The other day I was talking to an Italian person who said to me that the “sexiest” languages are
French, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian. This made me think: can you form an opinion on how your native language sounds, and anyway, what does it mean that a language sounds “sexy” and how do we judge that?
Most people I’ve talked to agree with me that if you speak a language it is impossible to say how it
sounds since you attach meaning to the sounds. Whereas if you don’t speak a language at all, you
cannot decipher anything from a jumble of sounds, not even where one word ends and another
You are in luck if your native language is English, because film makers Brian and Karl made a brilliant
film to show how English sounds to the foreign ear. They use the sound inventory and intonation of American English. See the video below:
They weren’t the only ones to experiment with gibberish. Adriano Celentano came out with a song
back in 1972, the lyrics were complete gibberish with American English pronunciation to show how the beloved American songs sound to Italians.
Next week, I’ll go into more detail about how sexy languages can get.