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People who were leaving the train station in Bern today between 17h40 and 18h00 through the west exit (if my memory is correct), had the honor of being abused as guinea pigs for a small sociological experiment. A pair of helping hands and myself were distributing flyers to interested people whose grasp reflex was still intact.

You can see the flyer here.

(The second “column” looks properly aligned when printed. I had to use Google docs, rather than MS Word, as only Google displayed all the crazy fonts correctly, even though I had all the additional Eastern Asian fonts support installed.)

Pretty interesting to see people’s reaction (though mostly only from the rear) when they were walking away while reading the flyer.

Some, of course, just took it and immediately put it into a pocket without looking at it.

Some looked at it briefly, didn’t immediately “get it” within the first second and then put it into a pocket.

But others, and this was by far the largest group, were actually continuing to read it as they walked away and even showing it to their partner/friends when they were in a group. A few people even turned around after a few meters with a surprised smile (… a priceless facial expression …) and one man “promised” to memorize all of phrases.   🙂

When I returned to Lausanne I also distributed some flyers to mailboxes in my building, respectfully leaving out the ones which explicitly ask for “no ads” (… though it’s only an advertisement for life itself …).

Tomorrow or on Monday I’ll probably try to distribute a few more in Basel.

Some people are proud (and they should be) that they can say “hello” or “thank you” in dozens of languages. I want to learn the phrase “Life is beautiful!” in as many languages as possible!

I think it’s a fantastic thing to know in other languages, much nicer than just “Good afternoon” or so.

I will post all the phrases here including:

1. The writing in the original script

2. An English transcription (to also approximate the pronunciation “in English”) (or in the international phonetic alphabet)

3. An audio recording by a native speaker.

I would deeply appreciate it, if you could record this sentence in your native language (if it’s not listed already) and send it to me in some standard sound file format. Please also try to include the phrase in its original characters and, if possible, an English transcription. Send it all to ingmarweber at gmail dot com

If you’re in EPFL, I’d love to record your voice directly. Otherwise, under Windows you’ll find a recorder here: Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Entertainment -> Sound Recorder

I would also be more than happy to post different dialects/accents, such as Swiss German (or even variants thereof) and Saarlandian or American English (or even variants) and British English. I will make the start by putting it in high-German.

Feel free to help me out by sending links to this blog entry to friends of yours. Oh, and check my spelling in the list below.

Life is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!! 😉

PS: I also found some written forms here, here, here and here. Sarunas cleverly pointed out that one can also use the title of the Wikipedia page for the film in other languages!

PPS: Many of the languages below cause some strange effects when rendered on the screen, e.g., “swallowing” whitespaces or changing their own script size. That’s why the layout below is a bit mingled up.

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Das Leben ist schön! (Duss leben ist shoen! ‘s Lebn is shee! S’lebe ish shoen!) – German [male, high German , male, Austrian (+ freestyle), male, Swiss (Zurich)]

Life is beautiful! – English

La vie est belle! (Luh vee eh bel!)- French [female, Suisse]

La vita è bella! – Italian [female]

La vida es bella! – Spanish [male, Chilean]

Жизнь прекрасна! – Russian [male, Russian]

Mae bywyd yn brydferth! – Welsh

A vida é bela! – Portuguese [male, Brazilian]

Livet är skönt! – Swedish

Viaţa e frumoasă! – Romanian [female, Romanian]

Животът е прекрасeн! – Bulgarian [female]

החיים יפים! (Ha’khayim yafim!)Hebrew

Gyvenimas yra gražus! (Gyvenimas yra grazhus!) – Lithuanian [male]

Livet er smukt! – Danish

Život je lijep! – Croatian [female]

Az élet szép! – Hungarian [female]

Livet er herlig! – Norwegian

Życie jest piękne! (Jitsche yeast piencnee!) – Polish [male]

Kaunis elämä! – Finnish

Hayat Güzeldir! – Turkish [female]

லைவ்ப் இஸ் வியூட்டிபுல்! – Tamil

生活很美。- Chinese: (Shenghuo hen mei) Mandarin [female], (Senghuo hao basou) Southwestern Mandarin [female]

Життя прекрасне! – Ukrainian

Dzīve ir skaista! ( Dzihve ir skaista) – Latvian [male]

D´Liewen as schein! – Luxembourgish [female]

Cuộc sống tươi đẹp! – Vietnamese [male]

La vida és bella! – Catalan [male]

Era vida ei bèra! – Aranese

La bida ye bonica! – Aragonese

Život je krásný! – Czech [male]

Живот је леп! – Serbian [male]

जीवन सुंदर आह! – (jeevan sundar aahe) Marathi [male]

Tá an saol go hálainn! (taw’n SAIL guh HAW-ling) – Gaelic

Hindi [male]

జీవితం అందమైనది – Telugu [male]

(Zindagi khoobsoorat hai) – Urdu

الحياة حلوة (El-hayah Helwa)- Arabic [male, Egyptian]

Is saol breá é! – Irish

Vi-a bel! – Creole

زندگی زیباست (Zendegi zibaast!) – Persian [female, Iranian]

Življenje je lepo! – Slovene

Vita bella est! – Latin

Η ζωή είναι ωραία! (eeh zoÏ Eene orEa) /i zɔˈi ˈinɛ ɔˈrɛa/ – Greek

Ndu mara mma! – Igbo

ชีวิตช่างงดงาม – Thai [female]

Hidup ini adalah indah! – Malay

Hidup itu Indah! – Indonesian

Tekove porã! – Guarani [female, Paraguay]

Het leven is mooi! – Dutch [male, Belgium]

Elu on ilus! – Estonian

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