“Spanish is like water; English is like rocks” Leonard Cohen Talks About Languages

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It’s a good language, English. It is difficult, ‘muscular.’ For example, Spanish is like water; English is like rocks. But it is my language, and I can’t really make comparisons because unfortunately, I’ve never become bilingual. I am Anglophone, and I understand French, well, say compared to Zulu. I speak French, but I can’t hear/feel the nuances of the French language.1

 

Leonard Cohen

 

 

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There’s a folk song called ‘Spanish Is A Loving Tongue.’ I want to write a song like that about English with a line like: ‘She spoke to me in the English tongue.’2

 

Leonard Cohen

 

 

DrHGuy Note: Leonard’s cohort in song, Bob Dylan, was a fan of “Spanish Is The Loving Tongue.” See Why does Bob Dylan so like “Spanish is the Loving Tongue” by Tony Attwood (Untold Dylan: April 26, 2019)

 

I am republishing selected posts from my former Leonard Cohen site, Cohencentric, here on AllanShowalter.com (these posts can be found at Leonard Cohen). The quote from the Rencontre avec Leonard Cohen video interview was originally posted Mar 21, 2014 at DrHGuy.com. The quote from the 1984 CBC Interview by Patricia and Robert Sward was added in 2021.

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  1. From Rencontre avec Leonard Cohen, video interview with Leonard Cohen by Jean-Louis Sbille. Rock On TV! (Belgian TV): March 16, 1988. Translated from French to English by Coco Éclair. []
  2. From Dec 1984 CBC Interview by Patricia and Robert Sward. Accessed at LeonardCohenFiles. []

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