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TorgoX (1933)


"Il est beau comme la retractilité des serres des oiseaux rapaces [...] et surtout, comme la rencontre fortuite sur une table de dissection d'une machine à coudre et d'un parapluie !" -- Lautréamont

Journal of TorgoX (1933)

Friday September 27, 2002
04:20 AM

Tales of the Future

[ #8049 ]
So, the collected wisdom of the Net is that the Arabic lyrics to track "Tales of the Future" on the Blade Runner soundtrack are actually just gibberish. Gibberish in a Egyptian accent.

I think that this idea is something between surprising and implausible -- while still possibly true.

I may be grasping at straws, but I wonder whether the lyrics might actually be in another Semitic language. I think the phonetics and phonology that I hear in the song is very unlike Hebrew, but that still leaves, what, Syriac, Aramaic, Maltese, and Coptic? Some of those are a long shot, but still. (There's one or two Semitic languages in Ethiopia, but it's my vague impression that they, like Hebrew, don't sound all that much like Arabic.)

And after all, asserting that something is gibberish is basically asserting a negative, which is something to be quite careful about.

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  • I don't know much about semitic languages, but from what I've heard, berberian sounds like arab.
    • It may be Berber.
      The Berbers were an "aboriginal" race of central Northern Africa (according to my half-century-old Britannica), and thus not Arabs, or even Semitic. But they were, of course, conquered by the Arabs and converted whole-sale to Islam. I would expect that their language would have assimilated lots of Arabic, but may still be different enough to sound like gibberish to a speaker of Egyptian Arabic.

      Btw -- who were the Gibbers? And how is that their language can be heard all over the world no
      • I believed that Berberians are Semitic. I don't think that the berberian languages (tuareg, kabylian) have assimilated that much of arab words. The algerian kabylians are fighting for their right to use their native language instead of official algerian arab, and to have it teached in their schools. For example, my son has a young kabylian friend who isn't allowed to speak arab at home -- only kabylian and french. However I can't differentiate kabylian and arab when I hear these. I'm not very good at langua
        • No, as far as I am able discover, the Berber language is "Hamitic", not Semitic.

          And yes, no doubt there are Christian Berbers, but they must be a small minority, and (presumably) an oppressed one at that. Whether it is Coptic Christianity, I do not know, but I am skeptical of it. There must be Berber Jews, as well.

          I found an interesting article on the Berbers, but it is no longer at its original location. It is (at least for now) available in the Google cache:

  • And Akkadian. Don't want to leave anything out. :)

    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers