What English sounds like to non-English speakers

What English sounds like to non-English speakers

[Snaps and thanks to Ryan and his RSS feeds for finding this gem.]

Explanation: It’s a 1972 song written by the Italian Adriano Celentano called “Prisencolinensinainciusol.” According to the Wikipedia gods, “The lyrics are pure gibberish, intended to sound like American English as heard by a non English-speaker.”

An article in the New Yorker describes the artist and this song quite nicely.

In the video, which is from Italian TV, the composer is a professor being asked by “his students” to explain his song… cue the dance scene and get out of the way. Watch out, it’s catchy…and wonderful. Turn up your speakers and enjoy. 🙂

Barbara has been working for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for about 15 years. In addition to teaching Spanish she runs a somewhat unconventional language center. Prior to this adventure in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and watch the Red Sox. Preferably not all at once, although that could be interesting. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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  1. eleena · January 4, 2010 Reply

    Loved the video! The “professor” bears an uncanny physical resemblance to Sascha Baron Cohen of “Bruno” and “Borat” fame. It’s like they were separated at birth! 🙂

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