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Rapping rapid-fire rhymes sounds like gibberish to people who don't speak English.

Listening to someone speak a language you don't know can be a trippy experience. You can glean a bit from someone's tone of voice and maybe pick out a few words here and there, but otherwise the sounds that are coming out of their mouth are meaningless. And yet, most of us are able to figure out what language someone is speaking if we're even just a little bit familiar with it. We know what Spanish and French and Chinese sound like, and could easily differentiate between people speaking those languages even we barely even know any words in those languages.

But what about someone rapid-fire rhyming? If you've ever wondered what English rapping sounds like to non-English speakers, have we got a treat for you.

Italian singer Adriano Celentano proved with his 1972 pop song, "Prisencolinensinainciusol," that you don't have to sing in English to sound like you are. And now, YouTube creator and comedic musician Daniel Thrasher has done the same thing, only with rap music.


The song is called "IGOWALLAH (ft. Hoodie Guy)" and according to people in the comments who have experienced learning English, it's spot on—right down to being able to pick out a few actual words here and there.

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He even listed all of the lyrics in the caption of the YouTube video. It's even a real song on Spotify—and the lyrics are listed there, too.

Imagine having to learn lyrics like this:

Menku. Slemper with flango bajeegin. When you firspepple on a reemstrap, dredju mether wanna gubby?

Many of the more than 34,000 comments on the video confirmed that he nailed it.

"The 'okays' being understandable is incredibly real considering okay is a pretty much universal word. Just goes to show the attention to detail."

"As a non native English speaker this speaks to my childhood. Never thought I'd hear this language ever again but here we are."

"I showed this to my non English speaking aunt and she said, "you know I don't speak English, why are you asking me what they are saying?"

"Being able to say not actual words, but actually able to make it sound like it isn’t just slurred together, takes actual skill."

"It’s actually impressive how well this man can speak gibberish."

"As a non-English speaker, I can confirm that this is exactly what rap sounds like."

"The fact that he randomly sings in Spanish just once makes it so much more accurate."

Other people really liked the song itself.

"This song is proof that even when the lyrics are Gibberish, a catchy beat makes all the difference."

"I’m not sure why but every few days I come back to this video for no apparent reason it’s weirdly a good song."

"This is how you know someone puts effort into their videos, they literally rehearsed this, actually memorised the lyrics, dude did everything that it takes to make a real song and he proudly did so. 100/10 music artist dude here."

"Why does this hit SO HARD."

If this is your first introduction to Daniel Thrasher, you've got a whole world of incredibly impressive musical comedy to discover. You can find him on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

In a press conference Aug. 2, President Trump announced his support for a new immigration system that would "favor applicants who speak English."

Photo by Jim Watson/Getty Images.

And not a moment too soon.


It's high time foreigners stop coming here with their funny accents, broken sentences, and inability to read the complete works of Marcel Proust, mucking things up for the rest of us.

Naysayers, of course, will note that — regardless of their English skills — immigrants are notstealing American jobs; they're simply doing different ones. And that they commit crime at lower rates than native born Americans. And that Proust is French.

But, really, that's all besides Trump's point, which is that this is America. We speak English, and damn it, we speak English in America.

"But what," the naysayers may continue naysaying, "about all the myriad diverse, essential contributions from non-native-English-speaking immigrants to our national economy, culture, and idea throughout history that have shaped and continue to shape our way of life?"

Simple.

Don't need 'em!

