Women who speak like little girls

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by avok, Jul 14, 2008.

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  1. avok

    avok Banned


    I noticed that here, women especially younger women speak like "little girls" when they talk to their boyfriends/husbands/partners on the phone.

    Have you noticed similar situations in your cultures where women affect a "little girl" tone of voice. Or even a higher tone!

    By the way, please bring cultural opinions, if not, your messages may risk to be deleted :D

    WAMORZINHO Senior Member

    brasil/sao paulo
    Yes!! This is very annoying!!
    When I was in the high school my friends used to talk like baby.
    As you can see, my nickname is WAMORZINHO that means W-the first letter of my name, and AMORZINHO means little love.
    My friends gave me that but I can't bail out this!
    All my friends talk with the boyfriends like child.
  3. mirx Banned

    Some girls I've met too, not only with boyfriends but with babies, and for some others it's just the way they speak with everyone.

    I do hope a good explanaition is given for this annoying issue :mad:, let's wait for them women to shed some light on this.

    So far we have it that this phenomenon occurs in Brazil, Mexico and Turkey. A vague reason could be that some of them feel more comfortble speaking in this way during the teenage years when the voice changes, although women's voice is not particularily affected in this period.

    Another reason, and I am just guessing here, could be that unconsciouly (or perhaps completelly aware) they try to cause emotions of sympathy and tenderness and so try to emule a kid's voice, which most people will find both sweet and sympathetic.

    I hope this thread is not close as the topic it is discussing seems to be spread worldwide and seemingly as annoying everywhere.

  4. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    In Japan, I gather that women use a higher tone of voice when speaking to men ..... and it seems to me that they also have to use a separate conjugation, but perhaps a Japanese speaker will enlighten us on that one.

    There's a new Canadian TV comedy out called Sophie; and thanks to the American screenwriter's strike, it's been doing quite well. One of the characters does play a breathless little-girl persona whenever when she's with her boyfriend. Although I haven't noticed this sort of female behaviour myself among Canadian women, it must be out there for it to be parodied so thoroughly!

    Perhaps my experience is limited because it's a generational thing - I only hang out with females over forty or under fifteen! :rolleyes:
  5. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
  6. palomnik Senior Member

    I have noticed this too, particularly in older women that come from various areas of the Levant (Turkey/Armenia/Syria/Lebanon), and I've come to the same conclusion - it is an acquired habit, maybe from childhood, with the intent to make them sound sweeter, and to perhaps garner more sympathy from the men in their lives by seeming childlike.

    Which doesn't stop me from disliking it intensely, I must admit, particularly when I encounter it in an older woman, which happens occasionally. Again, I think it was more prominent in an earlier generation.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    I'm not familiar with this phenomenon in the U.S. It may exist here, in some regions, or for some individuals, but I don't have contact with them.
  8. Revontuli

    Revontuli Senior Member

    Hello Avok,

    We both live in the same culture. So, let's see the viewpoint of a female forero on this issue:)

    We, women, love sounding like a little child on the phone, yes. We do so to sound prettier and get more attention from our partner. Because a child's voice is soft, sweet and make others smile while listening. And one cannot help giving his/her attention to such a lovely voice.

    But the problem is that, it's not always as sweet when a girl/woman does that. Unless you keep it too long or know where to use it, it sounds unnatural and annoying.
  9. AngelEyes

    AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    My American experience is that most women sometimes talk in a higher register when speaking to a baby or a cute animal. They also use this style when speaking to young children. I think it's a happy reaction to something they find appealing, and in other cases it's because they don't want to frighten someone who's vulnerable, so they purposely soften their voice for that reason.

    In the U.S., we also have what's called "baby talk" which adults use with each other in a romantic relationship. This may include pet names they have for each other and it's often just done because that couple thinks it's "fun" or "cute." This is not acceptable in all cases, though. Many, many adults find such communication annoying for them personally and extremely sickening when it's done in front of them by other couples.

    Among young American girls, I think it's almost required to speak from the throat area instead of from the deeper diaphragm area. :D My opinion of this is that young girls just don't get it: they don't even realize they're talking like this and they don't know that 9 out of 10 guys hate the sound of a high-pitched voice. If they did, I think they'd start talking immediately in their lower registers.

    Part of it, though, is age. Young girls' voices (even young women under 30) haven't matured enough yet. I think part of it is just biology and part of it is societal.

    Baby talk is a choice, but having a little girl's voice can be either. Some women keep theirs well after they've grown older but most women naturally give theirs up and trade it in for a soothing, womanly, warmly feminine speaking voice.

    High girly voices are not the norm in adult society in the U.S. Adult women are very often judged on how they speak and how they sound. Young, sexy girls can get away with a whiny, screechy voice for a while because everyone is looking at their bodies.

    This subject really does define a girl who grows into becoming a woman in the United States.

    As for baby talk, what people do in the privacy of their relationships is their business.

