Unnervingly good entry in the "what languages sound like to non-speakers" genre

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/11/10/unnervingly-good-entry-in-the-what-languages-sound-like-to-non-speakers-genre.html

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They’re all pretty good, but his Italian is too brassy and sharp, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching a lot of Italian soap operas and game shows in my youth it’s that they all speak extremely quietly and with a ridiculous amount of sibilance.

Still, I am impressed

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As a speaker of neither, sometimes Swedish sounds like “gibberish Italian” to me.

I’m just disappointed that YouTube didn’t auto-generate any closed captioning for this video.

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That was really good. I bet anyone who speaks a language he didn’t cover is like:

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and a one and a two and a gobbaldy goo

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Wow! That man really has a great ear.

By the way, what US English sounds to Germas : “err rrr rrr errr rrr rr urrrrr rrrrr”

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I was going to post this too. I genuinely like this song.

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There is a story of the late great physicist Richard Feynman becoming enamored with the rhythm of Italian, and speaking in fake Italian because he liked how musical it sounded, which led his friends to think he actually spoke Italian.

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That was @#$ amazing! (he even got in the Zulu click) There has to be someway that guy can cash in on such an ability - i dunno… speaking parts as every extra in spy movies. (i’ve known a few visiting academics from several of those countries and that is exactly how they make fun of 'murkin English)

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I spat my tea when he started speaking fake Spanish (Spain). Not only did it perfect, but on each take got right the accent of a different Spanish region.

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That was amazing

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And this is why I am feeling completely out of my league trying to learn Spanish, I can’t understand a thing I thought it sounded beautiful :laughing:

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Manhattan-born, which means I always get accused of not having a Noo Yawk accent, I attended a German juggling convention and was asked by a German teenager (in English) where I was from. I bade him guess. After naming the obvious ten or so countries (minus America), he got to various much less obvious choices I thought, and gave up. Then he wouldn’t believe me when I told him I was American. Nope!

Another German explained to me that I didn’t talk like “rarr rarr rarr”. I guess they thought I should have a Texas accent or somesuch?

BTW this woman


was tapped for her skills, to create fake languages for Stars War and Trek.
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This is (one of) the linguistic concepts that gives Italian this quality:

By contrast, English is strongly stress-timed.

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Yeah, it was perfect, but he cheated when he said “os lo ruego”, don’t you think? As it is a complete proper sentence. BTW, to non Spanish speakers this means “I beg of you” using Voseo.

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Honestly I wasn’t too impressed with the German. Even though it was fake it sounded like someone speaking German with an American accent. He just doesn’t nail the palatal fricative and falls into the trap of shouting.

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Yes indeed:

Another German explained to me that I didn’t talk like “rarr rarr rarr”. I guess they thought I should have a Texas accent or somesuch?

My stint in Germany was witnessed to several “Was? Sie müssen aus Kanada sein!” (i’m from Seattle so it’s not far out). Germans, like all Europeans, tend to think in Hollywood terms about Americans. So: all Americans are either Ye-haa from Texas or New Yorkers - no other options.

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Hey! Turns out he actually speaks many languages; a true polyglot!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGNd3fnnNB7/

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Speaking very very little Spanish, and much less Portuguese, the latter reminded me of Spanish spoken with a French accent. Then I heard Catalan: French with a Spanish accent?

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