What does English sound like?
***English speakers call a bucket a bucket.. not a "buck-ayy"***
That's very true - except when addressing Hyacinth by her married name. "It's "Boo-kay!!!!" The sexy vicar always manages to correct himself in time.
I love the sound of British English. R and PH and TH and those wonderful variaty of diphtongs and melding vowels make it sound ver-very pleasent. Elegant, not to to mention the lovely, excting and musical intonations of a sentence. Believe me I am a native Hungarian speaker.
It depends on the accent, to me some kinds of American English are extremely nasal and unpleasant. Australian English is almost impossible to understand, I've been going to a British school for about ten years and still took me a while to understand my Australian Teacher.
<<It depends on the accent, to me some kinds of American English are extremely nasal and unpleasant. >>
Being an American, I agree, Rodrigo.
There are very few American dialects I like. It's probably odd that an American himself would say this, but that's the way I feel.
My late, German speaking grandmother used to say that Americans speak like dogs bark.
I don't think so myself, but <<"You spit English, you speak French, but you sing Italian." << may be adequate.
This exchange has fascinated and enthralled me. As a native speaker learning Italian, I very much enjoy the sing-songness of Italian.
I wonder this, however. The sound/capabilities/resonances of one's language must have an impact on one's thoughts and, therefore, upon one's character and formation as an individual. This in turn, logically, ought to have a bearing on the character of one's nation.
I wouldn't wish to lend my own thoughts here but invite readers to consider ways in which the Romance languages have shaped the personae of the Romance peoples, how the Slavic/Germanic tongues have helped towards the destinies of their populations and how the use of Anglo Saxon (ok - i am controversially separating Anglo Saxon from the Germanic languages here, perhaps wrongly) has influenced those warlike (editoralising!) peoples originating over the centuries from the the British Isles. Or perhaps it's not down to language at all - but whether your national tipple happens to be beer, wine or spirits!
Personally, I love southern American English - a long drawn-out drawl. South African English sounds as if the speaker had learning difficulties. Australian - friendly but nasally/whiny. Annoying upward (questioning) intonation at sentence end now adopted by most English people aged under 20.
Kiwi - more intelligent version of Ausie buit still a bit whiny
South Eastern English (also known as Estuary English) - common (lower class), matey, overly informal, over-use of the F-word
South wstern English - bootiful, warm, enveloping
Glaswegian - harsh, aggressive
Edinburghian(?) - soft, twee but nice
Usages: Americanism/creeping Anglicanism: "Can I get a burger?" Correct response: "No, you wait here. You can have a burger but I'll get it for you."
Most English people love the sound of Geordie - the accent of people from the area of North Eastern England around Necastle (or Nu'cas'l" as they say). Sting from The Police is Geordie.
Also, the lilting intonation of Welsh seems to have a resonance with Pakistini.
<<Usages: Americanism/creeping Anglicanism: "Can I get a burger?" Correct response: "No, you wait here. You can have a burger but I'll get it for you."
<<I wouldn't wish to lend my own thoughts here but invite readers to consider ways in which the Romance languages have shaped the personae of the Romance peoples,>>
Looking at the history of ancient Rome, I guess Latin must have been a really warlike language. German, too, and French, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Arabic, Japanese, English, Russian...
English is my native tongue and I have traveled widely. I have heard the following statements, among others I do not now recall from friends of mine around the world about the sound of English. All told me they found English to be quite pleasant to the ear:
1. It sounds like water burbling in a brook
2. It sounds slippery without distinct sharp sounds nor sharp sudden stops, like it just rolls off the tongue easily.
They also told me it is an easy language to learn the basics of, but very difficult to master. The most difficult parts to learn are proper use of prepositions (to, for, by, of etc., the meanings of have, had, had had, have had, has had, etc. and distinguishing between similar sounding words, eg: What wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck would chuck wood. There are times that they took their dogs there. He had a real fast reel on his fishing rod. While his wife had sewn the clothes, he had sown the field. I have had many experiences similar to those that she has had and that he had had.
