Maybe this is just something I believe to have picked up from somewhere even though I actually made it up myself, but even if so, it doesn’t sound wrong to say: Speak in English*, Amour (i.e. love in French*) and Schweinehund (i.e. swear in German*) . Probably more due to syntactic structures, English seems to be a good language to express ideas in a logical, clear manner (feel free to comment and expand on this – I want to focus on something different in this post…). Phonologically, that French “mumbling” makes it sound soft and just nice to have that ‘love-chit-chat’ in (who doesn’t know that oh-so-famous “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?”?) and many people would say that German is a particularly good language to swear in due to its rather harsh sounds.
However, swearing is not just about sounds.
German is actually said to have a rather poor vocabulary of swear words and has even started to borrow from other languages; Fuck! Shit! (scheiße seems to have lost its meaning, overused) ^1 ^2
Kind of depends on what website you look at though. This website boosts with 2,750-ish German swear words. However, a great deal isn’t actually swear words (Schalentier! (crustacean) ) and another lot not used at all (I’ve never ever heard the word Schlibradoni before. But it sounds great. My new favourite (not-existing?) German word 🙂 ).
Some websites, on the other hand, understate a bit (ehm, yes, wiki’s list of English swear words contains only 28).
Others list about 48 German swear words or 90 French ones. More realistic?
After all, it’s probably just a matter of your feeling towards a language and your lexicon. (Not many swear words there? Be creative and make some up!)
I personally love to swear in French. Maybe that’s the point, that it doesn’t really sound ‘bad’… 😉
*I’m focusing on English, German and French because I know these languages quite well. Of course there are hundreds and thousands of other languages that may be even more suitable for swearing & co.