How American English sounds… to an Arabic speaker


I recently came across this video on YouTube of a native Arabic speaker – with no knowledge of the English language – mimicking the sound of spoken American English. Named “Mr John” by his fellow Arabic counterpart who proceeds to ask him questions, the man answers in pure gibberish, but due to the phonemes used throughout the gibberish, in a few instances he does sound like he might be talking English.

He begins every response with “yeah, um…”, which he clearly picked up from hearing American English speakers talking. Through intonation, he does occasionally manage to sound like he’s speaking English.

This clip is somewhat similar to Sqwerl, a short film made by an Australian director demonstrating what English sounds like to people who don’t understand the language.