Skip Nav
Oscars
Fill Out Our Oscar Ballot For a Chance to Win $1,000!
ben higgins
The Bachelor: Who's Been Sent Home and Who's Still in It to Win It
Betty White
Betty White Reviews Deadpool, Gives It "4 Golden Girls"

Is It Hard to Get Into Music That's Not in Your Own Language?

Is It Hard to Get Into Music That's Not in Your Own Language?

I'm a fan of the Icelandic band Sigur Rós, and have especially enjoyed their newest album, Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust. But as much as I like them, they don't tend to get as much iPod love from me as other artists do, and I think it might be because I don't understand the lyrics to a lot of their songs (did you know the Icelandic language is a North Germanic language descended from Old Norse? I love Wikipedia).

On the other hand, I'm not an English-or-nothing kind of woman by any means. There are non-English Bjork songs I dig, and the delicate songs on Yael Naim's album that are in French and Hebrew are fantastic, for example.

What do you think? Is it more difficult to get into a band when you don't understand what they're singing about?

Source

Around The Web
Little Mix and Jason Derulo Pour Their Hearts Out For "Secret Love Song"
Demi Lovato Performances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show
Justin Timberlake Covers "Poison" | Video
Ingrid Michaelson's "Little Romance" Music Video

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

Join The Conversation
JaeB JaeB 7 years
*I love Japanese music (L'Arc~en~Ciel, T.M.Revolution!) and Bjork, and some French and Spanish music. Makes me very happy.
JaeB JaeB 7 years
If it sounds good, I listen to it. I also try to get a translation of the lyrics, though. I <3 Japanese music (L'Arc~en~Ciel! T.M.Revolution!) and Bjork and some French and Spanish music. Makes me very happy.
Witchy-Ways Witchy-Ways 7 years
i almost forgot: Peter Gabriel's german albums are the most hilarious thing I've ever heard. They're so unintentionally funny, pure genius!
Witchy-Ways Witchy-Ways 7 years
My mother tongue is German and generally speaking, I'd prefer german lyrics over english ones if they're done right. I just think that you can do so much more with german, it's such a complex language that it gives you many more things to play with. So I'm all for witty german songs! I also love swiss german rap since it's very similar to the dialect I speak. French rnb and rap is wonderful to listen to when studying french, it really helped me a lot.
Phorrest99 Phorrest99 7 years
I don't think so. When I lived in Ecuador it was really common to hear music on the radio in Portuguese or French even (aside from music in Spanish & English of course), so I've always liked listening to music in all different languages. I'm usually more into the beat anways :)
Advah Advah 7 years
I don't mind when it's not a language I can understand. I think the 'problem' with Sigur Ros is just that they don't really have albums you can sing along or listen to for 5 mins then stop for 2 mins. I know I have to be in a specific context to be able to really enjoy them. Talking about that - I'm seeing them this weekend at the Festival! Woohoo!
sharshar sharshar 7 years
I love Sigur Rós even if I have no idea what their songs mean--the same goes for random artists in my library like Alex Ubago or Eros Ramazzotti. Japanese rock is addictive, too.
Lysa1237 Lysa1237 7 years
No, I listen to a lot of french Music .....Vanessa Paradis, Ina-ich...., Japanese rock as well....Maximum the hormone, etc...., I do not know any of the two languages but I definitely love their music
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 7 years
The only albums that I listen to on an occasional basis that are in a different language are Selena's "Dreaming of You" album (some songs are in Spanish) and Celine Dion's "The French Album," otherwise known as "D'eux."
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 7 years
Oh and I like Tatu as well the Russian version of there album was way better than the english version
bastylefilegirl bastylefilegirl 7 years
Nope...not I"m not sure if I'm going to get all Icelandic but I listen to French HipHop and my French is poor to say the least but it's still great!
Mädchen Mädchen 7 years
If you ever want to impress your friends with an "exotic" song, here's one of my favourite ones in Swiss German: Züri West - I schänke dr mis Härz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qVADii3Ja0 :) Also, if you ever feel like listening to some German music and need some recommendations, just ask me. ;)
jasmint jasmint 7 years
Not at all! A good portion of the music I listen to is in French and Portuguese -- I've also got some German, Japanese, and Italian in my collection. Listening to these songs has definitely helped me pick up some vocabulary, and I've even learned several entire songs! Along with my love of foreign films, my love of foreign music has got me on my way to being multi-lingual :)
amofoz amofoz 7 years
Chritsina Sturmer is awesome but I really wish I could sing along to her songs!
Frenched Frenched 7 years
It's not really that much of a problem to me. Sometimes it's frustrating not to understand the lyrics exactly as a native speaker would BUT what attracts me to a song is usually the music. The voice can be nice, too! I'm lucky I'm bilingual because I get to listen and understand to lyrics both in English and Spanish but I also listen songs in French and other languages...and of course, I listen to Bjork's Icelandic songs, too! Karvel comes to mind :D
cageyme cageyme 7 years
I love listening to Nina Hagen. I know about 3 words in German, but her music and singing style is so cool that I don't care.
SweetnLow SweetnLow 7 years
I said no. I do sometimes wonder if I'm dancing around to a song about removing eyeballs and eating them (or other such nonsense) but if I am.. oh well! :P
treb treb 7 years
Oh, and I totally make up my own lyrics to their music. I mean, I just sing the English words that sound like whatever they're actually singing. Do you think they have a Rosetta Stone program for "Hopelandic?"
nessa17 nessa17 7 years
i listen to music in my own language that is spoken in africa which i like but other than that i dont really listen to music in other languages
treb treb 7 years
I think their albums are best when you listen to the entire thing and you're just chilling. I don't listen to them in the car or when I'm at work...but when I want to relax at home...and it's the entire album, not just a song here or there.
catita85 catita85 7 years
Sure! My native language is Spanish, but I learnt English at a very young age and have no problem understanding lyrics. I also like some Brazilian artists and French ones too.
Megatron Megatron 7 years
I love Yael Naim! If the music moves me, it moves me so I guess I don't have a language barrier problem.
Mädchen Mädchen 7 years
supertramp, you're right. The original title is "99 Luftballons". :) If you like that one, here's an (imo) even better Nena song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WdZevSqGCg For me it depends on the music. If the song has a strong melody, I don't really care about the language. I listen to a lot of English songs, even though that's not my first language, but I suppose that doesn't count. ;) A while back, I couldn't stop listening to these two Czech songs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Or8ZMqfaFak http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaZEnj113pU
Juicylemon Juicylemon 7 years
In Quebec where most people talk french, music in english gets a lot of airplay, high sales and are in demands. Much more than music in french. Also, there the biggest summer hits can be in spanish. I think it's about the arrangement, the melody, the rythm and the hooks more than just the lyrics.
Allytta Allytta 7 years
not at all. i have songs in about 7-8 languages and i know all the lyrics to them.
Latest Entertainment
X