Which language sounds the nicest?

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  • #1
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Which spoken language sounds the nicest? And would people in Europe think that a european language sounds nicer than a language from another continent just because they are more familiar with European languages - or is there more to it than this?
 

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  • #2
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french/spanish/taiwanese mandarin/japanese
 
  • #3
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I think Thai sounds pretty good. Very melodic.
 
  • #4
Well, my sample is not that big:

I was born in Argentina, where we speak Spanish with an Italian accent (we really do, watch an Argentinean movie and, unless you know Italian or Spanish, you'll think you're watching an Italian movie).
For most of my childhood, Hebrew was my native tongue (even though I don't remember much and it sounds foreign to me now). You are also exposed to the sounds of the Arab languages in Israel a little.
I moved here to canada in 2000 so now speak english -- this should be obvious :rofl: . And I started trying to learn mandarin chinese a couple of days ago (so far I only know "hello" "how are you" etc. , but I'm familiar with the sounds of the language at least)

To me, definitely English. English is really a mixture of many languages. It took bits and pieces of many languages, so it has a very open grammatical structure (many other languages have very strict sentence structures -- I'm not sure if there is another language quite as open an English). This is why English poetry and literature is so beautiful and different, I think -- it's such a free language, that those who master it can paint beautiful and unique images with the bonus of having lots of "free room" to play with (I don't think Finnegan's Wake could have been written without an English sub-structure).

It also sounds very "liquid." all the words flow easily in and out.

compare it to middle-eastern languages such as Hebrew and Arab -- full of horrid-sounding, tough sounds: "I love you" in Hebrew is "Ah-nee Oh-ev OTAGH" -- the vowels are harsh and throaty, and the best way I can describe the "GH" sound is the sound you make before you hork up phlegm... thankfully not used in the English language.

There is a reason why people from all over the world are drawn to the sound of English singing; the language just flows (Americanization might also play a part, but this was true before Americanization). English sounds "cool," but is also very beautiful and song-like.
 
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  • #5
turbo
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I have been educated (here on this board) that some of the most beautiful singing I have ever heard ("a Prayer for Love" by Mary Black) was in Russian. Who knew?!!
 
  • #6
D H
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I learned Spanish a long time ago, then learned a lot more when I became a soccer referee. I learned some new highs (lows?) a couple weeks ago sitting in a predominantly Hispanic section at the Houston Dynamos vs Pachuca Concacaf Champions Cup semifinals game (Dynamos won, 2:0). Spanish is both a very beautiful and a very ugly language, depending on the speaker and whether his futbol team is winning or losing.
 
  • #7
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i disagree with moe about arabic..well i love u in hebrew might sound a hard task, in arabic it is Ana Bhebbik for a girl, Ana Bhebbak for girl to guy..or even guy to guy :P...arabic is somewhat difficult but is a rich language...like a lot more than 100 ways to say i love u...etc..
but english by far is the easiest language to learn, and i think it should become the world's language
 
  • #8
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english is the hardest language to learn....all the grammar.
 
  • #9
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ever tried another language?
 
  • #10
i disagree with moe about arabic..well i love u in hebrew might sound a hard task, in arabic it is Ana Bhebbik for a girl, Ana Bhebbak for girl to guy..or even guy to guy :P...arabic is somewhat difficult but is a rich language...like a lot more than 100 ways to say i love u...etc..
but english by far is the easiest language to learn, and i think it should become the world's language
O I wasn't implying that great poetry hasn't been written in those languages -- "Martin Fierro" in Spanish comes to mind.

Especially languages that are so ancient compared to English (Hebrew remains almost unchanged for 2500 years; by knowing modern Hebrew, you'd be perfectly able to understand ancient writings like the old testament--

But try reading Old English :surprised -- used only 1000 years ago -- and you would not be able to understand a single sentence without Old English studies. Even modern English from only a few centuries ago can be challenging.

English changes very fast, even now. And even though it's very easy to learn, it is also incredibly complex -- sometimes weird and irrational: mouse/mice, car/cars, house/houses, fish/fish :confused: ).

What I meant to say was that English has a certain melodic flow to it that is very pleasing (to me at least, it all depends on personal opinion)... it avoids many of the harsh cacophonies of other languages -- it's made up of mostly round (?) (only word that comes to mind) sounds: rolling Rs, soft Ls and H's... which might be why it's so appealing.

:surprised <-- and I should really stop using these. but they're so awesome! :surprised :surprised :surprised
 
  • #11
english is the hardest language to learn....all the grammar.
ever tried another language?
hahaha... yea there are some hard ones out there. I wouldn't say English is the hardest, but I would say it's one of the weirdest ones. There are no real rules to its grammar and spelling.

At least in spanish and Hebrew there are things that are always 100% a certain way. Find me one English grammar/spelling rule that is 100%.. not even the famous I before E except after C! This is why people new to the language often have that "Tarzan" way of speaking -- English grammar makes no sense to a foreigner!
 
  • #12
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the good thing about english is that it is adapting with our needs and pronounciations. lebanese arabic flows well because it is a mixture between western tongues and arabic tongues very different from other arabic accents and simple to use but still hard grammar. and yes hebrew seemed to stay the same all the way much like chinese i think, that's mayb what makes them hard to understand at time, its like learning hyrogliphics...btw isn't there some common pronounciations between arabic and hebrew?
 
  • #13
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u know i'm starting to think that ur right about english, but it seemed easier to me from french even though french was my first language, and is still easier to me than arabic even though i'm lebanese, i also tried german and italian. german is difficult, italian is easy because its like french but they also have the specials that come with them..but i think ur right they have stronger adherence to the rules except in cases when they really go beserk like the very was in french : etre, which becomes Somme complete transformations like that are confusing too :)
 
  • #14
Arabic and Hebrew do have similarities (salam = shalom)-- they have similar origins and have developed side by side ... much like european languages are very similar and share common Latin origins or influences.

Most of the languages spoken today have the same common origins, and can be grouped: Chinese (chinese lol), Latin (Italian, spanish), afro-asian (Arabic, Hebrew), etc.

This is why I read mostly things written by Spanish or English authors. not because I think there's no good chinese or albanian novels out there, I'm sure there are -- but translate something from Italian to spanish, and you'll be able to keep some of the emotion. Translate something from Chinese to Italian, and you lose all the beauty and prose.
 
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  • #15
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yeah i think ur right about that, some translations definitely don't work..especially if its a comedy :)..
 
  • #16
it's especially funny watching Japanese movies translated into english. The two are so different, you can tell the translators have a hell of a time trying to make dialogue sound real or at least normal.
 
  • #17
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lol yeah...or english subtle jokes translated to french on french channels :)
 
  • #18
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yes...i speak chinese and a bit of french. I still haven't mastered english and i was born in canada.

I wonder how learning english as a 2nd language compares to other languages. Granted english probably gets the most exposure.
 
  • #20
yes...i speak chinese and a bit of french. I still haven't mastered english and i was born in canada.

I wonder how learning english as a 2nd language compares to other languages. Granted english probably gets the most exposure.
Yea I'm trying to learn mandarin chinese right now as it's so widely spoken (second only to english) and so many movies are made in Chinese. ... when you ask a question, you add a "ma" at the end, right? -- I wish one of my friends spoke it natively so I could practice it with a person.

I don't have nearly as much time as i'd like to learn it though.. so I won't be fluent any time soon (wo po hue shua putun-hua! -- I have no clue how to write actual chinese letters, and I don't think I want to even try. are they as hard as they look??)

English is easy to get, but hard to get right. I still have trouble with the grammar sometimes, even after 7 years, and have to think twice when I write some sentences.

Other languages are harder to understand at first, but once you get them, they're easier to grasp because the structure is stricter.
 
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  • #21
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Yea I'm trying to learn mandarin chinese right now as it's so widely spoken (second only to english)
I suppose it depends on the definition, but Mandarin is the most widely spoken native language in the world. But having said that, it is often the case that two people from different regions in China, who both supposedly speak Mandarin, have a very hard time understanding each other. :smile:

I have no clue how to write actual Chinese letters, and I don't think I want to even try. are they as hard as they look??)
Writing is certainly not easy, especially if you want to do it the ancient way, with a large pecil using the elbow and wrist.

But recognizing characters is not so difficult as it looks as long as you approach it the right way.

First of all, contrary to what most people think, most characters in Chinese are not pictograms but picto-phonograms. And in the majority of the cases the 'picto' part has no relationship to the meaning of the character whatsoever!

Second, there is a classification system using strokes which are called radicals. Note that there are different kind of strokes that, if you look casually, might look the same, but they are not, it depends for instance on where you start and how you end. Note that this classification system is artificial, since it has no relationship to the historical development of characters. But despite that, it is good to know it because once you are accustomed to this system it is going to help you in recognizing complex characters.

If you want to learn Chinese, I highly recommend you master both the pinyin romanization system and recognizing the characters. It really helps!

祝你好运
 
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  • #22
it is often the case that two people from different regions in China, who both supposedly speak Mandarin, have a very hard time understanding each other. :smile:
lol yea that happens with other languages too. Say "Te voy a cojer a tu casa" to a Spanish-speaking person from spain, and one from Argentina, and you'll get a very very different response.

I remember my mom was excited she had a patient from latin america, eager to do therapy in spanish again. After one session she was horrified that she couldn't understand half of what the patient was talking about.

As for writing/readin chinese, I think I'll have to wait a while on to that one... you know... at least 'till I'm past the "hello, I am from canada, where is the toilet-room" phase :biggrin:
 
  • #23
祝你好运
What's it say? -- looking at that I'm guessing the dyslexic must have a pretty tough time in china :bugeye:
 
  • #24
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i wonder, how they expect us to learn chinese, when they can't understand each other !! :)
 
  • #25
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I know English, Hindi, Bengali, Sanskrit and a little Urdu. Personally I think Urdu sounds nicest. Even simple things sound beautiful and profound in Urdu.
 
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