16 November 2010

Russian, et al.

I like to collect facts and assessments about languages. So far my favorite, because well observed, I overheard from a young American woman talking to her girlfriends on a bus in Portugal.
Portuguese sounds like a bunch of Russians trying to speak French.

Which is both funny and true.

In fact a Portuguese grad student I met last week in Boston told me that it is a very odd thing but speakers of Slavic languages, especially Russians, are known in Portugal for picking up excellent Portuguese with astonishing speed.

So reading on AOL about learning foreign languages I found this bon mot about Russian that I had never heard before.
Russian: ... As they say, French is the language of love, German is the language of war, and Russian is both. Once you have mastered it, you’ll appreciate its poetic quality.

Which instantly reminded me of the scene in "A Fish Named Wanda" where John Cleese seduces Jamie Lee Curtis by the mere sound of Russian!

Oddly, it never worked for me. Though Carmen's Spanish certainly worked on me.

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At 18 November, 2010 15:39, Anonymous Joey Sobrino said...

I always thought the Scandinavian languages sound like Italians speaking German.

When Italians speak Spanish it sounds like Argentinian.


At 18 November, 2010 23:05, Blogger Clemens said...

Nothing sounds like Argentinian.


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