When David wrote this entry up couple weeks ago, I decided that it’s a really good thing I am not a linguist. Really, I would make a horrible linguist because it took me eighteen years of my life to realise this uber-late revelation about myself and other people. Or at least most of the people I ran into fit this category. And no, I am not talking about drug addicts, although with the amount of meds I had to intake in the last year alone makes me feel like one.
Ahem. The point is that when I was at a karaoke / no rae bang when I was about eighteen, I was singing Final Fantasy X’s “Suteki Da Ne” in Japanese, and I noticed that I was able to sing at a higher pitch than most English songs. In fact, that was when I realised that I can sing higher in Korean and Japanese than in English. Even when I talk normally in Korean and Japanese, my voice pitch is higher. That’s when I started to pay attention to my other bilingual or multilingual speaking acquaintances and friends.
I noticed that a lot of people who speaks Japanese/English, Korean/English, and Tagalog/English all speak in a higher tone with the Asian language and in lower tones with English. Now with some people, there might be no differences or it could even be the opposite, but from my experiences, that’s what I came to the conclusion as. I am aware that this finding has to do with the differences in the language’s wavelength and all those other linguist terms I am not familiar with, but it still kind of fascinates me. Now, whenever I know someone is bilingual or multilingual, I listen and compare different pitches in the languages as my personal experiment!
Now here are two video examples . . . which some of you may have seen. I was trying to look for better videos, but in the end, this won over because they are so cracktastic, especially with the the second one.
The victim is the one who you can hear the the differences in. And the Caucasian dude at that end — even though his pitch differences is a bit more subtler than the woman’s.
This video just about nearly killed me from “laughingitis”. I think this remake for the Korean language was done better than the original Japanese one. The boys all made me laugh so hard, especially when you can see and hear the boys trying not to laugh in their aerobic exercise scenes. Anyway, listen to the commentator’s voice here. The differences in his two tones is more obvious than the Japanese one.
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