgian provincial governor & realized I should address him as ‘Monsieur le Gouverneur.’
I woke up from a dream in which I said “Est-ce qu’il se passe?” and “Est-ce qu’il s’est passé?” by way of explaining those phrases to someone.
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt the word ‘Impfstoff’ (‘vaccine’ in German) and then later, ‘verurteilt’ (sentenced or condemned).
I woke up from a dream in which I was playing Franz Schubert’s “Wiegenlied” (D.498) on the piano & trying to sing it, but I could only remember “Schlafe, schlafe,” not “holder süßer Knabe” & the rest of the words…
I woke up from a dream in which I said “andate e ritorno” (’round trip’ or ‘return ticket’) in Italian.
I woke up from a dream in which I had a long conversation in French in the course of which I said, “Le français est une langue musicale mais surtout l’italien mais l’allemand est reçu une langue profounde avec une riche litterature…”
I woke up from a dream in which I said “La Bohème” but then sang the last line from “Adieu, notre petite table,” Manon’s aria from Jules Massenet’s “Manon.”
I woke up from a dream in which I was discussing the Qing dynasty — the last to rule China — and mused on whether it meant I’d dreamt in Chinese, concluding I hadn’t but that I had in fact used one indisputably Chinese word…
I woke up from a dream in which I said “austro rapace” (rapacious winds) — a line from “Ombra mai fù,” the great aria from Georg Friedrich Händel’s opera “Serse.”
I woke up from a dream in which I sang “Ombra mai fù” (senza recitativo) into a small but appreciative audience; I’ve sung this aria from Georg Friedrich Händel’s opera “Serse” several times in my dreams.
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I was talking with Heidi (my German teacher from a few years ago), saying of the German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, “Er ist ein Gott, ein Gott~!” (He’s a god).
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I said “Occupado~!” to someone trying to open the door to the stall in the restroom I was sitting in, which prompted her to cease and desist and wait politely for me to finish; it was remarkable because I don’t speak Spanish and have only had a few lessons in the language…
I just woke up from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in French; among many other things, I said, “Je m’appelle PH et je suis étudiant en sciences politique à l’Université d’Illinois…”
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt that I was celebrating the festival of 박곡 with some Koreans. I rarely dream words in Korean & I’d never heard the word before so I looked it up when I woke up & it turns out that 박곡마을 is a village in Cheongdo 청도 County in North Gyeongsang 경상북도 province, which also contains Daegu & Pohang, which I visited on my trip to Korea six years ago; in fact, I landed in Korea six years ago today after a long flight from DFW (6.17.15)
I woke up from a dream in which I was writing an essay in German about Ludwig van Beethoven; I can only remember writing, “Beethoven’s Musik habe ich als Kind gespielt” & “Friedrich Schiller’s Gedicht inspiriert mich…”
I just woke up from a dream in which I sang “Ombra mai fù” — from beginning to end in italiano ma senza recitativo — from Händel’s opera “Serse” for Nancy Pelosi of all people~!
I woke up from a dream in which I was trying to speak Swedish but instead of ‘och,’ I kept on saying ‘und’ (the German indefinite article).
I woke up from a dream in which I attended a recital in which a gay African American pianist played one of the “Waldszenen” (Forest Scenes) of Robert Schumann; but there were two odd things about the dream. First, I pictured the title of the series misspelled ‘Waldscenen’ as in my cheap Dover edition; secondly, I also composed the music the pianist played in my sleep; what he actually played was not what Schumann composed, but what I composed~!
I awoke from a dream this morning in which I was with my friend Paul Wirhun (a.k.a., ‘Rosie,’ a.k.a., ‘the Eggman’) who was speaking to a group of friends telling us all of his plans to stage a mock funeral for himself; in announcing the event, he quoted Louis XV’s declaration, “Aprè moi, le déluge~!” Just before going to sleep last night, I looked at a selfie I took with Hyacinthe Rigaud’s portrait of the five-year-old king of France while visiting the Met three months ago (2.8.21)
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “Wie heißt das Theater?” (What is that theater called?).
