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Nebuchadnezzaurus
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:34 pm
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:56 am 
 

Kind of silly question, but I always wanted to know how people whose mother tongue is English felt about bands who were singing in their language, but with shitty grammar? Does it make you cringe or do you not care?

I imagine if the whole world spoke my native language and a lot of foreign bands composed songs with lyrics in it, I would inevitably laugh or cringe at some of the obviously bad grammar.

I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS
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Lord_Of_Diamonds
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:23 pm
Posts: 386
Location: Asheville area, NC, US
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:12 am 
 

English is an incredibly flexible language. (Edit: a lot of that might have to do with lack of case/declensions/genders of nouns). Even with technically incorrect grammar ("there was several cars in the parking lot") it's still easy to grasp meanings. But some stuff is so bad (Drown in Solitude's lyrics come to mind) that you wonder why they bothered to have English lyrics in the first place. Bad grammar is bad grammar in any language.

For me the problem lies mostly in the written lyrics. On this very site I see shit that goes uncorrected like "your bleeding out" and "its covered with sperm, shit, and insects" (no thanks to Torsofuck for that last one). Improper forms of those two words are what pisses me off the most about bad grammar. Lots of other minor things I can let slide, especially in lyrics. I mean, they're lyrics. We're not writing a freakin' APA-formatted essay here.
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Inkshooter
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:55 pm
Posts: 659
Location: Seattle
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 3:18 am 
 

I think it's charming. I never get tired of Immortal's goofy sentences, and with bands like Barbatos that can barely speak English at all, the lyrics are half the fun.

I see little point in getting upset at someone's poor English skills, since they by default speak more languages than I do. A few dozen words of Russian from college doesn't count.
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Raped Christ
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:01 am
Posts: 15
Location: Poland
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:56 am 
 

Nebuchadnezzaurus wrote:
I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS


That's not the author's mistake though, have you read the lyrics?
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_flow
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:31 pm
Posts: 402
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:26 am 
 

I don't care about grammar in songs, but I have another question - why discriminate? I'm not a native speaker and never thought my English was good; but, my goodness, Rob Halford's grammar is appalling. I'm sure it's not only his, but he prides himself on being a lyricist.
Once I found that out, I stopped seeking deep meaning in his lyrics. He said, for example, he's unaware of the meaning of many idioms - he didn't know what "hell bent" meant, he was fascinated to find out and hence wrote the song. I'm sure that's the case with most Priest lyrics.

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lordcatfish
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:44 pm
Posts: 669
Location: United Kingdom
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:24 am 
 

It doesn't bother me much at all. Quality of lyrics doesn't matter too much to me, as long as the song sounds good then I can overlook mistakes. I'm probably unaware of many instances in extreme metal, as I'll rarely look up the lyrics.

The only thing I can think of that irks me a little is double negatives (first example I can think of is non metal - Kid Rock in "All Summer Long" with the line 'we didn't have no Internet'), but that's something native speakers do as well.
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Gravetemplar
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:08 am
Posts: 1634
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:35 am 
 

I know as a Spanish native speaker that it bothers me a lot when a band clearly doesn't know how to write lyrics in Spanish. I can't stand Volahn or Corrupted. I honestly can't take them seriously because of how goofy and awful their lyrics are.

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_flow
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:31 pm
Posts: 402
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:50 am 
 

I find Fernando Ribeiro's grammatical errors and pronunciation charming.
Same with Samael.

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Nebuchadnezzaurus
Mallcore Kid

Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:34 pm
Posts: 9
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:07 am 
 

Inkshooter wrote:
I think it's charming. I never get tired of Immortal's goofy sentences

Lol same. Love it. "Withstand the Fall of Time", what the hell does that even mean, but never bothered me, somehow fitting.
Raped Christ wrote:
That's not the author's mistake though, have you read the lyrics?

