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.

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Russian: Part of Your World Reprise from The Little Mermaid


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


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Arabic: Beauty and the Beast from Beauty and the Beast


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French: Reflection from Mulan


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


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Portuguese: A Whole New World from Aladdin


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Thai: Once Upon A Dream from The Sleeping Beauty


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


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Hindi: Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid


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Turkish: Colors of the Wind from Pocahontas


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Icelandic: Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid


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German: Go the Distance from Hercules


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Japanese: Son of Man from Tarzan


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Romanian: Something There from Beauty and the Beast


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Swedish: One Jump Ahead Reprise from Aladdin


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Cantonese: So This Is Love from Cinderella



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