1. Who really needs to Google anything ever?

Douchey glasses aside, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was born in Russia, speaking Russian. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

2. Or look anything up on Yahoo. Who needs web search these days?

[rebelmouse-image 19474051 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="Jerry Yang reportedly only knew one word of English when he moved to the U.S. in 1968. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images." expand=1]Jerry Yang reportedly only knew one word of English when he moved to the U.S. in 1968. Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

3. The Pulitzer Prize? Named after a German-speaking immigrant? No big. Don't need an award for fake news anyway.

[rebelmouse-image 19474052 dam="1" original_size="700x899" caption="Lookin' at you, Joey Pulitzer. Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images." expand=1]Lookin' at you, Joey Pulitzer. Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

4. Speaking of German-speaking immigrants, we could also take or leave the atomic bomb, to be honest.

I'm sure everything would have been fine if pioneering nuclear physicist Albert Einstein had stayed in Germany. Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

5. And blue jeans.

[rebelmouse-image 19474054 dam="1" original_size="700x502" caption="Levi Strauss spoke German and invented America's pant. Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr." expand=1]Levi Strauss spoke German and invented America's pant. Photo by Mike Mozart/Flickr.

6. Definitely wouldn't be too tragic to lose the entire English-language filmography of Antonio Banderas.

[rebelmouse-image 19474055 dam="1" original_size="700x898" caption="Banderas learned his lines phonetically when starting out in Hollywood. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images." expand=1]Banderas learned his lines phonetically when starting out in Hollywood. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

7. Or "That 70s Show," "Family Guy," and all those weirdly sensual Jim Beam commercials.

[rebelmouse-image 19474056 dam="1" original_size="700x428" caption="Mila Kunis moved to the U.S. from Ukraine and learned English during her first year in school. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images." expand=1]Mila Kunis moved to the U.S. from Ukraine and learned English during her first year in school. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

8. And we could easily do with out all 137 Terminator movies — and eight years of oversight for our largest state economy — too.

[rebelmouse-image 19474057 dam="1" original_size="700x575" caption="Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Austrian musculature spoke only "a little English" when they arrived here in 1968. Photo by AFP/Getty Images." expand=1]Arnold Schwarzenegger and his Austrian musculature spoke only "a little English" when they arrived here in 1968. Photo by AFP/Getty Images.

9. "God Bless America" is really an overrated song that we don't need.

[rebelmouse-image 19474058 dam="1" original_size="700x535" caption="Russian-born Irving Berlin also wrote "White Christmas," which is also overrated. Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images." expand=1]Russian-born Irving Berlin also wrote "White Christmas," which is also overrated. Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images.

10. Come to think of it, so is "Jump."

Eddie Van Halen is Dutch! Who knew? Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

11. And Budweiser beer isn't iconically American at all (regardless of how it tastes).

[rebelmouse-image 19474060 dam="1" original_size="700x525" caption="That goopy Super Bowl ad was right about Adolphus Busch trudging from Germany to the U.S. to invent the world's most medium beer. Photo by Dorisall/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]That goopy Super Bowl ad was right about Adolphus Busch trudging from Germany to the U.S. to invent the world's most medium beer. Photo by Dorisall/Wikimedia Commons.

12. A combined 3,060 singles, doubles, triples, and home runs over 16 years playing America's pastime? Take it or leave it.

[rebelmouse-image 19474061 dam="1" original_size="700x585" caption="Ichiro Suzuki only studied English through middle school in Japan, and learned to speak fluently once he arrived in the U.S. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images." expand=1]Ichiro Suzuki only studied English through middle school in Japan, and learned to speak fluently once he arrived in the U.S. Photo by Otto Greule Jr./Getty Images.

13. The most devastating cut-fastball in the Major League history? That stays in Panama, and really, who cares?

[rebelmouse-image 19474062 dam="1" original_size="700x481" caption="Mariano Rivera didn't speak a word of English and had never flown before coming to pitch for the Yankees in 1990. Photo by Jeff Carlick/Getty Images." expand=1]Mariano Rivera didn't speak a word of English and had never flown before coming to pitch for the Yankees in 1990. Photo by Jeff Carlick/Getty Images.

14. No one, that's who. Nor should anyone care about 608 gloriously struck home runs.

[rebelmouse-image 19474063 dam="1" original_size="700x463" caption="Albert Pujols moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 16 and learned English in high school. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images." expand=1]Albert Pujols moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic when he was 16 and learned English in high school. Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.

