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What Does Russian Sound Like to Those Who Don’t Know It?

AnnaWattMany of my friends love the fact that I speak Russian to my children and are surprised by the replies to me in Russian and to them in English. At almost 2 my eldest already knew the difference between the two languages and sounded differently in each of them. Now that she turned three she speaks equally Russian and English and all other languages she does not recognize she calls Spanish 🙂  She tells me she wants to learn Spanish so she can talk to all the other people and know what they are talking about. So far she will have to learn Spanish, Portuguese, French, Turkish, Hebrew, Japanese and Arabic as those were the latest ones she assumed were “Spanish”. Some of my friends are multilingual too and I myself love listening to them speaking their language. As I speak a lot of languages, plenty of times I can actually understand what is going on.

I love listening to people speaking the languages that I don’t know. Sometimes I try to guess what language they are speaking and then ask the people just to know if I was right. Even if I don’t know what language they speak – to my ear each language has its own rhythm, cadence, flow, variations of sounds and I was always wondering: “What does Russian sound like to those who don’t actually know it?”

When a friend of mine shared this video with me, I found it hilarious and it totally answered my question! This guy clearly hangs out with Russians but has no clue about the language and I find his parody quite accurate – he really picked up on the differences between male and female speakers, and how sometimes, when Russians talk to each other, it might sound like we are arguing – but we are not!

I hope you enjoy the video and have some good laughs!

Многие мои друзья восхищаются тем фактом, что мой ребенок отвечает мне на русском, а им на английском. Ей еще не было двух лет, а она уже могла различить на каком языке к ней обращаются: на русском или английском. Некоторые из моих друзей тоже разговаривают с их детьми на их родном языке, и я всегда радуюсь, когда это слышу. Так как я знаю много языков, то очень часто я понимаю, о чем они говорят.
Иногда в парке или в магазине, я слышу незнакомый мне язык. Иногда я пытаюсь угадать, на каком языке они говорят, а потом подхожу к людям и спрашиваю, просто чтобы узнать – права ли я. Даже если я не знаю языка, зачастую я догадываюсь просто по тону, ритму, определенным звукам – это очень увлекательная игра для любителя языков. Часто я задавалась вопросом: « А как русский язык звучит для тех, кто его не знает?»
Когда одна моя знакомая поделилась ссылкой на это видео, я не могла удержаться от смеха. Наконец-то кто-то ответил на мой вопрос! Этот парень явно дружит с русскими, но совсем не знает языка. Мне показалось особенно интересным то, как он подметил разницу между мужскими и женскими голосами и интонациями. Даже то, что иногда, кажется, что русские ругаются, хотя они просто обсуждают что-то.
Надеюсь вам тоже понравится это видео!


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About the Author


AnnaOriginally from Russia, Anna has a Bachelor’s in Education and Linguistics from Moscow State Pedagogical University in Moscow, and a Master’s Degree in International and Interactive Communication from University of Lille 1, IAE Business School in Lille, France. Anna speaks fluent Russian, English and French and also knows some Spanish, German, Japanese and Italian. Her education, work experience and many years of teaching and tutoring both in the actual classroom and online helps her understand the needs of students as well as the design, management and promotion of language courses, textbooks and learning materials. As a voice actor Anna has contributed many tracks to the audio components of this course and you can see her on the videos as the lead teacher. Anna is very interested is supporting and promoting the study of the Russian language, as well as introducing Russia’s language and culture to a variety of people world-wide. If you notice any issues or mistakes in the digital or audio components, are interested in reviewing Russian Step By Step Series or in purchasing large quantities, please contact Anna.View all posts by Anna →

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