• Madeline Foskey-Lott

What Does English Sound Like to People Who Don't Speak it?




A lot of Americans fully understand what it’s like to hear unlearned language and have no idea what is being said. When it comes to English however, it’s hard for us to see where the confusion lies with others. Of course, this is how everyone across the globe feels with foreign languages compared to their own. For now, we’re going to focus on English.


Ever wondered what the English language sounds like to non-English speakers? An Italian named Adriano Celentano has helped us understand how we sound to others who don’t speak English. His 1972 song “Prisencolinensinainciusol” gives us a better understanding of how we sound to others. The lyrics sound like English, but when you listen closely, the words have no meaning.


Comments under the YouTube video confirms that Celentano was spot on with his imitation.


Traveler 1980

It’s English-sounding enough that my brain seems to think if I just listen harder, I will be able to make out what he’s saying


Mrs. JiggilyBitts

Since the minute I started listening to it. It sounded perfectly English. And then as I concentrated on each word, that's when I realized at which point did one word end and another one started? Alright! We should make this song go viral until it hits the American music charts


Mlaga Thomason