English from a more "objective" view

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jmnixon95
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06 Sep 2011, 11:29 am

Have any of you had the chance/opportunity to experience English more "objectively" than you would normally? As in, you could hear it but not necessarily pay attention to the meaning of what is being said, and thus you kind of feel like you're hearing it like someone who doesn't understand it would? I can do so sometimes--especially with British accents, as they aren't as familiar to me as American ones--and I notice how genuinely ugly it can sound. We can poke fun at other languages with more guttural sounds, very hard consonants, etc., but we have some of those qualities implemented into our daily language usage, as well.

I made a recording of some words I find particularly ugly; imagine what they'd sound like to someone who doesn't understand the meaning. I put some emphasis on the ugly sounds.

http://soundcloud.com/jmnixon95/ugly-english-words-1



ValentineWiggin
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06 Sep 2011, 12:01 pm

Interesting topic- I've often wondered what English truly-does sound like, as I don't think we can really hear it as non-speakers can, where it's divorced from meaning- similar to the way it's hard for people to immediately-identify font colors if the words printed are colors, themselves.


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krankes_hirn
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06 Sep 2011, 12:41 pm

Well as a native spanish speaker maybe I can help clarify that.

English sounds like a very smeared language, if that makes sense at all. It's like consonants aren't emphasized enough and sometimes they get lost among vowel sounds and other consonants. Hope that helped.



AnonymousPasserBy
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06 Sep 2011, 12:42 pm

I always thought it was a beautiful langauge, and I've learnt to speak it when I was 7. It's definitely better than Dutch (my first language). :lol:



Cornflake
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06 Sep 2011, 2:01 pm

^^ How strange - I'm English, but I love the sound of a native Dutch speaker, and English spoken with a Dutch accent.
The accent improves the sound of English for me. :lol:


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Zen
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06 Sep 2011, 3:07 pm

It's interesting to me that most of your words have the hard "k" sound in them. That sound is supposed to be a funnier one (funny as in amusing, not weird), having something to do with the way your mouth is shaped when you say it.



the_curmudge
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06 Sep 2011, 5:21 pm

When I returned to the US after two years in the UK, I was assailed by the harsh American "r" sound, which I thought was very, very ugly. It sounded like my friends and family had started speaking a whole new language in my absence. It was a good six months before I could listen to them without shuddering.



sluice
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06 Sep 2011, 5:28 pm

I have always wanted to learn the bushman language. Clicking seems like the perfect way to communicate. :)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D_l7ty_MH_Y&feature=related[/youtube]



Koan
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08 Sep 2011, 12:50 am

the_curmudge wrote:
When I returned to the US after two years in the UK, I was assailed by the harsh American "r" sound, which I thought was very, very ugly. It sounded like my friends and family had started speaking a whole new language in my absence. It was a good six months before I could listen to them without shuddering.


Is there a difference between US and UK "r" sounds? I'm not sure what you mean.