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Old 12-06-2012, 12:40 AM
 
251 posts, read 547,043 times
Reputation: 107

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It has been said that Japanese is the winner, the French of the East, but I propose some competition.

IMO, Mandarin is too shrill. Cantonese is too guttural, coarse, and stiff, like German. Hokkien is too nasal and choppy. Same with Vietnamese. I wonder if Thai, Burmese, and Khmer are the same as Vietnamese?

What about Malay or Tagalog? They seem to be elegant and polysyllabic, just like Italian or Spanish. Tagalog, of course, has imported many Spanish loanwords, but even Malay sounds Spanish-esque phonetically, with a Italian like tone.

And what about Shanghainese? Every time I hear it spoken its spoken at a million words per minute with barely any tonality (in fact, there are only two tones, which make it a pitch accent--just like Japanese). All the words seem blended together like French. A lot of sliding of syllables, and the -zh sound. Not to mention that Go-on, one reading of Japanese Kanji, is derived from the vicinity of Shanghai, or that Shanhainese has more polysyllabic words than any other Chinese dialect.

The Suzhou dialect is mutually intelligible with Shanghainese, and it has been said to be the most aesthetic Chinese dialect.

Korean sounds quite like Japanese; I wonder if they also have a pitch-accent? Is Mongolian also Japanese-esque, being another Altaic Language?

 
Old 12-06-2012, 01:01 AM
 
3,644 posts, read 8,996,337 times
Reputation: 1798
Japanese is too monotone for my liking. I agree with you about Chinese languages. And Mainland Southeast Asian languages are very choppy. Worst offenders are Vietnamese, Khmer, and Thai.

Malay sounds the nicest IMO. Tagalog can sound elegant, as you said, but it depends on the speaker. It can be very hard on the ears at times. I think it sounds nice in this video. Except I hate when they throw in English words, it obstructs the flow. I think the Spanish words fit just fine though.


Drop-out rates climbing - YouTube

And you bring up a good point, Austronesian languages (like Malay & Tagalog) sound very different from East & Southeast Asian languages for some reason.
 
Old 12-06-2012, 06:21 AM
 
30 posts, read 115,863 times
Reputation: 36
I think Indian sounding languages are great. And I think you know, in India almost 27to 30 languages are available.
 
Old 12-06-2012, 08:39 AM
kyh
 
Location: Malaysia & Singapore
383 posts, read 1,061,345 times
Reputation: 143
Korean doesn't sound nice to me IMO. Japanese sounds more like a cultured language to the ears.

Mandarin, if too heavy accented or tongue-rolling like the Beijing dialect, is too rural-ish. But if spoken without regional accents as in Standard Mandarin (or like those spoken in Taiwan and Malaysia/Singapore), I find it pleasant.

Hokkien/Taiwanese and the related dialects (Teochew/Foochow etc) are too coarse to my liking. Cantonese is nicer. Hakka sounds weird yet can be quite ok.

Malay can be a beautiful language, esp in the poetries etc. Thai (esp Bangkok dialect) is soft and nice, unlike the harsher counterparts spoken in the southern provinces.

Hindi sounds exotic and beautiful. On the other hand, Tamil seems chaotic to me.
 
Old 12-06-2012, 12:44 PM
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
12,566 posts, read 15,036,884 times
Reputation: 12118
I think Japanese does. The worst for me (no offense to anyone): are Vietnamese, Cantonese and Mandarin.
 
Old 12-06-2012, 03:30 PM
 
Location: San Francisco, California
1,953 posts, read 5,201,777 times
Reputation: 2294
Thai sounds nice
 
Old 12-06-2012, 05:05 PM
 
1,869 posts, read 3,127,530 times
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I like Thai too best.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 05:06 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
Reputation: 11862
I thought Thai was okay until I went to Thailand. It's probably largely the way they say it. Same with Mandarin or Korean, they can sound good if say newsreaders speak it or sung. Vietnamese and Cantonese still sound bad regardless. To me most Indian languages sound alike, but they are so fast. My vote is still for Japanese then Malay.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 07:00 AM
 
5 posts, read 46,298 times
Reputation: 14
I personally prefer korean because everytime i hear it, it sounds sooo romantic! When they speak quietly, it's like a sweety cake . But it sometimes sound harsh when spoken loud though. Sometimes, korean does sound similar to japanese as there are many words that has the same pronounciation and the meaning between each other. But still, I love the korean language. Oh, and the korean letters are so cute. All those circles, squares etc looks interesting to me.
 
Old 12-07-2012, 07:06 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,344,192 times
Reputation: 11862
Quote:
Originally Posted by soh2 View Post
I personally prefer korean because everytime i hear it, it sounds sooo romantic! When they speak quietly, it's like a sweety cake . But it sometimes sound harsh when spoken loud though. Sometimes, korean does sound similar to japanese as there are many words that has the same pronounciation and the meaning between each other. But still, I love the korean language. Oh, and the korean letters are so cute. All those circles, squares etc looks interesting to me.
I like hearing Korean sung, it sounds kinda 'badass' lol, or rapped. Like Portuguese. Violent Korean movies are awesome.
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