I was reading about the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis because I've got far too much free time on my hands, and I was thinking. Before you say 'Uh oh, there was his first mistake" answer me. What does English sound like to someone who can't speak it?
When I hear German or French or Spanish or an Asian language (can't differentiate between them at this point!) I can clearly say "Well that sounds like French/German/Spanish/Whatever" because it's got a "musical" quality since I don't attach meanings to the sound. For example if you hear a song in Spanish without knowing Spanish, it sounds one way, but once you know Spanish it's different. Is anyone following me? It's like the foreign words are being produced from an instrument rather than a person, and are music not lyrics. So, being only fluent in English, is it pretty or ugly or fast or slow or deep or high or what? Is it beautiful or silly or technical? For example, when I hear Spanish, I think it's sexy and fast. French is romantic but not sexy, Italian is "warm" and rich and German, to me at least, sounds angry (sorry!)
Wikipedia's words are better than my own, and it says "Put simply, the hypothesis argues that the nature of a particular language influences the habitual thought of its speakers. Different patterns of language yield different patterns of thought. This idea challenges the possibility of representing the world perfectly with language, because it acknowledges that the mechanisms of any language condition the thoughts of its community of speakers. The hypothesis emerged in many formulations, some weak and some strong. " What do you guys think? Does speaking a language make you think a certain way? If so, how would you say English speakers (not just Americans) or French or Germans or the Japanese behave? Any correlation to their language?
While we're at it, what does English text LOOK like? What do words look like? I'm looking at Arabic right now for example, and to me it looks more like.... I don't know what. A single image.
I guess what I'm asking is you know how people who don't know a language will make something up? Like fake-french or fake-chinese. What would say, a chinese-person (or any one who doesn't speak English) say in fake-English? Just so I'm clear I don't mean things in the context of accents, say southern or northern or Minnesota. I also mean generally, since all language differs from person to person. What does American english sound like compared to Australian or British or New Zealand or even Singaporean English?