open/close all folders
Anime And Manga
- Johnny Yong Bosch as Izaya in Durarara!! speaks a couple lines of Russian rather fluently.
- The American characters from the first episode of Eden of the East speak fluent American English. Although their acting might leave something to be desired, it's fairly acceptable and a welcome break from the mangled Engrish of other shows.
- The "Brothers" song from Fullmetal Alchemist is sung in more or less decent Russian.
- This is because some Russians are singing the song.
- The Mandarin Chinese spoken in episodes 3 and 4 of Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid is actually pretty good, though somewhat lacking in the tension expected from the setting.
- Gosick is chock-full of perfectly written French, including accentuated character and adequate idiotisms. The english parts of the ending are also very well pronounced.
- One of the Glaciesan pilots in Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing, Viola, speaks fluent Russian, courtesy of her native Russian voice actor, Jenya Davidyuk.
- Asuka Langley Soryu from the English dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion peppers her speech with some amazing German, courtesy of Tiffany Grant.
- Though in the Japanese original, Asuka's German is far from ideal.
- The Nodame Cantabile second season's ending is sung in perfect, unaccented French. As the singer uses colloquial French with a Paris accent she is definitely native.
- In one episode from the second season of Ika Musume, Cindy is teaching Ika Musume English, speaking flawless American English.
- Sound of the Sky: Minor character Aisha speaks more or less OK Roman (actually German), though with an crazy accent.
- In Tokyo Godfathers, the Hispanic-immigrant mother (and the boy who gets her involved) only speaks Spanish, and it is Surprisingly Good!
- One of the ending themes in Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase is sung in Surprisingly Good French!
- In Umi Monogatari, the shrine maiden's song is sung in the Amami language, which is on the verge of becoming an extinct language and is officially considered a Japanese dialect.
- Wolf's Rain has Surprisingly Good Russian. The announcement on the railway station is spoken in flawless Russian, without any accent.
- The manga Gantz has minor characters with lines in several foreing languages written in correct grammar, including English, German, Italian and Portuguese.
- Nonna and Clara in Girls Und Panzer Der Film tend to speak very fluent Russian when shown together, much to Katyusha's chagrin. Justified on two counts: Nonna's seiyuu, being a massive Russophile, studied Russian previously; while Clara's seiyuu is Russian.
- The ending theme of Fantastic Children, 'Mizu no Madoromi', has two versions- the normal Japanese version used in the present-day episodes, and an alternate version used in the episodes that flashback to Greecia, sung in Russian. Both versions are sung by the late Ol'ga Vital'evna Jakovleva, better known as Origa. The Russian version is, if anything, even more beautiful than the superlative Japanese version, possibly because it was originally written in Russian before being translated into Japanese (the Russian version's lyrics rhyme noticeably better).
- Origa's beautiful Russian singing gave her quite a notable career in anime soundtracks, with her most famous performances probably being 'Inner Universe' and 'Rise', the openings of the first and second seasons of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.
- Zany To The Max provides multiple languages well spoken by Sikko, most notably Finnish.
- Black Widow's interrogation scene in the beginning of The Avengers has the dialogue in perfect Russian, although the Russian general has a weak but noticeable foreign accent (due to the actor being Polish) and Natasha herself speaks with a very heavy American accent. The text on the billboard briefly seen outside the building appears to be gibberish, though.
- While a tiny example, her pronunciation of "Budapest" is also correct (unlike Hawkeye's anglicised pronunciation).
- At the beginning of the 1931 Dracula film, Transylvanian peasants are heard speaking in perfectly authentic Hungarian (even though what they say is not subtitled, so it could've been foreign-sounding nonsense).
- The Good, the Bad, the Weird, a Korean remake of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly IN 1930s MANCHURIA!, features (as one would expect from the setting), a lot of Mandarin and Japanese, as well as Korean (the three central characters are all Korean exiles). The Mandarin and Japanese are surprisingly good.
- Amrish Puri, who plays Mola Ram in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, is really a Bollywood actor, which leads to some great bilingual bonus lines:
"Maaro, maaro, sewer ko! Chamdi nocho, peelo khoon!"
- At the beginning of Les Misérables (2012), Javert hands to Valjean a "badge of shame" that identifies him as a dangerous criminal and that he shall carry with him until he dies. While only shown for a brief moment, the document itself is extremely well written. It is also wrong, as it identifies Valjean as a 1.6 meters tall (Hugh Jackman is 1.9) green-eyed (Jackman's eyes are brown) freed convict.
