What do foreign languages sound like to you?

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Really funny this comes up now.. I was just going through my "top rated" playlist, and counted 6 languages in it.. only 2 of which I speak (english and french), and 1 I can kinda understand (German).
I was once watching an episode of Magnum PI, with Swedish overdub and english subtitles.. I couldn't handle it!

If you want a REALLY good laugh, Listen to the bluegrass classic "Wabash Cannonball" by Bican Honza & Krupani.. it's all sung in Czech, except for "Wabash Cannonball", which really catches you offguard.


I love Russian, it's a language I would like to learn, but it's probably never going to happen.. (I listen to Sveta)... I don't know if I've ever heard Ukranian.
I love east indian languages, I don't know them well enough to tell them apart, but I enjoy the soundtracks from Bollywood movies.. The scenery in them is usually pretty good too. (Khabi Kushi Khabbi Gham soundtrack is one of my favorites)... I could consider learning Hindi
Italian, which is technically my mother tongue I only can understand a little because I know french... I listen to Fabrizio De Andre
Spanish, never been attracted to learning it.
German, if you want to sound fierce... Listen to Rammstein!
The far eastern languages just don't do anything for me
African native languages seem to be made of only consonants, they're pretty interesting (Watch the movies "The gods must be crazy" or "Animals are beautiful people")
French I speak, at least semi fluently (a month of being forced to speak it and I'd remember the words I have to search for).. it sounds normal to me

I have friends who speak Dutch, and I can make out words with similar roots to German.. I find them similar though Dutch doesn't sounds as 'abrasive'

So that leaves English... I'm tired of every movie that tries to be exotic by casting actors with Australian or British accents. I have a hard time considering Austrailian, Scottish, and Texan "English".. they're more like dialects :P
I love Robin Williams little skit on "drinking with a Scotsman"... that about sums it up
 

Jonathan Scott

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I'm English but went to live in Gothenburg, Sweden, for a few years. The Swedish language is definitely suited to telling heroic tales and berating children (which does sound remarkably like the Swedish chef in the Muppets). Knowing some Swedish, I could understand a lot of Norwegian, which sounds to me like Swedish with a Scottish accent. I had some difficulty understanding people from Skåne (also called Scania), the southern tip of Sweden, who sound more Danish, and I couldn't understand actual Danish very much; it sounds to me like speaking Swedish with bad toothache.
 
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Indian languages are cool, too. Bollywood movies make me smile :)
I'll have to youtube some clips with Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian languages because I really can't tell a difference between them.
 

fresh_42

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I studied in Brno, Czech republic and we talked about the separation with my Czech friends and they didn't know the reasons either. We only thought it was a great pity and we would like to have a common country again.
The next beauty about Europe today. (Hopefully our politicians won't ruin it!) It doesn't matter less and less which country printed the passport. I thank de Gaulle and Adenauer each day for their achievement. Far better than before! The first time I've been to Moscow I remember jumping joyfully in the snow on the airport next to the airliner and said: "I love that. Being in Moscow and having no gun with me!" Our many cultures are a great gift and surely no reason to fight.

When the ČSSR broke apart I remember one main reason wasn't Havel's and Meciar's ambition to gain power alone. The Slovakian were simply fed by the Czech domination. And the Czech thought they would simply finance Slovakia which had a more agricultural bias and the Czech a more industrial. Maybe there have been historical reasons, too, which I'm not aware of. Both countries are beautiful and most of all: the origin of European beer culture. :smile:

Edit: Funny incident. I've had a Slovakian car in front of me on my way home from the dentist. And as a biathlon fan you'd better know the difference between Slovakia and Slovenia. :wink:
 
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You are quite mistaken about Finnish being descended from Mongolian. According to linguists, Finnish is a member of the Finnic branch of the Uralic family of languages, whose members include Hungarian, Estonian, the Sami languages (spoken by the Sami people, the aboriginal people of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland, and parts of Russia) as well as various languages spoken by indigenous peoples of northern Eurasia, especially near the region of the Ural mountains.

Mongolian, on the other hand, is part of the Mongolic family of languages. There used to be a theory that Mongolian, along with the Turkic and Tungusic languages, along with Japanese and Korean, were all part of a larger "Altaic" family of languages, but that view has been controversial within linguistic circles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uralic_languages

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_language

You are right though, about Malagasy, Maori, and Hawaiian all being related, as they are all part of the Austronesian family of languages, along with Malay, Indonesian, Tagalog, and various other languages spoken in Southeast Asia and various Pacific Islands. You are wrong though about Okinawa -- the people there speak Okinawan, a language which is part of the Japonic family of languages along with Japanese.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawan_language

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austronesian_languages

Side note: I find it amusing that you think Japanese is suited for punk music, because in my mind, the punk music goes best to working class Cockney English.
Most interesting! I had lumped all of the steppes nomads together. So there were the Magyars, the Huns, and the Mongols, all of whom "invaded" westward, not to mention the Khazars, Cossacks, and Tartars. Today it is unknown into which language group the speech of the Huns fell. Hungary is named after the Huns, but Hungarians call their country Magyarstan.

Oops about Okinawan. But native Taiwanese is Austronesian. I pushed the boundary a little too far.

Mainstream music in Japan is quite different from any other country, as far as I know. They go for energetic, fast music that borders on frantic. This appears in TV theme songs, advertisements, etc. It sounds like punk rock to me, so as far as I'm concerned its the national music of Japan. I used to listen to a lot of it. It is a lot more precise, intricate, and complicated than western punk. It's often mixed with ska and almost always has girl singers. Here's my fave piece . I never tire of it. It even has a shamisen. Oh what the heck, here's more.
which has one of the most complicated grooves I've ever heard. That bass part is beyond belief. How can anyone do that? Good things come in threes. Here's a thrash/ska version of A Whole New World.
 