I awoke from a dream in which I uttered the word ‘gleðileg’ (‘gleðileg jól’ is ‘Merry Christmas in Icelandic), the first time I’ve ever spoken a word in Icelandic; last night, I was chatting with Angus & he saw the Norwegian flag I had on the bookshelf behind me & thought it was the flag of Iceland…
I awoke from a dream in which I uttered the word ‘eventyr’ (‘adventure’ in Norwegian) and may also have said ‘Abendteuer’ (in German); the day before, I posted a cute illustration of Swedish Easter witches with the word ‘eventyr’ in it.
I woke up from a dream in which I sang “V’adoro, pupille, saette d’amore, le vostre faville son grate nel sen” from Georg Friederich Händel’s opera “Giulio Cesare” while accompanying myself on the piano…
I jwoke up from a dream in which I was at a cheese stand somewhere & asked for “Ein Stück Käse, bitte”; the woman responded (in German) by asking, “Voll?” I responded, “Ziemlich voll oder hart” even though I wasn’t sure what she meant by ‘voll’ (literally, ‘full’).
I awoke from a dream this morning in which I said, “Dies ist Elizabeth; guck mal an” as part of a longer conversation in German…
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I uttered just one word in German: ‘Aufführung’ (‘presentation’ or ‘performance’); then I saw the word ‘Südwest’ (‘southwest’) painted on a colorful wooden box that looked Norwegian or Swedish; I’m not quite sure what they had to do with anything, but I was struck by the fact that I dreamt German words yet again; at one point in the dream, I was in Frau Pleister’s German class at Bay View High School; and at another point, I was anxiously facing final exams in French, German and math class…
I took a short nap in the late afternoon and awoke from a short dream in which I said ‘Familienplanung’ (‘family planning’ in German), which is a great idea even if not something I need to avail myself of…
I awoke from a dream in which I said ‘수요일,’ which means ‘Wednesday’ in Korean, though I may have been thinking it meant ‘Sunday’ in my dream; in any case, it was remarkable given that I’ve only on a few occasions spoken any words of Korean in my dreams.
I woke up from a dream in which I dreamt a long conversation in French; unfortunately, I woke up and then fell asleep again, so I can only remember part of it. In the dream, I was sitting down at a table with a young black man (who may have been gay), who said,
“Je parle français.”
I asked him, “Où as-tu appris le français?”
He responded, “En Guadeloupe.”
I then said, “Je veux visiter la Guadeloupe un jour.”
The conversation continued a bit but that’s as much as I could recall upon waking for the final time…
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘Wiener Schnitzel’ and then later, ‘un atribución’ (it’s actually ‘una atribución’) — the first dream in which I actually spoke in both German and Spanish — even if only two words in each language.
I awoke from a dream in which I was singing “Du holde Kunst,” the opening words of Franz Schubert’s “An die Musik,” while accompanying myself on the piano; it’s not quite clear how far I got in the words of the Lied and I was struggling a bit to remember the lyrics as well as the piano accompaniment, but it was at least three solid words of German in any case…
I just woke up from a dream in which I said ‘Elefant,’ ‘scheißen,’ ‘sechzig’ and ‘Gemeindezentrum’ in the course of a long conversation with German friends and a German community center functionary; the long conversation was a mix of German & English & there actually was an elephant in the dream and the elephant actually did poop in the room~!
I woke up from a long dream at the end of which someone said to someone else, “Du beginnst auf Deutsch, weißt du? und dann auf Englisch, oder…?” I was in the audience in a hall as someone was giving a talk without realizing that she was speaking in her native German to a mixed English- & German-speaking audience until someone said that. There was a lot more but that’s all I remembered…
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I said ‘die Gäns,’ though actually, ‘goose’ in German is ‘die Gans,’ while ‘geese’ is ‘die Gänse.’
I woke up from a dream in which I said 한국말 공부해요 (I’m studying Korean); I also said ‘Fischerweise’ (fisherman’s way), referring to the Schubert Lied; it was my first dream that included words in both Korean and German together…
I woke up from a dream in which I said the words ‘pièce théâtrale’ (in French).
I awoke from a dream in which I said just one word: ‘Schlagobers’ — which is ironic, since I actually hate whipped cream.
