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There are not too many Americans living amongst us. Stumbling upon other native English speakers, one will find that they usually seem to hail from the UK. About 9 months ago, I was very lucky to find myself thrown together with another American girl who is like-minded, around my age give or take a year, and also- big surprise- childless. No doubt, the trifecta was in place when many said to me "You should meet Ashley, she's your age, American, and uh... doesn't have kids- but she has two dogs!!!" Beside the point, because I can save that for a whooolle 'nother post! Anyway, we have another friend who is Dutch. I will often forget that she is not American because it just never crosses my mind that "hey! you're not from where I'm from!" when we're hanging out. Marjon speaks very good English, contrary to what she thinks about her skills, and we all have a very similar sense of humor so it's easy to feel so comfortable around each other. 

One day, during our weekly quilting class (yes, I do take quilting), Ashley and I were reminded that Marjon was indeed not American, as she answered her cell phone and began speaking in a very very quick Dutch. We both looked at each other, wide-eyed and bewildered, and then said almost simultaneously, "THAT is NOT English." 

Which brings me to the meat of my post. As a kid I always wondered what people on the "outside" thought of people on the "inside." For example. If aliens ("outside") were looking down on us silly humans ("inside"), what would they think about large crowds standing together for anything (graduations, speeches, concerts, etc.) and then clapping to show our approval? Clapping is a very strange thing when you think about it. We are flinging our extremities about, hitting them together to make a noise, all for the sake of showing our appreciation toward something. Umm...Weird. 

I don't speak Dutch. I don't speak German. I don't speak Korean. I speak a sad amount of Japanese and an equally sad amount of Spanish and less than pathetic amount of French. I have yet to learn Hindi, and I'd love to learn Chinese. Languages are a thing that I've been interested in for awhile but I always had to giggle when I heard certain ones being spoken. No offense, Marjon and the rest of my Dutch friends, but I always thought Dutch was at least a jovial sounding language but one that is so waaaay, totally different than English that I can't help but giggle a bit when I hear it. Now when I hear German I sort of want to run and hide. Uh, yeah, no offense to my dear German friends too. ;) 

Living here has made me think about things other than, "What on earth do aliens think when we clap?" 
I now think, "Boy, if I think Telugu sounds wacky, I bet they must think English sounds preeeetty weird too." 

When Marjon answered her phone in front of us that morning, I was reminded of this video I found almost two years ago. I hope you enjoy it as much as do. It's very "what do aliens think when..." It's a video by Adriano Celentano, and it's supposed to sound like English-specifically American English. And for my non-native English speaking friends, if this is really what we sound like to you... well, I understand, because I'm dying to know what they are saying... OH wait, this isn't a real language. 
 


Comments

Marjon
08/31/2013 10:58am

Haha Leigha ik ben nu je post aan het lezen over de Nederlandse taal en ik vind het geweldig. Kijk nu maar eens hoe de translator hierop reageert ;)

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