In addition to my comments above, I want to say that I believe English is the perfect "world wide language" because:
1. It is the most facile language in the world. There are sometimes hundreds of concise ways to express a single idea, each with subtle differences to express mood, emphasis, etc. Anyone who masters the English language masters the ability to express the finest subtleties of any thought, without having to use a lot of words.
2. It has the capability of accepting foreign words in its vocabulary immediately without having to alter any form of expression(s).
3. Because it is a descriptive language and a contextual language, it is possible to use the same words to express many many different ideas, depending on how a sentence is constructed.
4. It is not necessary to hear how an idea is expressed to understand it. The same understanding can be obtained by reading as well as by hearing a sentence or group of sentences. Many languages rely on how a sentence is spoken to convey the full idea the speaker wants to impart.
I like english but i don't talk english well.I com from vietnamese ,thus i want to help all of you to speak E more and more better. I think E sound very very softand pleasant ,if you like ,you will feel interested
<<I wonder this, however. The sound/capabilities/resonances of one's language must have an impact on one's thoughts and, therefore, upon one's character and formation as an individual. This in turn, logically, ought to have a bearing on the character of one's nation.
I truly believe that it is the other way around...
Your speech is a reflection of who You are, at least if you are a competent human being.
To change a nation, individuals of that nation must have a change of heart, leading to a change of actions (this includes speech).
Otherwise, we could all learn Italian (or something to that effect) and the world would be Utopia. But that's crazy.
<<Sorry, but the English spoken in Australia is not pleasant to my ears. I don´t like the way they pronounce the vowels.>>
Bad luck for you Elaine Pepe! There is a kinda circular continuum from British-->Australia-->New Zealand-->British English in the direction vowels are shifting. This means that soon enough the Queen will be speaking Australian English and received pronunciation will get the vowel shift Australians have already experienced. Australians will by then be speaking like New Zealanders and N Z'landers like Brits again.
But no doubt by then the Brits will have forgotten all about how they used to speak and will still be complaining about how ugly Australian and New Zealand vowels sound. LOL. Just joking :)
English is a West-Germanic language. Its closest relatives are Frisian (a very "small" language only spoken in a province of the Netherlands), then Dutch, then German, and then the Scandinavian languages.
As to its sound, it is the most "front of the mouth" of the West-Germanic languages, whereas Dutch is the most guttural of them. Eg where Dutch has guttural g's, English has soft g's, where Dutch has a very dark l, the English l sits on the teeth,where Dutch may have "k" English will often (not always) have "ch" (eg church/kerk). German sits somewhere in the middle between these.
English is indeed these days a rather sibilant language as it has replaced an original variety of plural endings with just a standard -s ending, and has done the same for the third person singular of the verb, replacing the original -th ending also with -s. The -s plural is much more limited in Dutch and competes with the -en ending while in High German it does not appear at all except in loan words. Dutch and German both have -t as a 3rd person singular.
On top of this English has retained the original masculine/neuter genitive -s and expanded its use to all nouns (as in John's books). So three main inflections in English are all -s! Thus we get sentences such as She sees John's books (while Dutch would have -t on the verb, s as a possessive and -en as a plural)
I would guess then that to the foreign ear (standard) English comes across as a soft, fairly light, sibilant sounding language.
<<Its closest relatives are Frisian (a very "small" language only spoken in a province of the Netherlands), then Dutch, then German, and then the Scandinavian languages. >>
A slightly more detailed view of this is:
Frisian (there are three dialects--one in Friesland, another in Germany, and another is Jutland)
then PlattDeutsch (closer to English than Dutch is)
Other -s endings in English include the adverbial ending -s as in "towards", "backwards", and in altered form: "since", "hence"; "against"; and in expressions like "I work days/nights"