Prisencolinensinainciusol — Oll Raight

With my best thanks to C for her post over at Futile Diatribes:

Hit Wikipedia for some details on the song. It’s trying to sound like English without actually being English. I think it works!

5 thoughts on “Prisencolinensinainciusol — Oll Raight”

  1. headbang8

    Apparently, this is a bit of a meme.

    Many years ago, I used to teach English to foreigners (foreign to whom, one might ask?) I asked them about it one day in class, and they agreed that the most Englishy words were “thing” and “emotion”.

    I’ll play this to the lad when he wakes up, and we’ll see what he thinks.

    1. cliff1976

      Apparently, this is a bit of a meme.

      Yeah, as usual, I’m late to the party. Normally, I don’t get as excited about these things, once they’re reached ubiquity, but being a bit of a language nut and lover of funky (including people dancing like chickens), I couldn’t pass this up. Looking forward to hearing the other perspective there at home.

    2. cliff1976

      By the way, HB8 — did you notice, in that first video, the body / facial expressions in those fake French / Italian attempts? The hands move a lot more in the Italian and the face had sort of a snarly “meh” expression — as if only a twirly mustache were missing to complete the caricature — throughout. I like how the actor’s stereotypes come though there.

      The German guy’s attempt at fake English (your second link) succeeds valiantly, in my opinion. Particulary Irish or American English, due to the rolly R’s.

      Did your students provide any rationale for those two words being the most Englishy? What was their context?

  2. Carrie

    Nate watched this video at Futile Diatribes and couldn’t get it out of his head for a week. Funny, because he seemed to remember the words that, well, aren’t words. But I get “Jaan Pehechaan Ho” by Mohammed Rafi in my head and I don’t know a lick of Hindi, so the effect is probably quite similar.

  3. Mom

    I could listen to this a lot. I’ll have to figure out how to use it in class; my students will get a kick out of it. American students are convinced that all people think in English and just spit out weird noises.
    Carrie’s comment about Hindi makes sense to me for a number of reasons, but my best connection is remembering the Arabic words to a rap about tabbouleh. Twenty years ago, none of those words would have been more than funny sounds, but now the sounds carry meaning. But even though I know what it is, falafel makes me laugh in my head every time I say it.

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