The suckery of not your own language

I swear to god that every time I try to remember which form of an oo sound I need to make for a French word, there is a thought racing through my head that says, “Jesus, this language requires you to have a stroke to speak it.”

And that’s really what’s been killing me with French is the pronunciation. Between a background in Spanish and growing up speaking a language largely derived from French (English in case you didn’t know from about oh, 1066 onwards) I can make out a good deal of the written text. But saying ‘ou’, ‘u’, ‘eu’, and a few others right is killing me and I’m just sticking to picking up what I can from immersion.

Of course, it’s the case that English is not the most sane of languages itself, although it is true you have a much greater range of mispronunciation which will allow you to be understand, although maybe not in the UK, maybe that’s just an American thing. If only we had 46 characters in our alphabet like Hungarian, then maybe we’d be a bit better off. But what does English sound like to those who don’t speak it? Does it sound a lot like Elvis running around saying, “all right” every third word? Adriano Celentano was of the opinion that yes, it does which is why in 1972 this Italian singer recorded Prisencolinensinainciusol, a gibberish song intended to sound like English to those who don’t understand it. I believe the video below is something of a remix from the original, but I gotta say that it rocks a great deal and still sounds better than French.

4 Replies to “The suckery of not your own language”

    1. Oh, one last for the road:

      Hugh Laurie speaking good French… as long as it remains somehow basic:

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