I awoke from a dream in which I said just one word: ‘dadurch.’
I awoke from a dream in which I or someone said, “Bittere Thränen weinte er in der Nacht” (He wept bitter tears in the night).
I woke up from a dream in which I counted to four in Norwegian and kept on repeating, “en, to, tre, fire” over and over again…
I woke up from a dream in which I was singing the Italian tenor’s aria (“Di rigori armato”) in Italian from the opera “DerRosenkavalier” of Richard Strauß…
I just awoke from a dream in which I uttered the immortal words of Michel Foucault, ‘surveiller et punir’ (in French).
I woke up in a dream in which I said, ” Ich kann Hochdeutsch und Französisch aber nicht Baierisch.”
In another dream scene, I was sitting with a Romanian woman (possibly transgendered); when I said ‘foarte bine’ (very well), she told me the B should be pronounced like a V; it was the first time I’d ever spoken in Romanian in a dream.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘mindestens’ (‘at least’ in German) as well as at least two words in French which I couldn’t remember upon waking…
I just woke up from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in French, at the very end of which I said, “Nous sommes une revue pour la communauté LGBT asiatique américaine…” I was explaining to a man I believed was French sitting in a Chinese restaurant that our little business next door was not a restaurant but publication.
I woke up from a dream in which someone said, “Sprach schnell,” though it’s puzzling because the imperative form of the verb would be ‘sprich’ and the past tense would be ‘sprachte.’ However, ‘sprach schnell’ would be correct if preceded by a subject (ich, er, sie, es).
I had by far my longest dream in German; I spoke for quite some time, engaging a German woman in conversation and then sitting down at a picnic table of some sort outdoors, chatting with three or four people; a young Asian asked me in German if I was interested in visiting countries other than Germany, apparently assuming that this was my first trip to Germany or Europe. I responded at length, saying in part, “Ich habe in Europa drei Jahren lang gewohnt: zwei Jahre in London, fünf Monate in Brüssel, sechs Monate in Paris, zwei Monate in Berlin und sechs Wochen in Regensburg.” And that was just the tail end of a long conversation in German. I was delighted to realize how long I spoke in German in the dream upon waking. I didn’t actually read German just before going to bed; instead, I read several pages from Edward Crankshaw’s “The Fall of the House of Habsburg.” But I’d spent some time in the afternoon playing and singing through “Die Fledermaus” as well as reading some of the spoken dialogue both from the Strauß opera and some of the spoken dialogue from the Wolfsschluchtsszene from “Der Freischütz” of Carl Maria von Weber, the most German of all German operas…
I woke up from a dream in which I said “sposa mia” (my spouse) in Italian.
I woke up from a dream in which I said “Herzlichkeit” (sincerity, warmth), two other words, and then “Brunnen” (fountain).
I just woke up from a dream in which I said, “J’ai commencés à rêver en français” & “J’ai étudié six langues…”
I just woke up from a dream in which I said the words Selbstverständnis & Bewußtsein and later in the dream explained to a friend that they mean ‘self-understanding’ & ‘consciousness’ in German…
I awoke from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in German. I was in the house of a complete stranger in some city in the Midwest & a woman who lived there asked if I spoke German. I responded, “Ich kann Deutsch. Aber im Moment kann ich nicht das gute Wort errinern.” I suddenly realized I was stark naked and asked her, “Wo sind meine Kleider? Kennen Sie? Wissen Sie? Ich muß anklagen…” Of course, ‘wissen’ is the right word, not ‘kennen,’ but interesting that I corrected myself. But ‘anklagen’ actually means ‘to accuse, charge, indict, prosecute or condemn,’ not to dress (which is ‘sich ankleiden’); still, despite two mistakes (one self-corrected), I did actually speak real German in my dream, which is something. I was going to read a Grimms Märchen before going to bed but I felt too tired, so maybe this dream was a reminder to get back into my reading of the Grimmsmärchen in the original German…
I took a nap in the afternoon and woke up from a dream in which I had a long conversation in German; someone in the dream whom I didn’t recognize from daily life asked me, “Was machst du täglich?” I responded, “Ich arbeite für Queens Pride House, eine LGBT organisation in Jackson Heights…” There was more to the conversation that I forget, but it was wonderful once again to be dreaming in German & even nicer that I didn’t make any major grammatical errors in my sleep~!