In fact I have, he talks about how he's all of them at once. I just used it as an (infamous) example, though erroneous.
_flow wrote:
I'm not a native speaker and never thought my English was good

Reading your Rob Halford article I wouldn't think so! Yes, strangely enough not all native speakers even have good command of their own language. Still, they by definition have a deep familiarity with it that allows for certain things, such as detecting the subtlest of accents.
Gravetemplar wrote:
I know as a Spanish native speaker that it bothers me a lot when a band clearly doesn't know how to write lyrics in Spanish. I can't stand Volahn or Corrupted. I honestly can't take them seriously because of how goofy and awful their lyrics are.

It's actually a whole separate topic (with which I am almost completely unfamiliar, unfortunately), how a lyricist/vocalist might go for a foreign language that is NOT English. I immediately want to know the reason why they would do that.
And good GOD is it hard to reply to multiple people at once here. I spent like 10 minutes editing this.
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_flow
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:31 pm
Posts: 402
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:25 am 
 

Thanks for the compliment on my English. I love the language so much, I think and even write poetry in English.
Regarding this...
Quote:
Yes, strangely enough not all native speakers even have good command of their own language. Still, they by definition have a deep familiarity with it

I'm not so sure. There's an aggressive illiteracy everywhere lately, which shows how detached from language many are. You're right they can naturally detect accents - at the same time, they'll find it difficult to dress even a simple thought in words. Ungrammatical native speakers. They have an inborn language that works through them, but no intellectual effort and reflection.

On the topic of lyrics, they obviously require a great deal of reflection. Hence, I don't mind the slightly irregular English of bands like Samael who have profound and complex lyrics. Halford on the other hand is grammatical in his lyrics at least, but his thoughts are far from disciplined and the deep emotional insights seem more of a subconscious "accident".
Here's one example. "Cleanse remorse and doubt" has become something of a motto to me, but what the heck is "forbidden morals" and "smother abnormality"...
I'm leaving "it's" because that's how Rob spells a possessive pronoun.

Grind forbidden morals to a pulp inside you mouth
Lick the lips of hypocrisy and cleanse remorse and doubt
Hang upon a thread of flesh that hooks you to it's sling
Smother abnormality while corrupting everything

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jimbies
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:52 pm
Posts: 2465
Location: Ontario, Canada
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:09 am 
 

The first one that came to mind for me was "I Want Out" by Helloween. While I absolutely love this song, the line "...In the end of it, none of us is right..." kind of takes me out of it for a second. But yeah, most times, it doesn't bother me at all.

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_flow
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:31 pm
Posts: 402
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:41 am 
 

A syntax error will obviously be irritable, but what really stands out in vocal delivery is pronunciation. Samael (can't hide my love for them) make that an advantage - French accent can't be more "black metal", and mispronouncing the words and stressing all the wrong syllables adds fuel. See how it works in this very seductive song:


Moonspell on the other hand can be annoying. The way Ribeiro pronounces "southern" at 2:47:


I also recall Tom Warrior consistently pronouncing "satanae" the way the word is written - despite pretending to be some kind of a linguistic wizard.:)

Scandinavians, however, are more fluent lyricists than native speakers.

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tomcat_ha
Minister of Boiling Water

Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:05 am
Posts: 5085
Location: Netherlands
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:13 am 
 

Not a native speaker but i love Engrish. Engrish is great on 2 levels, its funny and also makes a band feel more fanatic. Just look at the the classic example for example.

"If you are a false don't entry" vs "If you are a poseur, stay out"

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schizoid
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2004 8:35 am
Posts: 1565
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:14 am 
 

It's not a biggie, but hearing th pronounced as d makes me twitch a little everytime.
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BastardHead
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:37 am 
 

If I'm not mistaken, English is one of the hardest languages to learn fully properly outside of like Mandarin Chinese but since basically all of Europe speaks it we just don't really think about it. So essentially most native English speakers use poor grammar all the time. I have probably written and spoken well over millions of sentences that ended with a preposition and this is the only language I know.

