Ask a Korean! Wiki: Pleasing to Korean Ear?

Dear Korean,

When I first saw Korean written, I thought it looked very cool; sleek and modern, I guess. And then when I heard it spoken, it sounded very harsh to me. In addition to English, I speak Hebrew, and whenever I ask other Americans what they think of the sound, they often reply that it sounds like a mixture of Arabic, French, and sometimes Russian. I think this is a pretty fair assessment. But, like my sentiments with spoken Korean, most of the people rated Hebrew low on the "pleasing to the ear" scale.

As an over-generalization, many Americans, myself included, like the general sound of languages like French and Italian, and dislike the sound of languages like Chinese and German. To me personally, when it comes to English and Hebrew, I have virtually no opinion one way or the other. They both sound normal to me. I don't see a pattern in terms of country of origin informing language preference, and so I was wondering what the Korean's perspective on this was. Surely, Koreans must find certain languages pleasing to the ear and others not, right? What does the "average Korean" think of some of the languages out there.

Sort of a weird question, but it was something I am always interested to find out.

Mr. Inaudible

As to the Korean himself, he has no particular feeling toward how Korean or American English sounds. Japanese, European Spanish, Italian and Cantonese sound quite pleasant, while Mandarin Chinese, Caribbean/South American Spanish, Hindi and German are little tough on the ear. The Korean's absolute favorite "language sound" is probably South African English, spoken with Xhosa accent.

The Korean is not certain if "pleasing to the ear" thing depends on the nationality, but why not ask around? Readers, have your say. What is your nationality, and what languages do you like/dislike to hear?

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