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Abba's English Options
coag
Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2018 2:32:49 PM

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Hello all,

I wonder how does English in Abba's songs sound to native English speakers.
Can native English speakers notice, from Abba's songs, that it's nonnative English speakers singing?
Sarrriesfan
Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2018 2:46:49 PM

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Location: Luton, England, United Kingdom
I certainly can there are a few phrases that are not quite right and the inflections of certain words are wrong, but they are very good.

I lack the imagination for a witty signature.
Wilmar (USA)
Posted: Sunday, September 2, 2018 8:41:24 PM

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Their non-native-English sound is very pleasing to listen to.
crosswired
Posted: Monday, September 3, 2018 12:36:05 AM

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I agree. I doubt anyone would have known if the backstory wasn't told.
What is amazing is that English is not the only language they sang phonetically.
thar
Posted: Monday, September 3, 2018 4:26:11 PM

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As well as the common effect of singing that works for everyone, it is not too hard for Scandinavians to have a good English accent for singing. Also since the language structure is similar, you don't make too many mistakes with stress or intonation.
Only when those people try to speak English can you hear the different vowel sounds and some consonants (in the case of Icelanders no matter how fluent you get you never lose the sibilant esses).
The songwriting is something else, of course - and I don't know the songs well enough to be able to say how natural they sound.
But the feel for the song is not that different.

eg, auditions for The Voice Iceland are not trained singers pr language students but they can mostly sing a song in a way you would be hard pressed to say it wasn't a native English speaker.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pc5xztzCWIg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qeuu4pq0M3g&index=2&list=PLn8pI-opn_e4DWCJ-CmN9uJ2wiHDN5n-N

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3aN36dQ3b0
could you tell, without the giveaway names?
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