- In Mad Max: Fury Road, the Buzzards (the gang in the porcupine-looking spiked cars) communicate among themselves in perfect Russian. The actors who played them are all Russians and even have matching Moscow accents. More than that, apparently they are speaking a form of Russian slang used by criminals for extra authenticity.
- Slap Shot: The two French-Canadian characters are played by French-Canadian actors. So they speak both French and English like French-Canadians would.
- Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice manages to speak good German with a slight Polish accent, exactly as her character would.
- In X-Men: First Class, Erik Lehnsherr and the Nazis he encounters (and, a bit later, kills) in the bar speak surprisingly good German. The actor playing Erik (Michael Fassbender) was born in Germany and the actors playing the Nazis are most likely German.
- In Alias, the main character once had quite a few lines in Swedish. She couldn't have passed for a native Swedish speaker, but spoke better Swedish than many foreigners who have lived in Sweden for years.
- On Charmed, Cole speaks very good Italian.
- Danger 5. Despite being a completely over-the-top parody of Sixties and Eighties TV action dramas the series contains correct English, German, Russian, Italian, French, Japanese, and Cantonese. This is a result of being produced by Australia's premier multilingual channel SBS, which prides itself on its linguistic diversity.
- Flight of the Conchords: When Bret performs a Korean Karaoke song, both on the HBO show and on stage, his pronunciation is unexpectedly good.
- On Heroes, both Masi Oka's and James Kyson's (Hiro and Ando) Japanese is surprisingly good (although they still have noticeable accents) considering Masi moved to LA when he as 6 and Kyson is from Korea. It was greatly helped by the fact that Masi was provided with lines in English, which he translated himself.
- Whenever a Jeopardy! clue comes up that uses a foreign term, host Alex Trebek will try to read the term in as close to that language as he can muster.
- Patrick Jane in The Mentalist speaks excellent Spanish as shown in episode My Blue Heaven when he is living in a undetermined Spanish-speaking country, even when in-universe dialogue from two local characters could make you think otherwise.
- On That Mitchell and Webb Look, one of their trademark sketches (the parody Game Show "Numberwang") was done entirely in Gratuitous German. The accent was a little off, but the grammar was actually quite good.
- Stargate Atlantis: The episode Duet features two startlingly flawless lines in German from an extra. (There are no subtitles. The lines translate to "Ew, this is like the birth of my nephew." and "Damn, I knew this was going to happen!" respectively.) This is because the lines were ad-libbed and the actress was born in Germany. David Nykl, who personally translated some of Dr. Zelenka's lines into Czech, ad-libbed some swearing, and otherwise puts on a fairly good Czech accent for the role, also has Czech parents and spent some years in the country as a baby and as an adult.
- Same with the episode 1969 on Stargate SG-1. Michael Shanks apparently did work with a language coach which paid definitely off.
- Whose Line Is It Anyway?: The game Foreign Film Dub with guest star Sid Caesar is actually a subversion. One of Caesar's gags is his apparent fluency in many languages, but he actually only speaks English and Yiddish.
- And Stephen Fry in a Questions Only game set in ancient Rome using only Latin (until he gets flustered when asked about the Parthenon)
- Jeff Davis in the American version speaks actual Spanish during a round.
- Artemus Gordon of The Wild Wild West uses a number of different languages over the course of the series, occasionally at some length, and does it very well. Mostly due to the fact that Ross Martin had an ear for such things and spoke something like seven languages fluently. Martin also put his skills to good use while playing a Hispanic in Mr. Lucky.
- If you didn't know that salsa band Orquesta de la Luz was from Japan, you could never tell by the excellent Spanish they sing. And even if you do know, it's still hard to tell.
- The Swedish Heavy Mithril band Dragonland did a cover of X Japan's song "Rusty Nail", and the vocalist's Japanese skill has to be heard to be believed.
- On his album Twang, George Strait did a surprisingly accurate rendition of mariachi singer José Alfredo Jiménez' "El Rey" entirely in Spanish.
- Deathspell Omega's Latin qualifies, being pretty much free of grammatical errors.
- Episode 3 of Season 3 of American McGee's Grimm covers the story of Mulan, and the voice-acting is done entirely in flawless Mandarin Chinese.
- Several of the songs in the Franchise/Bemani franchise by artist Ta Q are noted for being in excellent German. Which isn't surprising considering he was raised in Germany.
- Ivan's Russian in Jagged Alliance is completely fluent, particularly notable considering he's the only character in the games (at least until his brother joins in) who speaks Russian.
- Johnny Yong Bosch, Zero's English voice actor in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 pronounces the Japanese names of his attacks surprisingly well, so much so that Japanese people are surprised that Bosch isn't a native Japanese speaker.
- Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain: Russian soldiers in Afghanistan speak in perfect Russian language, so players knowing Russian may find themselves in the situation that they do not need to extract a translator. Same is true for African soldiers on Angola-Zaire border, who speak nice Kikongo, Afrikaans and other african languages. Slightly averted on some text banners.
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2 takes place on an island off the coast of Russia. Over the course of the game you will encounter posters and audio transmissions, all in good Russian.
- Inverted in Saints Row 2 with Ronin leaders Shogo and Kazuo Akuji and The Dragon Jyunichi, who each speak Surprisingly Good Japanese.
- Likewise, Saints Row The Third offers us Philippe Loren, a belgian criminal voiced by native French speaker Jacques Hennequet. While Philippe mostly avoids the Gratuitous French trope, the few lines he actually speaks in French are flawless.
- The Wii Punch-Out!! game has the enemy boxers speak their respective native tongue very well. This is even more impressive considering the number of different languages spoken (French, German, Japanese, Hindi, Spanish, Russian and Turkish).
- Wolfenstein: The New Order makes use of both Surprisingly Good Polish and German.
- Solatorobo has soundbites used for various emotions in recognizeable French. They tend to be on the dated side, however.
- In Code Lyoko, Odd speaks good Italian (the only school subject the Jeremie seems to have trouble with), possibly Justified by him probably being Italian (his last name certainly is). Also, Yumi seems to be bi-lingual, seeing as her native tongue is Japanese.
- How to Train Your Dragon has an ending theme with parts in Surprisingly Good Icelandic, because it was done by an Icelandic singer.
- Specifically, by Jonsi Birgisson of Sigur Rós.
- My Life as a Teenage Robot has one episode with Surprisingly Good Japanese. After a mission in Tokyo, Jenny loses her English-language disc, and can only speak Japanese for the rest of the episode. Her voice actress, Janice Kawaye, is bilingual and her lines are absolutely flawlessnote .
- In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated Professor Pericles speaks surprisingly good German, when he does more than peppering his sentences with German words. It's mostly when he commands the 'bots (invented by another German character).
- It helps that Pericles is voiced by an actual German actor, Udo Kier.
- In the Roman Catholic Church, a candidate for Pope must be at least tri-lingual. For example, Pope John Paul II was believed to know as many as 12 (other than his native tongue, Polish), and utilized 9 languages as Pope.
- To become an official translator of any EU institution, you have to know at least three different languages: your mother tongue, then English and then either French or German. If your native language is any of those three, you need to know either all of them, or one of them and then a smaller language. Once you're in, you've the opportunity to learn new languages and get paid for it, with translators ending up knowing any number of languages from at least half a dozen up to twenty different languages .
- English rugby icon Jonny Wilkinson took one of his secondary school A-levels in French, and is fluent enough in French to conduct all of his interviews with French media in that language, with no interpreter. (He has played club rugby in France since 2009.)
- British comedian Eddie Izzard took French in school, loved it, and speaks it very well. In "Dress to Kill" he has an entire sketch based around speaking French, starting with the idea that common phrases found in high school French textbooks are very hard to easily slip into a conversation. He then proceeds to do the entire sketch in French showing just how nonsensical those phrases are, ending with re-capping the movie "Speed." He also does the entire sketch in English at another point. At the beginning of the former, he says that he had taken his last show to France and did it entirely in French, much to the surprise of his audience.
- Israeli news anchor Yonit Levi displays her fluent command of Italian whenever something big and interesting happens in Italy (for instance, when someone tried to attack then-Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi) when she interviews someone in it. It happens rather rarely, leaving many Israelis very surprised when it does happen.
- Russian author Vladimir Nabokov grew up in a multi-lingual sophisticated family but he wrote his first books in Russian. He then transitioned to writing in English. The books he wrote in English, Lolita and Pale Fire which are considered masterpieces of the language and containing prose that is among the best the language has seen.