A Short Film In Fake English

The film is called Skwerl.

Is that what we English speakers sound like to people who can’t understand us? Is this?

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Dan M.

    Vaguely the same effect, Italians singing pseudo-English (spelt in Italian, though.)

    • Dan M.

      Arg! Sorry about the embedding! Not what I intended.

    • richardwade

      Dan M, that was amazing! Most of us can correctly identify the more prominent languages even if we don’t understand a word of them, by their unique overall sound. I can tell Russian, German, Italian, French, Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese. It’s obvious.

      Now I know what English sounds like to a non-English speaking person. It’s interesting, hearing it “from the outside.” It’s clipped and full of sharp consonants that I hadn’t noticed before.

      But I’m left completely puzzled what the heck was that for?? It was quite entertaining, but that must have been harder to do than just singing some real song in English.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    I totally did not believe this video.

    BLR is better.

    And putting English subtitles to Flemish works even better

    Too bad the HQ version I saved two years ago has been removed due to copy right claim.

    Bluegrass dubbed over Judas Priest is even better:

    Man, that main riff sounds better on a mandolin.

  • richardwade

    I guess the point of this film is lost on me, unless it’s an attempt to portray emotions and even complex conflicts with just tone and expression. In a counselor’s terms, I’d call that the process without the content, in other words the dynamic going on between the two people without the actual subject of what they’re discussing.

    It reminded me of Cid Caesar’s comic double-talk, which is much harder to do than just saying something intelligible.

  • Ramel

    They do sound like english to me, but thing that stands out to me in both videos is just how American they sound.

  • http://peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com/ peicurmudgeon

    My hearing is poor and this is what conversations can sound like to me. tone an facial expressions are everything.

  • Suzanne

    I don’t know if it’s how non-English speakers hear us, but it’s certainly very similar to how people with some hearing loss hear us.

  • timberwoof

    I’ve had dreams like that: I can identify the language as English, but I can’t make any sense of the words. (It’s interesting that the actors have a Midlands American accent, not Southern, British [whether BBC or Monty Python], or Strain.)

    It’s very similar to how I experience hearing French spoken. I learned it as a child, so I can recognize all the phonemes but I have practically no comprehension. When I watch a French news program or TV shows, I feel as though the words ought to make sense, but they don’t.

    It reminds me of the TED talk about what it’s like to have a stroke.


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