Best sounding languages aside, you’ll have to agree some things sound extremely good when said in a language that’s not your own. Normal or even harsh words may seem funny, funny things may seem normal, everyday things can sound exotic and don’t even get me started on compliments and terms of endearment! Seriously, I have a whole list of things that sound way better in a foreign language! And, bilingual or not, you have to keep scrolling down for some of the best sounding languages!
Could Korean find its way to your list of best sounding languages? How about Gangam Style – what do you think about this record breaking hit? You love it, don’t you? I mean, come on, how can you not love Gangam Style! As great as it sounds and as funny as it looks (“dress classy, dance cheesy,” as Psy himself would put it), we can’t deny the lyrics are not exactly a world away from “Friday”! Why aren’t we rolling our eyes then? Well, pretty simple – it’s funny, upbeat, involves a lot of awkward dancing moves and…duh…we (or most of us, at least) don’t understand a word of it.
2. Declarations of Affection
From I-Love-You-s to Darling, Honey and Beautiful – declarations of affection and flattery do sound pretty exotic and even more appealing when spoken in a foreign language. Come on, admit it, it just makes you daydream about sipping champagne in Paris with a guy named Jean. LOL! Makes me think about that school trip to Nice some years ago and that French guy that wanted my phone number… He just passed by me on the street and yes, it was pretty rude, him doing that cheesy drive-by pickup! What a way to make a girl feel like a Big Mac! Except it didn’t sound half as bad in French!
3. Last Names
Mine and my hubby’s best man’s last name could be translated as Spoon-Man or even Spooner! Funny, isn’t it? Now, can you believe that it took me almost two years to figure that out? That’s just the thing with foreign last names – you accept them as they are because, most of the times, you don’t know the language in question well enough to even make the connection.
4. Food Names
Tomato Soup and Zuppa Di Pomodoro are the exact same thing! There’s just one teeny tiny difference – the first sounds like something you’d eat at home while the second sounds like something you’d eat in a fancy (and price) restaurant. But let’s not stop there! Amuse-bouche, hors d'oeuvres…ever tried those? Sure you have because they are just appetizers! Furthermore, if you’ve ever experimented with layering pate, cheese, ham and/or veggies onto crackers, now would be a perfect time to feel like an ubercool chef!
5. Swear Words
Cuss words…well, let’s stop playing nice! Admit it – you can say “Good Morning” and “Thank you” in three, maybe four languages but cuss in at least twice as many. Nope? Well, there’s a bit of homework for you to do in the new year. Lol! Say what you want about me being a bad influence but I really find foreign swear words interesting. Maybe because I’m not used to them, maybe because they don’t sound as “serious” as they would have had they been spoken in my native tongue, maybe…maybe…maybe! Maybe I’m just plain weird! But I’m sure all of you bilingual folks out there would agree that swearing in a foreign language is kind of fun and feels a bit different.
All popular wisdom has been translated and there’s no reason to bother with foreign words when we can express ourselves in our own language. Right? Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve always preferred the original terms. And if you can pronounce sayings such as “Alea iacta est,” “Omnia mea mecum porto,” or “laissez faire, laissez aller, laissez passer,” you definitely should use them whenever you can! They sound awesome!
If you ever read a translated book, then came back to it with a decision to read it in the language in which it had been originally written or earn your money proofreading, editing and stapling together pieces of text done by a few translators, you know there’s much to be lost in the translation! This especially goes for epic fantasy, a genre in which plenty of words need to be reinvented because they refer to imaginary things and, as such, don’t really exist in dictionaries and glossaries. Do yourself a favor, ladies and gents – if you’re proficient in a language an author in question used to write his/her books, cut out the middleman! It may prove challenging at first but it will make you enjoy your book much more!
Are there any other things that sound particularly good in some foreign languages? And which is a best sounding language you’ve heard so far?