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “Es gibt ein Dokumentar über Michael; eh, voilà~!” followed by several sentences in German; it was by far the most German I’d spoken in any dream to date…
I awoke from a dream in which I said ‘Eugene V. Debs,’ ‘Gudrun und Gutrune’ and ‘vereinbar’ (‘compatible’ in German).
I awoke from a dream in which I spoke the words ‘Schwiegervater’ and ‘Schwiegermutter’ — ironic, since I have neither a father-in-law nor a mother-in-law; perhaps it was prompted by a chat over Facebook with a friend in Berlin that was partly in German…
I just woke up from a dream in which I said, “Ich interesse mich für die Grimmsmärchen. Ich lese die Grimmsmärchen auf Deutsch. Die beste der Grimmsmärchen sind wunderschön, nicht war…?” It was my first dream in which I spoke 3 whole sentences in perfect German~!
I woke up from dreams in which I said ‘der Unterschied,’ ‘die Untersuchung’ and ‘wunderlicher Alter’; the last of these is a line from “Der Leiermann” (‘The Organ Grinder’ or ‘The Hurdy-Gurdy Man’) from “Die Winterreise” — Franz Schubert’s most famous song cycle — which includes settings of poems by Wilhelm Müller. The curious thing is that I’d sung two other songs from “Winterreise” the previous day but had skipped “Der Leiermann.” The words ‘wunderlicher Alter’ literally mean ‘curious old man,’ but in the context of the poem and the song, they are freighted with significance.
I awoke from a dream in which I sang (the first verse of) La Marseillaise (en français) & then later spoke the word ‘zusammengebrochen’ (auf Deutsch).
I woke up from a dream in which I sang the Italian tenor’s aria from the opera “Der Rosenkavalier” of Richard Strauß; I remembered this much:
“Di rigori armato il seno contro amor di ribellai, ma fui vinto in un baleno in mirar due vaghi rai. Ahi, che resiste fuoco astral poco cor di gelo…” but couldn’t remember the very last few words, “di fuoco astral.”
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I said, “‘gallina’ means ‘hen’ in Italian…”
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I was “au Lycée Louis le Grand” in Paris and said so (in French).
I awoke from a dream this morning in which I was singing, “Holde Träume, kehret wieder,” the closing line from “Nacht und Träume,” my favorite song of Franz Schubert; that was followed by Jerry Seinfeld (of all people) singing “Des muntern Fischleins Bade im klaren Bächlein zu” from “Die Forelle,” one of Schubert’s most popular songs and one whose melody he used as the theme for his ‘Trout Quintet.’ I may have been dreaming of singing “Nacht und Träume” because I didn’t get the chance to sing it yesterday, as I spent the afternoon walking 3.8 miles around the borough; and I channel-flipped through just a few seconds of “Seinfeld” on TV last night before going to bed. There is of course some irony in singing “Holde Träume, kehret wieder” in a dream~!
I just woke up from a dream in which I said “Min farfar var norsk och min farmor ochså; han komerste fra Haugesund” in Norwegian & “Schwarze Münster” in German. I said the two words in German in a part of the dream where I was part of some sort of chorus or choir. After we sang, I was chatting with a librarian in a library-like section of the building in which there was a whole series of books in Norwegian; that’s when I started to speak with her in Norwegian; that sentence was one I used quite often in Norway and more often than any other.
I just woke up from a dream in which I sang two words from Schubert’s song “Der Leiermann” (“Wunderlicher Alter” = ‘curious old man’), which I’m currently working on.
I woke up from a dream in which I spoke or sung in four different languages. Ian’t remember what I said in French (I think I said, “J’aime le français aussi”), but I remember saying in German, “Die deutsche Sprache ist die Sprache von Musik. Die deutsche Sprache ist die Sprache von Bach und Händel, Schubert, Schumann, Mahler und Strauß.” I quoted two lines from the Norwegian/Swedish song, “Hvem kan seile foruten vind, hvem kan ro uten årer” (Norwegian); the (orignal) Swedish version (pronounced not too differently) is “Vem kan segla förutan vind? Vem kan ro uten årer.” And if I said one word in Italian (‘nonostante’ means ‘nevertheless’), that would make it a quadrilingual dream~!
