Friday, October 18, 2013

Watching Disney in Foreign Languages on Youtube

One of the things that I've always wanted to know is how English and Korean sound to people who don't speak them. It's one of those things that are infinitely fascinating because unless I get amnesia or something to lose my language capabilities, it's something that I can never know.

I think it was in my attempt to answer that question that I, sometime early in freshman year (or perhaps senior year of high school), discovered that there was a treasure trove of Disney musical sequences in foreign languages on Youtube. Ever since then, I've been listening to these things over and over again to the point where I used Youtube converter websites to download them as MP3s so I could listen to them on the go.

I'm not quite sure what makes them so captivating. I think the biggest thing is the pleasure you get from mixing something so familiar with something so indecipherable. If you sat there and listened to a conversation in, say, Turkish, it would be interesting but also frustratingly incomprehensible.

But put the same language in the magic carpet ride sequence from Aladdin, and whatever language is being sung, it becomes immediately understandable because we all know the lyrics and context. That also allows us (or least me) to enjoy the musicality of the language itself. Yeah, it's all foreign to me, but there's a big difference in the ways that Icelandic is impenetrable from Mandarin, and I can relax and try to appreciate those qualities.

It just makes me sad that out of all the languages in the world, I'll probably only end up knowing two of them.

Russian: Part of Your World Reprise from The Little Mermaid

Korean: God Bless The Outcasts from The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Arabic: Beauty and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast

French: Reflection from Mulan

Zulu: I Just Can't Wait To Be King from The Lion King

Portuguese: A Whole New World from Aladdin

Thai: Once Upon A Dream from The Sleeping Beauty

Italian: I Won't Say I'm In Love from Hercules

Hindi: Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid

Turkish: Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas

Icelandic: Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid

German: Go the Distance from Hercules

Japanese: Son of Man from Tarzan

Romanian: Something There from Beauty and the Beast

Swedish: One Jump Ahead Reprise from Aladdin

Cantonese: So This Is Love from Cinderella

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