I realize that we have many readers around the world on this blog, and I am deeply honored and moved by this fact. Say what you will about the internet, but its potential to connect people from every corner of the planet is unmatched and undeniable.
That being said, I generally assume that many of our readers speak English to some comfortable extent. I also figure that most of you don’t know every language under the sun—if you do, can you teach me your secrets, please?! Because of this fact, I figured that a roundup of my favorite songs in languages other than English might be appreciated by many, if not all, of our readers.
Here are my Top 5, as usual. Enjoy!
1. “Was Soll Das”, Herbert Grönemeyer (German)
I’m not sure why I love “Was Soll Das” so much, but I do. It’s got that “hurt significant other” feel that is so relatable in songs. Even if you don’t know the words like I do, it’s got a pop-rock vibe that’s hard not to love.
2. “Glorious” from Rock Dog, Zheng Jun (Chinese)
Beautiful and rousing as the original Adam Friedman tune is, Zheng Jun’s version for the Chinese release of the film has its own soothing charm. The movie’s Chinese roots make listening to this song a necessity for fans and multicultural enthusiasts alike.
Since it’s hard to find outside of YouTube, I’m linking the Zheng Jung version here for your listening pleasure:
3. “Fuldans,” Fulkutur (Swedish)
This cute and silly song is a whimsical tribute to dancing like a fool. If you want to have a better understanding of the lyrics and maybe learn a little Swedish along the way, you can listen to the English version, “The Ugly Dance.”
4. “J’ai pas envie,” MIKA (French)
It’s hard to choose the best MIKA song, even when you narrow your options down to his French offerings. However, “J’ai pas envie” has that clever, sarcastic storytelling edge that makes MIKA tunes so unique. As with the other songs on this list, you can enjoy the fun and infectious beat of this track even if you don’t know what it’s about.
5. “I Aorana,” Les Grands Ballets de Tahiti (Tahitian)
This is another song that I find beautiful because I know of its roots in cultural pride; I actually independently studied Tahitian dance for a brief while and wanted to know the ins and outs of its history. Nonetheless, the sound is ridiculously dance-worthy and powerfully uplifting for listeners of all kinds.
You can easily find the lyrics for each of these tunes if you want to know what you’re listening to and get a quick, fun lesson in a new language at the same time. However, you can also appreciate each song for its unique and enjoyable sound without knowing exactly what you’re hearing.
Honorable Mention: “Domani,” by MIKA (One of my favorite songs!)