What English Sounds Like to Non-English Speakers


by Jenny Morrill

Skwerl, a short film by Brian Fairbairn and Karl Eccleston, attempts to show the English language through the ears of non-English speakers. Throughout the film you can make out certain words you know, but the majority of the dialogue is incomprehensible.

Fairbairn and Eccleston added the transcript of the film to their website. It is mostly made up of real English words, but in a nonsensical order that is riddled with spelling and pronunciation errors. For anyone who has attempted to learn a foreign language, it's an incredibly realistic illustration of the frustration felt by language learners. As a native English speaker, all I can really say with any confidence in another language is "I am a trousers" in French.