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Language favourites (was: Re: Blandness (was: Uusisuom's influences))

From:Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>
Date:Monday, April 9, 2001, 17:30
En réponse à Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>:

> > And people might hit me for this, but I like the sound of Dutch. > Usually, it is agreed on (at least most people I know agree), that it > sounds ugly. `Geef mij een goede gids over gevels en grachten.' > [xe:f m@ @n xu:j@ xIts OUvR- xe:v@ls En xRaxt@(n)]. :-) > [xR] -- what a sound!! >
My boyfriend comes from the South, so his pronunciation is more like ['Ge:f mEj n= 'Gu:j@ 'GIts o:vr= 'Ge:v@lz En 'Graxt@n] with voiced velar [G] and alveolar flap [r]. But still: [Gr] :)) . Well, since everyone seems to have given its preferences, why shouldn't I :) . Begin with the beginning: French, my mothertongue. I used to dislike it, but since I have discovered some nice things that the prescriptive grammar we were taught at school hid, I find it nicer than I used to. Its sound is not bad still. English I both like and hate. Depending on the accent it can be a beautiful language or a horrible mess (to my ear at least). There are some absolutely wonderful songs in this languages though. Spanish I find very beautiful. It flows so well and is very well designed for singing. Portuguese is intriguing to me, but the songs of Cesaria Evora are so beautiful... Italian is probably the most beautiful Romance language I know, at least when it's sung correctly :) . It has this inherent singing quality... Dutch is the Germanic language I like most. Unlike many people, I don't find sounds like [G] or [x] ugly, not at all! Dutch has a kind of sweetness that I cannot define but find very nice. Still, it's the language of my future husband, so I may be prejudiced in favour of it :) . On the other hand, German is probably the language I dislike most, to me it sounds like robot-speech. Still, on very rare cases I listened to German songs I found very nice (the European hymn is one), and the Southern dialects of German have a softer quality that pleases more my ear. Out of Indo-European, I've heard mainly two languages: Arabic and Japansese. Despite its throat-aching sounds, Arabic sounds nice to me. Some Rai songs are very nice. As for Japanese, it's also one of my favourites. It can sound awful when spoken with an angry tone, but so beautiful when spoken softly <saying that with the Sailor Star Song in my mind :) >. That's all for the languages I've heard enough to give an opinion about them. I've heard also bits of Turkish (nice sounding), scandinavian tongues (don't know which though), Russian (harsher than Spanish but still less than German), Wolof (the 'Seven Seconds' song from Youssou N'dour and Neneh Sherry is beautiful!), Chinese (don't know which dialects), but not enough to give a decisive opinion about them. I don't have really a favourite language though three languages (namely Dutch, Italian and Japanese) stand on top of the list :) (they are also on top of the list of the first languages to learn when I have time :) ). Christophe.