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March 31, 2008 11:03 AM   Subscribe

FinnishFilter: Can anyone confirm or deny whether this song is being sung in Finnish? (Youtube link) Or, is it any other known human language? Or is he just making it up?

The clip is from the movie Aaltra and has become my favorite rendition of the song Sunny, but I have to know more about it.

A homophonic transcription appears on this page. That page makes some claims too but I dont know how seriously to take them.
posted by vacapinta to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
 
It's in fake-English; i.e., it's sung by a guy who's heard enough English-language songs to be able to toss in "I can," "you can," "fuckin'," and other essential words and phrases, but doesn't actually know the language. It's similar to the effect you'd get if you faked a German song by making heavy use of "schnell," "Schweinehund," "sehr gut," and whatever other bits of German you happened to know. As for Finnish, the second link's "il n'y a pas un mot de cette langue," is correct, there is not a word of Finnish in it.
posted by languagehat at 11:41 AM on March 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


That's not Finnish. It sounds (and reads) like some incredibly bad mix of English with weird quasi-Scandinavian imposed over it. There was a question a few days ago asking to identify some Scandinavian languages, and in light of both of these posts, it should be pointed out that Finnish is not an Indo-European language and thus has no real genetic connection to Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Faroese et all. At all. So if you're hearing something like this from a solely English-speaking perspective and can understand any of it, it's certainly not Finnish!

The singer's name, "Bouli Lanners" wouldn't be Finnish either.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:41 AM on March 31, 2008


and in light of both of these posts, it should be pointed out that Finnish is not an Indo-European language and thus has no real genetic connection to Swedish, Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, Faroese et all

Thanks but no connection assumed here. The Finnish guess comes from the fact that this scene in the movie takes place when our two Belgian heroes visit Finland. I should have made that clearer.

The movie is a comedy so maybe there's some in-joke here about Finns or English that is over my head.
posted by vacapinta at 11:57 AM on March 31, 2008


Dear Vacapinta...the guy's a belgian comedian, for god's sake! The (continental) European singer trying to sound like he's speaking english (especially in the remote countryside) is a kitsch euro staple - which he's obviously mimicking. Google up "yaourt anglais". I believe that's the french slang for this type of thing.

I wish I could transcribe a version of Lennon's Imagine I once heard in a small summer village fest. The muscles in my face were still hurting the next day.

I have a hunch this happens in Mexico too, no?
posted by lucia__is__dada at 12:28 PM on March 31, 2008


Monty Python's "funniest joke in the world" in its German version was more or less the same kind of thing. It has a lot of German words in it, but it doesn't mean anything.
posted by Class Goat at 3:10 PM on March 31, 2008


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