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https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

How do various European Languages sound to your ears?

Try to be descriptive. Also tell us how (if) you like the sound.

For example,

English: It sounds very normal to me, it's the language that everyone is learning for communication

Spanish: It sounds like Greek but with a lisp. A very fast speaking language, if you know what I mean.

Portuguese: Sounds like a Russian trying to speak Spanish

Italian: Very melodic and powerful, it's also very snappy but rolls of the tongue quite easily. Beautiful language.

French: It sounds very isolate like it has its own accent, but a lot words sound the same to a foreigner. I feel like it has a different tone with more of a closed sound to it. I like it

German: I like the sound of it, it tends to sound like a robot at times but that's what makes it cool.

Basque: I don't know how to describe it, it sounds like a European language but you have no clue what they are saying.

Finnish: sounds like Japanese, but more calmer and without soft consonants, I like it a lot.

Estonian: Russian version of Finnish

Romanian: My all time favorite language! It sounds like an Italian kid was adopted by a Ukrainian couple and had Turkish/Hungarian neighbors. Pleasant language.

Moldavian: Russian version of Romanian

Dutch: Sounds like drunk English

Irish: the viking language! It sounds very interesting.

etc.

You get the idea, include as many european languages as you can.

1 year ago

26 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/BonBonChat
BonBonChat
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Interesting post!

English: Sounds bland and boring but common

Spanish: Sounds like an exaggerated form of Greek, slightly musical but a tad annoying IMO

Portuguese: I agree it sounds like a Russian trying to speak Spanish LOL!

Italian: Musical, poetic, and friendly sounding.

French: It sounds different than the other romance languages, sounds soft, poeticly melodic, and sweet

German: It sounds straightforward to me, kind of bland but a serious language.

Finnish: It sounds strong with slavic sounding influence

Estonian: Sounds like a soft finnish, pretty but also serious

Romanian: It sounds like Italian and Russian made a baby. I like the sound of it and I think it's unique and pretty.

Dutch: It sounds like English and German had a baby and it got drunk.

Irish: It sounds very different and unique, a tad melodic, though a tad bland in my opinion

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Deadliestcow

English: Normal and not unusual. Spanish: Like a machine gun learned to speak a language, keeps on going and going super fast. Portuguese: More interesting sounds than Spanish and nasal sounds make it nice sounding. German: Very structured and rigid, like a building. French: Sounds like someone has phlegm stuck in their throat and trying to get it out while talking. Polish: Sounds like someone trying to force as many consonants as possible and them into words (przch, czh phshzhch, etc). Ukrainian: Like someone found the perfect mix between Russian and Polish (Russian being too harsh on words while Polish having all the consonants forced together). Russian: Normal because I can speak a decent amount. Italian: Seems slower than Spanish with more emphasis on its words (or maybe that's just me).

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Captain_Duo
Captain_Duo
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hmm....... this might be difficult for me, but i'll try!!

French: kind of like a very slurred language, very beautiful/romantic Dutch: like you said, kinda like drunk English Italian: very pretty and melodic Spanish: very fast language, very "friendly" sounding language (if that makes sense) Turkish: Like French and Russian had a child that decided to mix up his clothes (by clothes, i mean grammar) German: Very English sounding, a bit robotic at times like you said Polish: this is probably going to be the weirdest description of them all, but it's like someone sat on a keyboard and decided to give it Japanese pronunciation

all in all, i love all of these languages, no matter what they sound like!!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/.S.P.Q.R.
.S.P.Q.R.
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anybody about greek?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

Greek: it's a language I usually compare to Spanish because the intonation is very similar. To a foreigner they will hear a lot of (-os, -is, -th) sounds. I feel like it has many vowels, compared to slavic languages where they usually have a lot consonants. It's a nice language, sounds ancient.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Linda454342

Just the ones I have experience of: English - depends what variety, I speak standard British English, American English or that spoken by West Indians, etc sound very different. I hope my English doesn't sound as hard as, say, German!

