Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

How does the French language sound to a foreigner?

I am a native french speaker and wonder how does French sound to non-native people?

Is it smooth, harsh, elegant, raw, aesthetic?

Don't hesitate to develop your point of view! I'm interested!

13 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I think the first thing we notice when we're learning french is the nasal sounds (en, in, un), and the "r", and all the intonation used in sentences. As people have pointed out, English speakers (at least we Americans) use very little intonation, so it sounds very strange to have all that "singing" when you talk.

    But most people probably also think of it as sexy like someone said, probably because we have stereotypes of French lovers from old movies.

    I can't see Youtube on this computer, but try to search for "Sid Caesar" and "doubletalk". Caesar was a comedian most famous in the 1950s, and one of his routines was to pretend to talk in different languages without actually doing so, by making plausible sounds. He called this "doubletalk". See if you can find Caesar doing French doubletalk.

  • 5 years ago

    I respect all languages. Each is expressive in its own unique way. For me, French is at times nice to listen to, but most of the time, I can't say I like how it sounds much. But I feel no ill will against the French, and intend to learn the language.

  • 1 decade ago

    As someone who spent a lot of time among French people, I have always found it to flow very well. Even once I started understanding well, I still found myself sometimes not listening to what they were saying, because it was flowing so well. It is also a very expressive language when spoken by those who have developed their language capacities. If I had to sum it up into one or two words I would say,smooth or flowing.

    I also found it funny in the beginning to hear little children speak french because it is rather elegant or "soutenu" compared to English. Of course their is French slang, but when it comes to real French it is quite respectable.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    In south India at Tamil Nadu the mother tongue is Tamil which is being corrupted by English as the people there are very craze of English. Most of the people think knowing English only make them popular, knowledgeable and can get good jobs. Many will speak fluently and it is to be noted that China and other countries send people to Tamil Nadu because of the English knowledge. It is a fact the very ancient living language Tamil can not be spoken with out mixing English by the native people.

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  • David
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Well, I'm not especially qualified to answer this, considering that I was born in France and lived there for a few years as a kid, then more recently during the late 90's. However, having spent most of my life here in the US, when people mimic the French, they tend to exaggerate the nasal vowel sounds in a way that's almost theatrical (and not at all accurate, but then parodies generally aren't). Similarly, silly expression that nobody in France actually uses ("Sacré bleu!" springs to mind...) are frequently included in these dubious imitations. Lastly, I think the French language (and French people themselves for that matter) are almost always assumed to be pretentious and elitist, which is amusing to someone like me, whose extended family in France is actually quite working class, and a far cry from those caricatures in every conceivable way.

    Source(s): My two cents' worth.
  • 1 decade ago

    I study French and A-Level as well as German.

    I think that French sounds very beautiful and it flows really well. I like the "que il" to "qu'il" to give it a more elegant feeling!

    I could sit and listen to French people speaking all day, and I think it sounds much nicer that German!

    I would love for you to tell me how English sounds to a non-native!

    James

    =-D

  • 1 decade ago

    For me it sounds elegant, aesthetic and joyful. I associate it with the first days of spring when the sun is shining and the nature is waking up. So it's definitely a pleasant language to hear.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

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    We can here the difference between British, Scottish, Irish and American, but we don't notice the difference between the different accents between states in the US(we don't notice the difference between accents from somebody from Florida and somebody from Oregon, nor do we notice the difference in accents between a Canadian or an American). American sounds cool to many people.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I have been a French speaker for almost seven years, and I still struggle to understand the French accent. It is very unclear, words are slurred, and very hard for me to understand.

    If French is spoken slowly, I can understand most of it (although it is still pretty hard). But when French is spoken fast, I am left dumbfounded.

    Source(s): French Speaker/English Speaker.
  • 1 decade ago

    depends on who´s speaking it.., in some people it sounds good, i feel like they try too hard to pronounce those sounds since they are so many, and the r sounds weird to my ears cause i´m not used to it, i like the language but i hate the "r" (i also hate the German one).

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