    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  10. Macunaíma

    Macunaíma Senior Member

    Um ninho de mafagalfinhos
    português, Brasil
    All the girlfriends I've had were so bossy and overbearing! they would rather shout at me and barely listen. I'm attracted to this kind of girl...


    I think it's a trick girls use to affect defenselessness, vulnerability. Men like to think they can protect women and women somehow are aware of that. How manipulative can girlfriends get?
  11. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    I agree with AngelEyes that putting on a higher-pitched, child-like voice is not the norm for U.S. women, though I'm sure you can find some here and there who do it. In fact, I think a woman (not a girl) speaking to her boyfriend like that in front of others would cause a lot of eye-rolling and some conversation about her after she left the room. :rolleyes:
  12. gotitadeleche Senior Member

    Texas, U.S.A.
    U.S.A. English
    I understand that this kind of "baby talk" used when talking to babies is universal. Most mothers talk this way to their babies. It apparently has something to do with helping the child learn the language.

    Using it when talking to adults is another story.
  13. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    Don't you know that "Men control the world, and women control men"? :D

    I think I have seen this kind of behavior between lovers everywhere I go (well, I would very much like to say that I think it's less common in the States, but that's too much of a generalization from my personal experience). Personally, I don't mind it too much, I think it's human nature to want to be loved, and I suppose everyone has a different way of showing that desire, however, I can see that it can get really annoying if your friends (as a couple) keep doing that in front of you in public, I usually try to grab the other friend (no, don't ever go out alone with a couple :rolleyes:) and start talking to that person or doing whatever it is that helps me to pretend that I don't see or hear a thing from that couple.

    I have noticed something very interesting in some of my very young Taiwanese couple friends, instead of being all soft and childish in front of the boyfriends, the young girls who are usually very sweet in front of me become very tough when their boyfriends are around. They look and sound even more independent and determinded, as if they were trying to tell their boyfriends that I don't need you, I can do very well by myself. I wonder if that's a new trend, or a phenonmenon in reaction to all the changes we have in the world in recent years.

    Or, or maybe they know a lot of men don't like that. (really? I mean, as a woman, there's no way for me to know the real answer of this question)

    As for myself, I guess I have always tried hard not to sound childish in front of any man, somehow I think the only way to be respected, even in a romantic relationship, is to be yourself, and to talk childishly in a high-pitched voice is hardly who I am, but that doesn't mean I can't be sweet in front of my boyfriend with a "normal" voice in a "normal" attitude.

    For the same reason, I believe some girls think that they are just being who they are when they do that, talking childishly in a high-pitched voice, well, if their boyfriends like that, then why not?
  14. sokol

    sokol Senior Member

    Vienna, Austria; raised in Upper Austria
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    In music terminology it could be called falsetto ('Kopfstimme' in German): and yes, girls women often use it especially when talking to animals, to children and to boys in whom they are interested - but they don't overuse this register so very much here in Austria, or at least that is my impression.
    (Which might not count for much even though I also hang out with younger women, from time to time; but this might not count for much as these young girls certainly aren't that much interested in an old fart like me, so they might just think their falsetto is wasted on me. For which, if this were the truth, I am quite grateful. ;-)

    Anyway: when watching English or American films (especially soaps, especially British soaps) I consistently notice that this falsetto voice seems to be used much more frequently than what I am accustomed to. But then probably - ahm: even most likely these comedies are overemphasizing these high-pitched voices.
  15. Katuka

    Katuka Senior Member

    São Paulo- Brasil
    Español - Chile
    Yo he notado que lo que ocurre aquí es diferente, Wamorzinho, lo denomino dulzura o ternura.
    En Chile ocurre algo diferente a eso, mujeres adultas "cambiando la voz" imitando una niña de 5 creyéndose muy sweet little girl, es diferente. Es realmente irritante ya que no permite sostener un diálogo adulto.
    Es lo opuesto de lo que pude apreciar en Argentina, las mujeres aparentemente son muy seguras y adultas, bueno, al menos esa fue mi percepción.


    Last edited: Jul 15, 2008
  16. Sedulia

    Sedulia Senior Member

    Paris, France
    **Literate** American English
    A while ago some scientists actually tested the proposition that babies like high-pitched tones. You can find a report on their findings here.

    I'm someone who naturally has a high-pitched voice, and several times a week someone on the phone asks to speak to my mother (I have grown-up children). It's very annoying and not something I choose to do, believe me. In America, and I believe in "Anglo" culture generally, women are not supposed to have a high voice. Here's a poem from the 1800s about women's voices-- ideally low. It cites the famous phrase from Shakespeare's King Lear:

    Her voice was ever soft,
    Gentle, and low,—an excellent thing in woman.

    While living in Paris, I often went to the big department store Galeries Lafayette, a favorite of foreign tourists. Galeries Lafayette employs woman announcers in various languages and I always noticed that the Japanese woman seemed to speak about an octave higher than anyone else. So I suppose these preferences are culturally determined.
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