A few weeks ago I shared that I’m a big fan of shifting perspective as a means of learning and growing as a human being. In honor of perspective shifting, today I bring you this video of Prisencolinensinainciusol [ˌpri.zɛn.kɔ.lɪ.nɛn.sɪ.nɛn.ˈʧʲu.zəl] by Italian singer/songwriter Adriano Celentano. Listening to this song is an entertaining way to instantly shift your point of view and experience how a non-English speaker might perceive American speakers of English. (Side benefit– it’s also really fun to clean house to.)
…And just in case you’ve been going mad trying to work out the words, rest assured that most of them are complete fabrications on the songwriter’s part. It’s the nonsense nature of these words that actually facilitates this little adventure in shifting perspective. Without having a meaning to assign to each of the spoken words, your mind automatically focuses on the individual components of speech themselves such as phonemes, rhythms, and inflections. And guess what? Your mind will function very similarly when learning a dialect. In order to pick up a dialect, the mind must hear beyond the meaning of the words. It’s really quite amazing when you think about it. What’s even more amazing is that (barring a significant hearing loss) pretty much everyone on the planet can do this. It’s part of the ‘standard equipment package’ of being human.
Hope you enjoyed this little perspective shift! Speaking of shifting, starting next week I will be shifting format so that you will receive one post per week from me rather than two. I came to this decision because recently I’ve noticed that my mailbox is overflowing with great blog posts and newsletters every day. I know it’s been difficult for me to carve out time to thoughtfully read every one of my favorites, so I’m surmising that it’s probably a challenge for you, too. I really want you to have a chance to read every one of my posts, as they are cumulative in nature, so I’m going to give this scheduling change a whirl. This Thursday I will post again, but starting next week you can enjoy Dialect411 once a week every Tuesday.
Joy to you!