So yeah, I don't really care if some ESL lyricist uses the language incorrectly. Brilliantly fluid and poetic lyrics can always be a bonus but I do not care one iota that Persuader says "fierceful" and pronounces "sword" and "dark" like "suward" and "dork". Hell, mangled pronunciations are often the most charming parts of great bands. Blind Guardian pronouncing "chamber" and "shammah" and Running Wild pronouncing "phenomenon" like "faynomaynyon" fuckin' rules.
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AndySlayer
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2007 5:57 pm
Posts: 168
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:08 am 
 

_flow wrote:
I also recall Tom Warrior consistently pronouncing "satanae" the way the word is written - despite pretending to be some kind of a linguistic wizard.:)


As opposed to? It's fine in terms of Classical Latin.

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LegendMaker
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 11:24 am
Posts: 1804
Location: France
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:18 am 
 

_flow wrote:
Rob Halford [...] he didn't know what "hell bent" meant, he was fascinated to find out and hence wrote the song. I'm sure that's the case with most Priest lyrics.

But Tipton wrote that?
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waiguoren
Veteran

Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:23 am
Posts: 2680
Location: Umeå, Sweden
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 10:43 am 
 

Depends on when the band wrote the song/lyrics. Pre-internet it's forgivable, post-internet not so much. English isn't a hard language, there aren't even any genders assigned to the nouns, and it's absolutely everywhere making it even easier to learn. In my experience the only people who say English is hard are people who only speak English.

And rather mangled English from a non-native speaker than something from native speakers like, oh, Anthrax I guess:

"Think - before you speak
Or suffer for your words
Learn, to give respect
That others, give to you
AAAAAAAAAAAh, The best you can do"

That's just garbage.
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DoomMetalAlchemist
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 6:10 am
Posts: 1866
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:13 am 
 

When I was first getting into Candlemass, the line from Under the Oak, "Traces of mankind, sweeped out, by the hands of our lord," bugged me, because there is no such word as "sweeped," we use "swept" instead. But as time went on, it stopped bugging me, as that whole passage is really fantastic.

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299796kms
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:28 pm
Posts: 412
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:19 am 
 

I'm a grammar nazi so it does grind my gears, but I also make allowances for bands where English is not their first language. What really bothers me are bands with typos in their name (def lepard, linkin park, etc).
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CrippledLucifer
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 5:08 am
Posts: 613
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 11:58 am 
 

Surely it's not a typo if it's intentional?

Ed: pretty sure I've seen album titles and even band names which did look like unintentional misspellings, but those two particularly don't bug me because they were most probably on purpose (I hope).
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MetlaNZ
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:45 pm
Posts: 305
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:00 pm 
 

Sepultura Beneath the Remains and a song like Inner Self, I’m pretty damn sure no native English speaker would pen lyrics like that. They bugged me initially but I quickly came to love it. Wouldn’t change a word. Same goes for Celtic Frost, Sodom, Kreator and Destruction. They come at the language from different angles, sometimes with quite poetic results.

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Pitiless Wanderer
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 7:34 pm
Posts: 1157
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:17 pm 
 

Almost very single foreign band I listen to is from Europe. I can't think of a single one of them that uses chopped or faulty English in their songs despite the fact that the band members, when they interview, speak broken English. They must run lyrics by a translation professional. Yeah, the only thing I've noticed with non-native English speaking frontmen is some mispronunciation. And honestly, who cares about that? I actually it adds to the song - gives it a sense of exoticism.

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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
Posts: 8223
Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:29 pm 
 

I'm mostly okay with mispronunciations. And grammar is hard if you only hear the language on the radio, very rarely.
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MRmehman
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:34 pm
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Location: Painted World of Ariamis
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:04 pm 
 

I don't care at all. Bulldozer will always be one of my favourite bands and their lyrics sound like they were written in Italian and hastily copied down into English. Mispronunciations, mistakes and other little strange bits in music are very endearing to me and I certainly can't ever think of a time when they've hurt my listening experience.
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dontrushurshot
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:52 pm
Posts: 138
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 8:45 pm 
 

Love it!