I woke up from a dream in which someone said (and then I repeated), “Sono bello tutti,” though grammatically, it should be, “Sono tutti belli” (they are all beautiful); maybe it was the influence of a commercial advertising a liposuction service called “Sono Bello.”
I woke up from a dream in which I used the German word ‘braten’ (which means ‘to fry’ or to ‘roast’ and which I visualized in my dream capitalized as ‘Braten’) in the middle of a sentence in English.
I woke up from a dream in which I said something like “Da ist nichts dagegen” (there’s nothing against that) in German.
I woke up from a dream in which I said “Jag hadde studerarde svenska,” though “I have studied Swedish” is actually “Jag har studerat svenska.”
I awoke from a dream this morning in which I was canvassing for Bernie Sanders in Iowa and approached a house (it looked like a white farmhouse); when a woman opened the door, I sang the entirety of the Italian tenor’s aria from “Der Rosenkavalier” by Richard Strauss (Di rigori armato il seno) in the original Italian.
I woke up from a dream this morning, the first dream in which I sang in more than one language in the same dream. I sang “Ombra mai fu” from Handel’s “Serse” in Italian and then “Bist du bei mir” (attributed to Johann Sebastian Bach) in German.
I woke up from a dream in which I spoke the name of the German Lutheran hymn, “Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern” (How Brightly Shines the Morning Star), apropos of nothing.
I woke up from a dream in which I was singing “Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube, die Sonne” (The rose, the lily, the dove, the sun) from Robert Schumann’s “Dichterliebe” song cycle; I was also playing the accompaniment on a small keyboard, but I could only remember “Die Rose, die Lilie, die Taube…” Op. 48, No. 3 is in fact one of my favorite Schumann songs & I sing & play it quite often.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘im Ruhrgebiet’ (in the Ruhr region) to someone who was a classmate in high school; Gwen Stellberg was in the same English and math classes as me and also in both the symphony orchestra and the chamber orchestra; the rest of the conversation was in English and we were considering which cities in Germany we could visit together (we were apparently already in Germany); we decided that Freiburg and Baden Baden were the most best bets.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘blessés,’ which means ‘wounded’ (plural) in French.
I woke up from a dream in which I said ‘sex personer,’ which means ‘six persons’ in both Swedish and Norwegian (spelled ‘seks’ in Norwegian); the next day, I told a friend about the dream and she said she thought it sounded like a pun on ‘sex persona.’
I woke up from a dream in which I said “das himmlische Leben’ (heavenly life) in German.
I woke up from a dream in which I had an extended conversation in French but I only remember a small part of it. In the dream, someone referred to ‘le Wisconsin français,’ a small part of the state perhaps in the northeast corner of Wisconsin; he then referred to the rest of the state as ‘le Wisconsin britannique.’ I responded, “J’ai habité Angleterre et le Wisconsin n’est pas très britannique…”
I woke up from a dream in which I said, “‘Mild und leise,’ the Liebestod from ‘Tristan und Isolde’…”
I was on a bus in San Francisco and suddenly realized it was an express bus. I got off in Alameda and found myself on a farm after following some people off the bus into a field. I then asked a woman, “¿Dónde esta la ‘el autobús?” but she just shook her head. I then asked a white woman in English and she pointed out the bus stop. Upon waking, I checked the gender of the word and discovered that it’s ‘el autobús,” so I made a grammatical error in a dream in a language which I’ve never (seriously) studied.
I woke up from a dream this morning in which I sang “Vivi, tiranno” from Handel’s “Rodelinda” in the original #Italian (the complete ‘A’ section but no ‘B’ or da capo ‘A’). I was singing to a group of about 15-20 people in a room in either an office building or at a university.
I just woke up from a dream in which I used the word ‘Grundgesetz’ (‘basic law’ in German) in a sentence otherwise entirely in English…