Saturday, December 17, 2011

fake english and other language fun

A quick post to say that I just heard the Albanian language for the first time and good gracious it just confused the heck out of me. It was playing in the background and something caught my attention and for a split second I thought I was hearing Spanish with a weird accent, but then I realized I was also recognizing words I know from Romanian. And for the life I couldn't figure out what this language was and why it seemed like I should be understanding it but couldn't.

Wikipedia tells me that Latin was a big influence on the language and that in the 9th and 10th centuries, Romanian borrowed a ton of words from Albanian. Good to know!

A similar thing happened for different reasons a couple of years ago. I remember listening to a song in Greek and feeling my head was about to explode because, hey, that sounds just like Spanish but that is most definitely not Spanish. I couldn't understand at all why I couldn't understand it. Really disorienting until I figured out what was going on.

Anyway, in the same vein, was linked to this video recently, I think through Language Log, and have been meaning to post it. I love listening to the sounds of languages when they're just sounds, separated from meaning, when you're just hearing the music of it. So here's English mostly that way: