TikTok user Diego Rivas has received millions of views for his videos that capture what different languages sound like to people who do not speak the language.
“Gibberish”: Rivas, who uses the handle diego.j.rivas, releases videos under his TikTok series “Gibberish Languages,” wherein he takes the speech patterns and intonations of different languages and attempts to mimic what each language might sound like to those on the outside looking in.
- Rivas, who is currently a dental student from Houston, has more than 160,000 followers and over 7.6 million likes for his TikTok videos. In the bio of his account, he gives himself the title “CEO of Gibberish.”
- His “Gibberish Languages” series includes Asian languages such as Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Hindi.
- As part of his “Gibberish” series, Rivas has also created the same type of videos for other languages such as American English, British English, German, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Dutch, Spanish, Zulu, Arabic, Italian, French and Russian.
- Other videos cover other linguistic topics, including pronunciation of certain Vietnamese words and words that have no direct English translation.
- According to an interview with speech therapist and dialect coach Diane Seffner, Rivas started making linguistic videos after his college professor presented a video of an actor speaking gibberish in his neuroscience class.
- “We were learning about this disease called receptive aphasia, which is a neurological disease which affects the language reception part of your brain. People that have this condition don’t understand language but they can understand the porosity and the tone, but they can’t understand the vocabulary,” he stated. “When I saw the video, I was like ‘Wow, I could probably do that.’”
- With enough time to spare, Rivas started his TikTok during quarantine. “I downloaded it because I was bored, and I made the first TikTok which did really well. It ended up getting more than a million views and so I was like, ‘I might as well keep doing all the languages then,’” he recalled.