This piece by Bernd Brunner may not have any particular conclusion to offer (“In the end, beauty in language is just one of those things”), but it’s always enjoyable to think about ineffabilities like “why do so many people think German sounds awful?” — and the fact that the author is German (it’s translated by Lori Lantz) makes it interesting for those of us who are used to hearing it talked about from an English-language perspective, and this is a thoughtful paragraph:
Until three years ago, before I started to learn Turkish, I didn’t really feel strongly about the language one way or another. It certainly didn’t sound particularly beautiful to me. But then I began to distinguish sounds as words or components. What’s more, I understood that the ways Turkish combines these components to produce meaning are radically different from the ways Indo-European languages function. As speaking and understanding Turkish required me to perform some mental acrobatics, my perspective on the language shifted dramatically. My deeper appreciation of Turkish not only went along with a deeper understanding of the country’s culture and people, but I also began to realize why Turks who learn German speak the way they do. And, of course, pride in mastering a language, only if to a certain extent, colored my emotional attitude towards it. Simply by learning Turkish, I was inclined to find it more beautiful.