They say that when it comes to learning a new language, you know you've achieved a certain level of fluency when you start dreaming in that language. For me, however, with the process of learning Italian, I don't think that's actually been true. After years of studying Italian, I've had a few dreams in which I'm speaking Italian (generally to native Italians), but my language abilities in my dreams are no better than my actual abilities in real life. In other words, my dreams are apparently confirming that I'm no more fluent than I think I am!
When I told Chris this, he said, "Well, are the people you're talking to talking back to you in fluent Italian? Because if they are, that's really your brain doing the talking." But what's funny is that the people I'm talking to aren't speaking fluent Italian. The conversations I have in Italian in my dreams are precisely the way my real-life Italian conversations sound - I'm able to converse pretty well, sometimes reaching for words or asking for words, and the people I'm talking to speak relatively slowly so that I understand them and they don't use complicated language or words I don't understand.
I had another one of these Italian dreams last night, and once again it confirmed that I'm not hiding any innate ability to speak Italian in my subconscious. My conscious mind is getting about as much Italian as my subconscious, so at least they're on the same level. Dreams are hard enough to interpret as it is - I'd have a real problem if I were speaking another language in them and wasn't able to translate.