What does speaking in tongues sound like?
Speaking in tongues sounds different for each person. It is very difficult, and nearly impossible, to say “This is how speaking in tongues sounds”. The only way to describe the sound of tongues is it sounds like a language, that no one can understand.
The Bible consistently implies that the supernatural gift of speaking in tongues is a language.
The terminology for tongues is; “speaking in tongues”, “diverse kinds of tongues”, “new tongues”, and “the gift of tongues”.
Each one of these terminologies mentions the word “tongues” in them. The word tongues in the bible is just another word for languages (Acts 2:11)
But it is important to mention that although the gift of tongues is a language it is not a known, natural language, as many suggest. (Related article: Is Speaking in Tongues a Real Language? Or is it Gibberish?)
The Bible makes it clear that it is a divine language, inspired by Holy Spirit, meant for our spirits to communicate mysteries directly to God, that no one can understand unless God gives an interpretation either to the speaker or someone sitting by.
Here are some scriptures that show this:
“For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries“ (1 Corinthians 14:2)
“For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful” (1 Corinthians 14:14)
“Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret… If anyone speaks in a tongue, let there be two or at the most three, each in turn, and let one interpret.” (1 Corinthians 14:13 & 27)
As we can see from the scriptures above, speaking in tongues is a language that is meant solely for communication with God unless there is an interpretation among other believers.
In addition to this, since speaking in tongues is indeed a language, just not a natural language, it would make sense that it would sound just like any other language excluding the fact that it is only for communication with God and not for men.
Why does speaking in tongues sound repetitive?
Speaking in tongues can often sound repetitive for three different reasons; (1) the person speaking is new to speaking in tongues, (2) the person speaking is making the repetitive sound to get the flow going, and (3) languages can often sound repetitive.
Let’s address each one of these reasons below.
The person is new to speaking in tongues
Often times when someone first starts speaking in tongues they will make the same sound over and over again. This is simply due to the fact that they are new to tongues. It is similar to a baby saying their first couple words that they know over and over again and as they progress their knowledge more, words will flow.
Using the repetitive sound to get the “flow” going
Every time someone speaks in tongues they are releasing faith that God the Holy Spirit is guiding their syllables so that it is used for communication to the Father.
So when someone speaks in tongues often or has been doing it for a while, you will hear them sometimes start with the same syllables for the first 5-15 seconds then after that they start having new syllables form.
The reason for this is they are releasing faith that Holy Spirit is going to give them utterance in the beginning and then after those first few seconds, you can hear where they start to flow with Holy Spirit.
This happens to me all time.
I almost always start with the same few syllables. It only lasts for about 5 seconds and then immediately after, I start receiving new syllables.
I honestly don’t fully understand why this is, but what I do know is when I start speaking in tongues I am releasing faith in Holy Spirit’s ability to guide my words so that I can do what the Bible says and commune mysteries directly to God.
The only thing I can think of is when I do this I am “priming the pump” so to speak. It gets me connected to God by faith so that I can receive utterance from the Spirit of God.
Languages can often sound repetitive
The third reason is all languages have some form of repetition to them.
Just think about so many Christian songs. How often do they say words like “worthy”, or “holy”, “faithful”, or “blessed”?
Pretty often, huh?
Now imagine if you didn’t understand the English language. You would here the same syllables formed over and over again.
It’s the same thing with tongues. Just because the words are repeated often doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a bad or false tongue.
I have heard many people make this claim that if there is any repetition of the person’s syllables when they speak in tongues then what they are speaking is not true tongues.
This thought process is ludicrous.
If I sing the words, “holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty. Who was, and is, and is to come.” Am I repeating a lot of words in that chorus? Am I still speaking English? Yes and yes!
The validity of the tongue is not found in whether or not it sounds “good”. The validity of the tongue is found in meeting the biblical criteria for true speaking in tongues.
Does speaking in tongues sound the same?
Speaking in tongues may sound similar, but each tongue is unique to each individual. No one tongue sounds the same as another.
The Bible even implies that this is supposed to happen by the name that it gives the gift of tongues.
“To another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues.” (1 Corinthians 12:10)
We see from this verse the true name that the Bible gives the gift of tongues is “different kinds of tongues.” The reason for this is each person receives a different tongue.
You see, when we speak in tongues we are receiving a divine language, inspired by Holy Spirit, to communicate directly with God. The Bible even calls this language mysteries that no one can understand.
“For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.” (1 Corinthians 14:2)
So the fact that this language is a mystery that no one can understand proves that tongues is a language for you and God only. Holy Spirit is inspiring your utterance uniquely so that you can communicate with God in a way that others can’t.
In the same way that every person’s relationship with God is unique to that individual, so too tongues is unique to that individual.
My speaking in tongues sounds different…
Your speaking in tongues should sound different. No one person’s tongue will sound the same as another.
Now, if your tongue sounds strangely different such as roaring or barking, then I would say that what you have is not true tongues but instead either a demon or a very unrenewed mind.
However, this is not the case for 99.99% of you reading this.
Most of you reading this are simply wondering why your tongues may sound different than the person next to you. Rest assured, it is supposed to be this way.
On the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came upon 120 disciples in the upper room, the Bible says that a “tongue as of fire” rested upon each head in that room.
“And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4)
Notice, each individual tongue of fire rested upon each individual person. No one was left out and there were no copy flames.
After this instance, and throughout the Book of Acts, we no longer see the tongues as of fire resting on people’s heads when they receive Holy Spirit. This was a one-time occurrence, where the Bible was showing what was happening in the spirit.
But the truth is still the same, you have a flame of fire that is unique to you. So don’t get caught up on what your tongue sounds like, as long as it meets the criteria of the Bible of a true tongue then you have nothing to worry about.
[Related article: How to Know You are Truly Praying in the Spirit/Tongues].
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it assisted you in your walk with God.
God bless all of you!
P.S. I have an entire article that does an in-depth study on Speaking in Tongues if you are interested in learning more about this topic. You can read it by clicking the title here: Bible Study/Teaching/Lesson/Commentary on Speaking in Tongues. Enjoy!