15. Come to think of it, the accomplishments of, like, 30% of all baseball players and the countless hours of bonding opportunities for parents and kids from Pacific Northwest to Miami they provide are just not that essential, honestly.

David Ortiz, Masahiro Tanaka, and Yasiel Puig repping Boston, New York and L.A. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images; Stephen Lam/Getty Images; Harry How/Getty Images.

16. Nor is this suspiciously low-effort dunk.

17. Nor, really, are lettuce, tomatoes, oranges, garlic, apples, lemons, cherries, corn, peaches, broccoli, plums, Swiss chard, watermelons, scallions, cranberries, parsley, and nectarines essential to our lives.

[rebelmouse-image 19474066 dam="1" original_size="700x467" caption="According to a Pew Research Center study, over 40% of farm workers in some states are undocumented. Estimates peg the total share of foreign-born farm workers between 70% and 90%. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images." expand=1]According to a Pew Research Center study, over 40% of farm workers in some states are undocumented. Estimates peg the total share of foreign-born farm workers between 70% and 90%. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

18. Or railroads that carry freight and Amish people across the country.

[rebelmouse-image 19474067 dam="1" original_size="700x468" caption="Thousands of Chinese immigrant laborers helped build America's rail network. Photo by Loco Steve/Flickr." expand=1]Thousands of Chinese immigrant laborers helped build America's rail network. Photo by Loco Steve/Flickr.

19. Or pastrami sandwiches.

Thanks, Yiddish-speakers! Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

20. Or chicken parmesan.

[rebelmouse-image 19474069 dam="1" original_size="700x464" caption="Thanks, Neopolitan-speakers! Photo by jeffreyw/Flickr." expand=1]Thanks, Neopolitan-speakers! Photo by jeffreyw/Flickr.

21. Or P.F. Chang's ... and much of modern Chinese cuisine.

[rebelmouse-image 19474070 dam="1" original_size="700x562" caption="Cecilia Chang "spoke little English" when she immigrated to San Francisco in the '60s. She went on to introduce Americans to a variety of classic Chinese dishes. Her son Philip co-founded P.F. Chang's in 1993. Photo by M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons." expand=1]Cecilia Chang "spoke little English" when she immigrated to San Francisco in the '60s. She went on to introduce Americans to a variety of classic Chinese dishes. Her son Philip co-founded P.F. Chang's in 1993. Photo by M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons.

22. Or nearly a quarter of the soldiers who fought to end slavery and establish the modern United States.

Immigrants speaking weird languages helped save the union. Photo via Library of Congress/Getty Images.

23. Or the military strategy that helped us win our independence in the first place.

Pictured: French General and noted code word Rochambeau and Marquis de Lafayette, Lancelot of the revolutionary set. Photo via Hulton Archive.

As the Founders said 261 years ago on that fateful July day in Independence Hall: "Meh, being British wouldn't be so bad!"

Non-native English speakers have been propping up, improving, and straight-up saving this country since (actual) day one.

The language you speak when you land in a new country doesn't predict how valuable an American you can be, and never did.

Immigrants, whether they can recite "The Wanderings of Oisin" from memory or can't read a children's book, are the lifeblood of this country.

Instead of slamming the door in their face, we should be thanking them for what they gave us.

Including America.

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Learning a new language can be hard. Music can make it easier.

Sometimes an opportunity is all you need to become a better version of yourself.

One day, during the fall of 2016, 60-year-old Olga was shopping in downtown Boston when she overheard several women raving about the English class they were taking.

Olga grew up in Moca, in the Dominican Republic. She came to the United States in 1993 with her daughter and lived with family in New Jersey at first, where she worked at a sweater factory. In 2014, she moved to Boston, where she lives today.

A self-described busybody, Olga hates wasting time. She would much rather use her time to improve herself. Now, in Boston, when she's not knitting or working as a seamstress at David's Bridal, she's crocheting, reading, or watching the news on television.


