The First Thing You Notice

(I have no idea what he is saying but I wanted an example of the spoken language)

There are a lot of things you can notice in language that you don’t speak if you really pay attention. However in the beginning I am noticing it is really hard the get your brain to moment by moment choose to engage.
The first thing you notice is how fast it sounds. This is also the first challenge I had with Turkish.
But the more that I thought about this I realized that I feel this way whenever I hear any foreign tongue. And that when I speak English to Turks who speak English I have to slow down.
 So I began to wonder, why do all foreign languages sound so fast? Are these languages really faster than the English I speak?
But Turks listening to me speak English think I am speaking fast. And when I hear them speak their native language I am surprised how fast it sounds.
Fortunately there is google for these kind of questions.
Probably the main reason I language sounds fast to foreign ears is that you do not know when words begin and end. This makes the whole sentence sound like one long continuous sound. Actually you have no idea if it sentence or a long word or a paragraph. This is something that can get better with time. I would say that while a lot of it still sounds fast to me. And I cannot understand what is being said but I can sense the cadence. And you will too as you listen.
There are also languages that have high and lower language density. Language density has to do with how many syllables are spoken per second and how much information on average is communication in each syllables. Here a Time magazine article on a language density study.
So which is Turkish? I don’t know. All I know is I need to keep asking people to slow down to understand them.
How fast is the language you a trying to learn?
What did you first notice about the language you are trying to learn? Let me know in the contacts.

One comment

  1. Perhaps one way you can compare language density is to look at translated lyrics of a song line-by-line.

    At my church we sing songs with lyrics English and Turkish written side-by-side. The challenge with Turkish is that so many more syllables are necessary to express the same idea. Thus, since verses are limited by syllables, sentences translated into Turkish by necessity need to be much shorter and communicate less.


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