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How about the fastest language in the world? I'd go for Tamil, followed by Italian and maybe Hindi. Spanish can be quite rapid too, though I don't know where.
 
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The next beauty about Europe today. (Hopefully our politicians won't ruin it!) It doesn't matter less and less which country printed the passport. I thank de Gaulle and Adenauer each day for their achievement. Far better than before! The first time I've been to Moscow I remember jumping joyfully in the snow on the airport next to the airliner and said: "I love that. Being in Moscow and having no gun with me!" Our many cultures are a great gift and surely no reason to fight.

When the ČSSR broke apart I remember one main reason wasn't Havel's and Meciar's ambition to gain power alone. The Slovakian were simply fed by the Czech domination. And the Czech thought they would simply finance Slovakia which had a more agricultural bias and the Czech a more industrial. Maybe there have been historical reasons, too, which I'm not aware of. Both countries are beautiful and most of all: the origin of European beer culture. [emoji2]

Edit: Funny incident. I've had a Slovakian car in front of me on my way home from the dentist. And as a biathlon fan you'd better know the difference between Slovakia and Slovenia. :wink:
Fresh, it seems you have travelled a lot and read and think about various issues. I'm really surprised by your knowledge because most people couldn't even show these countries on map.
 

Samy_A

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Indian languages are cool, too. Bollywood movies make me smile :)
I'll have to youtube some clips with Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian languages because I really can't tell a difference between them.
For me it's almost the same. I have trouble with Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian, because they have just enough in common with Dutch that I understand a word here or there. But not enough in common to allow me to make sense of it.
 
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Sounds like most people's confusion between Swiss and Swedish... *sigh* (I'm swiss)
 

fresh_42

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Sounds like most people's confusion between Swiss and Swedish... *sigh* (I'm swiss)
Gruezi. Are you a fan of the famous Swiss group ABBA, too?
Canada plus Swiss? You're cherry picking, don't you?
 

fresh_42

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For me it's almost the same. I have trouble with Danish, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian, because they have just enough in common with Dutch that I understand a word here or there. But not enough in common to allow me to make sense of it.
Don't you have to learn some of the other languages in school? As far as I know there are four official languages there.
 
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The official language of Malaysia is Malaysian. But kids aren't required to learn it in school. Tamil and Chinese Malaysians have their own schools. So English is the only language almost everyone understands
 
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Swedish sounds like something recorded and played backward.
 

Samy_A

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Don't you have to learn some of the other languages in school? As far as I know there are four official languages there.
Three official languages.
Normally you learn Dutch, French and English in the Flemish and French schools. In the German schools obviously German, and I assume also French and English (don't know for sure, maybe they also have Dutch).
Of course some pupils learn additional optional languages.
But I don't believe many Belgian schools teach one of the Scandinavian languages.
 

fresh_42

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Three official languages.
Normally you learn Dutch, French and English in the Flemish and French schools. In the German schools obviously German, and I assume also French and English (don't know for sure, maybe they also have Dutch).
Of course some pupils learn additional optional languages.
But I don't believe many Belgian schools teach one of the Scandinavian languages.
What about letzeburgisch?
 
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Swedish sounds like something recorded and played backward.
That's exactly what I was thinking about the Czech version of Wabash Cannonball I just posted!

Gruezi. Are you a fan of the famous Swiss group ABBA, too?
Canada plus Swiss? You're cherry picking, don't you?
haha, yes!.. mostly by luck I gotta say.
I do like a few Abba songs, but to say I'm a fan would be an overstatement.. I do like Schwitzerorgli and traditional Swiss music, though I get my fill of it quickly.
 

Samy_A

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What about letzeburgisch?
Not an official language in Belgium, though used in a few communes along the border with Luxembourg. No idea whether it is taught in the schools in these communes.
 

fresh_42

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I do like a few Abba songs, but to say I'm a fan would be an overstatement.. I do like Schwitzerorgli and traditional Swiss music, though I get my fill of it quickly.
In case you're homesick:
 

StatGuy2000

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The official language of Malaysia is Malaysian. But kids aren't required to learn it in school. Tamil and Chinese Malaysians have their own schools. So English is the only language almost everyone understands
That's interesting. I have friends from Malaysia and they have told me that all schools are required to teach Bahasa Malaysia (i.e. the Malay language) in their schools, at least as a second language even in the Chinese, Tamil, or English-language schools (although I was told that English is the common lingua franca among the different ethnic groups).

So I assume that you are from Malaysia then?
 
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That's interesting. I have friends from Malaysia and they have told me that all schools are required to teach Bahasa Malaysia (i.e. the Malay language) in their schools, at least as a second language even in the Chinese, Tamil, or English-language schools (although I was told that English is the common lingua franca among the different ethnic groups).

So I assume that you are from Malaysia then?
I've been there a lot. You know how it goes when kids are required to learn something.
 

Vanadium 50

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OK, I hate to go nuclear but...


This is English.
 

Vanadium 50

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OK, I hate to go nuclear but...


This is English.
So is this.


I like it like that.

In east Asia books are often sold with English titles ever if they aren't in English. I never understood that. It would be like selling English books in the US with Chinese titles.

South Korean pop music is often a mixture of Korean and English. It's not unusual for the artists to speak English perfectly.
 

fresh_42

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And I always thought this was weird:


But I'd put him to Italy. Until I looked it up: Ohio.

Edit: @Vanadium 50 I've now made it till the end. That was really mean. But my toothache doesn't feel so bad anymore.
 

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