What does English sound like to foreigners?

Ever imitated a language by speaking total gibberish? C’mon. We’ve all done it.

Any world traveler has invariably been faced with that awkward language-learning moment of trying to fake an accent. Unfortunately, reshaping the very motions of your mouth is the one necessary embarrassment to developing fluency.

Remember when Joey tried to learn French during an episode of Friends? “J'appelle Claude” came out as “Je te coup plowwww.”

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Well, when you start to feel discouraged, just remember that your terribly accented gibberish is part of the age old practice of faking languages. And Americans are not the only ones who do it.

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Not a single word in Adriano Celentano’s song, “Prisencolinensinanciusol,” means anything.

It doesn’t make a lick of sense, but it sure does sound a lot like English. Released as a single on November 3, 1972, the song was designed to seem like American English. A satirical parody, it was written to highlight the fact that many Italian artists were singing American pop classics without knowing a single word of the language.

The result is a hysterical glimpse into just how Americans sound to foreigners. Spoiler alert: we sound awesome.

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