What foreign language sounds the most smooth and/or pleasant to you?

For me, it’s Cantonese, Hong Kong accent to be specific. I think it’s because I’ve been watching Hong Kong movies (with subtitles, can’t really understand anything but English) for almost 30 years. Ironically, I heard it spoken at a very young age (probably 4 or 5), because the landlords/upstairs neighbors of the house I grew up in (until I was 13) were from Hong Kong and like many thought it was rough and abrupt.

Even though I’m Japanese/Okinawan and used to hearing Japanese spoken by my grandparents and my parents to my grandparents, I don’t find it as pleasant as Cantonese. I suspect there may be a negative bias because my parents would speak in Japanese when they didn’t want me to understand their private conversation. Should have fooled them and learned it on the sly. :stuck_out_tongue: Though that wouldn’t have completely worked since they’d throw a few Okinawan words and phrases into their conversation.

Spanish. Probably just because I hear it so much (I live a vastly Hispanic neighborhood).

Far eastern languages sound too choppy to my western ears to be called smooth or pleasant, so it probably has a lot to do with culture. I expect most western languages would sound choppy to East Asians. Even if it was Marlene Dietrich singing “Bitte Geh Nicht Fort”.

I’ll go with Portuguese. When I hear Brazilians speak it sounds a bit like Spanish with the rough edges rounded off, or maybe Spanish in a French accent. Russian always seems pretty smooth too.

Italian and Finnish.

By far, Spanish is my favorite to hear.

I agree with Spanish. As well as sounding aesthetically beautiful, I think some Spanish accents sound incredibly sexy (in both men and women).

Sorry OP, I think Cantonese has an ugly jarring sound. Mandarin is much more elegant.

Portuguese, at least Brazilian Portuguese. I hear (and speak) Spanish every day, but Brazilian Portuguese has a musical lilting quality lacking in Spanish. (I understand that Peninsular Portuguese is harsher, although I am not personally familiar with it.)

Ben detto!
Hyvin puhuttu!
Those are the ones I was going to say. I have crafted the phonology of my Ural-Altaic conlang to sound approximately like a combination of Finnish and Italian.

Also, Swahili is particularly easy on the ears.

I like Arabic, Greek and Neapolitan.

Sounds great, I’d love to hear it !

French and Italian.

Nobody likes Turkish? Or Tahitian?

IMHO if I know a language, I am not really paying particular attention to what it “sounds like”, rather to what someone is saying (which could be sublimely beautiful poetry or the most degenerate street vernacular). Of course, the poet already takes into consideration what the language sounds like.

ETA I too like Italian. Also Classical Latin, though I do not get to hear the last one very often.


I find the Jamaican accent (not really a different language) very pleasing. I am used to Thai speakers so Chinese sounds very chopped up to me.


Pretty much any which has few vowel sounds and a ratio of vowels-to-consonants similar to that of northern Spanish (there are dialects of Spanish which grate really badly). Another way to say that: any that seem like they’d be easy for me to pronounce (I may be missing subtleties along the lines of “omg, those are two totally different O sounds!”). Among those which I encounter occasionally but not very often, Greek apparently gave its cadence to northern Spanish; Finnish and Maori are pleasant as well.

This morning there was someone writing a language I didn’t know in an MMO; I thought “that one looks like it will sound nice”. I only saw a few sentences so no idea how representative the traits I noticed would be of the general language. Unca Google said it was Samoan (the translation blew goats quite thoroughly, it seemed to have problems telling verbs and nouns apart).

I find Tahitian more pleasant than other Polynesian languages, but suspect a part of that is linked to the romanticism of Tahiti. :smiley:

It’s not a foreign language per se but I have a friend from the English town of Stockton-On-Tees and his accent is my favorite of any accent of spoken English that I’ve ever heard in my life. The best description I could give of it would be that it sounds like the British version of a stereotypical California stoner. I know that’s a ridiculous description but it actually is very pleasant on the ears, it’s very laid back sounding with a kind of easy, soft spoken authority. How much of this is down to the individual’s idiosyncracies of speech and how much is due to the accent, I am not certain, because I don’t know others from Stockton-On-Tees.

By far the most pleasant foreign language to me is Italian.

Finnish. It sounds lush and sensual and rich and seems to fill the mouth and roll around the tongue. The laminal or half-dark consonants, the wonderful diphthongs. Löyly. Yöpuu.

No love for Africa? I like Zulu. Chichewa is pretty too, but maybe a few too many z sounds.

I find French very attractive, especially when spoken by a flirty Frenchwoman.:smiley: