Learn a New Language While You Sleep: Is It Possible?
Hi there, Steve Kaufmann here. Today I want to talk about learning languages in your sleep. Now, if you enjoy my videos, please subscribe. You can click on the bell here to get notifications. It sounds kind of silly, and honestly, in my opinion, it is silly to think about learning languages in your sleep. And I'm going to explain why.
But it comes up all the time. And I did some research on Google and nowhere in any of the articles written about learning in your sleep, did it suggest that this was an effective way of learning languages. And intrinsically to me it doesn't make sense. First of all, I can't sleep if there's noise.
So, um, you know, if there's a tick tock of a clock somewhere, That'll disturb me when I'm trying to sleep. Like I normally fall asleep right away. I might get up once, twice at night, depending on the situation, but, and fall right back to sleep again. But if there's noise, I can't sleep. So I cannot imagine being able to sleep while listening to a language that you're trying to learn.
The other thing that's wrong with the idea of learning in your sleep is that I actually find language learning enjoyable. I enjoy listening to the content. Right now, I'm doing Persian and, uh, Zahra in, in Iran has sent me material on famous poets, poets, old, you know, a thousand years ago, uh, 20th century and I'm going through this material and I'm enjoying it.
I actually enjoy the process of learning the language, of learning about the culture. And, uh, each of these stories, I'm so delighted when I get them and I can import them into LingQ and I can start picking my way through them. First, I'll go through it in, in sentence mode because it's, the material is difficult.
And then as I turn the page, I'll review some of the new vocabulary. This is the one time where I find. Kind of going through flashcards can be good because the vocabulary is brand new and it's still connected to this context that I'm, I'm reading. And then I go away and listen to it. So, um, you know, and, and, uh, I mentioned the other day I had my morning exercise routine, so I will put the new, whatever item has been sent to me,
uh, I'll have that audio playing while I'm going through my seven minute exercise routine where they're telling me to, you know, get on the floor and do sit ups and pushups and stretching or whatever it might be. The thing is it's an active pursuit. To me language learning is an, is an active thing. I find that
combining it with being physically active also helps me learn. I'm interested in the subject. There's research to show that we have a much better ability to remember things that we are emotionally connected to. So there's so much behind how we learn languages, how we, we allow the brain to, to start sorting out, uh, different patterns connected with the language.
The emotional side of the brain gets involved. We relate what we're learning to things we have experienced. So if I'm reading about, uh, an Iranian poet of the 20th century, who was left-wing, politically active, and, uh, you know, this through the period of the fifties and the sixties, and perhaps even earlier then I relate this to
different people that I have read in Chinese and French and English about different periods of the 20th century. It's all connecting to things that I know. And this is helping me to learn it. Sleep... I mean, I do dream. My dreams are very creative, you know, amazing how different things, unrelated things are thrown together and in dreams that are kind of similar.
It's usually about me arriving late at the airport or something, with different people who are not connected to each other and all this kind of stuff, but there's stuff happening in your dreams. So I have trouble imagining how, even if I could eventually fall asleep while listening to this language, it would interfere with this other stuff that I'm doing.
And, uh, to me, language is not something that you pop a pill and you learn it, or you... you know, play the language while you're sleeping. Uh, it's more about actively and enjoyably engaging with the language. So I haven't done any research of my own. I haven't tried to do it on my own. I have Googled, I haven't found any evidence that it works and everything about my experience with learning languages and how I learn languages suggests that it won't work.
At least that's my view. To me, languages are all about exploring, discovering cultures. The pleasure of, of, of acquiring new words, the pleasure of, of allowing a new language to create some space in your brain, as you're discovering so many interesting things about the language and the culture, and that's creating some emotional connections.
And so... so for all those reasons, uh, I'm not looking for any, uh, sort of, uh, instant, uh, solutions to language learning. And, uh, you might want to check out, uh, two video videos that I did that are sort of relevant. One is about my language learning technique, and the other one is about, uh, exploring as part of language learning.
Anyway, there you have it. My take on learning languages while you sleep. Thanks for listening. Bye for now.