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Sneki95's avatar

Have you ever heard (and liked) a song in a language you don't speak?

Asked by Sneki95 (6997points) September 10th, 2016

If you have, could you share it here with me and other Jellies?

I have a special love for songs sung in languages I don’t speak. I usually don’t even care what is said, I just enjoy the sound and that curious feel of being spoken in a foreign language, without understanding what was said.

I once went to a concert. Before the band I was waiting, another band had a performance. The band was singing in Hungarian, which I don’t speak. It was such a strange and amazing experience, listening and enjoying music, but having no idea what are you being told.

Does anyone here have similar experience?

I didn’t manage to find the Hungarian band I mentioned here on the net, but another example of a foreign song I fell in love with would be this or this.

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41 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

There have been lots of foreign language hits in the US.

“Volare, oh oh! Contare, oh oh oh oh!”

“Bleu, bleu,!‘amour est bleu.”

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Ah, the international language. Before I spoke the gutter French I speak now, I loved everything by Edith Piaf. I was just recently introduced by a friend to Je Ne Regrette Rien, by Piaf.

janbb's avatar

Guantamera is one of my many favorites.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Rammstein – Du Hast When I first heard it on the radio it sounded like a casting of a magic spell.

janbb's avatar

And here’s one of my favorite Hebrew songs Yerushalayim shel Zahaz (Jerusalem of Gold.)

CWOTUS's avatar

Welll … I grew up listening to my Dad play choral symphonies (Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in particular) and opera, and though I never learned or cared to appreciate opera, I have grown to love all kinds of “world music”.

Some of my favorites are some Bollywood hit movie songs, Nimbooda Nimbooda is one. I also like Salaam and some others.

I like Icelandic folk music, even though I speak no Icelandic. Portuguese / Brazilian fado music, Celtic, Polish and Russian stuff, too.

Rammstein’s “Ich Will” is how I was introduced to them. Love it, loud.

And I have always liked Pavarotti and other Italian tenors sing operatic airs, even though I don’t care for the opera itself.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Uyembube aka The Lion Sleeps Tonight, by Solomon Ntselein the original Zulu. I can’t find it.

CWOTUS's avatar

Umarao Jaan

Cute; listenable.

BellaB's avatar

Every single freaking day. There was a big upsurge when I started belly dance classes and fell in love of a lot of old Arabic music but I listen to music from around the world constantly – partly because of concerts I go to and partly because I listen to the CBC.

They just had a great feature on world music 2.0 – and of course I fell in love with a few more songs.

zenvelo's avatar

Autobahn by Kraftwerk. Not a lot of lyrics, though.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Most songs I like are in languages I don’t know. I just have a taste for foreign language songs. The moment I understand the song it loses its miracle. When I was very young I listened to English songs, the like of Michael Jackson and such. As I begin to gain more knowledge of English, I switched to Japanese songs. This is my all-time favorite. But now that I’m learning Japanese at the moment I’m still far from being able to understand lyrics though, I find myself drawn to French songs. I just found out about this recently.

Oh, and I have also made learning French among my bucket list. After that where should I go to? :p

BellaB's avatar

A playlist of this thread

with everything I could access on youtube

My contribution is Seu Jorge from The Life Aquatic, covering David Bowie in Portuguese plus a couple of little surprises


the playlist is public so everyone should be able to pull it up if they’re in the mood for a Fluther-inspired party track

JLeslie's avatar


I used to go to parties with my Vietnamese friends and I didn’t understand half the music. I assume it was Vietnamese?

When I was a teenager my Spanish was very mediocre, but I always like Spanish language music.

I like some Italian and German operas and don’t understand any of it.

rojo's avatar

I enjoy a lot of the Arabic music that I have heard:
Nancy Arjam

rojo's avatar

Just for grins, a version of The Beatles “Blackbird” (Lon-dubh) in Gaelic

BellaB's avatar

(Updated the playlist)

@rojo – nice to hear the Rankins singing with the Chieftains

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I love Cheb Mami’s solo in Sting’s Desert Rose. I have no idea what he’s singing but I love his voice, the rhythm, the way his voice undulates and so on.

MrGrimm888's avatar

ALL THE TIME. I hear many songs that speak to me,in other languages. It seems quite obvious to me,that emotion conveyed through music is easier to interpret.

Music IS the language of the soul.

cazzie's avatar

When I first moved here, I liked a few local bands, but I couldn’t understand the lyrics… many I still can’t understand because they sing in dialect. Here are two bands I’ve enjoyed here in Norway. First one is Gåte. They sing about old mythical tales. The singer was discovered by accident. They didn’t have a singer or they dropped out, so the keyboard player mentioned his little sister sort of sings. Enjoy.

The second one is from south of where I live and they sing in a dialect I have trouble with. They are called Valkyrie Allstars. (this one I know the lyrics now and I sing along. She is singing, ‘If I were you, I’d buy me a beer.’

LuckyGuy's avatar

I lived in Japan for a while. Before I could speak or understand Japanese I liked this song: Roman Hikou by Kome Kome Club.
I eventually learned it for Karaoke.

filmfann's avatar

My iPod has several songs in different languages I don’t speak, from French to Spanish to Japanese to Portuguese.
I love Edith Piaf, and I get the gist of what she is singing about, but I just love the sound of it.

ucme's avatar

Tour de France – Kraftwerk
Vanessa Paradis – Joe le Taxi

And who can forget the haunting melody that is Macarena :D

zenvelo's avatar

There is always Sukiyaki

LuckyGuy's avatar

@zenvelo That is a great example. I learned that one too for karaoke with the Japanese office staff.
The instrumentals have such a happy feeling yet when you understand the meaning it is such sad song.
Here is 4 PM’s acapella version. They sure can sing.

BellaB's avatar

Updated the thread playlist


I’ve found some great new music and artists here. Good stuff!

rojo's avatar

@BellaB Thanks for the link!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I never really liked Roy Orbison’s 1961 song, Crying, about being abandoned by a lover. It was way, way too sappy for me. But then, 40 years later, I heard it in operatic a capella by Latina San Diegan Rebekah Del Rio in the alternative theatre scene in the film Mulholland Drive. HERE is Del Rio’s Spanish version with English subtitles from Mulholland Drive. HERE it is again with much better sound and no subtitles. She sings this beautifully from the gut and spares us none of the pain of abandonment. She made that song for me.

BellaB's avatar

That is fantastic! thank you – a great addition to the thread playlist

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

That cannot be done in English.

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