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People can't believe video showing what speaking English sounds like to foreigners

People can't believe video showing what speaking English sounds like to foreigners

Non-native English speakers came up with a list of the kind of sounds that dominate the language

A video that apparently shows how English sounds to non-native speakers has TikTokers absolutely baffled.

If you've ever wondered what you sound like in a foreign country as you struggle to buy a packet of crisps at a corner shop, have a listen below:

TikToker the Language Simp - or @languagesimp - speaks several languages, including English, so has some kind of advantage in knowing how English might sound to foreigners.

As you can hear, it sounds pretty much like Simlish, although the phrase 'you're literally dog water' creeps in at one point.

Now if you're wondering how Language Simp put this together, the idea of the exercise seems to be to mimic English intonations and the accent using nonsense words.

The 2021 clip has been viewed over 10 million times, and is certainly eye-opening.

A TikTok user shared how English sounds to those who don't understand it.
TikTok/@languagesimp

The effect is a little strange for those of us who do speak English, with one person commenting: “I felt like I should understand what he was saying.”

Another asked: “You are telling me people hear me talking like a Sim?”

While someone else wrote: “I feel like I understand what he's saying, but I also don't.”

A fourth person said: “This sounds right… but it’s not… ”

Pretty weird, eh?

But aside from sounding like Sim, what have people actually said English speakers sound like?

Voiceover website Voices put together a list of sound qualities foreigners have noted about English speakers, and let's just say it's not particularly complimentary.

What do these two sound like for non-native speakers.
Getty Stock Image

They think English mainly involves:



  • Slurred and garbled sounds
  • Harsh 'r' sounds
  • Overuse of 's', 'sh' and 'ch' sounds
  • Interesting variations in rhythm and inflections
  • Lots of 'ing' sounds at the end of words
  • Dropping of consonants at the beginning and end of words
  • Overemphasis on the beginning of words and underemphasis on the end
  • Open and rolling vowel sounds
  • Soft consonants
  • Flat sounds

Your feelings hurt?

If non-native speakers struggle as it is, they won't be pleased to hear that a 2022 study found the majority of Brits could end up talking like a 'roadman' within the next 100 years.

Words such as 'peng', 'wagwan' and 'bare' are part of a dialect known as 'Multicultural London English' (MLE) that could become the dominant dialect in the UK over the next century.

According to Professor Paul Kerswill of the University of York, Multicultural London English is a dialect born in the British capital in the early 1980s - but traces its roots back to the Windrush generation.

With plenty of younger generations already familiar with the MLE dialect, the study predicts they will keep using it well into adulthood and pass it on to their children - meaning it could eventually become one of the most popular dialects in Britain.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@languagesimp

Topics: Travel, TikTok