During breakfast, an Italian asks for burro while pointing to the butter. It sounds Chinese (me suena a Chino) to us Spaniards; burro is the word we use for 'donkey' (in Spanish butter is mantequilla)...
Whilst this incomprehensible muddle sounds Chinese for the French (on dirait du chinois) too, the Italians would tell you it sounds like Arabic (Parlare arabo).
An Englishman hears the Greeks saying that something sounded Chinese - he would probably respond that to him in fact it really soundedlike Greek , or double Dutch.
To top it all, if a Finn were to pass by and hear all this, he would settle the discussion by adding that everything the others were saying sounds Hebrew to him.
To a German, this tower of babel would sound Spanish (das kommt mir Spanisch vor) .
This article was fist published on cafebabel.com 14 August 2007, translation Claire Thorne