General Question

Dansedescygnes's avatar

Do you like any songs in a foreign language you don't understand (care to name some)?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) March 23rd, 2009

Do you like foreign-language music in a language you don’t speak? Those of you who’ve known me on previous sites would know that I love Japanese music and I also have a thing for Russian and Turkish music.

Particularly Ai Otsuka, Koda Kumi, Aya Matsuura, Biyuuden, Morning Musume, Grup Hepsi, Glukoza, Verka Serduchka, Tutsi, Slivki, et. al.

I know I can’t understand these languages, but I like the sound of the music and the language. I have over 60 Japanese songs, many of which I can lip-sync along with. Even though I don’t know what the songs mean…

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48 Answers

Myndecho's avatar

I don’t hear many to know if I like them or not, but normally I like knowing what they’re saying.
(Plus airow )

AstroChuck's avatar

I love the song Mustafa by Queen. It sounds as if it’s in Arabic.

Kelly27's avatar

I really like the Gipsy Kings even though I know very little of what they are actually singing.

marinelife's avatar

I like a lot of world music. I often cannot understand the language, but the music and singing can transcend that barrier.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I’m big on samba, Bossa Nova and Tropicalia despite not speaking a word of Brazilian Portuguese.

One of my favorite songs EVAR is Vou Festejar by Beth Carvalho, which I can sing phonetically, but I have no idea what she’s on about.

KalWest's avatar

Yea – i used to loooovvvve that numa numa song – but got tired of it after a while
(cuties in the parody vid tho ;-)

Dansedescygnes's avatar


That music sounds awesome and is just the genre I like. I like Russian especially because I’m 75% Russian and my parents and bunch of my relatives speak it. I feel jealous…

Lupin's avatar

Sukiyaki song. Ue o muite aruko.
Roman Hiko
I used to do both of these at the Karaoke Clubs when I went out with my Japanese coworkers.

SuperMouse's avatar

Con Te Partiro by Andrea Bocelli.

augustlan's avatar

Allie stole my answer. Hmph.

SuperMouse's avatar

La Bamba by Richie Valens.

TitsMcGhee's avatar

I love love love Antonio Carlos Jobim, Cafe Tacvba, Calic, Buena Vista Social Club, and I’ll listen to opera in any language!

Jeruba's avatar

There’s a song called “Elunde,” in an African language, maybe Swahili. It was on a sampler record called “Taboo” that came with the new phonograph my family purchased in about 1960. I would love to find it again, the whole record, in fact, but my efforts have been unsuccessful.

Besides that, there is basically all oif Italian opera, French opera, and Russian opera. (I don’t mention German opera because I did study German for four years.) I can figure out a lot of Romance languages from Latin, from cognates, and from reading opera libretti, and I can get by with tourist’s French, but I’m hopelessly at sea in Russian.

mcbealer's avatar

Oliver Mtukudzi
Ayub Ogada

I also enjoy listening to music in french and portugese which I speak although not fluently.

kutelilkat's avatar

lol oh nevermind, I see u already know about jpop

Pcrecords's avatar

Oh gosh. Super furry animals mwng album is fantastic and all in welsh. Some gruff Rhys solo tracks in welsh also. Great electro track called mi tiesto. Oh most of sigur ros. And Air at their French best.
Good question that.

aprilsimnel's avatar

@Pcrecords – I forgot about MWNG! It is a great album. Welsh is fun to listen to.

Brome's avatar

I listen to many Japanese artists (Tommy Heavenly6, Polysics, Mad Capsule Markets, Utada Hikaru, Sakamoto Maaya, Origa, Kitade Nana, Gackt to name a few) and occasionally to Indian, Korean and Russian music, as well as Björk’s early work in Icelandic.

AstroChuck's avatar

I forgot about Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. One of my favorite albums is Facing Future. Half the songs on that album are sung in Hawaiian.

please_not_to_ask2's avatar

I like anything in Hebrew, though I can understand some of it. I love Russian anything, and I like a lot of Spanish music. I like some Japanese.

I like lots of stuff.

PrancingUrchin's avatar

I like Treti Galaxie by Michel David a lot. It was in the movie Hostel. I think it’s Serbian.

aviona's avatar

Tryo is like French reggae. The song I linked isn’t very representative of their stuff, but good still. used to be able to understand them :(

asmonet's avatar

Milla Jovovich – In A Glade
The soundtrack to Saawariya
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole as AC said.

And this genius.

exitnirvana's avatar

I’m obsessed with anything by Sigur Rós, and I have a whole mix CD of Czech rock that my guy’s old roommates made for him years ago that I adore. I have no idea who the artists are, but the CD kicks ass.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I also like Ho Visto Un Re by Enzo Jannacci. My Italian is non-existent, sad to say, except for a few words and a bit of counting.

And for all you who don’t speak un mot de Français, Téléphone is a great band and MC Solaar is a kick-ass rapper.

fireside's avatar

Pretty much anything by Bob Dylan.
I wish I could understand his language…

AstroChuck's avatar

And there are all those Klingon operas…

Jack79's avatar

I love anything by Jarek Nohavica (Czech). Even though I do speak some basic Czech enough to survive a day in Prague, it is not enough to understand the songs, and I usually imagine them to mean something completely different than what they do, as in “na schledanou pane Franosramku, pilsicna uz koncila” (sp) which is a sad song about a guy in jail, but I always assumed was some sort of powerful political statement.

shrubbery's avatar

I like a lot of Enya songs that are in different languages.

fullOFuselessINFO's avatar

Asereje—The Ketchup Girls

The_unconservative_one's avatar

Ave Maria. I also like Salsa and Merengue’

Vincentt's avatar

I found some unknown Polish band whom I really don’t understand:

And I often can’t hear the lyrics of songs whose language I do speak, as well :P.

Oh, I once heard a foreigner say he liked Acda en De Munnik even though he didn’t understand a word, which I can udnerstand because they use language in such a way that even the sound of the words they sing sound great on their own :)

@fullOFuselessINFO – that’s the Ketchup Song :)

RandomMrdan's avatar

Placebo – “Protege Moi”

it’s “protect me” in english, and they have an english version, but for some reason I prefer the French version.

asmonet's avatar

@RandomMrdan: Me too! That song wins in French.

KalWest's avatar

Great song (& vid)!

itsnotmyfault1's avatar

As soon as i saw this question, i knew you were talking about Japanese music. yah, so throw in the normal variety of Anime-related songs.

But, i discovered the band that does the song… is pretty cool, if you’re into folk… from other countries.

Also, i like Malajube (French)

RandomMrdan's avatar

oh and also “La Pour Ca” by Nada Surf.

littlewesternwoman's avatar

Youssou N’Dour (Senegalese)

Although I understand Hebrew and some Arabic, I would recommend all of the following, even without understanding what they’re saying: Souad Massi; Kathem a-Saher; Fairuz; Shalom Chanoch; Avishai Cohen; Berry Sakharov

And from the Brazilian camp: Caetano Veloso; Antonio Carlos Jobim

ish1212's avatar

Ooh, Joe Dassin is really great, though I don’t speak much French.

Also, Tomte is great even though they’re in German. Sort of like a German Minus the Bear.

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