When Olga overheard these women, she had been looking for a place to take English classes for a long time. She marched over to them and asked about the classes, which they said were being offered for free at Rosie's Place in downtown Boston.

Image by Rosie's Place, used with permission.

Rosie's Place was founded in 1974 as the self-described "first women's shelter in the U.S." They help homeless and low-income women find opportunities to better their lives.

"Just tell me where it's located, and I'll find it," Olga says she told the women.

She immediately walked out of the store and headed to Harrison Avenue in downtown Boston. She says she missed the shelter at first, almost walking into a CVS instead. But when she did walk through the doors at Rosie's Place, she was instantly excited. She was told she qualified for their English courses and was given instructions to attend the next class. She hasn't stopped going back since.

These classes aren't just any classes, and that's where the story gets good.

Olga found out that she wouldn't be completing a typical "This is how you say 'dog,'" lecture type course. Instead, her classes would be designed by Berklee College of Music students. These students would be trying out new and exciting approaches that help people retain information through music.

Kevin Leong is one of those students. He's a graduate student at Berklee College of Music and an international student. Kevin has helped run and structure this program for the past year. Essentially, the program uses a specific tool — music, and songwriting in particular — to empower women, teaching them conversational English.

For the past semester, 10 to 15 women (including Olga) have committed to learning a new language with the help of these dedicated students. Kevin says there's an 82-year-old woman from China who inspires him because she refuses to take "no" for an answer. He says she said, "I don’t speak English, but it’s never too late to learn a new language.”

Most people learn faster with music because it's a powerful mnemonic tool. Songwriting and singing are memory aids.

For example, think of the alphabet song. The letters aren't linked to one another, but it's the music that binds the syllables together to give the song meaning.

That's why using songwriting helps students like Olga pick up English a little more quickly. By having them repeat the words in a song, it helps them practice articulation and better remember the words themselves.

Kevin Leong. Image from Berklee Graduate Studies Department, used with permission.

Kevin says the women in his class feel validated and thankful because they have a place to share their stories from the past while learning a new language. Through their collective songwriting, they've come to learn that one woman was a psychologist in her home country, another a hydraulic engineer, and another, a physician.

“To see some women travel from an hour and a half outside of Boston just to come to class to learn English ... is really inspiring," Kevin says. "To be able to be a part of that, and to make it interesting for them, and to see it being effective ... is extremely gratifying.”

For Olga, this class has made all the difference.

For one, she says she's never received so much loving attention as she has in these classes at Rosie's Place. She feels she's learned a lot in just four months and loves the way they teach. She also lives alone, so she looks forward to attending every class.

"All the women I meet, I encourage them by saying, 'Go! Go! This class is very interesting, very important," she says. "Besides, they teach us with lots of love.'"

And second, Olga almost didn't get her job because she didn't speak much English. Now, she's excelling: She says she can better understand the people around her, and she can also contribute to the conversations at work too.

Now, when she attends class at Rosie's Place and one of her teachers greets her with "Good morning, Olga," she feels extremely proud that she's able to reply with "How are you?"

"You know when you’re older, sometimes it’s more difficult to comprehend new things, but here, I’ve learned a lot," Olga says. "I can understand some English now — not a lot — but I’ve accomplished a whole lot.”

The semester will be over soon, but Olga has plans to tackle a writing class in the fall.

Image by Rosie's Place, used with permission.

At a time when a lot of people are questioning whether the all-mighty "American dream" is alive and well, Olga is proof that it is.

The American dream is all about being given the opportunity to reach for your goals. And while Olga came to America with little, she has slowly but surely found a way to carve out a positive path for herself.

In a time when it feels as though things may be moving backward in America, especially for immigrants, this program should give us hope.

Olga and Kevin are a beautiful testament to the fact that these dreams still exist, and that good people are working to make America a welcoming, successful place for immigrants.

Liddy heard a scream one night from the backyard of her home in the border town of Pharr, Texas.

