I understand why people often are surprised that I have coached radio morning shows that are done in a language I don’t speak.
But I can tell when something works or not, without understanding the words.
The first time I experienced this was years ago in Leipzig, Germany. I was listening to the radio in my hotel room, and the evening jock — speaking only German, of course — did a character voice.
I could tell the character was funny. For one thing, it clearly was a character and not just a funny voice. For another…I dunno. I could just tell.
In a taxi in Paris, the driver had on a French station. One guy was talking, obviously delivering the news. But then I heard a shift in his voice.
I couldn’t resist the impulse: I leaned forward and asked the driver, “Is he talking about the weather now?”
The driver nodded, yes.
Here’s an example of how you can fully understand someone whose language you don’t speak (unless you happen to be Finnish).
You can recognize a “home run call” in any language…and it doesn’t need to be confined to baseball.