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Posts tagged: languages

Speaking in tongues

A co-worker told me about plans to go camping or fishing or something with a fellow who used to work with us.

I didn't know this guy well, but got along with him fine. Once while doing a story on summer camp, we spent the night in a cabin that also housed a couple of the boys who were counselors.

My then-colleague, a photographer, talked in his sleep. In Swedish.

It was not a bother. It was interesting, actually. Reminded me of a college roommate I had who was a member of the Navajo tribe. He occasionally vocalized while asleep, and I couldn't understand any of that either .

Anyway, thinking of my former co-worker this week made me wonder.

On a typical night in the Inland Northwest, how many people talking in their sleep are speaking a language other than English?

I don't know how we would arrive at an answer. But in a place that tends to view itself as pretty monochromatic, I'll bet the truth is surprisingly colorful. 

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Features writer Paul Turner is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review in the Features department. He writes "The Slice" column, which appears six times a week and produces general features stories for the Today section.

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