‘Sexy’ accents. They’re a HOT topic in more ways than one! What sends one person googly-eyed* and gaga*, may send another barking mad*.
Like the oozing chocolate fondue fountain that you might be sharing with your boo* this Valentine’s Day, are there any accents that make your heart melt? Personally, I don’t have a favourite accent. Or any that I particularly dislike for that matter. I’m in adoration of the authenticity of different voices and love to listen to the variety of dialects from region to region in the UK, and from country to country in the world.
But what is about French, Spanish and Italian that makes them the ‘languages of love’? Is it the Dior perfume adverts? The hearts that the barista draws in your Italian coffee? Or Enrique Iglesias? He could be your hero baby and kiss away the pain, but would he stand by you forever if he couldn’t understand a word you were saying?? That wouldn’t be much use in a serenade outside his window…
In this new series of 'that's I love you in a particular language' blog, we'll explore the sensual side of the languages, starting with French as the language of lurrrrrve. Whether you're language learning or language flirting, you'll be able to improve your speaking and writing skills.
I’d like to think we all recognise Paris as the city of love, but did you know, that “Je t'aime” (I love you) is the most requested Google translation in French after “bonjour” (hello)? While “mon amour” (my love) and “tu me manques” (I miss you) also rank highly?
Let's take a look at what makes it so easy on the ear*...
French is a syllable-timed language with a steady and lyrical rhythm which has been compared to Shakespearian poetry. The duration of every syllable in French is perceived as being equal. English, on the other hand, is a stress-timed language. This means that as English speakers, we divide our stresses, and not our syllables, to be separated by equal amounts of time. An absence of stress is apparent in the French language, creating a sense of fluidity and relaxing tones.
The French are Raspa not Rastafarians and their raspy voices set them apart from Italian and Spanish as ‘languages of love’. I don’t know if their talents lie in singing Bob Marley though; perhaps a karaoke bar in France might spill the beans?*
The French are Raspa not Rastafarians
According to a study of the University College of London, a voice of a woman’s dreams is husky, and the voice of man’s dreams is breathy. It’s the uvular trill ‘r’ sound in the back of someone’s throat combined with French fricatives, ‘zh’ as in je and ‘r’ that make French voices sound husky.
Pucker up*. The famous ‘trout pout’ or ‘duck face’ that scours social media took off based on the face that French people pull this expression when pronouncing ‘u’ as in une. You can create this vowel by simply saying eeeeee whilst rounding your lips. The French know a lot about kissing, so why not learn from an expert?
Are there any accents that you find attractive? Why not share your thoughts on Lingora?
Tune in to the 'that's I love you in Spanish' next month, where we'll be taking a look at what makes you Spaniards out there sound so smooth.
*googly-eyed - (of a person) having an amorously adoring expression.
*gaga - very enthusiastic and excited about someone or something
*barking mad - acting insane or very strangely
*boo - informal terms of phrases for boyfriend/girlfriend
*easy on the ear – nice to listen to
*spill the beans - reveal secret information unintentionally or indiscreetly
*pucker up – pouting your lips before kissing someone