She was having trouble with undocumented immigrants passing through her property. She'd been especially worried ever since she found one of her horses killed and skinned, which she took as a warning sign from a Mexican drug cartel.

When she went out to her backyard to investigate the sound, she was disoriented by what she found. But not half as much as I was.


​All images by Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente​/Panel Syndicate, with words by Brian K. Vaughan. Used with permission.

That's the basic setup to a cool new web comic called "Barrier."

Written by Brian K. Vaughan with art by Marcos Martin and Muntsa Vicente, "Barrier" is a digital-only comic about immigration and aliens — legal, illegal, and extraterrestrial. The self-published series is available online, with the purchaser setting their own price, and the horizontal pages are optimized to fit your screen or tablet.

But here's the interesting part: The comic is bilingual. Which means I can't understand all of it.

Aside from a few years of high school Spanish that I can't remember and some random Irish phrases that I never use, I'm ashamed to say that English is my only language. But half of "Barrier" follows a Honduran immigrant en route to the United States, and there's no translation guide.

It's annoying and confusing — but, well, that's kind of the point.

"We wanted to try something different, presenting a story with no translations, so that readers in various parts of the world would each have completely unique experiences," explained Vaughan — who, like me, only speaks English.

Vaughan's artistic collaborators, Martin and Vicente, are both from Barcelona.

Unlike Vaughan, they speak Spanish. But their Spanish (and Catalan) is different from Honduran Spanish, or Mexican Spanish, so while they were making the comic, they ran the translated dialogue past the Honduran consulate in Barcelona too, just to be safe.

But again: That was kind of the point.

"It’s vital to the story that readers experience the same feeling of being lost and confused that people face when finding themselves in a different country," said Martin. "And judging by the both positive and angry responses we’ve received, we’ve apparently succeeded."

"We wanted to find an entertaining, unconventional and, most importantly, visual way to explore a complicated issue [like immigration]," Vaughan said.

Before "Barrier," the trio worked on a similarly experimental webcomic about internet privacy called "The Private Eye," a digital-only story that was pay-what-you-want and free of any copyright locks or encryption. This time around, Vaughan says they wanted to tackle what might be the most important topic of conversation for the next five years.

"We didn’t exactly need a crystal ball to guess that it might be immigration," he said, although he admitted that none of them realized just how big of an issue it would be.

From a reader's perspective, the lack of translation in "Barrier" really does make the story that much more effective.

You can still figure out what's happening, for the most part; not every language uses words, and the artwork in the comic speaks for itself.

I might not be able to interpret the dialogue during Carlos' trek through South America and Mexico, for example. But thanks to Martin's and Vicente's incredible artwork, I can at least understand that he's feeling anxious, lost, and confused — because, after all, so am I.

"I’m always humbled and fascinated by the way that language both unites and separates us all," said Vaughan. "As a visual medium, comics can often smash through that language barrier, which was a phenomenon I always wanted to investigate more deeply."

And just to drive the point home even further, there are sequences without any words at all, but they still tell a powerful story. You can see it in the pages below, or in the upcoming third installment of the series, which ... well, let's just say it takes the idea of feeling alien to differently literal level.

A series of consecutive, silent pages portraying the characters' parallel lives.

The disorientation of not knowing what's happening brings clarity to the issue of immigration in an incredible way.

"Languages are not only about communication, but they also model the way we perceive, understand, and experience the reality and the world around us," Martin said.

The artists know some people will miss out on certain subtleties and nuances in the story because they don't speak the language. Some people will likely understand a different point of view entirely. Others might follow their instincts and block out the half of the story they can't understand, even if they could still infer the story from the images and moments.

But, come to think of it, that sounds a lot like the larger debate around immigration.

When it comes to a complex topic like immigration, sometimes it's hard to find the right words. But that's exactly why "Barrier" is worth checking out.

Stories bring us together, and when a story like this is accessible to anyone, it makes it easier for people to have important conversations about things like immigration and surveillance — regardless of their native tongue.