German - always sounds like it's an order or command, not a statement!

Dutch - written Dutch looks a lot like German, but it sounds much softer - sounds a lot like English, in fact.

French - sounds nice, but hard to pick out individual words because no word stress - so a sentence sounds like one long word.

Icelandic - lovely sound, could listen all day!

Italian - gets very boring, everything sounds like "da da da DA da".

Portuguese (European) - Sounds different from Brazilian Portuguese. Very musical, but with a lot of "Sh" sounds. The "ooo" sound for unstressed "o" is very weird! Along with French, a lovely language for song.

Spanish (European) - sounds much harsher than European Portuguese, but easier to pick out individual words because of stronger word stress.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut
flootzavutPlus
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That description of Portuguese made me chuckle, that's startlingly accurate! Also agree about Basque; it sounds almost familiar... except that I understand exactly nothing.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

Yeah! I know right. Thanks for joining!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Patrick.-
Patrick.-
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Awesome!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lorkidae
Lorkidae
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I pretty much agree with you for some languages except for English (because I'm not an English native speaker, I'm Indonesian). When I began to learn English and heard native speakers spoke it, it sounded like "was, wes, wos", or "worse, worse, worse" (if I could translate the pronounciation, and yea it's like they speak just that one word). And I think a lot of Indonesians who can't speak English think the same.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

Wow, that's very interesting. I didn't know English sounds like that to a foreigner.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fire-ergens
Fire-ergens
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Alright, I'm not sure if I can be very descriptive, but I'll try.

Germanic:

Dutch: Pretty normal, quite flat. Actually, it's exactly like our country. (Acting normal and not having an awful amount of hills.)

Low Saxon: Stretch those vowels and speak fast. Awesomeness will increase by every word vaguely related to motorcycles. The specifics depends on the dialect. But sometimes it can sound close to Frisian or Dutch.

Frisian: They have this very specific accent, it sounds kinda funny. It does make you think of farmers.

Limburgish: I can't really understand it, but it sounds like some sounds just won't come out. (like the harsh G) A bit like a rough plank in comparison with a smooth one. It unfortunately also reminds me of islamaphobic politicians.

English: I don't know, seriously, I don't. But what's the deal with saying that the 'W' sound is a 'double U'. Seriously, that's just weird! So, I guess...Weird-ish?

German: AU! AU! AU! So much 'AU' sounds and so much emphasis on certain sounds! It's a bit like Dutch, but with a lot of 'AU' sounds and a softer G.

Danish: I could make a potato joke, but to me it's more of a 'powerful' language, it just has this power that makes me feel good. Danish just feels like a comfy blanket. (Dansk er hyggelig)

Norwegian: Like a North Germanic version of Dutch, but with a pitch accent.

Swedish: High pitched pitch accent, still a mystery to me. I guess it sounds a bit alien to me compared to other languages. A bit like it's being sung at a weird pitch. Also: IKEA.

Icelandic: Amazing, like, really amazing. It's spoken pretty fast and it has some weird sounds but that's what makes it amazing. It sounds like ice cold clear water in a small pool, absolute clarity.

Faroese: Danish and Icelandic hooked up and had a baby, Norwegian did some babysitting.

Romance:

French: The ultimate fancy language, it sounds like the sounds got stuck in the speaker's nose at some times, but despite that, it still radiates fanciness. If you want to increase fanciness, learn Freench. Because after learning French you'll be fancier than your neighbours, friends, family and random non-French speaking strangers!

Italian: One part rebellious, one part singing. A bit of a bouncy, but sometimes raspy sound.

Spanish (European): Strong, loud and at the kind of pitch that could hurt your ears if you have a headache. A bit high pitched.

Slavic:

Polish: Like some people are joking and drinking some beer, sitting on a couch at some sort of pub. Fairly low pitched.

Other:

Hungarian: Monotone, beauty, harmony. The kind of language that will make you drool. (wether that's out of insanity gained by attempting to learn the grammar, or out of love for how it sounds is debatable.)