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LycanthropeMoon
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:53 pm
Posts: 811
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:22 am 
 

Nebuchadnezzaurus wrote:
Inkshooter wrote:
I think it's charming. I never get tired of Immortal's goofy sentences

Lol same. Love it. "Withstand the Fall of Time", what the hell does that even mean, but never bothered me, somehow fitting.

TRAGEDIES BLOWS AT HORIZON!

But yeah, it doesn't really bother me. I pretty much know to expect awkward grammar from metal bands that hail from countries where English isn't a first language.

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blackmantram
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:51 pm
Posts: 891
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:05 am 
 

As a native spanish speaker I personally hate the way latinos pronounce words starting with "s".
Infernal from Colombia is one of my fav local bands, but I can't stand it when they say "finding my space" in this track: https://youtu.be/9Bz6ZwMItZM?t=2058

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KrigareTjovane
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:06 am
Posts: 340
Location: The Shadow Mountains 1983 A.D.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:53 am 
 

I love bad English grammar in songs because the lyrics are the least important part of listening to music for me, and anytime things are unintentionally funny I get a kick out of it whereas normally I wouldn't care about the lyrics at all. More often than not it adds charm.

Ironically I love taking hours and hours crafting competent lyrics and I do it for money, so there's a definite disconnect between the art I consume and the art I help create.

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Gravetemplar
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:08 am
Posts: 1634
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:18 am 
 

BastardHead wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, English is one of the hardest languages to learn fully properly outside of like Mandarin Chinese but since basically all of Europe speaks it we just don't really think about it. So essentially most native English speakers use poor grammar all the time. I have probably written and spoken well over millions of sentences that ended with a preposition and this is the only language I know.

Wait, isn't it the other way around? I've studied Spanish, French and English and English was clearly the easiest one to learn. French on the other hand was incredibly hard and I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to learn all the verbs for a non Spanish speaker. English on the other hand has a pretty easy grammar and it's based on logic.

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Xlxlx
Argentinian Asado Supremacy

Joined: Sat Dec 24, 2011 2:16 pm
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Location: Argentina
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:52 am 
 

I think English isn't really a difficult language at all, but it is true, at least in my experience, that Hispanic native speakers tend to have a bit of trouble grasping the phonetic inconsistencies of the language. Knowing that vowels might not sound the same depending on the word throws a lot of them off their balance.
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akb88
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2019 5:28 pm
Posts: 47
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:10 am 
 

Not a native English speaker and grammar mistakes in lyrics don't bother me and nothing I pay attention to. However with that being said, something that does bother me a bit and can take me out of the music for a bit is terrible mispronounciation.
The first two examples I immediately thought of is Tarja singing "A deed world" instead of "dead" in Planet Hell and then Tom Angelripper yelling out "Eppy tooom" instead of Epitome in "Epitome of Torture".

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BastardHead
Worse than Stalin

Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 7:53 pm
Posts: 9887
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 9:17 am 
 

Gravetemplar wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, English is one of the hardest languages to learn fully properly outside of like Mandarin Chinese but since basically all of Europe speaks it we just don't really think about it. So essentially most native English speakers use poor grammar all the time. I have probably written and spoken well over millions of sentences that ended with a preposition and this is the only language I know.

Wait, isn't it the other way around? I've studied Spanish, French and English and English was clearly the easiest one to learn. French on the other hand was incredibly hard and I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to learn all the verbs for a non Spanish speaker. English on the other hand has a pretty easy grammar and it's based on logic.


Yeah I'm going off a memory of what I was told when I was like ten and never really questioned in the ensuing twenty years, lol. Maybe what I'm thinking of has more to do with spelling and pronunciation, which is definitely the result of English being something of a frankenlanguage, but you're right that the grammar itself is pretty simple. Having to deal with gendered verbs for my day to day speech would drive me bonkers.
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Eric Olthwaite

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:53 am
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Location: York, North Yorkshire
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:25 pm 
 

I love it. I even love native English speakers mangling their own language (see: the first two Deicide albums, wherein Bent Glenton invents a whole array of abstract nouns and verbs that just don't exist).


