I’ve always been inspired by, and drawn to, the sound of different languages. Ditto for music, especially folk and rock. Hearing people speak certain languages, or even hearing their accent when speaking my native tongue, can have a physical effect on me, generating tingles up my spine and a strong sense of pleasure. Music can do the same; think of standing in a cathedral whose pipe organ suddenly produces a loud, prolonged chord in some minor key. The effect thrills and saturates you from your toes to the roots of your hair.
Some of my favourite accents include Finnish, Spanish, Irish, Scottish and Welsh. I also love the English regional accents.
The look of the written words of various languages also appeals to me. The Cyrillic alphabet looks amazing on the page. Japanese and Chinese pictograms look gorgeous, and of course we all love Egyptian hieroglyphs.
In the Roman alphabet, the written languages that strike straight to my heart include Irish and Welsh. I read somewhere that as a boy, JRR Tolkien lived in a house with a railway line at the bottom of the back garden, He used to love reading the Welsh names on the freight trucks as they rolled by. I can see why!