Describing languages in terms of other languages

I remember seeing a programme not long ago that included an interview with a couple of Czech people, and being struck immediately that “<em>these guys sound like Slavic-Welsh!</em>” So I started to think about how to roughly describe the sound of speech in other languages only in terms of the sounds of <em>other</em> languages.

I've seen a couple of videos of “imaginary” English that also made me think a bit more about how languages relate to each other in prosody, characteristic phonetic features and all that.


- So, how could you describe the languages you've heard lately in terms of other languages?

Do you think it's harder to do this the more you understand of the language? It seems so, to me.


Here are a few (Euro-centric) impressions of mine (I only mean them lightheartedly, of course - I don't imagine these would exactly go down brilliantly with many natives!) :


Czech – the Welsh speaking Russian
Hungarian – the Greeks speaking Norwegian
Slovenian – the English speaking Polish
Danish – Scouse Norwegians
Croatian – the Dutch speaking Ukrainian

Jan 15, 2016 10:18 PM