BLASPHEMATE ME!
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Gravetemplar
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:08 am
Posts: 1634
Location: Antarctica
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 1:29 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Gravetemplar wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, English is one of the hardest languages to learn fully properly outside of like Mandarin Chinese but since basically all of Europe speaks it we just don't really think about it. So essentially most native English speakers use poor grammar all the time. I have probably written and spoken well over millions of sentences that ended with a preposition and this is the only language I know.

Wait, isn't it the other way around? I've studied Spanish, French and English and English was clearly the easiest one to learn. French on the other hand was incredibly hard and I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to learn all the verbs for a non Spanish speaker. English on the other hand has a pretty easy grammar and it's based on logic.


Yeah I'm going off a memory of what I was told when I was like ten and never really questioned in the ensuing twenty years, lol. Maybe what I'm thinking of has more to do with spelling and pronunciation, which is definitely the result of English being something of a frankenlanguage, but you're right that the grammar itself is pretty simple. Having to deal with gendered verbs for my day to day speech would drive me bonkers.

Yeah, I agree the English pronunciation can be a bit tricky but seriously, fuck French.

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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 1908
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:27 pm 
 

Nebuchadnezzaurus wrote:
I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS


This is a bad example though. I can't get my hands on the text that explains this, but the use of wizards plural is made on purpose. Kind of like an evil figure like Sauron would be "the nazguls". He is them as they follow his will completely and blindly.

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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 1908
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 3:37 pm 
 

BastardHead wrote:
Gravetemplar wrote:
BastardHead wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, English is one of the hardest languages to learn fully properly outside of like Mandarin Chinese but since basically all of Europe speaks it we just don't really think about it. So essentially most native English speakers use poor grammar all the time. I have probably written and spoken well over millions of sentences that ended with a preposition and this is the only language I know.

Wait, isn't it the other way around? I've studied Spanish, French and English and English was clearly the easiest one to learn. French on the other hand was incredibly hard and I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it must be to learn all the verbs for a non Spanish speaker. English on the other hand has a pretty easy grammar and it's based on logic.


Yeah I'm going off a memory of what I was told when I was like ten and never really questioned in the ensuing twenty years, lol. Maybe what I'm thinking of has more to do with spelling and pronunciation, which is definitely the result of English being something of a frankenlanguage, but you're right that the grammar itself is pretty simple. Having to deal with gendered verbs for my day to day speech would drive me bonkers.


French is actually way harder than English. So is Spanish. We have tons of exceptions and our words are all gendered. One of my colleges earlier this week was talking about the whims of the French language, and I just had to agree, haha. He was going through a text written by an English native speaker. Talking about Spring, she wrote "en printemps", which is wrong. You have to say "au printemps", but for all the other seasons, the wording would have worked "en été", "en automne", "en hiver", but it is "au printemps". The reasoning behind this is that you can "link" the "n" to the other words "nété", "nautomne", "niver" (the h is silent), but you can't link "n" to the "pr" sound at the beginning of printemps, so it doesn't work. Haha! Learning French as a second langage must be a pain in the ass. :lol:

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lord_ghengis
Still Standing After 38 Beers... hic

Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:31 pm
Posts: 5591
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:34 pm 
 

I'm totally fine with bad English and bad grammar, but weird ass pronunciation can put me off. Like I was listening to War Pigs the other day and the dude has a great voice, but I found his weird inflections more distracting than endearing.
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TheLoneForest
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 3:16 pm
Posts: 340
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:28 pm 
 

Sometimes it's charming like with Skepticism's lyrics, they come off super cryptic and vague and other times it's just cringe

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gabber
Metalhead

Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 11:57 pm
Posts: 433
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:06 am 
 

The first three or so Blind Guardian albums - yeah, the lyrics are kind of hard to read for a native English speaker. I cry big blood tears like an anti-bard every time I read them.
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