Why does Italian sound like singing?
The Italian language is very vowel centered and those vowels tend to be pronounced in the long, not short, pronunciations. This makes it ideal for singing, because you can put a long melodic line on a single vowel sound; you can't do that with consonants so much.
The vowels are pure, each needing a different mouth shape, but none is tight, tense or nasalised, so they allow for the good singer's loose jaw and low tongue. The pronunciations are consistent, and no rule- or exception-learning are required.
The Romance languages, French, Italian, and Spanish, take a lead when people talk about melodious language – the music-like effects in the language (a.k.a., phonetic chill). On the other end of the melodiousness spectrum are German and Arabic that are often considered sounding harsh and un-attractive.
According to Ethnologue, lexical similarity is 89% with French, 87% with Catalan, 85% with Sardinian, 82% with Spanish, 80% with Portuguese, 78% with Ladin, 77% with Romanian. Estimates may differ according to sources.
Some time ago I would have been proud to hear such question. Wow, Romanian sounds like Italian, the daughter of Latin spoken in Rome…
It's partly that many of the distinctive characteristics of an accent aren't reproduced well when you sing. Vowel sounds get stretched, and the precise articulation of the consonants is lost. The result is a neutral baseline accent that sounds vaguely American.
Italian tends to require more words than a more concise language like English (e.g., compare the instruction manual with both English and Italian translations). To maintain the same speed of actual information transfer, Italian speakers speed up.
The habit of talking with one's hands in Italy has been reported to address and reinforce the meaning of expressions. An iconic symbol of Italian gesture is the movement of the hand with an up-down activity. Under normal conversation, gesturing helps in delivering the meaning and receiving information.
Chinese is a beautiful and old language in the world. But why did I say Chinese is the worst language to sing in? Because it is a tonal language. If your native language isn't English than English is by far one of the hardest languages to sing in, French is right up there with English as well.
FRENCH – MOST BEAUTIFUL SPOKEN LANGUAGE
With its unpronounceable “r”, its nasal vowel sounds “en”, “in”, “un” and melodious intonation, it sounds extremely musical to the non-native ear.
What is the easiest language to sing in?
Indeed, Italian and Spanish don't have any nasal vowels. Their vowels are easier to pronounce and easier to project. In short, they're simpler and therefore more sonorous. It's no wonder opera was born in Italy!
Spanish - officially, Castellano - traces its origins to the late X century (probably ~1000 AD), when the first known “Spanish” text was written, the Glosas Emilianenses. Italian's first written record also dates from the X century, being slightly older: the Placiti Cassinesi, written in 960–963.
To sum up, while Italian is easier in terms of pronunciation, Spanish is simpler in terms of grammar. It seems this Italian vs Spanish thing is not as easy as we thought it would be. If you speak English, Spanish will be definitively easier than Italian for you because there are more similarities.
It is generally possible to tell if someone is speaking Italian or just singing a song in Italian by listening to the way they are pronouncing the words and the rhythm of their speech or singing. Italian is a Romance language and has a distinct accent and rhythm that can be distinguished from other languages.
According to many sources, Italian is the closest language to Latin in terms of vocabulary. According to the Ethnologue, Lexical similarity is 89% with French, 87% with Catalan, 85% with Sardinian, 82% with Spanish, 80% with Portuguese, 78% with Ladin, 77% with Romanian.
In terms of grammar it is more similar to french and in terms of vocabulary it's similar to both. The southern dialects of Italian share more similarities to Spanish. It makes sense that Italian shares a lot in common with both Spanish and French given the history of the Roman Empire and Latin Language.
But you'll probably find that Italian is slightly easier than French. Grammar-wise, they're fairly similar in complexity. Most of this discrepancy goes back to French pronunciation being less phonetic than Italian, but that also depends on what kind of learner you are.
An article in Mental Floss cites linguist David Crystal's explanation, which is that, “a song's melody cancels out the intonations of speech, followed by the beat of the music canceling out the rhythm of speech.” Thus, many of the features that give away your speaking accent are not possible to reproduce when you're ...
In singing, syllables are lengthened, air flow is increased, articulation is less precise. Thus we get a more generic, neutralised accent that happens to share features with American varieties of English. Socially, there is an expectation (based on musical history) that popular music will be sung this way.
I remember seeing an interview with Elton John a while ago and the interviewer asked him why he sings with an American accent. He said that he grew up listening to early American rock and roll records like Chuck Berry and Elvis and when he began singing he would imitate them.
Who speaks faster Spanish or Italian?
One 2011 study from the Université de Lyon looked at 7 languages, which reported the order as Japanese (7.84 syllables per second), Spanish (7.82), French (7.18), Italian (6.99), English (6.19), German (5.97) and Mandarin (5.18).
Yes, Some Languages Are Faster Than Others
As we've already mentioned, Japanese is considered the fastest language in the world. It is always mentioned as the first on the list. So, here are 6 of the fastest spoken languages in the world, based on the average number of syllables spoken per second (SPS):
Spoken Sardo presents a challenge due to the different intonation and sound. But, if you speak Italian already, you can often understand written Sardo reasonably well.
The state of New York has the largest population of Italian Americans, at 3.1 million people.
Southern Italians are closest to the modern Greeks, while the Northern Italians are closest to the Spaniards and Southern French.