Finnish: A bit of monotone, a bit of 'speaking loud' and emphasis on certain parts of the word. The Ultimate Duolingo Meme.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

Awesome!!! This is great, I really enjoyed reading it and you were spot on specific! :D

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Fire-ergens
Fire-ergens
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Not a dude, but thanks for the compliment. ;)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IvanGrimmi
IvanGrimmi
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Always I thought that Faroese sounded like a Dane speaking Icelandic.

4 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Ackerbau

Finnish: Don't know because it's my native language, though I still like how it sounds. English: Language that doesn't know what it wants to be, don't know what I should make of it, meh. Kinda boring maybe. German: Sounds very intelligent, upper class language for some reason Estonian: Sounds like a cool version of Finnish Hungarina: Very weird sounding but very interesting at the same time Swedish: Sounds highly exaggerated

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Cassandra983

I know I'm late to the convo, but I really enjoyed reading all of these comments.

I'm a native English speaker, and I understandably find it rather bland, but efficient and straightforward, lending to its universality.

I speak functional Spanish, and I think it's pretty, but spoken so fast that I've never quite got a handle on being conversational, despite 4 semesters in college.

I love, love, love the warm zzh sounds, trilled r's, and almost regal sound of Russian. It sounds dignified, not angry, which is how German sounds to me. Many African, some Asian, and Polynesian languages also sound angry to my ears.

I recently heard Finnish, and I was shocked how it reminded me of some Native American languages. I wasn't expecting that of a Euro-language. Maybe some Asiatic ties there. It's speed reminds me of Spanish, but the general sound of it reminded me of my grandmother's language, Shoshone.

I enjoy Norwegian, but I have to admit that it has a really sing-songy quality to it that I'm not sure I'll ever get the hang of. Some of the words are so utterly basic I have a hard time saying them with a straight face. I'm like, some of these words should have matured over time or something... (e.g. Farfar, Mormor, bestefar, bestemor, barnabarn, et al).

I've also recently had the chance to hear Icelandic, and it is fascinating. It shares the rudimentary aspects of Norwegian, but to a greater extent. It's pretty, and complicated sounding, yet it's messages are actually very basic when you boil it down. I know I've been complaining a little about the simplicity of these two related languages, but I really actually respect that they have managed to retain so much of their origins. I listened to a reading of Old English, and it sounded just like modern Icelandic to me. Now THAT is impressive to have retained so much origininality over millennia.

9 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/_David_Kingui_

All european accents sound weird in general. Accents like Canadian French, Latin Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese sound way better and softer than the European ones.

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

I wonder why that is?

6 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/LuaEagle
LuaEagle
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True for portuguese but for spanish and french i got to disagree !

4 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/IvanGrimmi
IvanGrimmi
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Faroese: Sounds like drunken Icelandic spoken by Dane.

Danish: It's unstandable.

Icelandic: It's pretty language only if spoken by native speakers ,but if spoken by foreigners ,it sounds like someone having an asthma attack.

Croatian and Serbian: Almost the same language.

Swedish: Sounds sing songy ,it's like the person is singing when talking.

Norwegian: It's easy Icelandic.

5 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hxvan.
Hxvan.
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English: It sounds beautiful.

Spanish: Normal (it's native language)

Esperanto: They say it sounds very artificial, but to me it sounds like a natural language.

Portuguese: Like Spanish but with different consonants.

German: Very artificial and complex grammatically

Japanese: Like Hawaiian

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Casper_duo
Casper_duo
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1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SamuelCristea

Thanks, I just saw it. It's very funny and I really enjoyed it. The video actually has some good descriptions on how languages sound

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/linguist972
linguist972Plus
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Why does French on this site sound like they have a lisp and yet on french sos languages youtube and othere languages on this site is fine?

2 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnetteSta18

Bulgarian spoken by men sounds like footstep on socks, spoken by women sounds like the wispering of swallows.

1 month ago