Monday, December 14, 2009

Fake Languages

During my first stay in Nicaragua, I was delighted to hear little kids speaking fake English. I speak all sorts of fake languages, but I don't think it ever occurred to me what it would sound like to be French person hearing me speak fake French. According to the kids in Nicaragua, English sounds like this: "Glock glock glock." It's pretty close to how an American kids might imitate Chinese, I think.

So, imagine my delight when my pal Gerry put up a link to this video of an Italian songwriter's attempt to write a song in fake American English. Awesome.

But then I started to wonder: are there others videos in this genre? It turns out there are, including this challenge from a very good speaker of a multitude of fake languages.


redballoon said...

I love it! You sound really good and I am conversational in all those languages. Your German and Japanese, however, (my best two languages other than English) need work, the Japanese especially. Hang in there!
You are gifted and could easily speak those languages if you studied a bit. Thanks for the fun.

Charlie said...
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Moo said...

Your Chinese (assuming that you were attempting to speak fake Mandarin in particular) caught on to one of the more obvious aspects of the language, its tonality. You spend too much time on the most "sing-songy" of these tones, namely the so-called the third and forth tones, for it to pass as natural speech, and you don't consistently apply any tone sandhi (I think that's the borrowed English word of Indian origin) rules. To my ears the way you pronounced the vowels makes the pseudo-Chinese sound vaguely like a southern Chinese language, such as Cantonese, or even Vietnamese (neither of which I even pretend to speak). All the consonents are overpronounced in typical American English or in stereotypical Germanic fashion. Despite my nitpicking, I still think it's a pretty laudable attempt at fake Chinese, especially compared to what I've heard.

As for your fake Japanese, I'm somewhat less qualified to evaluate, but it sounds like you're stereotyping from watching samurai period dramas. There are far too many obvious syllable stresses, and native Japanese -- at least the Tokyo variety that I'm used to hearing -- is a lot more monotone than what you put out.

Anyway, that was an entertaining bit of work there. Good job!

Lamas said...

I'm Spanish and, sincerely, all the fake languages have seemed to me to be credible except the French, Italian and Spanish... It'll Be because I know them. But it's funny to see how we sound for the Anglo-Saxons.

Anonymous said...

I ran into a situation like that with fake language too, when I went to nicaragua and that was like awkward.